Rejected, scuttled, jilted and abandoned. These are just some of the words to describe that moment when life hands you a real estate loss. You know, that exact time when the client you’ve been working with for the past few months emails you to say…”hey we were out this weekend and walked into this amazing house AND well, we bought it…isn’t that great?”. Or how about “we were going to list with you but my boss’s wife is an agent and…”. Oh and my favourite (that’s happened to me twice in 2014) “We figured since you were a manager now you wouldn’t be able to help us, so we hired someone else”. Nothing, absolutely nothing, is worse than having to look that person in the eye and congratulate them even though you would rather kick them in the stomach. The reality is that these clients aren’t out to intentionally cause you harm (at least we hope so). They just weren’t thinking.
If you are a Realtor, I have just one thing to say…get used to it. After 25 years in the business, no one knows more than I do that there is no loyalty when it comes to saving a buck and no matter how good you are at staying connected, one of your clients is going to buy or sell a property without you. It’s how you recover that defines your career. Someone once told me that when you get bad news, you should take 24 hours to cool down. Formulate your response but keep it under your hat. The hotter you are the longer you need to cool down before you press send. I would be the first to admit that there are times when I don’t necessarily follow that very sage advice. When (and if) the sting subsides, find out what went wrong. Was it just a timing thing? Was the new agent at the right place at the right time? What did they say that sealed the deal? I believe it’s important to have that “exit interview” in order to learn from the experience. Maybe, if you acted quicker, you could have saved the deal.
So what can you do when you get that inevitable call? First and foremost…take a deep breath. This is only a minor setback. There is truth to the old saying, ‘what goes around comes around’. That basically means that one day you will be the guy that fluked into a deal that some other agent was hoping to close. So hold your head high and keep those clients in your data base. NAR reported that over 70% of home buyers and sellers never hear from their agents once the transaction closes. This is your hall pass to return the favour. Send them flowers, congratulate them on the purchase (or sale). Work that CRM like no one else. Trust me, nothing is as constant as change. Those clients will move again and when the time is right they will look to the person who has been by their side the whole time.
mark mclean is the Broker/Manager at the Bosley Real Estate Queen St W office and President-Elect for the Toronto Real Estate Board. The opinions expressed here do not reflect the opinions of TREB or Bosley RE.
Have you ever walked away from a listing presentation and thought “wow, I totally nailed that one” only to find out that the owners went with someone else? It’s happened to me, oh I don’t know, a dozen times. Then it happens….the self doubt…what went wrong? What could I have done different? Don’t beat yourself up about it. As they say, practice makes perfect.
At this week’s meeting I asked the agents a simple question. If you eliminated all the variables, could you get closer to getting that listing? The reality is that sometimes we lose listings for silly reasons. That listing was ours for the taking, but a minor slip up or misstep changed the seller’s mind. It could have been as little as an awkward glance or no maybe you didn’t comment on the owner’s antique doll collection as you were walking around.
So we decided to spend a little time talking about those variables. Take a look at the picture above. Do you have anything to add? It seems a lot of things we do speak right to being prepared….that’s a given. You have to have a shiny presentation complete with comparables, plus a solid marketing plan. Oh, and is your presentation on your iPad or is it a hard copy. You should have both or at least have a solid understanding of how to present to a potential seller before you get there. In our meeting we had two great examples of this point. In one case, the agent lost a listing because his presentation to a young couple was a more traditional paper version. In another case where the owners were elderly, the agent lost because his presentation was on paper as well. Why didn’t he get the listing? Because they expected the buyer of their home to be tech savvy and wanted to list with a tech savvy agent. As the Boy Scouts say…be prepared.
We need to know that some sellers are fickle. Being late for an appointment might be all the deciding factor between them choosing to work with you and the other guy. If you smoke, don’t have a butt before you walk in the door. Don’t show up to the house on your way home from the gym. Don’t chew gum and don’t have food in your teeth. These all seem like ridiculous points but simple hygiene, being well dressed, looking people in the eyes and speaking with authority will get you three-quarters of the way to nailing that presentation.
If you are going out to a condo listing presentation, make sure you are familiar with the building. Arrive early and talk to the concierge about the facilities. Maybe get a tour, take some pics. Knowledge is power in most situations. Come in strong, wow them with your knowledge of the building. At the end of the day, you can check everything off this list and still not get the listing. Another agent could swoop in with a promise of a higher price, or maybe you just got the call because you are the expert in the neighbourhood and they want the right price but they are going to list with their mother’s brother’s girlfriend’s best friend. If that’s the case you can bring them the buyer and they will refer you all kinds of business.
One final note. When you don’t get the listing, don’t sulk. Give the seller a quick call, thank them for the opportunity to present to them and ask them why they chose the other agent. Consider this conversation an exit interview. They probably won’t tell you it was your breath, but they might say the other agent offered to do more. Whatever the reason, it can only help you secure the next attempt.
mark mclean is the Broker/Manager at the Bosley Real Estate Queen St W office and Director at Large for the Toronto Real Estate Board.