It seems every time I meet a new agent we talk about what the licensing process was like for them. There is always the same conclusion, OREA teaches you the moves but they don’t teach you to dance. At our company we have Bosley U, our own in-house training designed to give agents ( by my estimates) a two-year head start in the business. We do panel discussions on farming and marketing methods and we do a lot of drills and role-playing, listing presentations and mock offers. We even talk about the mechanics of booking showings and registering offers. My impression is that these critical steps get missed all to often leaving the new agent at a disadvantage and opening themselves up to possible legal problems with our trusted Registrar.
So, yes, some of the problem lies with the training right from the get go and some of the solutions should land squarely on the brokerage shoulders. The problem, unfortunately, is that some companies are not built to handle any additional training. To each is own. I’m not hear to judge but I would like to suggest that a good real estate etiquette course be a prerequisite to the licensing process. All to often the simple act of doing business gets mired down with poor communication, a lack time management skills and basic good manners. I was set off last week by a few complaints by agents in my office feeling bulldozed by some, in their opinions, rather shoddy business practices that, upon reflection, seemed rooted in a lack of etiquette. So, I decided to make that the topic of my meeting this week. A little lesson in real estate etiquette.
As I usually do, when asking for audience participation, I threw suggestions onto our front desk. The questions were simple; give examples of bad etiquette that needed to be fixed in order to make your transaction easier. I got some great responses. Have a look. (and yes, that’s fake blood dripping from my desk, courtesy of my Hallowe’en loving front office staff).
I’m sure after you look at our list you will get that feeling of frustration for each point. So why do this? Well here’s the thing, if we are aware of what frustrates us, we may take more time to avoid those frustrating mistakes. Simple. Naturally, I’m all ears. Please let me know if you have anything to add.
Several weeks ago a conducted a little audience participation at my morning meeting. We were approaching the tail end of a rather crummy summer, weather wise at least, and I asked every person in the group to come up with one thing, just one little thing, that they would do over the next three weeks that would go towards getting more business for the fall. Simple task right? Check out the list we came up with.
Following the meeting I put all the “jobs” into a spread sheet with agents names on the opposite axis. I posted the list on my office window and encouraged agents to check off as many jobs as possible. In the end, we had pretty good success. Sure, there were a few agents who opted out of the checklist but for each that chose not to participate there was another who made it a mission to get through the whole list. Congratulations. You know who you are!
This was a simple office meeting exercise designed to spark ideas in agents to help them build a great client list. More importantly it should have demonstrated the point that the job of prospecting is something we must do everyday and not three weeks before the busy fall market. There should not be a start date to prospecting especially if you’ve been working in the real estate field for any length of time. It is a full-time endeavour.
Here’s the thing. During our meeting we managed to list off 24 ways to build future business. I’m sure that after you review the list you might want to add something to it. The reality is that I wouldn’t expect anyone to do everything on the list. If you aren’t doing anything then this will give you a base to start. You may be in a position where you are doing somethings but have the time to do a few others. Time to pick from the suggestions.
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If you have been an agent in Toronto for any length of time you recognize that the real estate market tends to slow down a bit in the summer months. We’ve all been working pretty hard so a quieter pace is always welcome. We cut back our weekly meetings and take a collective breath as we recharge our batteries, catch up on work, plan for the fall or simply enjoy the summer heat . Well, as they say, there’s no rest for the weary as we find ourselves as busy as ever. We are on our way to recording one of the best Julys in years.
Considering the great weather, we had a great turnout. I thought at this morning’s meeting we would take a few moments to take stock of what’s going on in the market.
The good news is that everyone is busy but the biggest complaint out there is that there is not enough product. I like conducting a quick poll to best guage what is going on. It was clear that the agents are working with way more Buyers than Sellers. At the end of the day this is not a terrible problem to have. But no product out there? This got me thinking. I’m in a room full of real estate agents who are hired by buyers to find them a home. Waiting for properties to show up on MLS is NOT finding a home! If someone has contracted me to find them a property where I could potentially make $20,000, I’m going to do everything in my power to do my job ….including spending a little money and throwing in a little elbow grease.
So where does one start? When I got my license in 1988 my manager told me to go out and door knock, cold call, drop flyers and cover other agent’s open houses. She told me that for one simple reason…..because it worked. Today, you can add contacting people by email, twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook or a host of other means. There is one difference though. When you were first starting in the business you were told to bang on doors to find listings.
Knock knock, “Hi, my name is Joe Smith from ABC Realty, I am your neighbourhood realtor. Do you want to sell your home?” Repeat.
Today your job is different. You are trying to find a home for your buyer.
Knock knock, ” Hi, my name is Joe Smith from ABC Realty. I have a fully qualified buyer looking to move into this neighbourhood. They recently missed out on a home similar to yours. Since they are currently renting they a pretty flexible on when they need to move. Are you considering a move in the next few months or do you know someone in the vicinity that is thinking about selling?”
Can you spot the difference? It’s HUGE. While the first example is about introducing yourself with the hope of getting a listing, the second is clearly a call to action. You HAVE an active and ready buyer. What could be easier? There is nothing scary about knocking on someone’s door when you have a real purpose.
I am reminded by the words of an old Realtor I know. “If the business doesn’t come to you…you go and find the business”. Looking for a house for your client? Do your job and find one the old-fashioned way.
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