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Mastermind for Sept 4th. Lost The Listing. Now It’s Listed For Less.

mastermind for sept 4
If there is any doubt that agents are back to work after a very short break in August, one only needed to attend my Mastermind session today for proof. The room was packed. We had some great discussions on everything from agents putting wrong information on data sheets to troublesome landlords to fussy neighbours but the hot topic of the day was about losing listings to other companies at lower list prices.
If you have been in the business for any length of time it is probably happened to you. You have taken a listing and worked like a dog to get it sold. You’ve done videos, flyers, floor plans, spent money on newspaper ads, held numerous open houses and promoted the hell out of it on social media but for whatever reason the property is not selling. You know the price is a bit on the high side and you have spoken to every agent with encouraging words to bring in something….anything. You have even pleaded your case with the Sellers for a price reduction. You have shown the comparables and discussed the showing feedback with the Sellers. But alas, they won’t budge. Eventually the listing expires and the property is immediately listed at a price lower price and you scream out “I can’t believe that Seller, I couldn’t get them down $10K and they just listed for $30K less! WTF??!” To make matters worse, the property sells in a week. Rub salt in your wound and pour lemon juice on that cut. Take heart young Grasshopper. It has happened to the best of us. The best revenge, as my Facebook friends tell me, is to not let it get to you.
So here’s the thing. The Seller knew you were right all along but to reduce the price on your watch would be like admitting defeat. The Seller has to list with someone else to make this important leap down. This is clearly a case of “it’s not you…it’s them”. If there is any Devine retribution in this it is that the Seller probably netted less with the new listing agent. As we all know, getting the price right AND quickly is the best way for a Seller to net the most on a sale.
Recently a similar situation happened to an agent in our office with a condo for sale. Ok, it was listed a little high from the get go but there was some logic to the pricing that made sense. The building was a slow mover and nothing had been sold in a while on top of everything else it was listed in the middle of the summer. A tough time to be selling a condo in any market. Despite all this the agent managed to squeak out one minor price reduction and generated two pretty decent offers both of which were rejected by the Seller. The listing expired and relisted the next day for nearly $50K less. Boom! Sold in a week. Important to note that the new list price was substantially below the two previous offers.
I suppose the lesson here is that nailing that list price is crucial…right off the bat, but don’t go squirrelly if it doesn’t work out for you. When you are in this business long enough and act in a professional way the odds will always work out in your favour.
In a buyer’s market it is often more worthwhile to impress the hell out of the Seller but have the conviction to pass on the listing because you know, even with your best efforts, it won’t sell. Most Sellers will appreciate your honesty and you’ll pick up the listing the next time around. It reminds me of the old saying, something like….it’s better to be the first love, the second marriage and the third Realtor.
mark mclean


Back To The Basics of The Home Search

blog for July 30If you have been an agent in Toronto for any length of time you recognize that the real estate market tends to slow down a bit in the summer months. We’ve all been working pretty hard so a quieter pace is always welcome. We cut back our weekly meetings and take a collective breath as we recharge our batteries, catch up on work, plan for the fall or simply enjoy the summer heat . Well, as they say, there’s no rest for the weary as we find ourselves as busy as ever. We are on our way to recording one of the best Julys in years.

Considering the great weather, we had a great turnout. I thought at this morning’s meeting we would take a few moments to take stock of what’s going on in the market.
The good news is that everyone is busy but the biggest complaint out there is that there is not enough product. I like conducting a quick poll to best guage what is going on. It was clear that the agents are working with way more Buyers than Sellers. At the end of the day this is not a terrible problem to have. But no product out there? This got me thinking. I’m in a room full of real estate agents who are hired by buyers to find them a home. Waiting for properties to show up on MLS is NOT finding a home! If someone has contracted me to find them a property where I could potentially make $20,000, I’m going to do everything in my power to do my job ….including spending a little money and throwing in a little elbow grease.

So where does one start? When I got my license in 1988 my manager told me to go out and door knock, cold call, drop flyers and cover other agent’s open houses. She told me that for one simple reason…..because it worked. Today, you can add contacting people by email, twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook or a host of other means. There is one difference though. When you were first starting in the business you were told to bang on doors to find listings.

Knock knock, “Hi, my name is Joe Smith from ABC Realty, I am your neighbourhood realtor. Do you want to sell your home?” Repeat.

Today your job is different. You are trying to find a home for your buyer.

Knock knock, ” Hi, my name is Joe Smith from ABC Realty. I have a fully qualified buyer looking to move into this neighbourhood. They recently missed out on a home similar to yours. Since they are currently renting they a pretty flexible on when they need to move. Are you considering a move in the next few months or do you know someone in the vicinity that is thinking about selling?”

Can you spot the difference? It’s HUGE. While the first example is about introducing yourself with the hope of getting a listing, the second is clearly a call to action. You HAVE an active and ready buyer. What could be easier? There is nothing scary about knocking on someone’s door when you have a real purpose.

I am reminded by the words of an old Realtor I know. “If the business doesn’t come to you…you go and find the business”. Looking for a house for your client? Do your job and find one the old-fashioned way.

If you like what you read please follow me on Twitter of Facebook. Thanks!

mark mclean


Success in Real Estate is Like Eating an Elephant

Last week I had a few freinds up to my farm in Prince Edward County. As I usually do, I started my Saturday morning with an early morning country run. When I got back, my buddy asked me how it went. I had to admit it was a tough one. In the early stages I just couldn’t get motivated. At about the 3rd kilometre I thought about turning around. That thought didn’t go away at kilometre 4 or 5 but then I thought, heck if I turn back now I’m already in for 10km so I might as well just keep going and do my 12kms. He said to me that pushing yourself like that is kind of like eating an elephant. I thought this was another great metaphor for running, business and life. My apologies to the vegetarians in the crowd.
Think about it for a moment. How does eating an elephant relate to being a great real estate agent. First of all, you can’t just start your career in real estate and expect to be a rock star right off the bat, neither can you expect to eat an elephant in one sitting. Just like our business, being successful means working up to it, accomplishing small tasks individually to get to the ultimate payoff. It’s clear that there are no quick fixes or easy paths to success. That comes only from hard work and determination. It is a very long process. I contemplated doing the math on how much people eat in a day compared to the weight of your average elephant, but I think you get the picture.
While we talk about the importance of social media to our business, it shouldn’t be the only thing we do. I think we all agree that it is a necessary part of our daily routine just like inspecting or showing houses, taking care of our accounting, connecting with clients, catching up on industry news or attending office meetings.
The point is that eating an elephant can be done as easily as being a great real estate agent. You just gotta pace yourself.
If you are reading this on my blog you probably see a Facebook like box to the right. Can you please “like” if you found this post helpful? thanks!

mark mclean

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