Category Archives: Sales Meetings
Sometimes in our business, it’s the most obvious things that are overlooked as the biggest opportunities for both Realtors and their clients. So many things in our industry are done only because that is what others do, or because what is believed as the right way, when in reality, so much of what is done in real estate now has become the absolute worst and in many cases the laziest ways of doing things. In this post, I plan to address one of the most ridiculous assumptions and most common mistakes Real Estate agents are making and how it could be hurting their clients.
Let’s deal with some reality for a second… MOST buyers are moving from somewhere verses buying as an investment/rental, and the best qualified and most motivated buyers are those that are selling a home to either move up or move down from their current home. Yet, in our industry, the “contingent” buyer is the LAST buyer that many real estate agents would advise their clients to accept an offer from and frankly the term has become almost tabu. The overwhelming common belief is that a “contingent buyer” is the most risky. Even if the buyer/sellers current home is in escrow, many real estate agents will advise their sellers to take the non-contingent buyer even when they are going to pay CASH upon the closing of their home. This is a scenario that has perplexed me for years. I’ve preached a million times about what a ridiculous practice this is. This practice and belief is so deeply ingrained into real estate agents in our industry that regardless of the common sense and logic behind it, so many continue to push away these great buyers sending them back home discouraged and often causing them to just give up on the whole process.
Let’s analyze this for a minute. EVERY single buyer is “contingent” upon one thing or another. Whether it’s financing, inspections, appraisal, etc. So the thought that any buyer is a lower or higher risk than another because they have a home to sell/close is ridiculous. In reality, the highest risk buyer is the buyer with the lowest MOTIVATION! All things being equal, a buyer who NEEDS to buy verses WANTS to buy is the one who is most likely to do whatever it takes to close. But even better is that the buyer who NEEDS to buy is almost ALWAYS willing to pay more and overlook small issues like inspections/repairs, and they are committed to closing the escrow on time!
My contention and the reason for this post is that I would like to end the unfair pre-judgement of serious contingent buyers who simply have a home to sell or close since in reality, many of these buyers are not only good solid buyers, but the best buyers a seller could ask for in today’s market.
Now as promised in the headline of this post… A simple strategy to get more listings while helping sell your listings and do a great job for your sellers; JUST SIMPLY HANG A SIGN RIDER ON YOUR FOR SALE SIGN (AS WELL AS WRITE IN THE REMARKS IN THE MLS, “CONTINGENT OFFERS WELCOME”. This simple strategy will help prospective move up or move down home sellers to reach out to you and ask you about your offering. It will attract buyers (who have a home to sell) that have been turned down by many other sellers/agents to reach out to YOU to see your listing. Of course, you need to do your homework and make sure the buyers are qualified and they price their existing home within salable market value, but frankly that is the easy part.
REMEMBER… The biggest fear for any seller is their ability to find a place to move to once they sell their home. As Realtors, whenever we can provide a solution to that problem, everything else becomes secondary and so on. By offering your listings to contingent buyers, you help solve the problem and this will get you listings!
I’d even go so far as to become and signify on my marketing that I am a “Contingent Buyer Specialist”!
Now how many of you would be opposed to taking a new listing and selling them your listing, contingent? I doubt anyone.
Think about it!
Oh… And try sharing this strategy on your next listing presentation and you’ll look like a genius! 🙂
Thanks for listening,
Like the old saying goes; “if all you have is a hammer, then everything looks like a nail”, for many real estate agents, their solution to every single homes failure to sell is to “reduce the PRICE”. Some agents work expired listings and actually do nothing more than over focus on getting a price reduction rather than actually analyzing the overall marketing efforts and other factors that could have caused the failure. Unfortunately many home sellers don’t interview enough agents and/or select their agent based on commission, price opinion, or because they got a notepad left on their doorstep and after a month or two for sale the agent begins to send emails recommending price reductions. While certainly in some cases price is the issue, until the 5 other items are examined and executed on thoroughly it is absolutely premature to ask a seller to reduce their price in many cases. I’ve said this a million times if I’ve said it once, asking a home owner to reduce their price should be taken very seriously and treated like a doctor prescribing surgery to a patient. Just as a good doctor would not prescribe surgery to a patient without exhausting all other options, a good real estate agent should not recommend a price reduction unless all other options have been exhausted and of course as long as the home is priced fairly amongst the competition and comparables in the area.
