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Mastermind #3 May 25th 2011

Another well attended Mastermind meeting at Queen West and we were happy to have Tom Bosley join us, on his birthday no less. So if you weren’t there, here is what you missed; We had a short discussion on managing the expectations fussy clients followed by a chat about staging and how much an agent should do. Both these topics I have covered in previous blog posts so please feel free to check them out when you can. We also talked about Pre Delivery Inspections, commonly known as PDI’s. One of our agents sold a new construction project a few months ago which is set to close in a few days. The builder is reputable but the list of deficiencies is quiet long. there is a lot of trim missing, scratches on the floor, etc. Another agent, who has experience in this department, said that PDI’s are supposed to happen 6 weeks before occupancy and that seldom does the condo ever get delivered in perfect condition. The conclusion was that when you are on a PDI with your client, make sure you get the personal contact information of the person responsible for getting the work done and then gently, but often, keep reminding them about what needs to get done. Ah, the life of a realtor! 

One of the loudest discussions concerned selling houses that are tainted because they are near half way or group homes. While there is no question that these homes offer a much needed service to our communities, they can, at times, put undue stresses on the neighbourhoods they reside in, so the question was; do you have to disclose to potential clients if there is a half way home next door? what about on the street? The answer was a resounding yes. If it is not your listing, you should email the agent first to ask who the neighbours are. Always email so that you have a paper trail. Finally, if in doubt, do your own research. At the end of the day, one of our jobs is to protect the public.


Balanced Real Estate Farming Techniques

Last week I met with one of the newer agents in my office to discuss farming areas. Earlier in the month we talked about the need to actively farm neighbourhoods as part of an overall strategy to build business. He had concerns that by picking a farm area he was actually sending a message to his own contacts that he only worked in one area of the city. I thought he made an interesting point.  Is it possible to pigeonhole yourself so much in one neighbourhood that potential clients may overlook you because they want to live somewhere else?  If the general understanding is that people list their homes and buy homes with agents who “specialize” in one neighbourhood because they understand unique area idiosyncrasies does that mean you might lose a potential client if they are outside your core area?

Not necessarily. Check out the graphs below.  I tried to demonstrate to the new agent that while it is important to have a strong understanding of your farm area, the breadth of your knowledge has to resonate throughout the city. How do you do that? It’s simple. You can learn a lot by being involved. Networking, participating in office meetings, following other agents through social media and getting out there. Nothing beats pounding the pavement, and reporting on market conditions. Going to every open house in your farm area is a good start but to be a real purveyor of knowledge, you have to broaden your horizons. This is a full time job.

So, the question is asked. If we are building our neighbourhood expertise, how much effort do we put into actively farming our area versus the rest of the city? The answer is clear. Devote your time to your core business. Learn everything there is to know about your neighbourhood and make sure people know about you. Door knock, drop flyers and buy billboards. Successful agents know that it is as much about being a smart marketer as it is about networking. Business outside of your farm neighbourhood will come once you have proven that you are knowledgeable in the market as a whole.

Finally, it is important to realize that successful agents are always building their business. Whether it’s your farm area or your network of friends and associates, your daily routine involves giving everyone a little nudge, just a little reminder that you are out there to answer questions or spring into action. Spend your day actively getting business for the Spring or Fall markets but remember to stay in contact with people who will be a source of business to you well into the future.

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


Mastermind #2 May 18th, 2011

What did you miss this morning? A lot! Let me hone in on one topic that got the most attention; door knocking. We all know it can work yet many agents just will not do it. Call it fear of rejection, but done right, with enthusiasm and a good script, door knocking can reap huge rewards. So how can you overcome the fear of rejection? Four easy steps. 1. Have a reason to ring the door bell, that could include, telling people about new listings, recently solds, searching for a client, or simply letting people know about an upcoming event in the hood. 2. Be prepared. Before you head out, do your research. Know what has sold in the area (but don’t devulge prices), have recent real estate board stats ready, bring business cards, and a notebook to jot down notes. 3. Make sure you have a great “elevator speech” ready and practice it over and over. You only have a few seconds to make a good impression, so be presentable, freindly and factual. 4. Finally, make sure you have something to drop off. A one page newsletter is ideal. It should be on good card stock and professional looking. Remember, people want to know what their house is worth so statistics and a chart or two will go along way. Include details on the house you sold or listed and if you are trying to find a home for a client, give some details like; “I need a home for a family with two small children and a dog, so a nice backyard is a priority”. Maybe a picture of the dog might help. Obviously provide your contact details and your website information. Here is another small tip, leave a little space to write a personal message just incase there is no one home.

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