Let’s face facts: the boise real estate market is stabilizing (not declining-stabilizing) and interests’ rates aren’t exactly climbing up the wahoo. So, what does that means for you? People are still going to buy houses. You just have to work smarter not harder. In fact, if you’re a realtor in this market and you haven’t been in the business for more than 3 years, let me tell you how it’s going to be for the next 2-3 years. This is my advice for newer associates and spoiled, excuse me, season agents who now have to leave their home offices.
First: There are 4 things that keep the market going:
Birth, Marriage, Divorce and Death; as long as these things continue to happen, you should be fine.
Second: You have inventory to sell houses. If you just got into the business, you gotta act as if. This means find one house that shows well and if it’s reasonably priced to sell, sit at it every other Sunday. Rotate houses until you get your own listing. Conducting an open house is one great way to network. You have the product and interested parties, whether they are 9 months or 9 days way from buying, will follow the balloons and stop by especially if the house is new to the market.
Now that you have the client in the door, you might say to yourself, “now what?” Well, keeping with the act as if mentally, introduce yourself as the neighborhood specialist; get their accurate contact information. Find out what motivated them to come in and find some reason to call them the very next day. You have to respond to them at least 4 times within 1 month to establish buyer loyalty. Don’t forget that buyers are not the only people that come through open houses. You might have a noisy neighborhood who is thinking about selling in a couple of months, or a pissed off seller, who’s agent has contacted them in three weeks. The opportunities are endless. You just have to create an atmosphere of urgency. I’ll talk about that later.
Third: Accept that not everyone is going to turn into a client. I’m a strong believer that open houses can jump start your career. It did for me and when I was acting as if, my leads had no idea I had gotten my real estate license two weeks prior to being in front of them telling them I was the neighborhood specialist. And after a couple of years in the business, guess what? I am the neighborhood specialist. I’ve seen the same house sell twice in my short career as an agent. I can tell them about the wall paper the previous owners had or the red carpet that they apparently had on sale in 1981.
Even still, if you have 7 guests at your open house, one person or couple would want to work with you. Buyers are not only shopping open houses. They’re shopping agents and they trying to find someone they trust and someone they won’t kill in the car. I ridden around with couples I didn’t care for and the car rides were painful. This business is time consuming. If you’re going to spend your time with people, at least do it with people that you like. With the same breath, I realize that not everyone like me. People buy People before they buy product or service. If the buyer can’t see the value of having you as their agent, walk away and work on another lead.
If it’s your first listing, you should naturally scream off the top of your lungs that you have a property to sell and you should tell everyone you know even if they’re not buyers. Call everyone in the neighborhood. Ask them if they know someone that wants to move in. Tell them there’s no better way to choose a neighbor other than recommending one. Ask them to come to the open house and give feedback on price and condition. Remember you’re there to network. You might be thinking that I’m forgetting the obvious reason why you are even at the house. Yes, sell it to the serious buyers. Have a contract out on the dinning room table or stable it to the wall. Give out those calendars with your picture on it. Some buyers go home and stick it on the refrigerator and call you 4-6 months down the road because you’ve been in contact with them once or twice within that 4-6 month period.
Four: Get some time of contact management system in place. Document everyone you meet; names address and phone numbers. These people become your network and give you referral i.e. business you didn’t have to prospect for.
Five: Don’t turn into a know it all. If you have some success in this business, pat yourself on the back. A large percentage of the people that become real estate agents leave within the first two years not because they can’t cut it, but because they don’t want to cut it anymore. It’s hard to manage people when your mortgage or car payment is on the line. Just follow the golden rule no matter how large that commission check might be. The real estate God is always watching.
Sixth bit of advice and the most important one: Don’t count the dollars. Count the success stories and if at all possible, stir clear of grumpy agents. They have a funny way of bringing you down.
I hope this helps. Look for more stuff on real estate from me. I find myself with more time on my hands now that I’m home all the time . . . just kidding!