Select the one to suit you!
by Neil Jenman
Reading Time: Apx 8.5 minutes
When it comes to competency, there are only two types of real estate agents – those who ‘wait’ and those who ‘work.’
With the boom all but over – and with reports of a looming crash (mostly by forecasters with a record of being wrong) – it’s more important than ever for home-sellers to choose the agent who’ll get the best result.
“Best result” should be measured in two ways: The final sale price and the total costs.
Here’s how to recognise the two types of real estate agents…
These agents literally sit-n-wait for something to happen.
You’ll see them at ‘open-houses’ each Saturday. Waiting for buyers to show up. If few or no buyers arrive, they say, “Things are quiet.”
When things go slow, wait-agents blame “the market.”
In the boom, when dozens of people turned up to homes, and multiple buyers fought for the same property, wait-agents hailed themselves heroes. They were “Number One.” When buyers were throwing money at them, these agents thrust celebrity upon themselves. It was their brilliance that caused prices to be so high. Not.
Now, wait-agents are worried. With few calls on advertisements and ditto for open-inspections, they complain about the market and consult their foul-mouthed real estate trainer to discover some new method to get sellers down in price.
Wait-agents – and let’s be frank – are lazy. Seriously, they are so lazy that when they win an award, they send someone else to pick it up – just like they often have an EA (executive assistant – because they are so “important”) sit-n-wait at open-for-inspections while they stay out of sight and PTBB. Pretend to be busy.
Here is the life of a typical wait-agent.
Sellers approach them. Usually from an advertisement (paid by naïve home-sellers) or from letterbox flyers or one of those agent-finder sites (which falsely claim to find good agents).
These agents then sign-up sellers with the standard pitch. Most agents are clones. They go to the same training school. And so, the common way for them to win sellers is to promise a humungous price and a low commission (which means sellers sign-up with a liar who can’t even negotiate a decent rate for themselves).
Having signed-up the sellers, the first thing wait-agents do is place advertisements (usually with the money from naïve sellers).
And then these wait-agents just wait – for prospective buyers to contact them.
The second thing is to set an open-inspection. Each week has 10,080 minutes. These agents generously give sellers 30 minutes –at a time to suit the agents. Too bad if it doesn’t suit buyers.
The wait-agents overcome this obvious laziness and stupidity by telling sellers: “If buyers are serious, they’ll come at the open-inspection time.” Sure, buyers will cancel their children’s sporting events or miss their friend’s wedding. Or, if they work weekends, buyers will tell their boss to go jump.
These are the two big ‘waits.’ Waiting for a response to advertising. And waiting for “heads” (as they’re called) to show-up at a weakly inspection (spelling – ‘weakly’ is deliberate).
Wait-agents are weak agents. They are prime pretenders. Many were lured to real estate by the boom and the big money for little effort. Like rats after cheese.
With the boom over, these agents are baffled. They don’t know what to do – other than whinge about the market and “greedy sellers” who won’t reduce their price so these wait-agents can still do what they’ve always done – earn a lot for doing a little.
Unfortunately for today’s home-sellers, wait-agents are about 80 per cent of all agents (that’s conservative).
Don’t hire them. Unless you want to be over-charged and under-sold.
Take the time to find the second type of agent.
A hard-worker is your best chance of getting the best result.
To be sure, hard-workers can be annoying. They bug you months before you think of selling. They clog your emails with insincere newsletters (for which they pay someone who can spell). Speaking of insincerity, they send you cards on special occasions with words that make your skin crawl.
But they want your business.
They are super-keen.
Or, as often said, they are “hungry.” Especially when they’re new.
Salespeople who often sell homes for the best prices are rookies.
Because they don’t know any better.
Experienced (“stale”) salespeople can be like old fat Labradors. They lie out the back of their office scratching themselves and complaining about “over-priced listings.”
Meanwhile, rookies are so excited, they don’t think about prices. They think about matching buyers and sellers. They see a nice home and don’t realise it’s “over-priced”. They contact buyers and show the home – with enthusiasm.
It is often said that true selling is the “transference of enthusiasm.”
New salespeople are enthusiastic.
Until the ‘Labradors’ educate them.
New salespeople are hard workers.
New salespeople pound pavements, going from door-to-door, asking home-owners the same seven-word question “Do you want to sell your house?”
Many owners tell them to get lost. Some say something such as: “When I want to sell my house, I will not choose one who’s been annoying me all the time.”
Is that how you think, sometimes?
What you mean is that, rather than hire the hard-working agent with the courage and character to go from door-to-door looking for work, you’d rather wake-up an old flea-ridden Labrador.
Give it some thought, please.
Some agents might be in-your-face. But it’s hard to beat enthusiasm. And remember this: No agent gets paid until they sell your home (not counting up-front advertising scams, of course). So, in effect, agents need to make two sales: first, to convince sellers to sign-up and, second, to convince buyers to pay a great price.
A work-agent will surpass a wait-agent. A work-agent takes time to improve their skills – in the right direction. Instead of learning scare tactics to push sellers down in price, work-agents work at becoming great negotiators.
Consider the basic life of a work-agent – compared with the wait-agent.
As soon as the work-agent wins a new seller, the work-agent thinks: “Who do I know who’d be interested in this home?”
Before wasting money on advertising – which, as all agents know, often attracts buyers already known to the agents – the work-agent checks prospective buyers who’ve enquired at the agency. The more recent the enquiries, the more likely buyers are to be keen. But even if they go back months, a work-agent will do what wait-agents rarely do. Work to find the right buyers.
The work-agent knows there are many other factors to a home besides the price. The work-agent works at saving the sellers money. They treat the sellers’ money as if it was their own.
If buyers don’t appear, they think how to make the home more appealing. Sometimes this means looking for a different type of buyer. Work-agents are like detectives, they ask themselves: “What sort of person is likely to buy this home?”
They will ask the sellers: “What made you buy this home?” For example, if the reason the current owners bought the home was because it’s close to a school, the work-agent will target parents whose children attend (or are likely to attend) that school. The same applies with hospitals and medical workers.
Work-agents don’t just work harder, they think harder.
The most obvious indication of an agent who works instead of waits is one who works when buyers are most available.
Buyers appreciate agents who make it easy to discuss and inspect homes. Buyers are most available from around 5pm each weekday and all-day Saturday and Sunday. And yet these are the times most agents are closed. It’s nonsensical.
Consider this: If you owned a restaurant, would you close it on Friday and Saturday nights? If you were a priest, would you shut your Church on Sunday? Of course not.
In almost every area, you will find at least one or two agents open seven days and after-hours. These agents have a tremendous edge over their competitors. They are the hard-workers, and their effort pays off, not just for their clients, the home-sellers, but themselves.
Yet, there is a lot of pressure on hard-working agents to ‘fall into line’ and join lazy agents. If one agent opens extended hours, other agents will often send a spokesperson to ‘reason’ with the hard-working agent. The pitch goes something like this: “We have trained the buyers in this area to do business with us Monday to Friday. We want time with our families on the weekends, so please do not open extended hours. If the buyers are serious, they will come back during the week.”
But that’s not true.
When agents are closed, buyers go to an agent who’s open. They may even consider a different area. Hard-working agents have a secret they don’t want other agents to discover – hard work pays off.
There is a saying about business and work: Hard work makes your dreams come true.
So, remember, when you need to sell your home, there are two types of agents: Those who WAIT and those who WORK. Choose an agent who works.
The reasons are many but a big one is this: Hard workers can make your dreams come true too.