My Foray into a 4-Unit Part III…Etiquette (or lack thereof)

Before I get started, I know someone will get mad at me…So, here are your choices! Stop reading, change the channel, or grow up!

For the rest of you…here goes.

As you know I have recently listed a 4-Unit and I am documenting my “re-entry” into the “residential” market. I have had numerous calls on the property and several showings; however, I am “aghast” at the unmitigated lack of professionalism, common-sense, and courtesy.

First, do not ask me “how much will the Seller take?” I don’t work for you…I work for the Seller why on god’s green earth would I tell you that the Seller would accept a lower price than the listing price? Does anybody remember real estate school? If you have a listing with a Seller, even if you do not “represent” them as a fiduciary you still have the obligation to work in the Seller/Customers best interest.

How would I be representing the Seller’s best interest by telling a Competing Broker, Agent, or Buyer that the Seller will take less than the full asking price? I also love the slightly more “veiled” approach…why is the Seller selling? Nun-ya! Nun ya damn business…the Seller is selling because they wish to…end of story.

Second, do not call into to question my “business acumen”. Do not insult the Listing Broker. I have been at this a whole lot longer than 90% of the agents in the business and I know what I am doing.

I schedule multiple showings “simultaneously” to reduce the amount of time we disrupt the tenants. Don’t like it, think it’s unfair having a bunch of buyers show up at the same time… don’t show my listings. This may be hard to believe but there are thousands of buyers for every property…Next!

Try and understand that the world doesn’t revolve around you and your prospect…other people are involved and have lives, jobs, and prior commitments.

Don’t regale me with your version of why the pricing is way off! I don’t care…make an offer and see if your right otherwise your just blowing hot air…and there is enough of that to go around! Have some respect for your fellow agents, show up on time, confirm your appointment, don’t rely on text’s some of us don’t read them…and if you’re not going to show share that too!

Third, fill out the paperwork completely and return it promptly. I know it’s a lot to ask…fill out a cooperating brokers agreement and provide a proof of funds or prequalification letter/certificate.

Do you want to get paid? Then fill out the agreement. The cooperating agreement is for your protection…if we get into a transaction and something tragic happens to me…how do you “prove” your right to a commission. And don’t say the MLS! The MLS will not pay you, they will not represent you in a court proceeding, they will not pay your legal bills. The MLS is simply an advertising service.

By filling out the cooperating brokers’ agreement you are also protecting yourself from the prospective buyer going and seeing the property with another broker and cutting you out! I know that never happens in residential real estate, but it happens all the time in commercial real estate.
By completing the cooperating brokers’ agreement, you are providing me the information I will need to get back to you in the event of any changes…like a price reduction, or owner financing.

I guess in short it can be reduced to the Golden Rule… “One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself

1. Call, confirm, and show up on time…if you can’t call and cancel or reschedule…try to be flexible.
2. Don’t ask questions you know that the listing agent “can’t” answer
3. Be respectful…we’re all in this business together
4. If you need to sign a C.A., N.C.N.D., and provide proof of funds or a C.V. just do it…or move on.
5. Put yourself in the listing agents’ shoes…how would you like it if….

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For those of you with inquiring minds that don’t know me, I have been in the business going on 36 years. I was a broker in two states, real estate instructor in two states, I have written 9 books, trained thousands of agents, and have brokered, managed, or supervised nearly $2.5 Billion in commercial transactions.

My Foray Into a 4 Unit Part II

I have been teaching this for years…but every now and again you need to sit down and reexamine your situation.

My situation is that I haven’t had to use the MLS, IMAPP or any of that stuff for years so I am having to relearn it as I go!

Here is the thing that I do know! There are only three (yes, 3 count ‘em) major complaints you’ll ever hear from a Seller.

I listed my property and never heard from the agent again!
I have no Idea what they are doing…if anything!
I don’t think they advertised my property at all!

Back in the last century, I kept hearing that over and over again and decided to come up with a plan. And like just about everything else I made a workshop out of it to render the process transferable.

I called it the “8 Secrets to Maintain More Listings, Satisfy Sellers, and Cash More Commissions Checks” I even put together 40 Listing Retention Letters. That list has now grown to nearly 60 letters.

Here’s what I do.

When I first take a listing I get back to the office and print out and mail the Broker’s thank you letter. The letter is pre-written and formatted and saved on my computer with the brokers scanned signature. That way I can get the letter out quickly and don’t have to chase my employing broker to get an autograph.

I send the letter out “snail mail”. Why? Well, in the real estate business perception is reality. By sending it “snail mail” you make it real, tangible, something that really exists. Think about it how many emails do you get a day…how many do you delete without ever reading. How many of you are like me…I get going on a “delete-fest” and sometimes I get out of control. I delete stuff I should have looked at, but I figure if it was important enough they’ll send it again.

I have my first week of activity done…and memorialized! The Seller gets the letter and sees that I am working on their behalf and everyone is happy.

But wait there’s more…

I have another letter called the Sales Managers Thank you letter and guess who that comes from? That’s right my Sales Manager. The letter is different than the Broker’s thank you letter but you get my point. It’s Wednesday and we have our sales meeting at which I present my new listing to all of my fellow agents in the office. I have a letter for that. I put it in the MLS, I have a letter for that. I put the listing in LoopNet I not only have a letter for that but I include a copy of the LoopNet listing for them to see.

I have letters for about 50-60 different activities that I use when marketing a property. Everything from the Boards Commercial Roun table, to the CIMLS, Craigs List, Twitter, Linkedin, you name it I got them.

But before you start getting nuts…let me give you some advice. First, don’t do them all in one week. You’ll drive you Seller nuts with a “phone” books worth of letters and ads. Do one a week I recommend Friday, that way you can summarize all that you have done for them during the week.

Second, Do not, DO NOT, DO NOT…rely on email I can assure you that they will not be received, seen, or remembered. Send them “snail mail” this is one of those occasions where using stationary and letterhead is to your advantage. Make it habit at the end of the day Friday to get you Listing Retention Letters out.

Third, and finally, do not stop…unless and until they tell you to! In 35 going on 36 years in the business, I have had only 3 people tell to stop sending them updates. So I did. Here is the reality, unless you are under instructions from your principal or broker you don’t stop marketing until the property has closed. If you haven’t had a deal blow up in due diligence you will, and if you have stopped marketing guess what…your already weeks behind.

If you would like a free copy of the EBook and the preformatted Listing Retention Letters click the link below…remember to take my name off them and change the address and logo before you use them.

Click the link below for the free Ebook and Listing Retention Letters.