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Posts from the ‘AgentThink’ Category


The Third Annual RealtyLab Nightmare Before Christmas

‘Twas the night before Christmas and just like last year,
I was short on those listings for buyers, I fear.
So I took to the streets and banged on some doors
List with me now I’ll guarantee wars

Home owners once content to sit out the race
Stood up and declared, I need a bigger place
Hire a stager, a plumber, a painter
With rates this low it’s a total no brainer

As quick as a wick I whipped out my pen
Sign right here, and here and again.
But wait said the seller with an inquisitive stare
I thought I could do it all with a new iPad Air

It’s true I said, but I’m not up with that stuff
So he slammed the door and left with a huff.
Alarmed, I did what any agent would
I jumped onto Facebook to see where I stood.

Real estate corner and 2.0 offered no clues
Just a series of shout outs and a couple of boos
A tablet they said can make your life breezy
A couple of apps and work will be easy

I sprang from my office, jumped onto my bike
To the mall in a jiffy, it’s not a great hike
Weaved through the traffic, avoided the bus
Cut off a few drivers who made such a fuss

Locked up my wheels close to the door
Ran through the mall entrance but slipped on the floor
Lying flat on my back looking up to the ceiling
I must have banged my head hard, it left my mind reeling.

I awoke in a daze under a big giant apple
The throbbing of my head, like the bells of a chapel
“Hi, I’m Mike, your Mac authorized rep
Come into the store, just take that first step”

I did what he said, despite my concussion
Was it him or was it me? Was he speaking Russian?
As best as I could I explained what I needed
Give it to me now and make it fast I pleaded.

With iPad in hand I sped back to the office
Raced through traffic lights, no time to be cautious
Turned that thing on, ready to play
64 gigs and Retna display

I sat at my desk for at least 24 hours
amazed by this machine at my awesome new powers
With this technology, conquer new markets I could
I’d be the next new real estate Robin Hood

The next day I returned to old seller Marty
Look I said I’m super tech smarty
Use you finger to sign here it’s really quite breezy
Let’s get this place listed it’s all super easy

With signatures ready I loaded the listing
And calls I received with agents persisting
Five offers arrived before the date set
Multiple offers are in…no time to fret

The highest price paid for a house on the street
Next month it is done, the deal is complete
I set about preparing a colorful ad
Which I could do quickly with my shiny iPad

But wait there is more without a word of a lie
RECO had received a complaint, a loud cry
From a man who was interested in that little house
He has away for the weekend with his dog and his spouse

A hefty fine I received, for what I don’t know
My seller was happy, he got lots of dough
Even the buyers were thrilled with their happy abode
Searching for months was such a long road.

So now in my listings I put a disclaimer
The seller must sign an all-purpose waiver
To say he will look at an offer today
Preemptive or bully whatever you say

This buying and selling is really tough slogging
The calling, the hours and all that door knocking
On top of all that I put up with the traffic
The words that come out of my mouth are quite graphic

To make matters worse we are stuck with a tax
That the mayor and his brother said they would axe
Just reelect us they cheered, it’s a promise we’ll keep
But the price of a victory was just to darn steep

John Tory declared this tax fills our coffers
It’s too hard to survive without all those fat dollars
But if you think paying twice is a strain
Just Give it 4 yrs, the fords’ll run again.

And from his pulpit he said all the right stuff
Times have been tough, but enough is enough
And as long as I don’t get caught smoking crack
This city is likely to get back on track

Then he sprang to his office, to his team gave a whistle
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle
But I heard him exclaim ere he walked out of sight
Happy Christmas to all and to all a good night.

