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Posts from the ‘Mastermind’ Category

10
Apr

Let Me See Those Cats

catsYeah, I know, that’s a weird title for a blog, but it will all be clear by the end. I promise. Years ago I heard about a buyer who had a very unusual way of purchasing a property. Now, this was back in the days when multiple offers were few and far between but her methods are worth mentioning. She would put conditional offers on over 5 properties then start negotiating with each seller until there was only one left. Strange approach but there was some method to her madness. First she could judge the motivations of the sellers and take advantage of the weakest one. It was a strategy that worked even if it burned out a few agents along the way.

In a round about way, I’m telling this story to illustrate a problem that we will face in our careers. No, I’m not just talking about high maintenance buyers, I’m talking about buyers who will use conditions to get out of deals. As agents we need to remind buyers that when they put the pen to paper they should be prepared to purchase. This is not just an opportunity to waste time.

Case in point, a buyer buys a condo through his agent, conditional on the status certificate. The lawyer reviews the documents. As time is of the essence, the listing agent calls the buyers lawyer to get an update and is told that everything is a-ok. At the same time, the buyers brother is trying to convince him to get out of the condo deal because a sweet income property just came on the market. The buyer calls his agent and tells him to use the status certificate to get out of the deal. Sorry, no can do. The seller’s agent knows everything is good and threatens legal action. As you can imagine, the deal firms up.

So what does any of this have to do with cats? It’s not just a catchy title. there was a story in our office about a deal that fell apart because of a status certificate. Apparently the buyer had 3 cats and the building only allowed two. The Sellers didn’t ask for verification but could you imagine a different time when that could happen? “Yes, sure. I will just need some verification that you do indeed have three cats”.

Someone once said that if you put a little effort into it, you can get out of any real estate deal. There are enough places to make mistakes in a typical agreement if you look close enough. Examples of discrepancies include wrong frontages and depths or mutual driveways and other easements, wrong maintenance fees, taxes and, of course, time limits. It is in our best interests to make sure our offers are bullet proof. Changing your mind is not an excuse and your clients can’t hide behind a condition. Like wise, please don’t tell your clients they can use a condition to get out of a deal. A recent RECO complaint resulted in an $8,000 fine to an agent for leading a buyer to think he could use a home inspection to get out of a deal.

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.

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.

7
Jan

Selling Houses to People Who Aren’t In The Market.

thinkingHappy New Year and welcome to another year of Mastermind. We kicked off the year with a bang, talking about our hopes and dreams and aspirations for the new year, oil and interest rates, the power of Facebook ads and their new policies and we talked about billboard and bus shelter ads. All good stuff.
But the one topic that garnered the most interest was a round the room discussion about where the agents find their clients. Naturally you would expect answers like Facebook, socializing, friends and family, door knocking and open houses but one agent talked about her unique approach. She looks at a lot of houses and condos. She goes out all the time, often with a buddy. They look at everything, all over the central core. Some of the time she is looking for her buyer clients but sometimes she walks into a house and thinks “oh, I know who would love this house…”. Then she calls her friends and tells them to drop everything and come and see this house. You would be surprised at her success rate. Now, she has one of the largest social circles of anyone I know and she is a trusted and likeable person so when she tells people to drop everything…they often do.
This approach goes beyond just touching base with your past clients, because she does that too. This is as targeted an approach as I’ve ever heard. A lot of the time the clients aren’t ready to pull the trigger on such short notice, but if they are she negotiates the transaction and then gracefully coordinates the sale of their home. The process is so seamless that often the clients don’t know what hit them. It’s like they jumped ahead two months and woke up in a different house.
I loved this approach. It goes to re-iterate the point that buyers, and for that matter sellers, can come from anywhere. They can even be people you never thought were even in the market. So next time you are out visiting open houses and see something that would be perfect for (insert name here) give them a call right away. At the very least, you have made a connection or sparked an idea.

Happy Selling!

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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