I was reading a blog post earlier today on Trulia from Renne Porsia, an agent from Philadelphia and it struck a cord with me. Here is the link to Renee's a
post http://www.trulia.com/blog/renee_porsia/2009/06/should_realtors_be_paid_! Then I started thinking about an article I had done a few years ago for my newsletter. While I was looking for it, I was thinking to myself that it will no longer be timely, because the market has changed so much!
When I began to read it I was surprised to see that in any market this article applies. We are professionals and we need to run our business accordingly! Here is my article as it was written 3 years ago:
I remember reading an article a few years ago stating that statistics show that Real Estate agents sell 2 out of every 10 buyers they work with! That means that 80% of their time is wasted. If that is in fact the case, it is not hard to see why a recent NAR survey showed that 86% of Realtors are out of the business in one year and only 7% ever renew their license.
It has become very apparent to me over the last few years, through owing my own brokerage and training nationwide, that this is a sad but true statistic. Everyday I see agents who are continually spending days, weeks and in some cases months, making the same mistakes time and time again. They continue to work with unqualified buyers, who do nothing more than waste their time.
I often ask my agents, "Would you list a property without a contract?" The response I get is always a resounding, "Of course not!" Then I ask, "Why then will you work with a buyer without a contract?" I don't have enough space in this article to even begin to list the responses I get to that question. And to this day, not one of the answers I have heard is acceptable.
Working with buyers is in my opinion the "bread and butter" of a new agent's business. I know you have been told that you must "list to last"; however there is no better way for you to learn your marketplace than showing houses to qualified buyers. The benefits are twofold - first, you will be compensated for your time through your commission and secondly, the market knowledge and sales experience you acquire will be paramount as you begin to build your listing inventory.
In order to have a successful working relationship with buyers and not waste 80% of your time, it is imperative that you meet them at your office prior to showing any real estate. There is information that you must have, to ascertain if they are a buyer or a "looker"! We are not a source of free information or a tour guide! We are real estate sales professionals! We do not get paid for showing houses; we get paid for SELLING houses!
Upon initial contact with a prospective buyer, either on the phone or in person, we need to give them a compelling reason to meet with us. We need to convince them that by meeting with you, before seeing any homes, that this meeting will benefit them in multiple ways; namely saving them time and money! This initial meeting is in my opinion the difference between a sale and frustration.
The purpose of this meeting is to determine what your prospects true intentions are. Are they ready, willing and able to buy NOW! If they are not, they are not buyers. They remain a prospect until they are able to meet our criteria. We do not show houses to someone who is not buying for "a year or so". You can put these prospects in your data base and follow up with them. Email them listings and call them once a month until they become a NOW buyer.
If your prospects inform you that they are pre qualified ask them to bring their paperwork with their mortgage broker's phone number so you can verify this information. If your prospects are not pre qualified, explain to them that you will make the arrangements for them to get this done at your meeting. If they say that they do not want to get pre qualified, this may be a good indication that you do not have a NOW buyer. Ask some follow-up questions to help you determine if a meeting with these prospects is warranted at this time.
When you are meeting with you prospects, in addition to verifying their ability to purchase a home, you also need to explain what you expect from them. You need to explain the importance of being on time for appointments, what to do if they find a For Sale by Owner, what to do if they find a listing from another company, etc.
Finally, insist they sign a contract agreeing that if you do what you say you are going to do and you find them a house, they will purchase it through you! If they are a sincere NOW buyer they will sign it and you will be on your way to a signed contract!
Have a great day and remember this- IN LIFE THERE ARE ONLY REASONS AND RESULTS, AND THE REASONS DO NOT MATTER!
Mike Kelly, Broker/Owner, Sellstate Advantage Realty, Cape Coral, Florida, www.sellstateadvantage.com