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


Mission Possible. The Ultimate 12 Week RE Sales Contest. Task 11. Do Something Different

elevenWe are almost there. After 11 long weeks we are closing in on completing 12 little tasks. Not one of them posed any great challenge mind you. The point of this whole exercise was to get you thinking about how you do business. Unless things are going horribly wrong you probably don’t need to reinvent yourself, so the contest aimed to help you make a few tweaks. If you’ve been following along, I’ve asked you to try little things like come to the office, let people know what you do, visit some houses, etc, etc. As you can see there are no earth shattering challenges.
So this week we had a “Dr. Phil” style intervention. Call it group therapy for realtors, where I asked every agent in the room to make one commitment to doing something different over the next year. I started the ball rolling by confessing that the one thing I need to do better is to answer my emails faster. It’s just sometimes I get so busy. I look at an email and then think I’ll get back to that person in a minute….and then I just forget and it’s not until the middle of the night, two or three days later, that I wake up in a cold sweat remembering to return that email. Not fun!
The responses to my question were quite interesting, have a look.
*A better daily routine
*Be more organized
*Asking for business
*Target prospecting
*Prospecting priority
*Stick to daily routine
*Social media management
*Separate business & pleasure
*Curb Facebook addiction
*Lead generation conversion
*Be unscrambled
*Focus on business
*Less personal time, more work time
*Make more money
*Time management to allow more personal time
*More seminars/education
*Buddy up
*Refine skills I’m good at
*Work on business plan
*Come into the office more

Notice a running theme? Time, time time. Anyway, for agents that showed up for this meeting, they received double points. Stand by for my next post when I announce the 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.


Too Many Realtors? Blame The Free Agent Economy

free agentOver the past few years I have written a lot about new real estate agents in our marketplace. Who can blame me? With over 40,000 agents in the GTA, there’s plenty to write about and certainly there is enough chatter on various Facebook Groups about some of the things agents do (some good, but mostly bad). And, it seems like we ask ourselves, how did it get this way and can we do anything about it? We blame all the wrong people. How many times have we heard…. OREA should make getting a licence harder and RECO should limit the number of agents? The truth is we are barking up the wrong tree.
There are two ideas out there; the first one freely admits that there are people out there who see opportunity to make a quick buck in real estate, and why shouldn’t they? The market is strong and driven by cheap money. The other notion is that there are agents who enter the business because they want to take control of their lives. They believe in the work that they are doing and have the conviction to work hard, plan and adapt to changing environments. They enjoy more autonomy and flexibility and see opportunity for challenge. In reality it all plays to the overall theory that we are in the middle of the overall shift in the world economy. In 2001, Daniel Pink wrote a best seller called The Free Agent Nation about the rise of the independent contractor. In his book Pink argues that the catalyst for the adoption of the free agent nation happened when large corporations shed their work force in an effort to stay afloat during the recession. If you were working in Ontario in the early nineties than you probably saw it first hand. What emerged were people setting up their own smaller companies, out of necessity, and acting as independent contractors to larger corporations who were now free of paying health care or contributing to pension plans. They could keep their machines rolling at much lower cost. Pink comments that the times when Boomers and even Gen Xers went into the workplace thinking they would stick with an employer their entire lifetime were officially over. That shift has now been in place for over 25 years. For many young people entering the work force today, it is the new normal. They believe that a person is responsible for their own career so they are very comfortable with a free-agent mentality. But as Richard Florida comments in The Rise of the Creative Class, a book that I’m currently reading, “The free agent assumes more risk and responsibility along with more freedom.” Life is good as long as the economy is happily rolling along but pretty lousy when the economy turns south. Not to be the bearer of bad news but if you think the ride is never going to end, you are in for a shock. Consider that over half the agents working today have never even seen a real estate recession.
So where does that leave us? First it is important to recognize that like any ecosystem, only the strong survive. The real estate market ebbs and flows but those that don’t plan for the future are destined to lose a grip of their current position. I survived the last real estate recession, just barely. I remember when over half the agents hung up their licences. I was working in an office downtown and I remember vividly a cartoon that someone had taped to their desk. It said, “please God let there be another boom…this time I promise I won’t piss it all away!”.
Part of being a successful agent includes planning for the lean years. This doesn’t mean squirreling away all your money, it means being responsible…saving a portion of your earnings, living modestly, building your referral network and being on your game at all times. The cream rises to the top of every industry. The message seems clear, don’t worry about more agents coming into the business. Even complete saturation isn’t going to stop people from getting their licences, so work on running your business smartly.

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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