The Confident Rookie Series - Secret Four - Drive Your Route Ahead of Time

Education & Training with Sell with Soul

Related to yesterday's installment about previewing, today's Confident Rookie Secret is to ALWAYS drive your route before meeting with a buyer. It's mortifying to get lost with a buyer in the car and even worse if drivethey're following behind you. Unless you're showing in a neighborhood you know intimately, always always always drive the route ahead of time, even if that's at 6 am before you meet your buyer at 9am.

Driving Your Route is not the same as Previewing. When you preview, you're ruling out properties - you might start with a list of 12 or 15 homes and narrow it down to the best 7 or so. Therefore, your previewing route will not be the same as your showing route. KWIM?

A GPS is not the answer. You need to be able to get from house to house smoothly and effortlessly, as if you know every thoroughfare and side street in town... without that nice Garmin lady interrupting your conversation every 30 seconds. Of course, a printout of Mapquest Directions is even worse! Being able to talk with your buyers as you navigate from house to house will do wonders for your air of professionalism. And of course, becoming increasingly frazzled as you make u-turns and wrong turns will have the opposite effect!

Sometimes you don't have much time between making the appointment and the appointment itself, so you might be tempted to rationalize that you simply don't have the opportunity to Drive Your Route. But I promise you - you'll wish you'd made the time. I've gotten up at 4am and hit the streets at 5am to ensure I didn't make a fool of myself (and I've been doing this almost 13 years!). The good news is that there's much less traffic at 5am!

Remember, the goal of these Ten Secrets is to give the rookie real estate agent the tools to look and feel confident and knowledgeable in situations he or she may not have been in before. We can't prepare you for every single contingency, but the more you are prepared for the aspects you can control, the less stress you'll put on your antiperspirant!

The Confident Rookie Series:

  1. Know Your Systems
  2. Practice with Your Printer (sounds silly, I know)
  3. Preview, Preview, Preview
  4. Drive Your Route Ahead of Time
  5. Cheerfully Waste Your Time
  6. Find Your Handyman
  7. Let Your Seller Prospect Do Most of the Talking
  8. Get Comfy with Your Commission
  9. Admit that You're New
  10. What to say when you don't know the answer

Stay tuned...

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April 18
Representing Your Buyer in a Short Sale

April 22
The Art of Commission Negotiation

May 13
REALTOR Moms - How DO You do it??


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Larry Bettag
Cherry Creek Mortgage Illinois Residential Mortgage License LMB #0005759 Cherry Creek Mortgage NMLS #: 3001 - Saint Charles, IL
Vice-President of National Production

Great advice...I love not having that lady interrupting me.  She's loud, annoying and needs to be put to sleep.

Apr 08, 2009 01:03 AM #1
Scott Kniskern
Rogers Realty & Auction - Mount Airy, NC

Good advice. That kind of thing is much easier for me, being in a small town and pretty much knowing every street within a ten mile radius. However, when I get out in the country and sometimes get lost. That is why I do exactly what you are describing. It saves time and face.

Apr 08, 2009 01:12 AM #2
Sally Dunbar
Lyon Real Estate, Fair Oaks CA (Sacramento Area) - Fair Oaks, CA
Fair Oaks Realtor - Fair Oaks Homes for Sale

Sometimes I do that, but if I'm busy at 4am and can't preview, I tape together the Thomas Brother's maps to form one map of our entire showing area.  I number each property and put it on the map.  Then do a dotted line along our route.  Then I give it to the buyer, and have him navigate me... "this is how you'll learn our area".  It helps them to give them the map when we're done, as a memento of out time together reminder of where we've been.

Course if they get carsick, it's a different game plan.  "No ralphing on the map please". And if they do, they DEFINITELY take the map!


Apr 08, 2009 01:16 AM #3
Blowing Rock Real Estate Boone Real Estate
Blowing Rock Investment Properties - Blowing Rock, NC

Awesome advice. I can definitely remember some times I wish I'd done that when I first started.

Apr 08, 2009 01:18 AM #4
Steve Chaisson
Keller Williams - Nashville, TN

Please don't take this personally, but don't you think that may be a bit of preparation overkill?  Seriously, if a rookie needs something like that to build confidence they are probably in the wrong business.

Apr 08, 2009 01:21 AM #5
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

Steve - gosh, no, I don't think it's overkill at all! Getting lost with a buyer in your car is an awful feeling and can really do a number on your composure.

Meris - Oh, me, too. Where do you think this advice came from? My OWN mortification at driving around in circles!

