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8
Aug

Building The Perfect Real Estate Agent (or Things That Make You Go Wow)

As some of you know, I love to have audience participation at my morning meetings. So last week I put a question to my agents; Have you ever done a deal with an agent, from our company or another, who did something that you thought was exceptional? Something that made you think….”wow, that’s cool, I should really do that”. I decided to try this tact because I thought is was time to celebrate  Realtor best practices. Not only did I ask my agents but I started a conversation on the BuzzBuzzHome Forum. Here are the top answers.

  1. One agent told a story of registering an offer on a property. The listing agent emailed him with a wish list from the seller, in terms of closing date and inclusions, and set out the rules for the multiple offers.
  2. This was a great service one agent passed on to her clients after successfully finding a home for her buyer. Over the years she had assembled an amazing list trades, from carpenters to plumbers. She had neatly packaged the list complete with emergency numbers and given it to the buyers.
  3. Another agent was greatly impressed by an agent who wrote her a personal note. She was in a multiple offer situation and even though her offer wasn’t accepted the listing agent wrote her a note to thank her for her hard work. This goes both ways, as another agent mentioned that she had received a note from an agent who lost out on her listing saying ” Although my buyers did not get the house I wanted to thank you for a pleasant experience”.
  4. One of my agents reported what great feedback he got from his clients every time he forwarded articles, blog posts and stories. The articles were not always real estate related but were customized to his client’s interests.
  5. This one was interesting. An agent gave out $1 lotto tickets at his open house. Interesting way to drive traffic.
  6. Another agent told a story of a multiplex he had listed. The selling agent worked diligently to ensure that all the proper forms were delivered to tenants to ensure that a smooth transition and vacant possession. This is one type of transaction that can go sideways very quickly if forms are not prepared properly.
  7. Here’s one that would require a great deal of organizing but would ensure your status as the greatest agent ever; this particular agent worked for a new house builder. Every time a house was completed the agent put all the warranties and service manuals into a unique and well branded binder broken down by month and appliance.
  8. This one is a simple show of professionalism. An agent recalled how another agent called her to say that her client had just stopped by at her open house. While some agents might try to lure the client away, this agent showed her diligence towards marketing the property with integrity.
  9. Here’s a simple one I wish every agent would consider. How about preemptively leaving the results of you showing with the listing agent? Instead of automatic feedback or waiting for the agent to call, consider shooting the listing agent a quick email and let them know how your showing went. Something like; Dear Mark, I just showed your listing at 123 Main Street. My client liked your listing however they are just starting their search. I will be sure to contact you if they are interested in looking at it again.
  10.  When the market is as hot as it has been, one agent made a special effort to mark down all the emails of everyone who showed her property. On the off-chance that someone tried to submit a bully offer, she could do a quick group page to let everyone know and hopefully drum up another offer.

When I review this list, I can see a common theme that runs through most of these points. Can you see it too? Communication! Not just communication between an agent and a client but between agent and agent. Naturally I will keep adding and updating this list so I hope you will help me design the perfect real estate agent. Enjoy the rest of your Summer.

2
Aug

Mastermind for August 1. Should You Be in Attendance at a Showing?

As of today, we are officially halfway through our Summer schedule. It’s been a busy few weeks around the office. It seems there is still plenty of Real Estate going on and with that comes some great stories….perfect for a good Mastermind session this morning. So, if you didn’t make it you missed a discussion on attending showings. 

Here is the story. An agent has a listing pretty far from the office. The house is  average priced, slightly dated, but in absolute mint condition thanks to a rather particular owner. This owner does not like things out-of-place and is very aware of objects in his house that have been moved. He wants to know that kids aren’t running around or that people aren’t rifling through his stuff. Do you get the picture? Ok, so our agent is told, after the listing is signed and pictures and video tour are done, that he must be in attendance for every showing. This presents an interesting problem. The agent must drive well over a half hour each way to conduct a showing. That, of course, is presuming there is no traffic. Tough call, what would you do? Suck it up? Find a local agent to split the it with? Pass on it altogether?

Well, I suppose it could be worse. Our group told several stories about Sellers who insisted on being in the property for the showing. That, as they say, can be the kiss of death. Honestly, if you want a potential Buyer to be uncomfortable at a showing ask the Seller to hang around and talk a lot. Possibly a topic for another day.

I was reminded of the many times, as an added service to my high-end clients (over $1.5m listings) I would make a point of attend showings. It was almost always a pain but it gave me an opportunity to refine my skills as an agent. Attending a showing of another agent and their client is a fine balance. The selling agent would prefer you to just open the door and wait outside. They were hesitant to introduce their clients by name. They didn’t want you to overshadow them or show off your extra knowledge of a property. I felt their pain. I have had the shoe on the other foot from time to time. Certainly it was an added service to the Sellers, but it allowed me to give the property a little once over before the showing. Turn the lights on, make sure the beds are made, towels are folded. The trick was to learn what to say and when to say it. Similar to a young child at a boarding school, it is clearly a situation where you speak when spoken to. Nothing more.

The benefit to being present at showings? You are there to answer questions about the property right away. You can point out special features of the home. You have an opportunity to vet the potential buyer. You build relationships with other agents that you  may need in the future. Finally, if you are good at your job, you can judge the success of the showing by the buyer’s body language, or pick up on vital verbal clues that you can report back to the Seller. 

Hope you will check back in two weeks for our next Mastermind. Enjoy your summer.

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