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6
May

It’s Time To Play The Objection Game.

huddleSometimes you need to have a little fun with the meetings and to be honest, the more people who attend, the more fun it is. Yesterday’s meeting got everyone engaged and if you are ever stuck for a good meeting topic please do me a favour….steal this one. Especially if you have a group of over 20 agents in a room.

Every active agent will tell you that whether they are working with a buyer of a seller they always come across objections. I’ve done a past blog about objections which you can read here. How you deal with that objection will be the difference between success and failure. So in today’s meeting I asked the agents to tell me all the objections they have faced over the last year. Not surprisingly, I got a fairly substantial list. We then went through the list and ranked them in order. For the purposes of the meeting we determined that the top four were; commissions, fear of over-paying for a home, not wanting to get into a bidding war and the classic “my uncle is a Realtor”.

With our top four objections in hand we broke the group up into four smaller groups and gave each one of them an objection. Each group picked a team leader and over the next 10 minutes they had to come up with as many arguments as they could to kill their objection. The group discussions were pretty lively and after the 10 minutes was over each leader read out their list. What I loved about this game was that even after every counter argument was pointed out there was always others in the crowd who had more points to add. In my books anytime you get a discussion going in an office meeting you’ve had a great day.

I won’t go through the agent’s arguments today because your office might have completely different objections. It’s just fair to say that this meeting got everyone involved. For new agents it’s an opportunity to develop new talking points with clients and I have to say that a few, more experienced, agents even learned a few tricks along the way. This was a great meeting, a great discussion, awesome team building and helps solidify our office culture.

mark mclean is the Broker/Manager at the Bosley Real Estate Queen St W office and President-Elect for the Toronto Real Estate Board. The opinions expressed here do not reflect the opinions of TREB or Bosley RE.

5
May

WTH!?! Your Client Walked Away Over That?!?!

broken microvaveI’m trying to be polite here. The “WTH” stands for ‘What the heck”. A few weeks ago at our Mastermind session we talked about how an agent lost a deal over a relatively small item. In this case it was a $500 Ikea cabinet. As soon as that story came out others piped in about some of their lost deals too. It was surprising to see what buyers and sellers would walk away from. I put it out to my Facebook friends and got some wild responses.

One person lost a deal over a pool table when the seller was moving out of province anyhow. Another lost over a broken snow blower. Apparently the seller promised it to a nephew and buyer walked without it. Other inconsequential items included a fridge, a $100 microwave, a bookshelf, drapes and a flowering shrub in the garden. Of course it isn’t always about possessions. Sometimes it’s a technicality. I heard from one friend who had a deal fall apart because the age of the home was reported as 14 years old when it was actually 18 years old, while another deal died over a 6 month discrepancy in the age of the furnace. Another fell apart when the seller signed back an offer to close on the same date that was the anniversary of a death of a family member and was taken as a sign that this “wasn’t meant to be”.

Often the argument is just an ego thing where the buyer and seller just don’t like each other and dig their heels in but other times it is the telltale sign of something larger. Our job is diffuse the anger and turn it into a positive. Here is my example; Once I went on a listing presentation on a condo. The exact same unit on the floor directly below sold for $365k. I suggested to the seller that if we listed at $369k we might do a little better (being one floor up). The owner was insistent on listing at $379k so I thought, sure why not. It’s not wildly off base. After a few weeks we got an offer for $375k so being already $10k ahead I pressed my seller to accept. She wouldn’t. Insisted on the full $379k. We couldn’t make the deal work and the seller walked. So clearly my seller lost on a great opportunity….or did she? About a month later the seller listed with someone else at $379k and the condo sold way over in multiple offers. In effect, it turns out the original buyer lost. There is a lesson in here somewhere.

Clearly buying or selling a home is an emotional experience. Both sellers and buyers think they hold all the cards. Getting them together is the real trick. If you hit this critical impasse the first thing to do is isolate it. Is this a buyer getting cold feet or a seller who’s just not ready to let go? Knowing the true motivation will help resolve the issues. Sometimes however, people are just stubborn jerks. Other times you step up and buy them a new microwave. In the end, the buyer and the seller just want to know that someone cares. Finally, I heard from one friend who tells it like it is. His client was his wife. Many years ago she dug her heels in when there was only a $200 difference between her and the seller. The agent husband managed to get the deal together and it has been their matrimonial house for 20 years. He loves to tell the story about how she almost let the deal die over $200. Hilarious.

mark mclean is the Broker/Manager at the Bosley Real Estate Queen St W office and President-Elect for the Toronto Real Estate Board. The opinions expressed here do not reflect the opinions of TREB or Bosley RE.

22
Apr

Real Estate Jeopardy. The Game Show Meeting Topic

jeopardy gameI run nearly over 90 meetings a year. 45 of them are direct “office meetings”, me standing in front of a group of agents talking about “stuff”. Usually its market related, sometimes I have a special guest or do a panel discussion, occasionally it’s a field trip and sometimes I talk serious stuff about what is happening in the real estate world. I will be the first to admit that while some meetings are awesome (and agents come up to me later and commend me on a great meeting), others are, well, dogs. The good ones I blog about and share. The others I bury like a bad bone.
Some of the time you just want to have fun. A few years ago I brought in a magician. Once I asked the agents to pick their real estate anthem song and sing it. That was hilarious. Today’s meeting was one of those fun ones. They take a long time to prepare but are worthwhile. Over the course of the year I keep track of all the little things agents either forget to do or ask questions about. For this meeting I created categories with those questions and had agents square off Jeopardy style. A lot of the questions are fairly easy but what I find is that it gets everyone talking, and isn’t the whole point to get a conversation going?
So you are probably wondering what the questions were. Well, they ranged from who signs the confirmation of acceptance on an offer to what is the legal rent increase for 2015 in Toronto to Land Transfer Tax rebates to how much first time buyers can withdraw from their RRSP’s.
It took about 45 minutes to get through the 20 questions. We had a ton of fun and I hope that the agents will put this one in their memory banks. By the way, the answers to the above are; The last one to accept an offer, 1.6%, $2000 provincial and $3725 City of Toronto, $25,000 per person. By the way, it’s nice to offer a prize. I had little bags of Jelly Beans for the winners (but basically everyone’s a winner).

mark mclean is the Broker/Manager at the Bosley Real Estate Queen St W office and President-Elect for the Toronto Real Estate Board. The opinions expressed here do not reflect the opinions of TREB or Bosley RE.

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