Although the tried-and-true has its benefits, there’s nothing wrong with shaking things up and charting your own course in today’s market. Rachael Hite helps you question what you think you know about working with your clients today.
The shift in the market is tangible and agents in the weeds of helping their clients meet their real estate goals may need to ditch conventional wisdom and go their own way to adapt to the changing tide.
Although some agents are happy to promote that finding a buyer for their new listing is a piece of cake, we know that’s not always the case. Here are four ways that going against old-school wisdom can bank great results for your current and future clients.
Conventional wisdom: Only accept offers on a property for a short period time
Strategy shift: Creating a shopping window for the widest audience of buyers
Many agents are quick to say that they have an offer in hand for their clients 15 minutes after they finish driving the “for sale” sign into the ground. Not keeping the home on the market for a reasonable timeframe might mean that you are missing out on the potential best offers for your clients to choose from.
Suppose you do not plan a window of time for the listing to be viewed by the public. In that case, you are also potentially subjecting yourself to buyer discrimination complaints if local buyers did not have a fair opportunity to see and make an offer on the property.
Pocket listings, while convenient (but potentially against regulation in specific markets), can lead to grievances and create tension amongst already maxed out agents and their clients rushing to see a home. Invest in offer management platforms that create accountability and transparency for all parties involved.
Conventional wisdom: Meet the clients at the property or you could miss out on a sale
Strategy shift: Interview buyers before showing homes
The days of meeting a client for the first time at a property and signing a buyer’s disclosure on the hood of your car should be numbered. Understanding the need to be flexible for sales is a tricky balance of ensuring that your client is a safe person to meet and qualified to buy. Some brokerages are still promoting the “get in your car, and figure out” sales methods, but agents need to be safe and savvy in today’s market.
Try meeting clients in a public place or your office to discuss financing, strategy, how contracts are written and submitted, and the potential client’s personal needs. This meeting will help consumers make a fast offer and help avoid the “we need to sleep on it” hesitation that is almost guaranteed to make them lose out in a bidding war.
Conventional wisdom: Save some cash and DIY your marketing because listings sell so quickly
Strategy shift: Keep investing in marketing (don’t cut corners)
Another downfall of only marketing the listing active for one day or less? Less exposure and time to market yourself and your brand. In previous markets, agents struggled with how to keep the conversation during the three to six months they held a listing. Today, many agents rush through the experience of selling the home.
At the same time, consumers struggle to keep up with the zero to 60 speed that agents are chalking up to the old “This is just how the market works now” excuse.
Create a formula to market each property, and do not cut corners on professional photography and other hospitality services you offered to clients in previous years. Savvy agents know that building their portfolio shows value to their clients and that they are earning their commission.
Clients will be less convinced that they can DIY their experience on Zillow if you stick with a professional-level marketing plan that they would not be able to replicate on their own.
Conventional wisdom: Don’t question the agent with the most experience
Strategy Shift: Stop saying ‘sorry’ for wanting to do things differently
Many new agents feel the need to apologize to their managers when they have a differing opinion about how they want to run their business. It’s important to remember to stick to your moral compass, code of ethics, fair housing laws and your intuition when it comes to client management in this stormy marketplace.
If something does not feel right, research, ask questions and experiment to find the best solution for your clients. Advocate for yourself and your business.
Remember, in this new world of real estate, it will take a level head and a great deal of heart to keep innovating the best experiences possible for your clients. Stay motivated, question the status quo, and stay the course by leading the way against outdated advice that doesn’t hold up any longer without modifications.
By day, Rachael Hite helps agents develop their businesses. By night, she’s tweeting and blogging. Feel free to tweet her @rachaelhite.