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August 18, 2011

Mastermind for August 17th. Sell What You Know and Refer the Rest

by mark mclean

Even the hot weather and holiday schedules can’t keep agents away from Mastermind. Yesterday we had the biggest turnout ever. Could it be that agents are hungry for information and to connect and discuss real estate issues or maybe it was the promise of artisinal nougat that I brought back from my quick little get away in France last week? Either way, I was happy to have so many people in attendance.  Mastermind, for some, is even better than the Monday meetings because it is an open forum with no agenda. We just talk about “Stuff”. So if you weren’t there, here are some of the things we talked about;

One of the agents was talking about a potential new listing and when she should bring it to market. She wanted to wait until mid September when everyone is back at school and summer holidays are over. This brought on a lengthy discussion of current market conditions and pretty much everyone agreed that there are still tons of buyers out there just waiting for the right property to appear. Historically, listings go up in September as it seems everyone has the same ideas about timing but in reality, if you list when everyone else is listing, all of a sudden there is a lot of competition in the market place. There is a good chance, unless it is a true standout, your newly listed property will get lost in the field. The general concensus was get it on the market now. There is an interesting side note. Later in the day I was speaking to one of our top agents who said she is working 7 days a week right now in what could best be described as an early Fall market. She has buyers chomping at the bit. We discussed a few properties in the area that had sold in multiple offfers in the neighbourhood around our office.

We also spent a good amount of time discussing pre-construction condominium purchases. One agent had a client from out of town who wanted to buy a condominium as an investment. The client was considering a pre-built unit and the agent felt that they didn’t have enough information to property direct the client. This of course led to an even bigger discussion about staying in your comfort zone. Sell what you know and refer all others should be your motto. Interestingly another agent had a similar situation. He had been working with a client on a house purchase in downtown Toronto. after a few failed attempts the client decided to purchase a cottage up north and continue to rent. The agent said that he was going to help his client find something in Cottage Country. Here is the problem, the purchase price is going to be significantly less, there is going to be a ton of driving, and the agent is going to have to get caught up to speed on such things as water and septic tests. My suggestion was to refer the client to an agent who is skilled in cottage sales. He will automatically reduce his liability by 100% and hopefully collect a small referral fee. If all goes well, he will keep his client happy and probably get future business from them. The worst mistake you can make is be blinded by the possibility of a commission. Agents need to understand that the best thing we can do for our clients is to refer them to a more capable agent. It is the responsible thing to do. Period.

Finally, and still on the topic of new condominium sales, an agent told a story of how he showed a new condo to a client renter. The client loved the apartment and a deal was struck to rent it for the next two years. The deal happened pretty quickly and the tenant started moving personal items into the space. Unfortunately, the building had not been registered yet and the builder had not given permission to the suite owner (who was technically only allowed to occupy the suite under an interim occupancy agreement) to rent the apartment out. The tenant was forced to vacate the apartment causing undo embarassment to both the listing agent and suite owner. Luckily another and better suite was found (in the same building) and a deal was made. It turned out that that suite owner added, into his agreement of Purchase and Sale, a clause that allowed him to lease his suite during the Interim Occupancy phase. Lesson learned.

Have a great week everybody!

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