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Mission Possible. The Ultimate 12 Week RE Sales Contest. Task #1

For as long as I’ve been managing an office I’ve wanted to run an EPIC contest. One that would have the ultimate goal of making agents money. A real rah-rah type of contest where everyone is excited to play and healthy competition is born. To be honest, I’ve been thinking about this contest all summer, and it has kept me up at night. I have debated about how I’m going to keep agents interested and motivated and, of course, create a game where EVERYONE has a chance of winning. This is not just a contest where the winner is the one who sells the most houses. Gawd, even I wouldn’t play THAT game. This contest had to give every agent an opportunity to win and the tasks had to be so spectacularly easy that you could accumulate points by literally doing nothing. Ok that’s not exactly true. You have to do something BUT I didn’t want the tasks to be a big hassle, they had to be fun and the the ultimate goal had to be that the agents made money. Simple enough. Over the past few weeks I’ve refined and laid out the tasks, calculated the points, talked to managers and top producing agents about it. The contest is for my office only but I encourage everyone to play along.
The contest is simple. This is a points oriented contest where the highest points win. If you sell or buy a property you earn 5 points.It’s the same for leases. If that’s all you do, sell and lease properties, you are making money and isn’t that the point of the game anyway?
But you can earn points by doing other things too so today’s task is really simple. SHOW UP AT THE OFFICE. Why you ask? Because real estate is about prospecting and prospecting starts at the office. At my office there are three opportunities to be here; the Tuesday meeting, Wednesday Mastermind and Duty Day. Over 12 weeks, this task alone could earn you 36 points (that’s the equivalent of 7 deals). The question remains however, if you are in the office three times a week for the next 12 weeks, will you make money? Well, from experience I can tell you that the new agents who have made a habit of coming to this office on a regular basis are making money.
Now I realize that not all business models hold meetings or have offices that you can go to so if that is the case…do this; Call 5 or 6 agents in your office and schedule a coffee meeting every week. Talk about the market, what you are up to, and what successes and failures you are having.
I hold over 45 meetings a year in my office. Some are good and some are downright boring. The point is, we still get together and network. Today’s meeting gave us an opportunity to remind ourselves why we come to the office. Check out our list here; realty feud
So what are the prizes? Well, besides all the extra money you put in your pocket there are some pretty cool rewards, but that’s top-secret. All I can say is the winner will need to have an updated passport!

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.


My Phone Fell in the Lake…And Other Wild Excuses

blast offFrankly there are times when I just want to spit. I’m a pretty chill guy so saying I want to spit is really just a total exaggeration meant to demonstrate my frustration. So what has me so riled up? Agents that don’t call you back.
Agents spend lots of money to attract potential sellers. When they list and subsequently sell homes, they make money. It’s a petty simple concept really. So I’m a bit at a loss to understand why agents don’t call back an agent who has a bone fide offer on you property.
Over the last few years I have seen and heard of so many examples of agents who are horrible at returning calls that I’m almost ready to call the Centre for Disease control. This is turning into an epidemic. While there is a small possibility that the agent can’t call because they are currently on their way to the space station, most likely they are killing time and hoping that another offer is going to come in. Okay, I get that. But the problem exists on the other side of the transaction. If the agent you are trying to reach isn’t getting back you, how do you explain to your client, without looking incompetent yourself, that you are doing your best to get things done?
Last week an agent in my office put together an offer on a property that had been on the market for over a month. He registered the offer with the front desk of the listing brokerage and asked that the listing agent be paged so that he could set up a time to present the offer. The agent returned the call in a few hours and said that he would inform the owners and call him back with a meeting time. One hour passed, then another, than another. My agent called the listing agent for an update. The call went to his mailbox. Another few hours go by, still nothing. My agent sends him a text. “WHAT’S GOING ON? WHEN CAN I PRESENT?” Nothing. Now, my agent’s client is wondering what the status is and all my agent can say is that he is waiting for the listing agent to get back to him. A full day goes by and still nothing. My agent calls the Broker of Record and asks that the agent return his call. Meanwhile the Buyer client is wondering if my agent is really working on his behalf. After all, it seems nearly impossible to believe that an agent, with offer in hand, isn’t doing everything in his power to put a deal together. Finally, the listing agent calls my agent nearly 48 hours after the initial contact and apologizes. Apparently the Seller was away and he couldn’t reach him and further explains that the Seller will only look at an offer if it is for more than the list price. Right. Now we know just how serious the Seller is. Well the story made me think of some of the other wild excuses I have heard over the years. Here are some of the classics….

1. My Phone fell in the toilet, bathtub, lake, ocean, off the balcony. (blame it on an accident)
2. My wife went into labour. (blame it on the spouse)
3. I just got your message now. (blame it on technical difficulties).
4. I must have been out of range when you called. (blame it on your location)
5. My office didn’t pass the message to me. (blame someone else)

The fact remains that you cannot play the blame game. There is no excuse for not keeping the Buyer Agent in the loop, and quiet frankly, I have heard my fair share of excuses. But speaking to the big picture here, our industry is often painted with the broad brush of incompetence. Being a professional, full-time agent, means keeping the lines of communication open across the entire playing field. Returning calls is just part of the job. Sometimes you have to report good news and sometimes bad. At the very least just touching base is enough.

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


You Need To Lose a Deal!

You need to loseI really don’t want to sound like a broken record, but, OMG, if I have to utter those words again I think I might scream.
Here is the scenario. An agent recently took out new clients to look at houses. They had built up a nice rapport, spent some quality time together and had a BRA signed. Things were looking good. They found a house they loved. The agent knew it was competitively priced and that there were going to be a few people bidding on the house. He spent the better part of an evening explaining the process, encouraging them to get a home inspection done before offer night, to confirm with their mortgage agent that they had their financing and then showed them some comps to help determine a good price to go it at.
After their very long conversation, the agent headed back to the office to type the offer, then it all went sideways. The buyers wanted to load down their offer with conditions; condition on financing, condition on home inspection and condition on lawyer review of the offer. Oh, and one more thing, after much deliberation, they want to offer $15,000 below the list price. That sound you hear is the screeching of brakes. You and I know this deal is going nowhere fast. The agent calls me looking for encouraging words and the magic spell that will make it all go away. Then I have to say….”well, unfortunately, your clients need to lose this deal so they can understand the process and learn to take your advice “. I HATE those words.
The truth is, new buyers don’t need to lose on any house if they don’t want to. Often their decisions to load down their offer with conditions has more to do with having cold feet. Still, they need to listen to you and THAT means trusting you. Of course you will run into situations where the client is an armchair Realtor who thinks he knows more than you, or you might be unfortunate to work with clients whose father says something like, “are you crazy? you can buy a mansion in Peterborough for the same money”. So what can you do to prevent your manager from uttering those annoying words? Try these five tips.

1. It all comes down to giving the clients accurate information. Show them the numbers (they don’t lie). Provide them recent comps and differences between asking and sale prices.
2. As much as it hurts, you need to be brutally honest about the process. Give them a primer on the market. In case they are new to the city, or have been living under a rock, show them newspaper articles that emphasize what is going on in your local market.
3. Document real life examples of clients that you have worked with or talk about situations where others have lost because they weren’t prepared.
4. Have home inspectors at the ready and explain that the home inspector will save you money by showing you the true condition of the house. It is a needed expense of buying a home.
5. Have some serious dialogue with their mortgage broker. Explain your familiarity with the market. Put their mind at ease that the house you sell them will appraise with ease.

Naturally, there are no guarantees, but a few preventative measures may limit the times you have to lose a deal to prove a point.

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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