ALL BUSINESS IS NOT GOOD BUSINESS
Photo Credit: Paul Lopez (Twitter: @ilegend_photo )
When I started in Real Estate, I made a conscious decision to remember how I felt when I purchased a home for the first time, and when I made the decision to sell my homes. I love finding a home that matches the criteria that a client has provided me, and selling a home that is competitively priced for my home sellers. I coupled my good intentions with technical knowledge, and later experience. I was mentored by very experienced power agents. One agent advised me that "if he is showing houses, he is writing offers", he added that if he takes clients out twice (seeing multiple homes) and the clients do not write offers, he does not take them out for additional showings. This agent's belief is that if he shows clients the best properties on the market, that they can afford, and they don't write an offer...he presumes the client is not ready for home ownership. The agent does not attempt to address objections, he just 'abandons his client'. I've met clients who informed me that the agent doesn't return their calls, or isn't showing them houses, and wondered were these clients victims of client abandonment!
I made the mistake of not listening to this advise, it seemed so cold and not "customer service oriented". I get that our business is commission based, but honestly want to be understanding to my clients comfort and timing. Today, it is timing. If they aren't ready to write an offer, I let them know they can call me when they are ready. But I give them the "closure" of knowing why I feel that they should take a break from our relationship, I mean home search. #1 Rookie Lesson: I now know that when a client is ready to buy, they will.
The second hard knock learning is to 'qualify the client' by collecting their documentation. Initially, if my client did not have a Lender, I would facilitate a meeting or at a minimum recommend a Lender, without collecting any documentation. In this market, where many Listing Agents request that the buyer be "cross-qualified" with their "preferred lender", it is difficult and often uncomfortable trying to retrieve documentation from the client's lender. Note: I almost never obtain the cross qualification just to submit an offer. Why? In my opinion, if the offer is accepted the client should pursue the cross qualification. I recently had an experience where a clients father's bankruptcy showed on his credit report (he was a Junior, and resided at his parents home). My clients lender did not detect this, and last minute we were scrambling to get his credit re-scored. #2 Rookie Lesson: Sometimes having more information (or documentation) is helpful.
My third and final learning ( I could go on, and on, and on...) is not taking an overpriced Listing, just for the sake of getting the Listing! Standing by your comparable, and adjustments is crucial when you have analyzed the market. If the seller is unwilling to accept the property values, when possible I take my sellers on 'showings' of the competition. Although a picture is worth a thousand words, walking into a newly upgraded, larger home that is priced $15,000 is just what some stubborn sellers need to realize that their home is overpriced. #3 Rookie Lesson: If you take a listing, get it sold quickly!
In summary, all business is not good business. The clients, listings, and commissions will come if you are disciplined, have a strong work ethic and are professional. Thank you for allowing to share some of the many failures!
If you can dream it, then you can achieve it.
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