Sally - That's hilarious! And a great tactic. But you're right - lots of people can't read in the car... so it's probably best if you know where you're going just in case.

Scott - when I'm working in my neighborhood, I can navigate with my eyes closed (figuratively speaking!). But put me in the suburbs and I'm a mess, even though I've lived in Denver 15 years.

Larry - She means well, but sometimes she's a little intrusive ;-]

Apr 08, 2009 01:24 AM #6
Michael Delp
Mortgage Pro - Telford, PA

You always have such good advise. Makes me wish I would have known me as a rookie. It would have saved me from a lot of my "learn from my mistakes" headaches!

Apr 08, 2009 02:47 AM #7
Mary Douglas
United Country Ponderosa Realty, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado - Red Feather Lakes, CO
REALTOR, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado

Hi Jennifer, Oh how I know!  It sure is a hard lesson to learn, and one not easily forgotten.

Apr 08, 2009 02:59 AM #8
Tim Bradley
Contour Investment Properties - Jackson Hole, WY
Commercial Real Estate Expert in Jackson Hole, WY

Knowing the route makes you the local expert...getting lost just makes you look incompetent. Great post!

Apr 08, 2009 03:30 AM #9
Jimmie Graham
Keller Williams Realty - Ypsilanti, MI

Some of these tips can be used by some the vets and serve as refreshers for most such as myself

Apr 08, 2009 04:03 AM #10
Robert Rauf
HomeBridge Financial Services (NJ) - Toms River, NJ

Jimmy is right, a lot of Veterans of the real estate biz could use a refresher on these simple but often overlooked tips..... but I am NOT getting up at 4am!!!!

Apr 08, 2009 05:08 AM #11
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

Michael - Well, yeah... but that's how I learned this making an idiot of myself on a regular basis! Part of the initiation process I guess.

Mary - Isn't it though!?

Tim - Such a small thing, but it can definitely make a big impression on a buyer.

Jimmy - Cool! Refreshers are good..

Rob - Wimp.

Apr 08, 2009 05:20 AM #12
Sabrina Kelley
ERA Herman Group Real Estate - Woodland Park, CO
Woodland Park Colorado Mountain Homes and Land

It is so funny that Sally wrote about a car sick client. An agent in my office recently told the story of how she was trying to engage her client in the area and handed the map over to him. Even though he was interested in the process he became car sick.

OK who is up for a car sick client blog.

Apr 08, 2009 09:32 AM #13
Robert Rauf
HomeBridge Financial Services (NJ) - Toms River, NJ

Yes I am a Wimp... and I need my beauty sleep!!! 

Apr 09, 2009 03:28 AM #15
Lori Churchill Cofer
Beasley Realty - Pullman, WA
Realtor - 509-330-0086 - Pullman, WA


Fortunately I live in a small town....but you know just today I drove my route for my showings for tomorrow.....I don't want to be trying to remember which house it is....I want to be LISTENING to what my buyers have to say!

Apr 09, 2009 04:32 PM #16
Jason Daley
Bremerton, WA
Kitsap County Real Estate, Bremerton, WA Real Estate

Jennifer - But who doesn't love the little box saying "RECALCULATING" in the snottiest voice they could find, every time the road is 1 foot to the left or the right of where SHE thinks it is supposed to be??? :)

Apr 10, 2009 04:13 AM #17
Sharon Alters
Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty - 904-673-2308 - Fleming Island, FL
Realtor - Homes for Sale Fleming Island FL

Jennifer, this is definitely not overkill, this is just plain smart! What about the For Sale By Owners you might drive by? You can call them ahead of time and find out the info so your buyer isn't wondering or jotting down the number themselves. It's never a mistake to be totally prepared so you can focus on the conversatin with your buyers, not trying to figure out where the next turn is...great post for all real estate agents.

Apr 10, 2009 04:09 PM #18
Samantha Lorefice
Tierra Antigua Realty - Tucson, AZ

Been there, done that!! It is very embarrassing to get lost when your clients are behind you! Great tip Jennifer, as usual :)

Apr 11, 2009 02:57 PM #19

Hello Everybody


I am new agent.  I have not signed up yet with a company.  What is the best way to select a broker to hang my license?  I am located in Maryland.

Jul 23, 2009 04:22 PM #20
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

Hi Daniel, There are a gazillion opinions on how to choose your broker... but I'm going to take the lazy way out and direct you to a thread on my forum where I give my two cents! Go here... and let me know what you think!,943.0.html


Jul 23, 2009 11:08 PM #21
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