Tools of the Trade are a MUST

By
Real Estate Agent with Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA VA License # 0225089470

Tools of the Trade are a MUST

Imagine walking into a pizza place and asking for a slice of pizza and a drink, but being declined the drink because the owner didn't have enough cups in stock and didn't run to the grocery store to cover when his stock ran out. What if there were only two tables in a larger open area and both are full and the owner tells you, AFTER you have your pizza in hand, they will run and check with the neighboring cafe to see if you can sit there and eat.  Or maybe they printed their own menus and their printer was so cheap that the pages were illegible.  All of these things would make it so you wouldn't want to frequent that pizza place again.  You would think the owner a clown for not being prepared.

Sadly, day after day, I run into real estate agents who have, for all intents and purposes, opened up their own shops when they got licensed, and still don't have the tools of the trade.

Just last week, I had to run to my office to drop off a clean copy of a signed contract to an agent who had found the cheapest printer on the market and couldn't get a clean copy.  Apparently, he also doesn't own a scanner, because a missing document discovered after the fact has to be delivered to me HARD COPY.  And this is a man who is making thousands selling one listing.  And presumably, this isn't his only listing.  He's owns his own brokerage.  Puzzling, isn't it?

And then there's the buyer's agent I'm working another deal with.  She doesn't have an electronic signature program.  Every time a document needs to be signed by her clients, there is too long a delay while she flags down her broker to have him do the electronic signature for him.

When you get into the business of helping buyers and sellers with real estate purchases, it is assumed that you will find a way to get the job done.  If you don't have a great printer at home, you'll go to the office.  Same with a scanner.  If you don't have enough lockboxes, but just picked up a new listing, you will buy another lockbox.  Or if you haven't yet purchased a camera, but have a listing, you will put out the money for the camera, or a photographer, to service the listing that the seller is paying you tens of thousands of dollars to sell.

Real estate isn't a hobby.  This is business.  If you expect to stay in business, you best have the tools of the trade and know how to use them.  Budget for expenses like a camera and lockboxes to market your listings.  Don't wait to sell one or two, THEN get the items necessary.  If you can't impress the clients you have NOW, you aren't gettting repeat business.

 

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  1. Ginger Harper 05/14/2015 12:07 PM
Topic:
Real Estate Best Practices
Groups:
Art of Professional Salesmanship
Around The Water Cooler
The Vent
Bartender, Make it a Double
Crap-Tacular
Tags:
starting your real estate business
tools of the real estate trade

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Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

Marte: There are protections you can build in to the electronic signing process that make identification verification a few levels deeper for situations like that.

Carla:  What the.... A lender?  That's just nuts.  

May 13, 2015 04:23 AM #61
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Ed Silva
RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

There is a big difference between those that are in the business and others that just play at being in the business.

May 13, 2015 04:25 AM #62
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Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

Ed:  If those that are playing had clients that could see them behind the scenes, they would be finding another playtime activity.

May 13, 2015 04:47 AM #63
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Mike Cooper, GRI
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro

Chris Ann, you might be preaching to the choir here. I definitely feel your pain. I run into this way too often from the old guard. I guess I could understand it with some of the upstarts, but the folks who have been at this for years should be much further along. 

May 13, 2015 06:16 AM #64
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Evelyn Johnston
Friends & Neighbors Real Estate - Elkhart, IN
The People You Know, Like and Trust!

There are a lot of agents who try to play with the big guys and are not prepared because they don't have the tools of the trade.  You have to have them.

May 13, 2015 11:21 AM #65
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Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Chris Ann Cleland - forget about printer and electronic signature options, some agents do not even have electronic supra keys! 

 

May 13, 2015 02:09 PM #66
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Roger D. Mucci
Shaken...with a Twist 216.633.2092 - Euclid, OH
Lets shake things up at your home today!

Exceptional post.....and such a wonderful analogy.  Knowing how to use the toold of your trade is key!

May 13, 2015 10:13 PM #67
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Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

Mike:  They should be further along, but hobbyists can hang in there for years and even decades.

Evelyn:  Totally agree.

Praful:  Or lockboxes.  Hate seeing combo boxes on listings.

Roger:  Putting it in perspective with another type of business brings it home.

May 14, 2015 05:23 AM #68
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Travis "the SOLD man" Parker; Associate Broker
iXL Real Estate-Wiregrasss\ - Enterprise, AL
email: Travis@theSOLDman.me / cell: 334-494-7846

I've been doing electronic signatures for at least 4 years and am really surprised at the number of Realtors who still don't know how.

May 14, 2015 08:14 AM #69
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Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

Travis:  It's not noticeable if you get paperwork quickly otherwise.  That's the key.

May 14, 2015 08:20 AM #70
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Norma Toering Broker for Palos Verdes and Beach Cities
Charlemagne International Properties - Rancho Palos Verdes, CA
Palos Verdes Luxury Homes in L.A.

Tools of the trade are essential--it's expected and excuses are not acceptable.

 

May 15, 2015 05:27 AM #71
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Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

Norma:  Yet as long as unprepared professionals are hired, they will continue to wallow in their bad habits.

May 15, 2015 05:35 AM #72
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Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hi Chris Ann --- great post.....why am I thinking of that old song?   If I Had A Hammer ---- multiple meanings perhaps.

May 17, 2015 07:05 PM #73
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Jim Paulson
Progressive Realty (Boise Idaho) www.Progressive-Realty.info - Boise, ID
Owner,Broker

I find it amazing that we preach to our clients that they should trust us because we are a professional, yet many agents continue to do things themselves instead of delegating to a professional (home stager, photographer, tech guy, CPA, attorney, etc.).

May 18, 2015 03:19 AM #74
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Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

Michael:  Trying to do this business half-assed is just not a good idea.

Jim:  That's why our industry always has a black eye.  Agents are too willing to do this as a hobby, or just don't care about the professionalism of it.

May 19, 2015 07:28 AM #75
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Elva Branson-Lee
Solid Source Realty GA - Atlanta, GA
CDPE - Atlanta Real Estate & Short Sale Agent

Hit on a pet peeve with this one, Chris Ann. I agree with all who said "There is no excuse." Good tools is just good form.

May 25, 2015 01:27 AM #76
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Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

Elva:  The first tool of our trade is attitude.  Must be willing to work.

May 25, 2015 03:28 AM #77
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Donna Foerster
HomeSmart Realty Group - Parker, CO
Metro Denver Real Estate Assistant

Chris Ann, technology is constantly changing and improving and we have to be ready to go with the flow!

Jun 10, 2015 10:13 AM #78
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Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

Donna:  Yes.  We have to be ready to go with the changes.

Jun 10, 2015 10:14 AM #79
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Wayne B. Pruner
Oregon First - Tigard, OR
Tigard Oregon Homes for Sale, Realtor, GRI

I'm always ready for a difficult transaction  when an agent faxes me a contract!

Aug 04, 2015 01:28 PM #80
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Associate Broker, Bristow, VA
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