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November 26, 2010

Offer Strategies Part One

by mark mclean

About 10 years ago, our company started a training program for new agents affectionately called Bosley U. For a boutique company, this five week course was quiet revolutionary, but confirmed management’s commitment to making sure that new agents had the skill in place to succeed in a competitive work environment. After graduating, participants are armed with as much knowledge and experience as someone who has been in the field for over two years.

All of the senior management team, including myself, teach the curriculum. Yesterday I had the pleasure to instruct with Keith Tarswell, one of our more senior managers. The topic was on negotiating for your buyer. We discussed the different types of personalities one may come up against, and more importantly, how you negotiate with each one. As is usually the case, the instructors usually pepper the discussions with real life stories. Keith and I have been in the business for many years, over 50 years combined, so without a doubt, we have seen it all. The day concluded with a few hours of role playing, in which the agents presented mock offers to a seller and a seller’s agent. This is an excellent opportunity to review their individual styles and offer pointers to tighten up their presentations.

As with any group learning experience, you always hope to walk away with one or two real nuggets of information, and in chatting after class with a few of the participants, I asked what they specifically took away with them after this session. Without a doubt, the most valuable lesson was to never be the one to let the offer die. Keith told a story about a guy who was one of the original Vietnamese Boat People who came to Canada in the 70’s. He was a very hard worker and after a few years he got his real estate licence. Despite a heavy accent he was a tremendous success. He was also the king of the sign back. These days, we sign back offers two or three times. This guy would sign back offers 10-15 times. One legendary offer was signed back 23 times. Keith asked him why he didn’t walk away from such complicated deals. His response was simple; once he had someone on paper, he knew he had a deal. Our job as agents is to negotiate a successful transaction between a buyer and a seller. It can be a complicated process and the best at it are the ones armed with the ability to overcome objections. It’s a skill that comes with experience. End of story.

It got me thinking….I wonder if a discount brokerage, hired for mere postings, is including a brochure on successful negotiating to their customers. Somehow I don’t think so. A survey by the NAR (National Association of Realtors) showed that, on average, a ‘for sale by owner’ sold their home for 18% less than a similar house using a realtor. Hm. Makes you think.

The views expressed here may or may not be the views of Bosley Real Estate, Ltd. Brokerage.

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