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Mastermind for April 25th Open House Follies, Disclosure of Defects, and Bribery Between Buyers

Mastermind was a lot of fun this week thanks to a surprise drop in from our Commander-In-Chief Tom Bosley who always brings it up a notch or two. So if you couldn’t make it, you missed an interesting discussion on a classic open house misstep, our duty to disclose, and a spirited conversation about a potential multiple offer bribery.

First off, we heard from an agent who was showing her clients around one Saturday afternoon. She had several properties booked to look at and a few that she didn’t book because they were having open houses. Just after 2pm, they arrived at the first open house. A crowd of people was standing out front waiting to get in, but there was no one at the home. A few minutes later a rather frazzled agent comes screaming up the driveway, jumps out of her car, apologizes profusely, opens the front door then announces to the group to have a look around while she goes and puts out her signs. She jumps back in her car and drives away. Hilarious. Do you think her insurance would cover her if the owners were robbed blind? Honestly, when I hear stories like this I shudder.

Next, we talked about our duty to disclose. So here is the question, you know for a fact that a certain house has a serious flooding problem. While you don’t have a client interested in the property do you think you have a duty to tell the listing agent? What about other agents in your office? Do you owe a duty to them or is it a case of buyer beware? Does your answer change if you have a client interested in the property? It seems clear that if a listing agent gets wind of any defect, he must investigate thoroughly, figure out the extent of the defect and determine a cost to remediate.

Finally, we talked about a very interesting scenario. Imagine two buyers sitting in their car while their agents are inside the house taking turns at the negotiation table. One buyer takes off to the bank machine and returns with $10,000 in cash. He knocks on the other buyer’s car window and offers him the money to rescind his offer. Just to be clear, it didn’t actually happen, but it opened a wild debate at our meeting. The idea is interesting. Buyers are scrambling as hard as ever to win bidding wars but is this a winning strategy? So, the question is, could it actually happen? Do buyers have the ability, outside of their relationship with an agent, to influence other buyers? Thankfully part of our job as real estate agents is to keep the process honest and civil. If you have heard of any stories where something along these lines actually happened, please let me know.

Oh and in case you are wondering, that IS Einstien’s face on my body. Have a great week.



The Friday Five for April 27th

Happy Friday. I am really excited by this week’s Friday Five. Hope you get a lot out of this collection of blog posts. If their is something you want more information on please let me know. I love collecting this information.

Who says Tumblr is for those that only like to look at pretty pictures? I stumbled across this awesome post earlier this week from IBM.  Are you a Connected Maestro or an Efficiency Expert? Huh? What? Better just read this.

We can’t all be The Fabio of Social Media so when all else fails there is this post on “Attraction Marketing”. The idea is simply to take the desire to buy, which already exists, and satisfy that need by giving the customer what they want. Attraction marketing is based upon the idea that the best advertisement for the products you are selling is you.

People that refer you business do so because they know how hard you work and what a good job you do. They are not afraid to recommend you to their friends. So we need to continue to foster our relationships with them. But what if you are just getting started and don’t have those trusted relationships? Here is a great post on developing those “Evangelists”. 

Is social media the right tool for your business? Here are 12 awesome  guidelines to help you use social media as a strategic marketing tool for your real estate business. The link is really long so it must be important. 

Ok. if you still believe social media is a passing fad, even after months of me cramming The Friday Five down your throat, check out this Infographic from Mashable on how Social media is taking over how we get our daily news.  Newspapers….RIP?


Vote Mark McLean for Toronto Real Estate Board Director at Large

My grandfather used to say “Never ask someone to do a job that you weren’t prepared to do yourself”. For me, they are words to live by and that’s why I am running for TREB’s Director at large. I have received a lot from our board over the years and I think it is time to give back. I have 2 years experience sitting on the Education Committee for OREA under the fine leadership of former TREB President, Maureen O’Neill, and I currently sit on the Leadership Committee for TREB. Outside of organized real estate, I am also a two term member of the Art Toronto Preview Committee for the Art Gallery of Ontario.

I got my real estate licence in 1989 and started my career with Darrell Kent Real Estate on Parliament St working beside TREB’s current President Richard Silver.  With the exception of things like fax machines and email, the process in which we bought and sold real estate stayed pretty much the same up until a few years ago. But as we know, nothing is as constant as change, and things ARE changing. I believe our membership is facing some of the biggest challenges in our history. Not only are we faced with an ongoing dispute with The Competition Bureau, but the pace at which technology is changing our business, the way we are reaching our clients and the speed at which we collect and distribute information has never been faster. These changes are enough to challenge the bravest of people, but I look at it as an opportunity to take centre stage. We need to work together as a cohesive group to raise our game and prove that we are an invaluable service to our communities.

Last year fewer less than 10% of TREB voted for our leadership last year. It is an incredibly easy process. Voting starts on-line June 1st.  Now, more than ever, it is important for you to have a say. I want to actively work with our board to make a difference and I would kindly ask for your support.

Please check out a video I did at REBarCampTO in early May 2012.

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