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Communication Equals Clarity

It’s mid April and the election is closing in. The polls open next week and remain open until May 5th. As we get closer, the seriousness of the election stays at the top of my mind. The Toronto Real Estate Board is, after all ,the largest association of Realtors in North America, and as such there is a responsibility to lead with authority and clarity.
Last week I was asked, along with a few other candidates, to say a few words at the monthly meeting of the West Metro Realtors Association. This group was founded well before TREB came around. In fact it was formed so that Realtors could get together and talk about their listings. It was MLS before there was MLS.
Standing before the group I asked a very simple question which I will also ask my readers today. Go back in time and think about all the real estate transactions you have done during your career. Now pick out the ones that went perfectly. They should be the ones where both the Seller and the Buyer got what they wanted and you and the other agent worked seamlessly and productively. The transaction was negotiated without any hiccups and nothing was left to chance. I believe that the common thread that weaves through all these transactions is communication. Frankly it is not only the key to a healthy transaction, it is the key to any relationship whether it be personal or business.
It is this function that I believe strongly in and one that I will strive to build and maintain while working at the board. This past year as the chair of the Communication Committee I learned some valuable facts. TREB, with its nearly 40,000 members, has a remarkably engaged members. Statistics show that between 7,000 and 8,000 people log into MLS a day, open the Across The Board newsletter each month or attend the annual RealtorQuest. Statistically speaking that is a pretty high percentage of engagement. Of course it can always be better. If the content continues to foster greater discussion we are on the right path.
First and foremost I am a Realtor. I love my profession and believe that we offer a valuable service to the consumer. I want to find more ways where the Realtor can help Buyers and Sellers.
“Let’s think big and think together”.

mark mclean is the Broker/Manager at the Bosley Real Estate Queen St W office and Director at Large for the Toronto Real Estate Board and is currently a candidate for TREB President Elect in the upcoming Spring election.


The RealtyLab Zombie Test For Realtors

zombie blogZombies are not just the monster du jour. We all think zombies are dead and evil and must be destroyed. Well that may be true but maybe, just maybe, they can also teach us how to be great Realtors too.

First a few popular culture examples of how Zombies have filled our lives on the big screen. We have; The Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead, The Return of the Living Dead, The Day of the Dead, I am Legend, World War Z, Zombie Apocalypse, Resident Evil, Resident Evil 2, Return of Resident Evil, Dead Rising, House of the Dead, Dead Island, Left 4 Dead, Dying Light, State of Decay, The Last of Us, Sean of the Dead, The Walking Dead and perhaps the most famous zombies of them all…..the zombies from Michael Jackson’s thriller.

Like it or not, zombies are here to stay! In fact while researching this post I came across the story of Adam Chodorow a professor of Law at Arizona State University investigated the estate and income tax implications of a zombie apocalypse under United States federal and state tax codes. He notes that being dead is different from being undead, and states that “most self-motivated zombies likely would be considered alive under most state law definitions”. Whether a reanimated zombie should be considered the same being as when it was originally alive is, according to Chodorow, much less clear. Due to such potential legal complications, he recommends that legislators enact special tax laws for the undead. Yeah, right.

It’s time to take “The RealtyLab Zombie Test For Realtors” to see if you share the same real estate enthousiasm as a zombie chasing a warm body.

Q1. Are you a machine with the sole purpose to sell real estate?
Q2. Are you meticulous and consistent?
Q3. Do you keep moving forward even when you have to change course?
Q4. If you have to change course do you stay focused?
Q5. Do you ignore obstacles in your way?
Q6. Are you always laser focused on their target?
Q7. Do you believe in lead capture?
Q8. Do you refuse to be demoralized?
Q9. Do you crave Belly to belly meetings?
Q10. Do you have fans?
Q11. Do you want to stay in touch?
Q12. Do you want longevity and stability?
Q13. Do you feel that some people want to eliminate you?
Q14. Do you sometimes feel misunderstood and just want to have friends?
Q15. Do you congregate with other Realtors?

If you said yes to between 10 and 15 questions you share all the traits of the undead. If you said yes to between 5 and 9 you are well on your way to zombie status, if you said yes to under 5 then you are still part of the land of the living and have a little work to do.

All joking aside, being a successful Realtor doesn’t just happen. It’s a full-time job and requires some serious commitment. Thanks to the writers and contributors at Inman News for feeding me the idea for this test.

mark mclean is the Broker/Manager at the Bosley Real Estate Queen St W office and Director at Large for the Toronto Real Estate Board and is currently a candidate for TREB President Elect in the upcoming Spring election.


It’s Offer Night in the Big City

negotiate blogMastermind at my office is always a lot of fun and as the office expands and matures the topics tend to get a bit more technical in nature. That creates a challenge for some of the newer agents whose eyes start to glaze over. So every once in a while I have to reign in the conversation and steer it back to day-to-day operational questions. Like what happens on multiple offer night.

One the policies that we have at Bosley Real Estate is that if an agent gets an offer on his own property AND is in multiple offers, one of the managers ( in this case, me) steps in to represent the Seller. In an era where offers can be signed back multiple times, this is the third best way to handle a situation like this. The first of course, is to categorically refuse to represent a buyer, either as a client or customer, in the transaction. The second is to clearly state that you operate on the “one shot rule” so bring your best offer and be prepared to lose by one dollar. But in our system the listing agent presents first then leaves the premises and has no way to know what other offers are. If the seller wants to send all the offers back, the listing agent has no advantage over any other agent thus guaranteeing that everyone remains on an equal playing field. Everyone is treated fairly.

Last week I was called in to manage an offer situation and the result of that process provided a great topic for the following day’s mastermind session and highlights some of the issues that managers need to remind agents about.

So let me set the stage. The sellers come to my office and settle in to our large boardroom. We wait while the other agents arrive. There are supposed to be six in total including the listing agent and another agent from my office plus four agents from other competitor offices. All six have registered their offers through the front desk. So we begin. The listing agent presents first. She brings in four copies of her offer. One for each of the two sellers, one for me and one for herself to refer to. The next Bosley agent presents, with three signed copies. The next agent presents with one copy of his offer which I review with the two sellers straining awkwardly to follow along. The next agent also presents with one copy of the offer but as soon as I turn the page I realize that the buyers have not signed the signature page. The next agent also only has one copy but is missing our schedule A. The final agent doesn’t show up or call.

So with six registered offers only four bring the required and properly executed paperwork, two bring enough copies to go around, one misses essential signatures, one misses the required schedule and one doesn’t even show up. Not good. Despite the efforts, or perhaps because of the efforts of all the agents, the house sells well over the asking price, but it highlights two critical aspects of the offer presentation. First, it is essential to have enough copies to go around. I think that we often miss this critical step in the heat of the moment. There will be a time in the not-so-distant future when we will be using our tablets to conduct the sale but for now agents should provide multiple copies if only to be polite to all the parties in the room. Second, while you have every right to revoke your offer before the presentation, it is important to follow the necessary protocols. An agent must, at the very least, inform the listing brokerage that they will not be presenting. Sometimes it’s the little things that go along way to a successful transaction with the added benefit of staying out of RECO’s hair.

mark mclean is the Broker/Manager at the Bosley Real Estate Queen St W office and Director at Large for the Toronto Real Estate Board and is currently a candidate for TREB President Elect in the upcoming Spring election.


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