Here are the 6 primary reasons a home fails to sell in today’s market:
1. EXPOSURE – Lack of exposure, negative exposure, over exposure, bad marketing, MLS misuse.
(While we all know that Exposure Creates Demand and Demand Drives Price, it also drives the sale! Not all agents and companies can provide adequate exposure. In past markets with low inventory levels and a high number of distressed properties on the market many companies and agents got by without much marketing and advertising. In today’s market, cutting corners can cost a seller money and cause some agents to over focus on price since their ability to market and advertise adequately is limited. When a home owner interviews a Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Realtor they are often blown away by the amount of advertising and marketing we do for every listing in comparison to some competitors.)
2. TERMS – Impossible or difficult to meet terms can dramatically reduce the buyer pool. Ex. Cash only, Conventional only, difficult to finance properties, no contingent buyers, and even overly paranoid agents who use the agent remarks in the MLS to make it very difficult for buyers to submit offers. Ex. Unreasonably/unnecessarily large deposit required, unnecessary cross qualifications, other terms and restrictions listed unnecessarily in MLS.
(Always as sellers if they are open to carrying a first or second loan for a buyer, always fully explain the advantages and disadvantages of offering the property to contingent buyers as many sellers may not mind the risk and extra time in exchange for a higher sales price. Remember, it never hurts to get more offers and the seller can always counter terms during the negotiation process!)
3. DESIRABILITY – i.e. Condition, Location, Functionality, etc.
(Some of these you can control and improve and others you cannot, but addressing this is critical. Improving the condition of a home is something fairly easy to do if the seller can afford it, but there’s little that can be done about location of course.)
4. ACCESSIBILITY – Restrictive showing instructions, no lockbox, limiting showing hours, appointment only, etc.
(With thousands of homes on the market, many agents are looking to make their jobs easier and difficulty in showing will cause a reduction in showings, leading to fewer potential buyer opportunities. Unfortunately this is a reality, especially in higher inventory markets.)
5. COMMISSION – An uncompetitive co-op broker/buyers agent commission offering can potentially limit showings. While it may not be right or fair, let’s be honest here… If there are 3 similar homes on the market and one is offering 4%, another is offering 3%, and the other is offering 2%, which one do you think the buyers agent is going to go out of their way to show and sell? In most cases, a buyers agent has shown 20, 30+ homes over several months in some cases, it’s impossible to believe that they aren’t at least taking a passing glance at the commission being offered on the homes they are showing.
6. PRICE – A home should be priced very carefully and thoughtfully within a reasonable range of closed, pending, and active listing comparables while taking into consideration the current market factors, condition of the property, location, amenities, and many other factors. The best agents use very many factors as well as their depth of experience to properly recommend the right asking price for the property. If a home is not selling after adequate time on the market, and after the above 5 other items have been thoroughly executed, then it is reasonable to determine that price is the issue.
So whether listing a home for the first time or prospecting expired listings, being able to articulate the importance of these 6 items while providing a clear and concise analysis of each one along with a comprehensive plan to execute on the plan with guarantee success while ensuring that your seller achieves top dollar for their home.
As a Coldwell Banker agent, you have the most extensive marketing and advertising and will have no problem showcasing your ability to reach more potential buyers than any other firm. From our View Magazine with 1.2 million in distribution per month, to our massive online exposure, you can easily show a prospect that they have the best possible chance at achieving their price. Using the list above will enable you to have a professional discussion with your clients that will allow them to make solid financial decisions based on facts rather than opinions and they will know that if you are having a price reduction conversation with them, that you are doing so only after exhausting all other efforts.
