It's a common complaint among our ranks that we often work "for free," especially these days when buyers are fussy, sellers are frustrated and closings are more tenuous than ever. We can work for months on one transaction only to watch it fall apart due to factors beyond our control, leaving us uncompensated for all that time, energy and gas money.
While I have some issues with the opinion that all that work was "for free," that's not my topic du jour.
Today I want to pontificate about our resistance to providing a "free" CMA (comparative market analysis). That it's unprofessional to "give it away" so that the seller prospect can take our information and run with it, possibly even giving it to another agent who offers a lower fee and uses our hard work to procure a sellable listing.
If you go to my website (www.sellwithsoul.com), you'll see enough free stuff* there to keep you busy for hours, maybe days. Some of that free stuff (actually, most of it) took ME hours (even days) to put together, some of it at a not-insignificant cost. I imagine there's enough free stuff there to get you 75% of the way toward knowing everything I know about running a successful real estate business without selling your soul to do it.
Why do I give so much away?
Well, there are two ways to market yourself to your potential audience. You can TELL them how great you are... or you can SHOW them how great you are. Which approach do you think might be more convincing?
When you cheerfully provide a thorough, professional market analysis to a seller prospect, you're demonstrating that you are a competent real estate professional who understands his or her market; as well as opening the door to further discussion, which builds rapport and further proves your competence and professionalism. Sure, you could TELL the seller that you're professional and competent, but that CMA will say it far more convincingly.
Will the seller prospect "use" your CMA against you? Maybe, maybe not, but so what if they do? If they do, it has nothing to do with the fact you gave it to them and everything to with something ELSE. In other words, doing the free CMA only enhances the chances (hey, that rhymes!) that the seller will honor you with his or her business, but if they don't, it's not BECAUSE you did the CMA, but rather in spite of it.
Do some readers take my stuff and run with it, without ever spending a dime in my bookstore? Sure they do, and I'm fine with that. But if my website were just one big promo for Jennifer Allan Hagedorn and how fabulous she is, I'm pretty sure a whole lot fewer dimes would find their way to my bookstore and bank account!
*Here's some of the free stuff you can find at SellwithSoul.com: a sample listing presentation, 2X/month teleseminar shows, listing and buyer checklists, three newsletter/mini-courses, an abridged version of Sell with Soul, a 7-day free trial of my Savvy Prospector program, sample client and SOI communications, a forum... probably more but that's what I can think of right now!