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Posts from the ‘AgentThink’ Category

21
Apr

What’s My New Tattoo Say?

Ok, before you start wondering, I don’t have any tattoos. At least none that I will admit to. But if I did, I would want to make it memorable. It would have to have meaning, after all, It’s going to be with me for a while. There are a couple of phrases in my life that I use a fair bit. The first is “never give a job to someone that you aren’t prepared to do yourself”. That one came from my grandfather. The second one is “play the long game”. To me this one has a great deal of significance. It kind of puts everything in perspective. If you have lofty goals you need to put a plan together. Rarely does someone have an idea that becomes an instant hit. Even the people who are known as overnight successes got there by planning. It’s never luck. The saying reminds me that the things I do today may not pay off right away BUT will contribute to my overall success.
So here is another phrase I’m going to add to my list. “Move the Needle”. Sure, its similar in nature to playing the long game but I feel has more teeth…more direction. Think of it this way, every morning you wake up with a goal to make minor advances to various aspects of your life that will, essentially, help you achieve ultimate success.

For example, you want to be the top agent in your neighbourhood within 5 years. That’s your long game. You have already made a plan on how to get there. Visit open houses, send flyers or newsletters, get known, door knock, prospect, and create a business Facebook page, etc, etc. The next thing that should be on top of your mind when you head into work is to think of something that you are going to do that will get you that much closer to your goal. For instance, you have decided that part of getting known in the neighbourhood will require you to send out a monthly e-newsletter to your prospects. So to move the needle for the day you are going to talk to a local retailer and ask if he wants to include a coupon into your newsletter. What I’m trying to get at is a thought process that asks you to make minor, and positive, tweaks to your daily plan. That’s “moving the needle”.
I have a lot on my plate in my professional life. So everyday I come into work with the hope of achieving three goals each day; create one good piece of content for our company, do one thing that will advance my office and the agents that work here, and finally, consider new ways to better the overall health of the Toronto Real Estate Board. Seems simple 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.

17
Apr

Should Prospecting Be Painful?


Well its good to be back. As I mentioned in the video it has been tough getting out over the last few months but the weather has finally turned. Seriously, not running made me completely squirrely. It’s one thing to work out but running gave me so much more. Basically, I have a busy life. I truly need those few hours of meditative time to put everything into perspective, think about what I need to focus on, and flex my creative muscles. So, back to running. This run was one of the early ones I did in March so I was feeling the burn in my legs. It made me think about this topic.
Do you know the pain you get after a hard workout? All your muscles hurt. Usually its a sign that you “done good”. Prospecting pain is kind of like that. All the prospecting you’ve done is paying off and you are exhausted from being so frigging busy. You complain about not having a moment to yourself but secretly you love it. The truth is prospecting should never really hurt but you might want to consider that it should at least be painful. Like exercising, you have to shake it up from time to time. If you exercise the same muscles over and over again the gains you make start to diminish. Think about door knocking. Sure it works but you can’t really do it in the dead of winter. The snow and cold gives you the opportunity to try something different. The point of all this? While prospecting has to be a daily routine, you can’t just use one channel. Shake it up, try something new. Naturally I would love your input on what you do to “shake it up”. Have a great day!

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.

16
Apr

Realtors Circa 1989. Masters Of The Cut And Paste.

