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December 22, 2011

Mastermind for December 21st The Mighty Prospect Match

by mark mclean

You know the old saying ‘things go better with Coke’?  Well, today’s Mastermind went better with a little champagne and orange juice. Despite the coming holidays, the diehards will always come out, champagne or no champagne. Anyway, if you missed it this morning we had an interesting discussion around TREB’s prospect match function.

An agent opened the discussion by talking about a stressful conversation she had with a client who was annoyed that a home was emailed to him in his morning prospect match. The client was of Asian decent and the home in question was across the street from a cemetery. While some may think ‘quiet neighbors’, many people of Asian decent are deeply superstitious of cemeteries. While it is important to understand the idiosyncrasies of different ethnic groups,   the story brought up an interesting conversation about explaining TREB’s prospect match to clients. One agent said that he screens all the prospect matches and then sends the appropriate ones to the client. Great idea when you have worked with a client for sometime and have a good relationship, but what you DON’T want is to have client surfing through and see a property that you missed or thought inappropriate and that is the one they specifically want to see. Another agent mentioned a situation where a client specifically needed a two car garage so when he set up the prospect match, he specified a two car garage. The client ended up buying a house with one car garage because the home exceeded every other expectation in what he was looking for and he was able make the mental adjustment and park one car on the street.  I mention this because often, clients purchase the exact opposite of what they set out to buy. Still another agent told the story of a client who ended up firing him because she thought he didn’t have a handle on what she wanted. In her mind, her wish list was simple; a historic post and beam loft. The agent set up his prospect match to send her properties listed as lofts. Unfortunately she was also automatically sent new loft style condominiums which are usually constructed with raw concrete. The agent thought that he didn’t adequately explain prospect matches well enough. The reality is that while the prospect match is a valuable tool for buyer clients, it is somewhat limited in its functionality. You cannot screen out certain streets or buildings. Lesson learned.
As I have stressed in past, communication is the cornerstone of our business. Part of the initial buyer consultation involves explaining automatic prospect matches. While you think you have an understanding of what a client wants, there is no way you will ever get in their heads enough to know what their hot buttons are.  A few last notes on prospect match; it is important to keep updating it. If you struck out on one criteria search, add more. If it is clear the client is dead set on one particular type of house, fine tune your search parameters. Finally, don’t forget to cancel the Prospect Match when you sell him a house. The last thing you want is to bring attention to the better house that came on the market a week after he bought.


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