Real Estate News

October 2017

Everyone wants leads. When I talk to an agent, the first question I get is how many leads will you give me? Funny, I thought agents were in the commission business, but maybe I was wrong and they want to be paid on a per hour basis like a clerk.

Seriously, what is more important than the number of leads is the quality of the leads. Many companies are in the business of supplying (for a price) internet leads. The problem is that they take time to cultivate – as long as six months – and the conversion rate is under 5%! When you do the math, that works out to less than minimum wage for the hours devoted to the cause.

So where do the best leads come from? They come from your client database. You do not have to cultivate them over long periods of time and the conversion rate is over 70%. To show you how important a client database can be, I had an agent who was grossing a $100,000 a year and wanted to double their commissions. I asked them how many clients they had in their base? The answer about 100! I said your challenge is simple: just get to 200 clients!

Building a client database should become your number one priority. As a start, phone all of your existing clients and ask them to refer you to a friend that they would be comfortable with you referencing them. Note, I did not say: do you know someone who maybe buying or selling in the near future. That answer is always no! Talk to people every day.

Everyone is interested in the real estate market. Just ask them if they would like to be kept up to date with market information monthly, via email. Everyone says yes to that. Just add one person a day and you can have a working client base in less than six months!! So what are you waiting for??

September 2017

Disruptive technologies have swept several industries – Uber in the taxi industry and Airbnb in the hotel industry to name just two. Real estate is extremely attractive for disruptors because of its size and the fact that the basic business model has not changed for years.

I have just finished reading Zillow Talk – written by two of its founders. I found it to be a Malcolm Gladwell version on real estate – interesting but not really deep. Besides Zillow, there are lots of new companies coming to our industry with millions of dollars of venture capital behind them. Will they succeed? Yes, but only if we let them!

Let me explain. These new technology companies want to make the transaction faster and cheaper. The client is only a number.
Many agents are what we call ‘transactional’ agents. They find the property and they do the offer. All correct but that is it. Then, there are what we call ‘counselor or consultant’ agents. They are usually the highest performing agents. They do more than the transaction. They provide advice and add value to the client relationship: from creating a long term real estate plan for the client to helping with the smallest detail on moving day and beyond. A web based platform can’t do that!

So, where do you see your business? If you are just a transactional agent you could be ‘road kill’. If you are a counselor agent, then you have nothing to fear. So, call me if you want to be that counselor agent.

August 2017

Recently I had a potential seller phone to say that an agent from our Brokerage suggested a List Price that was too low and he would not be listing with us. Why would any agent suggest a list price at all?

The role of the agent is to gather market information (solds and current listings) and explain the differences in these properties to the subject property. Interpreting the data is the agent expertise – not setting a list price. So, ask the seller what he would like to list at?

Most sellers pick an agent based on list price and commission price versus value. Don’t eliminate yourself because of list price. If the seller wants a list price that is too high, simply say: I guess you are not in a hurry to sell. The seller will ask why? The answer is that you have to sell their property at least twice. You will bring buyers to their property but you will also show them comparables (just like other agents). The better-valued property has to sell first before their property will sell. So, take a six-month listing and wait.

July 2017

Market Share is a critical measure for both agents and brokerages. In a ‘hot’ market everyone makes sales. But did you know that good agents generally lose market share. So, when do good agents make it back? When the market is changing and when the market is slow. That’s when.

Did you lose listings because someone would list it for less? Probably against those agents who don’t know how to price a property and who do no marketing- they just list it on MLS with Offers in a week. Now these same agents will struggle.

Here’s your chance to get your business back on track and build back your market share. That’s where you need a dynamite Listing Presentation. What Marketing Programs do you have in place to wow potential Sellers? You need great pictures, video, feature sheets, etc. (While most searches start on the Internet, buyers will skip your listing if the pictures and presentation are poor. There are just too many listings to view and potential buyers have a very short attention span when looking.) You need to dial up your social media presence and your ability to promote your listings to a wide range of potential buyers.

If you think your Listing Presentation needs a tune up for the coming Fall Market, where substance will again be key, then why not contact us for a free review and help.

June 2017

The market has changed -the exact date was the end of March for those who want to tell their clients. That was twenty days before Kathleen Wynne’s 16 Point Fair Housing Plan. Now, a market change is a great thing for the best agents, and a problem for those agents who post listings and who work part time in the business.

First, here’s your chance to contact or phone your data base to bring them up to speed on prices and availability of listings. You probably have a number of buyers who could not find a decent property without overbidding? Now is the time to warm them up. The current ‘market pause’ will not last long – think of 9/11, Sars, and 2008. These events had a far more serious impact on market psychology and these ‘pauses’ lasted at most six months. Our current ‘pause’ will be much shorter and so the window to buy will also be less.

For sellers (and there are still those who need to sell in the upcoming months), pricing the property correctly has never been harder or more important. There is no skill to underpricing a property. What’s the difference between going a hundred or two hundred under market when everything was selling for hundreds above? Today, pricing a property is perhaps the greatest skill an agent has to offer. Price too low and you leave money on the table, as no buyers will go over list. Price too high and you get no offers and hence no sale.

More than ever, consumers need a great agent to navigate this market – not those who cut their commission and have nothing else to offer. Which camp are you in?