If you’ve been in business for any length of time you will recognize this one. You sell a house and achieve the highest price on the street and then a few months later another agent sells another house, usually not as nice than the one you sold, for more money. Now you look like a heel who didn’t do their job. Truth is, you can’t outsmart the market and you definitely can’t predict which way prices will go. Clearly, if prices had fallen, you would still be a hero and the seller would be singing your praises indefinitely.
So is there anything to counteract The Hero to Zero Effect? Just like anything else, you can’t go wrong with a little educational discussion. Finally, keep your seller in the loop on all sales in the neighbourhood. Sure, hearing of another house selling for money will sting, but if it comes from you it can be delivered with context. And at the end of the day, sellers and buyers just want to know that their agent is looking out for them.
mark mclean is the Broker/Manager at the Bosley Real Estate Queen St W office and Past-President of the Toronto Real Estate Board. The opinions expressed here do not reflect the opinions of TREB or Bosley RE.
Sometimes you just have to use current affairs as a springboard to your next meeting. A few weeks ago I sent out a simple email to the team. It read; “So the news is out. I was the sole winner of last week’s Powerball draw in the US. I’ve decided to start my own country and as a gesture for you NOT to leave I will be giving everyone who attends tomorrow’s meeting $10,000 in Marco Currency ( which is tied to the US dollar). There is one caveat; you must spend it on real estate related things. Have I piqued your interest? Also I will be importing bagels and cream cheese from distant shores (Roncy) for your further enjoyment”.
My message worked. The next day my meeting was packed, thus proving the point that good titles are as important as good content. I learned another interesting lesson too; When you are printing fake currency don’t try to photocopy real money, even if it’s significantly doctored up. Modern printers won’t let you (but that’s a story for another day). So to start my meeting I asked people what they spend their money on in order to promote their business. We came up with about 16 things ranging from website maintenance to client gifts.
I wrote each suggestion on a piece of paper and then handed out $10,000 (in $500 increments) in Marco Money. I asked each agent to “spend” their money as they wanted. There was a bit of mayhem in the office for the next few minutes as agents jockeyed to get their money distributed but their was an added bonus to the madness as I watched some agents explain their logic on why they placed certain amounts on each pile. While at least one agent put the whole $10K on online lead generation, others distributed it more evenly. No surprises coming from a bunch of peacocks like us, they spent the most money on entertaining ($34,500), followed by website ($33,500), awesome listing packages ($29,500), online advertising ($24,000), gifts ($22,000), networking events ($19,500), education ($18,500), productivity tools like CRMs ($12,500), sponsorship and community events and seminars ($12,500), flyers ($12,500), direct mail ($11,000), image ($11,000), newsletters ($6,500), bus shelters ($5,000), videos ($4,000) and finally billboards ($2,000).
Why $10,000? Simple math really. Several years ago our firm hired a company to conduct a survey on our agents and verify all their responses. One of the questions was “how much do you spend on marketing?”. The other question was “how much should you spend on marketing?”. Not surprisingly there were two different answers but the message came through loud and clear. 10% of your earnings, at the very least, should be designated towards marketing. Presuming your goal is to earn $100K then $10K seems like a good place to start.
In my next meeting (part 2) I’m going to reveal how much the agents spent on each category and then I’m going to ask them to explain their logic. Stand by for the follow-up.
mark mclean is the Broker/Manager at the Bosley Real Estate Queen St W office and President of the Toronto Real Estate Board. The opinions expressed here do not reflect the opinions of TREB or Bosley RE.
T’was the night before Christmas, when all through the board
Not a staffer was stirring on screen or keyboard.
MLS was all quiet, scheduled maintenance with care
In hopes that new updates soon would be there.
The agents were nestled all snug in their beds,
While thoughts of new clients danced in their heads.
And me in my jammies taking a well-deserved rest
From meetings, and travel and on-the-air guest.
When out on the street there arose such a clatter
I sprang to my tablet to see what’s the matter.
Another new bill from an rookie backbencher
This one was sick… A real gut wrencher.
This guy had lost out on another fab house
It was this or no sex, it came right from his spouse.
If you thought phantom offers were wack
This bill would stop bullies dead in their track.
The idea would be sound if it weren’t so crazy
And the form to fill out would made our heads dizzy.
Now we would prepare the offer so neat
Way BEFORE the house even hit the street.
Another new twist home energy audits
Just in case buyers had more cash in their pockets.
And something for brokers let’s scrap contractor status
He said under his breath with just a hint of malice.
Right away we knew this bill would be trouble
So we called our pal Von* to craft our rebuttal.
We took to the airwaves with a singular voice
With news like this we had no choice.
On radio, on print, on t.v. And on web
The truth would be heard not from Facebook, but TREB.
As quick as I could I called in the squad
And the plan that we made was focused NOT broad.
We created a buzz, and were fully invested
And on the steps of the hill our committees protested.
Realtors make the process go smoothly
Without us transactions would be completely unruly.
The truth must be heard, I repeated out loud
Home ownership matters it makes people proud.
It’s not just an investment, a place to live in
It’s a forced saving plan, a retirement win.
Buy real estate and wait… that was our stand
You should know this fact, we’re not making more land.
Our city is growing you just need to ask Santa
But please don’t call it Mega, I prefer the term Alpha.
TREB members united with a solitary voice
No matter what model, there’s plenty of choice.
And then in a twinkling we heard on the news
We won, we got out without a scratch or a bruise.
I sprang to my car, with a win and a whistle,
And away I flew like the down of a thistle.
I exclaimed as I left and drove out of sight,
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night.
Hope you the fourth installment of the RealtyLab Night Before Christmas. This one is a bit special for me. I’m half way through my term as President of the Toronto Real Estate Board. It has been an amazing experience. The support from members and the help from all the TREB staff has been invaluable. We have a team of amazing directors who chair a dozen or more worthwhile committees.
The real estate world is constantly evolving and I am happy to be part of a team that is steering a course through it all. Ultimately, I am the guy that delivers two simple messages to the GTA…buy a home and use a Realtor. You will be happy you did. Real estate is a safe long term investment. It’s tax free savings and an excellent tool to build a nest egg for your retirement.
*Von refers to Von Palmer, Chief Communications and Government Relations Officer.