Know your inventory! by Brad Pearson
We’ve all been there… We go shopping for our next car after finally deciding on make, color, and options. We search the internet for weeks and start making calls and visiting dealerships. If your experience is anything like mine has been, then you’ve had this experience. We call the dealer to ask if the car in the online ad is available, and after getting transferred around a bit and put on hold, a sales person finally answers and we ask about the car, the sales person has no clue about the car in the ad, has to put us on hold again, shuffles through papers or starts pounding keys on his computer, and eventually says, “so what are you looking for?”, we continue down the path about the car in the ad, and finally give in and just tell them what we are looking for. Over the next few minutes, the sales person says “can I get your number and call you back and let you know if we have that car?”, and we know that is a ploy to get our phone number, but it is also the painful truth that the sales person has NO idea what their inventory is, they don’t even really know what their best deals on the lot are. It get’s better, once they call back, or if we are at the dealership, and the sales person finds the car, when we ask for details about the car, like horsepower, options, etc. the sales person is stumped once again. No wonder no one likes shopping for a car! I had this experience in a luxury car dealer years ago that has stuck in my head ever since. I was standing next to a $75,000 car intently looking at it and a salesman yells down from the elevated display section of the lot and asks, “can I help you?”, and I replied “yes, I’ll have a ham sandwich on rye with light mustard and a diet coke!”, he said “what? Sir, this is a car dealership.”, I replied, “oh, ok then, I would like to buy a car, and I have a question about the horsepower on this one here!”, he, still standing on the platform, says “I’m not sure, it should be on the sticker on the window somewhere”. At this point, as a sales person myself, I could not fathom allowing this gentleman to get the sale. Not only was he too lazy to come down to the lot, but he knew nothing about his own inventory. That very evening I drove to another dealership in Newport Beach and bought a car. I only mention the location because if you are selling luxury cars in Newport Beach, then you don’t get to walk onto the car lot as a sales person without knowing your inventory and details on every car intimately.
I share the above story with you as a real estate professional because the same expectation applies to us from our customers. There’s likely nothing more frustrating than being a buyer or even a seller calling real estate agents and hearing “let me get that information and call you back”. I would propose that the real estate professionals who take a call from a prospect and are able to immediately answer their questions, as well as offer them options and information that can immediately help them in their quest, are the ones who are able to convert those inquiries into sales.
I get asked all of the time from agents what the top agents do to continue to grow, and why momentum plays such a large part in the success of so many agents. I always attempt to drive the point home that as an agent lists more homes, they get more buyers, as they get more buyers, they view more inventory while showing those buyers homes, as they view inventory their local market knowledge grows exponentially and they are able to field calls and have on the spot market knowledge from being out in the field so much. The only way to artificially duplicate this process is to get to know the local inventory intimately! Here’s some questions that every agent should be able to answer whether taking a buyer inquiry, holding an open house, or getting a “what’s my home worth” phone call…
1. What is the best deal on the market in the area for 2 bedroom homes, 3 bedroom homes, 4 bedroom homes, 5 bedroom homes?
2. What is the best deal in the area where you are holding your open house, or advertising a listing?
3. What are the hottest pool home deals on the market right now/today?
4. What can a buyer get for $300,000, $400,000, $500,000, $600,000, $700,000, $800,000, $900,000, and $1,000,000, and so on!
5. How many short sales and distressed sales are on the market right now?
6. What came on the market in my area today?
These are questions that you should know the answers to every day. If you are out listing and selling 30-40 homes a year, then you will know this information because you are researching constantly for your prospects. If you are not yet selling 30-40 homes yet, then it is likely that you need to go through the daily exercise of answering these questions to have the same intimate knowledge of the market of those who do.
Just imagine knowing the answer to these questions and being able to say to a buyer prospect; “I know of the absolute best deals on the market. Everyday, I scour the market and go preview the hottest deals on the market for my clients. Let me tell you about a couple of them right now…. Would you like to get together to see one or several of these great homes that have not had the time to even be advertised yet?” You are now empowered to provide information that will spark interest in the prospect while showing that YOU are the EXPERT in the market and KNOW your INVENTORY/MARKETPLACE. A simple expectation that every perspective client has that so few are actually able to meet.
The great news is that if you are currently in the process of growing your business, this is one of the quickest ways to get a solid strategic advantage over most of the other agents in the industry and your market area! As “they” say, Knowledge is Power, but I would rephrase this a little and say that you can EMPOWER yourself with KNOWLEDGE and as a result, dramatically increase your success in your daily efforts to grow your business while delivering a substantially higher level of service to the customer on the first contact.
As always, I am here to help, whether you are already with Coldwell Banker or even with another firm and just need some help and support. Of course, I am always available to meet confidentially to show you why so many great agents have made the move to Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage! Just email me at Brad.Pearson@camoves.com or call/text 714-782-2723.