Hi Everyone. I have another great meeting for you to try out. It was a lot of fun and a great learning experience and really, isn’t that the point? The idea came from my daily peek at the new listings. For a few weeks now the same property kept showing up. I found it strange that it was always appearing in my “new” feed. Upon closer look I saw that over the past 4 months it was listed in one way or another about 6 separate times. The price was up on one listing, down on another and then back up again. I started to wonder what the problem was. Could badly worded descriptions, lack of room sizes or poor quality pictures be to blame?
A thought was born. I looked through MLS and picked out the 4 listings (and pictures) with the longest days on market. Boom. At our meeting I divided everyone into four groups and gave them one listing each. The first part of the task was simple; circle every mistake or missed opportunity on the actual listing. Next they were asked to come up with 5 marketing strategies that the current listing agent didn’t appear to do. The problem with not knowing the motivation of the sellers, the condition of the property or special circumstances is that it is easy to blame the longevity of the listing simply on the property being overpriced. To make it a bit more interesting I created some made up back stories on the owners. One owner was an absentee landlord who lived in Dubai, one lived in the home but rented out rooms, one was tenanted with difficult tenants, and one home was owned by an elderly couple that didn’t speak English. I threw in a couple of zingers to…just to make it interesting. Days on market ranged from 91 to 442.
Each group had a leader who presented their findings. All MLS listings were missing information in one way or another. Of course there was enough information to write an offer but things like room sizes and descriptions were missing, two didn’t have inclusions mentioned, one had very limited showing ability, and all had terrible spelling and grammatical errors. Listings had between 8 and 12 glaring errors. As for new marketing techniques well every group came up with something unique however there were a bunch that were similar. They included professional photos, floor plans, staging, and utilizing every inch of the very limited space in the client and broker fields to mention some of the positive selling features of the home…like location, walk out basement and income potential. Surprisingly two groups thought the offering price on their homes wasn’t all that bad and were willing to market the home at the existing price for a couple of weeks if everything could be put into place.
At the end, the meeting outlined a couple of key points. The first was the value of well written remarks. Check your spelling and don’t leave any field blank if you can help it. The second point was that you can’t underestimate the power of the first impression. As they say, you never get a second chance to make a good first impression. If you are going to list a home you have to come out of the gate strong. A lengthy conversation outlining your strategies for maximizing exposure to the market and ultimately receiving the most money for a home may include making some difficult decisions like evicting tenants, painting, staging or cleaning. That’s when your team comes into play. Clients have to know that you have to spend money to make money. What’s the alternative? How about honesty? Years ago I remember seeing something like this in the client remarks; This house is a dump. A little elbow grease, a broom and a coat of paint will add thousands of dollars in value. This could be the deal you have been waiting for. If I had the money I would by it myself.
mark mclean is the Broker/Manager at the Bosley Real Estate Queen St W office and President of the Toronto Real Estate Board. The opinions expressed here do not reflect the opinions of TREB or Bosley RE.
After much thought and discussion with the many people in my life I made the decision to run for president-elect of the Toronto Real Estate Board. The last two years have been especially fulfilling, as I have been involved as the Chair of the Condominium Committee and the Communications Committee as well as the Vise-Chair of Finance. What I get out of my time in organized Real Estate is a clear understanding of the big picture, particularly what threats we face, what direction we need to take and most importantly the reasons why we make the decisions that we do. Our industry is changing rapidly and the directions we choose will impact us all for a very long time. Personally I am excited at the possibilities.
On-line voting runs 24 hours a day from April 30th to May 5th. You must be a member in good standing of the Toronto Real Estate Board. When you log in to Torontomls you will see voting instructions. It is simple and fast. As a member of the board you have every right to choose your future. I am energetic, enthusiastic and excited to represent you in the future. I kindly ask for your vote.
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.
‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the town,
No bubble existed, at least here….downtown
The agents exclaimed no listings we fear
Loosen the rules the buyers are here.
Young families and singles all snug in their beds
While dreams of home ownership danced in their heads
And me in my office feeling the heat
I had just signed my last trade record sheet.
When out of the news there arose such a clatter
I sprang from my desk to see what was the matter
Away to the TV I flew like a flash
It seems like our city had created a splash.
But it wasn’t the number of the cranes in the sky
Or the fact that the traffic was making us cry
The reason our city was under attack?
It seems that our mayor was caught smoking crack.
It is true he declared but I was in a drunk state
I’m in dark alleys….often quiet late
fighting taxes and spending had taken their toll
So I turned to crack to fill my pipe bowl.
The stump of his pipe he held tight in his teeth
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath
With arms round his buddies and a big bright red face
That video it seemed was cause for disgrace
We watched as our leader unraveled….unglued
And a 24hour media circus ensued
More rapid than eagles the reporters they came
And he whistled, and shouted and called them by name
Now Mansbridge, now Stewart, now Anderson Cooper
And an opening night skit on SNL that was super
It is true he exclaimed my language is abhorrent
But please everyone, put away that bench warrant.
We’ll folks, he declared, this is all overblown,
I’ve got plenty to eat, right here at home
At that very moment I awoke with a fright
Wow what a nightmare, things must be all right.
I rose out of bed, stumbled into the den
Flipped on the TV and tuned in to CNN
The news it appeared was actually quiet cheery
a real estate bubble was just a strange theory.
Our mayor was addressing the crowd with a smile
It seems all that cost cutting was really worthwhile
A 50 percent cut to our dreaded land transfer tax
And no services will be under my shiny new axe.
But that is not all he declared with a smirk
My new plan will show there’s plenty of work
The roads, the subways, and parks need a boost
And I’m just the man to push those things throughst.
Oh, His eyes how they twinkled. His dimples how merry
His cheeks were like roses his nose like a cherry
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow
And bit under his nose was as white as the snow
Then our own city council with rob and with Doug
Went back to their jobs to give us a hug
Tax credits, incentives, and and a stunning new proposal
To clean up the town’s garbage disposal
To treb agents our mayor made one last request
A trip for you all ….a week in Key West
You’ve put up with the work load, the pressure, the stress
There’s room in our budget, relax, decompress.
On our return to Toronto the sellers were ready
One house for each buyer, the market was steady
And construction of condos as ever intense
Invest in high spaces, it really makes sense.
And from his pulpit he said all the right stuff
Times have been tough, but enough is enough
Let’s get agents humming
It’s the real estate second coming.
Then he sprang to his escalade, to his team gave a whistle
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle
But I heard him exclaim ere he drove out of sight
Happy Christmas to all and to all a good night.