Posts Tagged as commission

Do You REALLY Know Your Customer?

The most successful real estate professionals are “people” people. Even in the modern world, where more and more of the real estate transaction takes place online, the business itself is conducted by real people, in often intense and stressful situations … Really get to know your customer, and you’ll likely get to know them again, as well as some of their friends, family or colleagues.

I had lunch with a friend last week. She and her husband are in the process of selling their home and buying another. They’re using the same real estate agent they’ve used for two other transactions in the past, and have been loyal to her. She’s done a great job and looked out for their best interests. But things have seemingly changed and they are displeased. The home they’re selling has received an offer of nearly $1.5 million. They’ve placed an offer of $2.25 million on the home they’re hoping to purchase. There is significant commission involved, and their agent doesn’t realize how close she is to losing these clients, not to mention their referral network. This got me thinking about how important it is (in any business, really) to know your customer. As a real estate professional, when relationships are critical to success, it’s even more important.

While the vast majority of homebuyers today use the internet for their search, NAR tells us that 90% of those who used the internet for their search still went on to purchase a home through an agent. “In fact, buyers who used the internet were more likely than those who did not use the internet to purchase their home through an agent,” says NAR’s most recent Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers report.

The most successful real estate professionals are “people” people. Even in the modern world, where more and more of the real estate transaction takes place online, the business itself is conducted by real people, in often intense and stressful situations. And when it involves money, personal finances and the dream of homeownership, the intensity increases. A home is often a family’s biggest life purchase. Agents and brokers who can temper than intensity and really read their clients will build strong and lasting, lucrative relationships. In my friends’ case, they’ve been left feeling like their longtime agent is neglecting their best interests because she is too focused on closing the sale at all costs. In other words, she sees the carrot of commission dangling just within reach and has lost the ability to see further beyond that. It will cost her in the long run. After all, even in this online world, 54% of homebuyers find their real estate agent through a referral or as a repeat client, according to NAR.

Most real estate professionals will tout their trust worthiness. But can you back yours up? Do you know what keeps your home buyer clients up at night? Do you understand their motivations, hesitations and fears? If you do, you are steps ahead already. It takes sitting back and understanding that the experience is not about you, even though you make be doing all the hard work. It isn’t glamorous, but the results are worth it.

How can you do this? Start by paying attention – not just to what your customers are saying, but to their tone, inflection, body language and facial expressions. Pay attention to the little details. Ask questions, probe gently; get on the same page. Keep it personal and prompt, as much as possible. Remember things can come off harsher in text, so keep any potentially upsetting news to a phone call or face-to-face. Be responsive and professional, but keep an air of friendliness. You clients want and need to know that you “have their back”, so to speak. Lastly, follow up. Don’t keep your nose so close to the fence that you miss what’s happening around you and lose the chain of referral and repeat business.

Really get to know your customer, and you’ll likely get to know them again, as well as some of their friends, family or colleagues.

Sell More Houses With Videos!

5 Good Reasons to Use a Real Estate Agent

Unless you are a realtor or retired agent, it’s not a smart idea and may cost you in real dollars. Here are 5 good reasons to use a real estate agent.

As the real estate industry continues to move online, and as buyers and sellers have increasingly easy access to real estate data and information, more and more buyers and sellers may decide to go it alone, without the help of a real estate professional. But unless you are a realtor or a retired agent, it’s not generally a smart idea and may cost the home seller in real dollars. Here are 5 good reasons to use a real estate agent. Drumroll, please …

Split the check. Really, the major reason people choose to buy and sell homes without a professional comes down to money. They want to save on commission. But what if buyer AND seller are playing this game? The sale price of a home takes an agent’s commission into account. Comps on houses in your area are made on houses that overwhelmingly are sold by agent. But if they buyer is also going agent-free, they’ll likely offer down, because they know the agent’s fee isn’t necessary. Buyer and seller can’t collect the unpaid commission. Someone’s going to lose.

Don’t you already have a full time job? Selling or buying property can be extremely time intensive. There is a lot of research to begin, home viewing, deal making, negotiating, etc. Whether you work outside the home or not, unlike a professional realtor, I can bet you aren’t working the real estate circuit 40+ hours a week. A qualified agent has access to properties and agents you don’t, can track down and vet houses that meet your specifications, schedule appointments and play phone tag on your behalf. Selling without an agent is even more time consuming and a lot less fun. You have to solicit all the calls from potential buyers, someone weed out the looky-loos, answer questions, show viewers through your home, prep and stage, and more. What happens if the home doesn’t sell in a timely fashion? It starts to get a bad rep. Not worth it.

Did you captain the debate team in high school? Negotiating is tricky business. Sellers often have a lot of personal attachment and can’t see things outside of that bias. Buyers may not feel confident about speaking up when they see a potential issue. Or they may feel overly confident and do damage when they simply want to criticize what they see as hideous decorating techniques. Agents can represent your interests, leaving the parties with emotional involvement right out of the thick of things. Deals have gone dead over insults, real or imagined. Let your agent play the bad cop, if necessary. Let them schmooze, too.

It’s a trust thing. Your agent, if working under a conventional, full-service commission agreement, is bound by law to work in your best interests. Now that doesn’t mean all agents are created equal and all are equally trustworthy. But it does mean that you have recourse if something goes wrong. Your agent is responsible to his broker or professional association and to the state in which he is licensed. What’s more, your agent probably got your business based on referral. And he or she will count on you to do the same. This is further incentive, beyond the legal obligation, to put your needs first when it comes to buying or selling a home. On the other hand, if you buy from a FSBO and you’re without an agent, you have two people working for their own interests, with much less holding them to honesty and accountability. Hiring a lawyer later is much more expensive than securing a real estate agent at the start.

Sign on the dotted line. Speaking of lawyers, you may need one if you choose not to use an agent or broker. Contracts are vital, and they aren’t always easy to understand. What if you fail to make financing one of the conditions of the sale, for instance, and then find you aren’t approved for the mortgage? The seller could sue you, could keep your deposit, and could derail your home buying dream. Using an agent ensures you have someone on your side well versed in real estate contracts who can look out for any red flags or potential pit falls and make sure you have everything you need secured and in writing from the get-go.

Real estate isn’t a simple business. Do yourself a favor and rely on a professional. Happy house hunting and selling!

Agents, please feel free to send this on to your clients or share it on your own blogs and social media (with proper credit). And let me know any other reasons you suggest home buyers and sellers use a real estate professional!