Did a little teleseminar show last week in the SWS Virtual Studio called "Problem-Solving with Soul" where Blake Farley and I shared various tips and strategies for becoming a Master Problem-Solver. We first focused on strategies to head off problems before they occur and then moved onto ways to solve those darn problems that you weren't able to head off in the first place.
At the end of the program, we asked the audience for their feedback on which tips were the most brilliantly insightful, and here's what they told us:
Favorit-est Tip #1: Learn to Love a Checklist - at least half of the items on a good transaction-related checklist will probably have come from problems on past transactions you should have seen coming, but oops, didn't, and paid the price one way or another. Every busy (or hoping-to-be-busy) real estate agent should have and use transaction checklists for their New Listings, Listing-Under-Contract and Buyers-Under-Contract. You can see examples of the ones I used in the Sell with Soul VIP Lounge here: http://sellwithsoul.com/lounges-a-forums/vip-lounge.html
Favorit-est Tip #2: Encourage sellers to remove any personal property from the home that they don't intend to include in the sale before going on the market (appliances in use excepted). If the buyer sees that awesome swing-set in the back yard... or that gorgeous butcher block island... or those towel racks hand-carved in Africa... and is then told "No, you can't have those," you will see the buyer shut down before your very eyes, get mad at the house (and seller) and take his purchase offer and earnest money deposit elsewhere...
Favorit-est Tip #3: Prepare your client for the realities of a real estate transaction and set reasonable expectations. Don't promise your client anything you can't deliver on; in fact, it's not the worst idea in the world to OVERpromise problems (!) so that when they don't occur (or occur in a lower octane than you warned about), the seller will be pleased. For example, tell your seller that it's possible they'll only have 15 minutes notice for showings so that when they get two hours, they'll be thrilled!
Favorit-est Tip #4: Ask yourself if you can throw money at a problem to make it go away -- and do the math! It's amazing what agents and their clients will bicker over without doing the math first. Sometimes it's far easier to just open your checkbook to solve a problem than it is to spend hours trying to get someone else to step up. However, never open your checkbook to PUT a sale together; only use it to KEEP a sale together!
Other tips: Realize that not all problems are yours to solve, realize that not all problems should be solved, celebrate every learning experience and be sure to add items to your checklists, never close on a Friday.
All SWS teleseminars are free to attend live - to see what's on tap in June, just visit the SWS Calendar of Events!