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9
Mar

Woo Hoo. I’m The Client’s Second Choice.

agent number 2
A few weeks ago, at our regular Mastermind meeting, we were talking about how an agent managed to sell a client a new home. This wasn’t all that surprising until the agent told us that the client had worked with a few other agents before who without any success. So the conversation turned towards a discussion about why the first few agents couldn’t make a sale. What was it that made the client stop working with one agent and eventually buy with another?
Some of the answers were pretty obvious…that agent didn’t know the area, that agent wasn’t available on the client’s schedule, or that agent didn’t understand what the client was looking for. But to get more great answers I consulted the great oracle itself, Facebook’s Real Estate Corner. There I got a few to add to the list. Here are some of the best.

I made myself more available.
I made an effort to take the clients out more often, even when there wasn’t much to see.
I gave the client more information than what was on the listing.
I returned phone calls, texts and e-mails quickly.
I listened and didn’t waste their time.
I am more accessible.
I was truthful about a listing.

Now, to be fair, agents lose clients for lots of other reasons. It’s not always about failing at the job. I was reminded of a very good agent in my office who had long-standing relationship with a buyer client. After months of showing properties, the agent figured it wasn’t going to happen so she passed the lead on to a new agent who ended up selling the client a condo in about two weeks. Turns out the client never really liked the first agent and was thrilled to work with an agent who could devote more time and attention. Simple.

There’ an old saying about being the first love, second wife and third real estate agent. There’s probably some truth to that (well at least the end of that anyway).

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.

27
Jan

When Bad Things Happen To Good Agents

karma babyRejected, scuttled, jilted and abandoned. These are just some of the words to describe that moment when life hands you a real estate loss. You know, that exact time when the client you’ve been working with for the past few months emails you to say…”hey we were out this weekend and walked into this amazing house AND well, we bought it…isn’t that great?”. Or how about “we were going to list with you but my boss’s wife is an agent and…”. Oh and my favourite (that’s happened to me twice in 2014) “We figured since you were a manager now you wouldn’t be able to help us, so we hired someone else”. Nothing, absolutely nothing, is worse than having to look that person in the eye and congratulate them even though you would rather kick them in the stomach. The reality is that these clients aren’t out to intentionally cause you harm (at least we hope so). They just weren’t thinking.

If you are a Realtor, I have just one thing to say…get used to it. After 25 years in the business, no one knows more than I do that there is no loyalty when it comes to saving a buck and no matter how good you are at staying connected, one of your clients is going to buy or sell a property without you. It’s how you recover that defines your career. Someone once told me that when you get bad news, you should take 24 hours to cool down. Formulate your response but keep it under your hat. The hotter you are the longer you need to cool down before you press send. I would be the first to admit that there are times when I don’t necessarily follow that very sage advice. When (and if) the sting subsides, find out what went wrong. Was it just a timing thing? Was the new agent at the right place at the right time? What did they say that sealed the deal? I believe it’s important to have that “exit interview” in order to learn from the experience. Maybe, if you acted quicker, you could have saved the deal.

So what can you do when you get that inevitable call? First and foremost…take a deep breath. This is only a minor setback. There is truth to the old saying, ‘what goes around comes around’. That basically means that one day you will be the guy that fluked into a deal that some other agent was hoping to close. So hold your head high and keep those clients in your data base. NAR reported that over 70% of home buyers and sellers never hear from their agents once the transaction closes. This is your hall pass to return the favour. Send them flowers, congratulate them on the purchase (or sale). Work that CRM like no one else. Trust me, nothing is as constant as change. Those clients will move again and when the time is right they will look to the person who has been by their side the whole time.

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.

26
Jan

List High To Double End? That’s An Interesting Strategy.

stubborn
Let me first say right off the bat, that I have no way of knowing if this was the intended strategy, but in Mastermind last week we heard from an agent who showed a house that, by his own estimation, was a bit over-priced. His clients really liked it but they were $50k apart. The listing agent was quite adamant about the price and said that the owner had no interest in negotiating. Our agent said his clients were prepared to play the waiting game. Give it a month, the home was sure to get reduced. But than it sold…the listing agent double ended it….at a price closer to where my agent’s clients were thinking.

The story highlighted our discussion on pricing to get listings. It planted a seed in our minds that maybe, just maybe, an agent would give a price that was on the higher side of the CMA scale in order to get the listing. Well certainly that is well within the realm of possibilities. I mean if you bring in three agents to price your house, and one gives you a price $50K more than the other two, wouldn’t you at least consider going with the higher number? It’s called buying the listing. And while it’s probably not the best marketing strategy, it does put your face on a sign. Of course the other side of the story is that the owner has unrealistic expectations but an agent takes the listing anyway. There are enough stories out there about walking away from overpriced homes but that is probably a discussion for another day.

Then the penny dropped. What if the intent was to eliminate all other buyer agents and then just wait for the call? You know…the one from the person who saw it on Realtor.ca and who’s plan is to only work with the listing agent to score a better deal? Again, I’m thinking to myself, “no, it can’t be. It’s way to risky”. But here’s the thing. There are lots of people out there who believe that working with the listing agent is the best way to win a listing in multiple offers AND get the home at the best price. So I suppose it is conceivable. Sometimes agents agree to drop commissions if they double end (bring in their own buyer) but it is a dangerous tactic for ANY realtor. So many things can go wrong. At the end of the day, representing two people (a buyer and a seller) is actually double the work. Everyone should know that going in.

I still believe that pricing is, in many ways, an art. It’s not just looking at what the neighbour’s house sold for (although that factors into it). There are hundreds of minute details that determine price. It’s something that can’t be learned in a day. My advice…stay on top of the market, wow Seller’s with your knowledge, marketing genius, and sales prowess.

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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