1989At our meeting this morning we were talking about what it was like being a realtor 25 yrs ago. It was 1989. The year I started in real estate. In a room with 20 agents only 2 had been in the business longer than 8 yrs. The changes we have seen over the years are quite staggering and since nearly 60% of the Realtors currently working today have less than 10 years experience (check out a blog post I wrote on the subject here), they really have no idea what it was like in the ‘good old days’ to list or sell a property but I suppose none of that should really matter. They operate by today’s standards and are used to smart phones and Google maps. Frankly there were a lot of blank faces when we talked about legal size offers with carbon pages, how we were sceptical of fax machines, and had to write crazy financing conditions like assuming mortgages, vendor take-backs, selling 2nd mortgages. So just for kicks I asked a bunch of long time Realtors to talk about their experiences 20+ years ago compared to today. The answers are hilarious and brought back a lot of memories.
1. MLS books we guarded with our lives. Often very thick, they were broken up by district and came out every few weeks. Properties took longer to sell but you had to get used to calling about a listing and learning that it had sold a week ago.
2. Also had daily “tear sheets”. Each 8.5 X 11 had 4 listings which were perforated. You would tear out the listings that were interesting and store them in little black binders. One agent I knew had a binder just full of funny listings with terrible spelling or grammar. (you know who you are).
3. Agents had pagers and used pay phones to return calls. Argh! Always a drag to have to break paper money to get a quarter.
4. When rates were high (15%+ sometimes) Sellers would often agree to pay money up front to buy down the interest rate. Agents were skilled at creating these clauses.
5. Agents had to get mortgage details prior to listing a home because if the mortgage was at a good rate it was often smart to transfer that mortgage to a buyer and then do a vendor take back 2nd mortgage. We would then try to sell that 2nd mortgage so the seller could get their cash out of the sale. Sometimes we blended mortgages too and had to calculate the payments. Crazy complicated but standard practice.
6. Processing listings and producing feature sheets took forever. Take pictures of the property, take the film to get developed, pick out the good ones, tape them to a piece of paper and then photocopy it for open houses. They were pretty much always in black and white. We were masters of the cut and paste.
7. Agents relied heavily on the secretaries to create feature sheets. We didn’t have marketing are graphics people.
8. If you had a good listing, you would go around and drop a bunch off at other real estate offices. I have to say that I still see that once in a while although usually for exclusive listings.
9. If you had a client out-of-town you had to snail mail everyone and wait for paperwork to come back. No one had a fax machine, although clients could find one at a business centre and go there and wait for your fax which was on thin thermal paper. The ink would eventually fade so you couldn’t really save files for any length of time.
10. Forget about lock boxes. If you were out showing houses you had to go around to offices to pick up keys and then drop them back after you were done. And yes, sometimes we would forget.
11. Obviously no computers so no CRMs. Our databases were in our day-timers. If you lost it you were screwed.
12.There was no such thing as a home stager so what you saw was what you sold.
13. Offices were packed with people in large “bullpens” and pretty much everyone smoked so there were ashtrays all over the place and plenty of whisky near by.
14. When you arrived at the office in the morning the secretary would hand you your stack of pink “while you were out” message slips. At your desk you would sort trough them and then jam them on a desk skewer.
15. We all wore suits and ties. No jeans. Ever.
16. All our paperwork was done in triplicate legal size with carbon paper between the copies. When photocopiers were used more no one could figure out how to print double-sided offers. There was always at least two pages that were upside down on one side.
17. We needed 6 copies of an offer. One for the buyer, seller, each agent and each lawyer.
18. Caravans. After every meeting we would all jump in our cars and tour the listings of the day. No one wanted to be last and sometimes if you got a listing but had trouble pricing it, you would get agents to write down a suggested price on the back of their business card so you could show the seller. What?!?!
19. We used the Perly’s Map book to get around (no gps) and had this huge book called the Bowers book which was kind of like a reverse phone book with properties listed by street.
20. No condos.
21. Training? Not so much. Sell houses or move on.
22. We all worked for the Seller. There were no BRAs.
23. There were no standard clauses stored somewhere. We would cut and paste clauses or write new ones. Webforms didn’t exist.
24. A good deposit was $10,000
25. No one ever argued about commissions. EVER!

Well, we’ve come along way in 20+ years. This isn’t just a trip down memory lane. What sticks out the most for me was that we all worked full time at the office. We were in every morning. Started our day the same way…everyday. Today we have incredible technologies that keep us connected to the business from anywhere we are. Effectively, besides actually showing property, you could be on a beach in Miami and no one would know. Still, there were no efficiencies at work back then. We had to work hard to survive and buyers and sellers saw value in our service.
Here’s something else to consider. After reviewing how we worked 25 years ago, and thinking about how you work today…..What will it be like 25 years from now?

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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