This RAM is intended mainly for newer agents or any REALTOR® with the right mindset, including myself. Sometimes, writing this article every two weeks reminds me of what is important, so I’ve already implemented steps to follow my own advice!
Have you ever had a buyer client tell you, “We didn’t want to bother you or waste your time looking at that property?”
When this happens to me, I have to remind my clients that there’s nothing I’d rather do than go out to look at properties! It’s the funnest part of the job for me! I hope it is for you too.
I also tell my clients to think about looking at properties as ‘homework.’ The more they see, the more they will learn.
From your perspective, you should think about every viewing as an opportunity to add a little more cement to your relationship and to learn something yourself, whether they buy the property or not.
Always try to maintain a Beginner’s Mindset.
Even without your clients, you can learn a lot by previewing properties, especially in your Geo Farm area if you have one, or even if you don’t.
Simply set yourself up to be notified every time there’s a new listing within the area or specialty you are interested in; then set up a preview as soon as possible after it’s listed.
When I refer to a ‘specialty,’ it doesn’t need to be a Geo Farm necessarily. Maybe you want to become the known expert at a particular property type within a specific price range. Whatever your interest, set up a search for yourself.
To be clear, there’s nothing wrong with previewing listings if you’re up-front about it. Do not pretend that you’re showing the property to clients. Just tell the listing agent it’s a preview, and if the time requested isn’t convenient for the seller, work our a different time.
The listing agent will respect your honesty, and almost always, they’ll try to accommodate your request. But if the seller doesn’t want any previews, don’t worry about it. Just skip that one; no big deal.
If you’re going to be serious about this, I strongly recommend building and maintaining a simple spreadsheet with columns for the MLS number, address, date of preview, price, pros, cons, results, etc. This may seem unnecessary at first, but it will become invaluable later.
Also, set up another search in your system for each property you’ve viewed, so you’ll be notified when there is a change in status. Then you can update the ‘results’ column on your spreadsheet. Just set up a search for the specific MLS numbers you’ve viewed.
To take it to another level, try predicting what will happen. For example, will it sell close to asking? In what time frame?
The insight gained from viewing properties in person, thinking about each one, and then tracking the results, can make a massive difference to your knowledge and skills.
Simply reading the listing agent’s description is okay, but it will never give you the whole story. They never tell us the bad stuff, right?
But it’s the unspoken negatives that fill in the picture, allowing you to speak knowledgeably and gain a greater understanding of what factors truly affect pricing.
This in-depth knowledge will become gold for you later when you’re at an Open House or doing a CMA. After all, it’s one thing to look at the limited information available on listings (the same data available to every one of your competitors). But it’s quite another thing to be the ONLY agent who has previewed every active and recently sold property in the neighbourhood.
This gives you a decisive advantage over all your competitors, including those who tout themselves as the “Area Expert,’ but who don’t have anywhere close to the same level of knowledge you’ve accumulated.
You might be surprised to find out that the True Area Expert is you!
When you run into someone who wants to know the ‘scoop’ on what’s happening in the neighbourhood, you’ll be able to paint a detailed picture based on your in-depth first-hand knowledge. The first time this happens, you will understand the power and confidence of being the True Area Expert.
And you’ll be surprised at how this simple process will help develop your overall skills as a professional real estate agent. For example, you’ll start to develop a sixth sense about pricing. Based on your first-hand knowledge of a concentrated group of listings, you’ll begin to understand what is important and what isn’t.
This knowledge tends to permeate the subconscious and becomes a valuable skill you’ll be able to draw upon, no matter which geographical area you happen to be working in.
It’s not easy to become a true expert in real estate, but once achieved, this can have a profound positive effect on your confidence, and it’s free! All you need is the right attitude, which includes the willingness to stick to it and establish a system, including keeping impeccable notes.
You have to stick to it because you won’t notice much difference after viewing 5-10 listings. After 50-100? You will have achieved the status of True Expert. Now, you need to keep it up.
The next step is to learn how to demonstrate your expertise to as many people as possible. That’s a story for another day. Or perhaps several stories.
I’m glad I wrote this because it’s inspired me to get back to doing it myself. I just booked two previews for this afternoon. This is gonna be fun!