If you are not with Coldwell Banker and you feel like your current firm has limited tools to enable you to adequately expose your listings to the market place, then it may be time to explore the opportunities at Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage!
As always, it is my goal to help all agents grow and achieve success in Real Estate. If you are not already a Coldwell Banker independent sales associate, and would like to explore all that we have to offer our agents and our customers, please give me a call or email at 714-782-2723 or Brad.Pearson@camoves.com. Or visit http://www.WhyCB.com
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If you haven’t created a business plan yet and need a simple one that integrates “online” with “offline” business growth strategies, here you go! Just click on the image in this post to download PDF file.
An effective business plan should provide the following:
1. Articulate your professional ethos. What kind of business do you want to have?
2. Determine specifically what your goal is. How much money do you want to make? Why do you want to make it?
3. Determine HOW and WHAT you will do to achieve your goals.
4. Determine WHEN you will do it. i.e. Create a schedule to execute the plan.
5. Include an accountability component to ensure adherence to the plan and measure progress.
6. Require a commitment to be made and shared with those who will be impacted by your success or failure.
The simple business plan that I created has a simple business ethos… Productivity and Professionalism! If a real estate agent is highly productive and focuses on being highly professional, they will have a clear path to grow year over year.
Productivity generally equals;
-More skilled based on more transactions and more experience.
-The more productive an agent, the more income they are making. The means they are not running desperate for a commission and are likely to make better decisions for their clients.
-The more productive an agent, the more they can invest in their business to grow it. Pretty simple.
Professionalism is generally defined by;
-A focus on high ethics and strong customer focus.
-A desire to provide a high level of service to the customer.
-A desire to put forth a professional image at all times from ones appearance to the marketing and advertising utilized in their business.
-Treating others as they themselves wish to be treated. i.e. Returning calls, focus on solutions, communication, etc.
I honestly believe that if every agent woke up every morning and simply focused on these two things, worked from a solid business plan, and implemented a solid and consistent accountability program, they would dramatically increase their income. Therefore, I created a plan that any agent could complete and implement!
At Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage / Previews International, we are looking for Productive and Professional agents to join our firm at all times. Our standards are high and we create an environment that supports these principles. As always, if you are not a Coldwell Banker agent already, and would like to find out more about this amazing company, then feel free to call me at 714-782-2723 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org .
While it seems that so many companies are doing very little to create and grow their “brand” image and recognition, Coldwell Banker is investing millions of dollars in promoting the brand and home ownership, keeping Coldwell Banker agents top of mind to the consumer! No wonder so many great agents are affiliating with a strong company with a solid and well known brand!
Here’s a preview to the new 2014 ad campaign #Homerocks!
2. Scan to PDF – Scan and send documents in PDF format from anywhere.
3. JotNot Fax – For those who “still” use faxes. This is a great app!
4. AgentFirst (First American) Get property info and order profile from your phone.
5. BottomLine (Fidelity) Provide buyers with payment and approximate closing cost info.
6. MLS Touch – Get info on any listing, stats, agent info, maps, etc. instantly.
7. ZipForm Mobile – Create, revise, sign contracts directly from your phone in a pinch. (CAR.org $9.95/year)
8. Keynote – Show your listing presentation at a moments notice or project to TV.
9. Google Earth – Show clients aerial picture of any home & save snapshots for use on MLS or other marketing.
10. 360 Panorama – Take wide panoramic pictures of your listings.
11. iMovie – Create video fast and easy.
12. MagicPlan – Create floorplans of your listings for marketing.
13. Pages – Use this app to create letterhead, flyers, personal notes, etc. from anywhere. And then send as PDF or .doc files!
14. Cards (Apple) – Everyone should be doing personal notes! Here’s a great and easy way to send very personalized notes without ever going to the post office or touching a piece of paper.
15. Google Translate – Don’t get caught not being able to communicate with someone no matter where you are! Translate any language just by talking to it or typing in your sentence.
16. Sign n Send – Sign anything directly on your iPhone.