By Michelle Flaherty Philbrook
A while back, I got a call on a condo listing of mine. The potential buyers were a retirement-age couple looking for a new place just large enough for their kids to stop by for a visit, but just small enough that their fledglings couldn’t fully return to the nest.
I showed the condo, and when it wasn’t a fit, I brought them on as buyer clients. After we became more comfortable with each other, this couple confided in me that they initially thought I looked “way too young to be [their] agent,” but that in the context of having met other agents both recently and over the years, they felt I was uniquely equipped help them meet their goals. I think the reasons we were so compatible can be applied rather universally, so if you don’t mind entertaining the occasional demographic stereotype, read on for how Gen Y traits can uniquely serve some common Baby Boomer needs.
Baby Boomer with a Sense of Urgency? Meet Gen Y with Fast Texting Fingers. As a general rule, most people don’t become more patient with age — a fact of life that works in favor of agents raised in the age of text messaging and real-time e-mail. When these buyers inquired via e-mail on my condo, I called them right away. And when the property didn’t work for them, I got their search set up the same day. They told me later that none of the other brokers came close to that level of responsiveness.
Baby Boomer with Intelligent Questions Based on Experience? Meet Gen Y with Fab Research Skills. The way that I was able to quickly aggregate property information from multiple (and at times obscure) sources beyond the MLS really impressed my boomer clients. The 2010 Census confirmed that the percentage of post-secondary graduates among the U.S. population is at an all-time high, so it follows that most YPNers can likely offer extensive research skills. And in an industry like ours with ever-changing guidelines, best practices, and technology, it is more valuable to be a quick study than a deep topic expert.
Baby Boomer with Very Specific Needs? Meet Gen Y Power Networking: Continue reading »
By Scott Newman
With the market picking up steam, buyers are out there scooping up homes and they’re counting on you as their agent to help them navigate the treacherous waters of their transaction. When they are buying a condo, that path can be filled with even more landmines, and you have a whole new realm of elements to account for when advising your buyer clients. I’ve outlined some best practices for agents below who are representing buyers purchasing a condo.
Understand the Financials
Nothing will make you look more foolish than advising your client to make an offer, having it accepted, and then finding out there is something wrong with the building that prohibits financing. Review condo documents and know what’s going on with the overall health of the building your client is interested in — this is not just your attorney’s job post contract execution — it’s your job before your client ever puts pen to paper! Request a 22.1 disclosure, call the management company, speak to the listing agent — do whatever you need to do to ensure that the building your client wants to buy in qualifies for the type of loan your client is applying for.
Know Your Client
I cannot tell you how many times I’ve had a listing that gets put under contract, only to have the deal fall apart for ridiculous reasons that could have been brought to light long before an offer was made. Again, as the buyer’s agent, your job is to stay on top of these situations to ensure that you come across as a professional and that your client isn’t wasting their time. The only way to do this is to ask the right questions!
Do your clients have a dog or are they planning to buy one during their residency in the building? Are they planning to smoke inside their unit? Do they like to host company during very late hours? These can all be potential issues for a client as the rules in condo buildings can vary wildly, so it’s never safe to assume anything!
All of the above are examples of questions you should be asking to ensure that your client isn’t wasting their time. Get the right information ahead of time and call the HOA or listing agent personally to ensure that your client’s unique needs will be met by the building.
Do Your Homework
The time to find out whether or not the building has a pool or how nice the gym is should not be when you show up to the property with your client. Continue reading »
By Brooke Wolford
You may wondering what science has to do with sales…really what I am referring to is the chemical reaction that happens in your clients brains that ultimately leads them to begin a relationship with you. What mental perception does your client get that triggers a spark?
You can look at the beginning process of a client contacting you for the first time. What initiated their contact with you? There are several levels a client could be at in the process, all stemming from how they initially contacted you.
- They randomly came across your name somewhere, but they really don’t know much about you.
- They came across your name and have done a lot of research on you and are ready to sign a contract with you.
- They were referred by a friend or business partner and may or may not be sold on you yet.
Realistically, you can look into these three things to “get inside their mind.”
The person in #1, it’s still up to you to sell them your services. What you should be doing is researching your competition and finding out what led them to you. You can really figure someone out by their impulse decisions. You can think of it like when someone is standing at a cash register and they end up grabbing something close by the register. Was it just because it was there or was it because they needed it? Continue reading »
By Jessica Hickok
As in every job, there are difficult tasks that you have to take on. One of the difficult tasks that we face as REALTORS® is telling a seller that their house is overpriced and that they need to make a reduction in order to get it sold. However, you can make this job easier taking the following action steps:
- Documentation. Sure, this one is easy because we’ve heard it a million times. Do your homework and show the actual market analysis and really study the comparables. Especially the U/C’s and Solds in the last six months. Know the data inside and out and then show your seller the facts on paper. It’s hard for anyone to ignore the data and the facts when they are staring them in the face.
- Don’t use the economy as an excuse. Actually, don’t use any excuse or apology when advising your seller to lower their list price. Oftentimes people feel like they need to apologize to soften the blow. You have nothing to apologize for, because it is what it is. Give the facts and stand firm in it. You didn’t create the market conditions.
- And lastly, stay in contact with your seller. Don’t let several weeks go by without being in touch with them. When you are constantly in contact updating your seller, it will be easier to ask for the price reduction. Keep in contact with your sellers via e-mail, text messages, Facebook and/or short phone calls just to say hello and give a quick update.
So swallow the frog while it is still a small tadpole. Be proactive in research, make no apologies for doing your job and keep in contact. It’s been stated that one of the big pet peeves a seller has is that their real estate practitioner doesn’t let them know what’s going on. The bottom line is that your sellers will respect you for doing your job.
Jessica Hickok, a self-proclaimed blogging- and Twittering-fanatic, is with Dizmang Properties in Springfield, Mo. Visit Jessica’s blog: www.jessicahickok.com.