Keeping the REAL in Real Estate!

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Real Estate Agent - EXIT Realty Premier
This is an easy-going guide for fellow Realtors®. It is more of a refresher to what should and shouldn't be done when working with clients.
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Charles Bianco

Charles Bianco Realtor
local_phone(516) 444-5341
smartphone(516) 444-5341
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(I literally wrote this in about 25 minutes. I am sure that there may be some grammatical ( ;) ) errors and the like. This was all done off the top of my head. I truly wanted to contribute something to the community. I wish everyone on here the best of luck and should there be any questions, please feel free to reach out to me, I enjoy reading and responding!) One of the most common questions I am asked by friends and family members: "Charles, is honesty truly the best policy?" The obvious answer to this, of course, is yes. However so many individuals fear keeping honest with not only those around them, but themselves. When you answer a question or respond to a statement, it is a reaction that is caused, in one part, a feeling of defense or adversity. Alternatively, that same question may prompt honesty and may become genuine in nature. The interesting aspect here is that the determining factor isn't within the nature of the question or statement itself, but how your mind and body reacts to it when it is heard. Your own personality and influence from those around you best determines your reaction. Unfortunately, this reaction releases a trigger which then results in your response. Before you even dare respond, you've already devised your answer and have based this answer on your own premeditated "end result". Because of this, whatever the nature of your response, your follow-up to the response given by the receiving individual will almost inevitably match your initial statement (response) in an effort to ensure your point of view is successfully understood. What does this mean to YOU? As previously stated, you are well aware of the nature of your response. The response and its nature will reflect in your business. It's your responsibility to, first, acknowledge your own nature, and secondly to adjust it so that your responses are all honest and true in nature. Believe it or not, those whom you speak to may be capable of determining the true nature of your statement. These individuals may not alert you to their ability to see your true meaning and that is the risk you take when you are not truthful and honest. Informing your potential client that they can sell their home for $450,000.00 in a market where the top-priced, brand new, modernized and fully upgraded home on the block can sell for no more than $375,000.00 in an attempt to get the exclusive signature is not only bad business and unethical, but will also become a rude awakening for your client when he/she/they discover that the reason for the lack of movement and activity on their home is causing a dramatic reduction in price. It's at this point that your client(s) begin to question your ability to properly market and sell their home, worse yet, they begin to tell those around them that your services are not as amazing as you had originally stated. You were not truthful. In this case, it could very well have been your own fear to tell them the truth about their home, or perhaps you wanted the listing so badly that you were willing to tell the homeowner(s) anything in an effort to secure it. Whatever the case, is not only wrong, but may now cause you future business in the neighborhood, and as we all know, if one house goes up for sale in the neighborhood, there is a good shot that there may be another that will be doing the same, and now you've already got an uphill climb since your original client will likely be speaking not-so-highly of your abilities. Let's take the same situation and apply the obvious approach. Your client (as we have seen many times) is asking for an extraordinary amount for their home and have convinced themselves that their house is the ultra special house in the neighborhood and is worth much more then the rest, despite your CMA clearly showing that their home is on average with the rest. You had already seen this house during the interview process with your client and the inside reflects a lot of the same, no major improvements, a couple of new appliances (which were expensive for the client, but typical for any other homeowner who is updating appliances), but all-in-all, nothing spectacular. How do you explain to your clients the reality of the situation and keep them signing with you? Well you've used the honest approach! This is how you secured the listing and maintained the client! You set the expectations while fully educating them to the situation while making careful, yet impacting statements, ultimately keeping communication open: 1. "Mr/Mrs client(s), I understand that your home is spectacular and I agree! In my experience selling homes, I've come to realize that the greatest successes my clients have had included paying close attention to the market around them." - What you've done here was to acknowledge the homeowners home! Very seldom do Homeowners actually feel their home is ordinary. After all, they've lived in it for years, have held parties and get together, have had happy and sad times, done lots of handy-work and have had their experiences in it. By taking note of this, you're acknowledging the personal value of their home, while at the same time, educating them to the fact that if they are unreasonable, the result may not be "success". Now let's say your client(s) are thankful for your recognition, however, they aren't sold just yet that their home isn't worth the $450,000.00 that they want for it: 2. "Mr/Mrs clients(s), if you take a look at this report, listing your home at that price will not bring you back the result that you are looking for." At this point, you can reinforce this statement with the homes-not-sold section of your CMA, explain to the client(s) that the highest cost home either sat on the market for a year, and point this out to them! Perhaps the highest price home DID sell and is in that ballpark price range, did it have more bedrooms? Was their a significant geographical advantage to that home? Was there some sort of reason otherwise for that home to have been priced so unusually high? - Keep in mind that you are in control of the situation. Having control of the situation does not sacrifice Open Communication and honesty. Remember, YOU are the professional and your client is looking to take advantage of your services! Many other questions will likely arise during the home purchase/sale process. It's up to you to make sure that you not only remain ethical, but that you also ensure that a constant open line of communication is established and maintained. Your client(s) truly do enjoy your service and have hired you because they trust that you can get the job done. Part of this also includes your telling them the good, the bad and even the ugly, but most importantly the truth. This is keeping the REAL in Real Estate.