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August 2, 2012


Mastermind for August 1. Should You Be in Attendance at a Showing?

by mark mclean

As of today, we are officially halfway through our Summer schedule. It’s been a busy few weeks around the office. It seems there is still plenty of Real Estate going on and with that comes some great stories….perfect for a good Mastermind session this morning. So, if you didn’t make it you missed a discussion on attending showings. 

Here is the story. An agent has a listing pretty far from the office. The house is  average priced, slightly dated, but in absolute mint condition thanks to a rather particular owner. This owner does not like things out-of-place and is very aware of objects in his house that have been moved. He wants to know that kids aren’t running around or that people aren’t rifling through his stuff. Do you get the picture? Ok, so our agent is told, after the listing is signed and pictures and video tour are done, that he must be in attendance for every showing. This presents an interesting problem. The agent must drive well over a half hour each way to conduct a showing. That, of course, is presuming there is no traffic. Tough call, what would you do? Suck it up? Find a local agent to split the it with? Pass on it altogether?

Well, I suppose it could be worse. Our group told several stories about Sellers who insisted on being in the property for the showing. That, as they say, can be the kiss of death. Honestly, if you want a potential Buyer to be uncomfortable at a showing ask the Seller to hang around and talk a lot. Possibly a topic for another day.

I was reminded of the many times, as an added service to my high-end clients (over $1.5m listings) I would make a point of attend showings. It was almost always a pain but it gave me an opportunity to refine my skills as an agent. Attending a showing of another agent and their client is a fine balance. The selling agent would prefer you to just open the door and wait outside. They were hesitant to introduce their clients by name. They didn’t want you to overshadow them or show off your extra knowledge of a property. I felt their pain. I have had the shoe on the other foot from time to time. Certainly it was an added service to the Sellers, but it allowed me to give the property a little once over before the showing. Turn the lights on, make sure the beds are made, towels are folded. The trick was to learn what to say and when to say it. Similar to a young child at a boarding school, it is clearly a situation where you speak when spoken to. Nothing more.

The benefit to being present at showings? You are there to answer questions about the property right away. You can point out special features of the home. You have an opportunity to vet the potential buyer. You build relationships with other agents that you  may need in the future. Finally, if you are good at your job, you can judge the success of the showing by the buyer’s body language, or pick up on vital verbal clues that you can report back to the Seller. 

Hope you will check back in two weeks for our next Mastermind. Enjoy your summer.

4 Comments Post a comment
  1. Aug 2 2012

    Excellent blog, Mark! We actually offer that as a service of our brokerage. I do get pushback from some Realtors, but I have checked with my sellers and they insist on it. Its a value-added service that has clinched the listing on more than one occasion! It is a fine line on how much or how little to talk, but it does hone out skills. We have found it nothing but beneficial! I figure for the commission we make, its not too much to ask. And, driving half an hour is nothing, we have an acreage that is an hour and a half away, and seem to show it weekly!

    • Aug 3 2012

      Thanks Christine. I agree. It’s a great service to add, but imagine the agents who have 10 listings on the go. Probably something that they wouldn’t be able to offer.

      • Aug 9 2012

        Actually, my husband and I traditionally have around 25 listings at any one time. Each of our agents average 9-11 listings at any given time. So we are dealing with a lot of listings, and we are at every single showing.

      • Aug 10 2012

        Logging lots of miles no doubt!

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