Marketing The Property
Having listed a property for sale, the sales person should send back a copy of it to the brokerage and, at the same time; deal out copies of the listing within the office in agreement with the brokerage plan. Even after the listing has been obtained, it is the responsibility of the sales person to authenticate if any data provided at the time of listing has been left unfinished. And if the listing is Multiple Listing Service (MLS), the sales person needs to dispatch a copy of the listing to the real estate board in accordance to the right rules and guidelines. This is, however, not required in the event of an exclusive listing of a real estate property.
Soon after the listing has been acquired, the sales person should fix a suitable occasion for a preliminary scrutiny or assessment of the property by the marketing representatives serving on behalf of the brokerage. In the instance of an MLS listing, the inspection is done by the sales representatives of the co-operating brokerage. Such inspections provide several benefits as they instantly notify a large number of sales persons regarding the plans of the owner to sell the property. In addition, these assessments help in authenticating the price of the real estate asset, build up a good feeling between on the seller/ owner as well as the sales persons and enable the owner to avoid several individual inspections for different sales people.
Floor duty time
In real estate business, the floor duty time refers to the official working hours of the marketing agents during which they are supposed to attend client service phone calls and answer to all walk-in inquests related to the properties as well as the listing of the properties. The process for conducting floor duty, allocation of times and the presence of such times differ significantly and are completely based on the brokerage program or strategy and the assignment agreements between the sales persons and the brokerage employing them.
In the event of the working hours being offered in the brokerage or share of profit, specific cues and directions may prove to be of great assistance to the sales persons. Below are some tips and cues in this regard.
- The instantaneous response of the prospects getting in touch with the brokerage is frequently executed by the sales person on floor duty.
- The floor duty personnel should be well-versed regarding all listed property, have prompt accessibility to all requisite books and be informed of all publicized real estate assets. In fact, it is advisable that the sales persons keep the recently published promotions in such a manner that they may be used for quick citations. It is also important to have duplicates of good alternates of the publicized property. The most important thing to remember here is that the prospect or caller does not necessarily purchase the advertised property. In effect, the publicized property just attracts their attention and it is the responsibility of the sales person to search out the appropriate property that will suit the prospect's requirements.
- It is essential for the floor duty sales person to always remain adequately prepared and have everything under his or her control. The sales person should never unnecessarily jumble up to find articles such as the listing books, amortization book, appointment book, location map, calculator, scratch paper and others.
With a view to facilitate their functioning and make it more effective, many brokerages maintain recording sheets that are duly filled by their marketing agents offering information regarding the real estate assets that are generating prospects' interests and the effectual ads or promotional related to the listed properties. Such record sheets often enable the sales person on duty to offer help to other marketing agents and the cooperating brokerages in matters related to the listed properties and their status in the market. If the brokerage office is a small one, the record sheets may also incorporate attending telephone calls or walk-in inquiries and noting down message for their associate marketing agents.
For sale sign
The 'For Sale' sign plays a vital role in enhancing the marketability of a real estate property. The display signboard is 'on duty' or exists for 24 hours attracting the attention of prospective buyers. On the other hand, the absence of a 'For Sale' notice is likely to hamper the possibility of a property being sold within a specific time frame. For instance, a lot many prospective buyers drive around the localities of the preference looking for the 'For Sale' signs on buildings and when they find a suitable property displaying the notice, they contact the relevant persons for negotiations.
In other words, when you put up a 'For Sale' notice on a building or vacant land, it notifies the neighbors as well as all other concerned that the property is up on sale. Keeping in view the fact that the neighbors are always valuable informants for their acquaintances and relations, the 'For Sale' sign is an important promotional measure to enhance the saleability of a property in the market. Although many sellers/ property owners are averse to the idea of putting up a 'For Sale' notice that would essentially enable the neighbors to learn that the property is on sale, the fact remains that even if you don't put up a 'For Sale' sign, the neighbors will eventually find out that the owner intends to sell the property from the regular visits of the sales persons and prospective buyers and other marketing activities designed to sell the asset.
However, before a sales person or brokerage advises a seller to put up a 'For Sale' sign at the property, they need to mull over several aspects regarding the use of such a notice. Here are a few points and advantages that the sellers as well as the brokerage/ sales persons need to bear in mind while putting up a 'For Sale' notice for their property.
- First and foremost, a 'For Sale' sign enables the property to articulate for itself.
- It is advisable to put up the 'For Sale' sign in a high traffic zone as the number of people walking or driving by the property regularly alone is highly effectual in promoting the sale of the listed property.
- It is essential to inspect frequently as well as maintain the 'For Sale' notices in a proper manner.
- In case the maintenance of the signs is neglected, it may result to serious differences between the brokerage and the seller, particularly if there is a situation when the seller has to complain to the brokerage that the billboard has been lying in a damaged or distorted condition for quite some time.
- Remember, the 'For Sale' sign or notice does not cost you anything extra to advertise the listing.
- The 'For Sale' sign is also an excellent form of advertisement to promote the personal image of a marketing agent as well as the impression of the brokerage and when the property is sold and the 'For Sale' notice is replaced by a 'Sold' sign, it tells about their success in the business.
- Never keep the 'For Sale' sign for an extended period as this would mean that the property is not being sold for some reason or the other and will also demonstrate a failure on the part of the sales person or the brokerage resulting to other sellers deciding against seeking your services.
- It is important to note that the majority of the real estate boards have their individual Multiple Listing Service (MLS) statutes and guidelines regarding the positioning of MLS labels and signboards.
Generally, the municipal authorities regulate the dimensions as well as the positioning on any promotional notice or sign on any building. In addition, one needs to obtain consent of the municipal authorities to put up signs in specific areas. For instance, authorization from the municipalities is essential when one intends to put up any sign adjoining a highway or public main road or localities where such signs are not allowed, especially in areas where placement of such signs may hinder the view at traffic circles.
Attending telephone calls are a part of the floor duty of the sales persons employed by a brokerage and it plays a vital role in enhancing the salability of a listing. Attending telephone calls in a brokerage office has two primary purposes - first, making a good initial impact and, second, organizing a meeting in person.
Hence, an incoming telephone call to a brokerage office may be effectively utilized to:
- Assist as a reminder in collecting precise information about the caller; and
- Offer supporting queries to acquire the requisite data.
In order to be adept in attending calls one needs to build excellent telephone manners. It is important to remember that you are speaking to the prospective clients and not speaking at them. At the same time, it is advisable that you are helpful and cooperative in providing information requested by the caller, engage the prospect into conversation, meet the requirements and also solicit relevant queries. It is essential to bear in mind that handling a telephone call successfully will lead to a successful meeting in person.
Meeting the prospect
It is common knowledge that people always prefer to carry out transactions with people they are keen on and have faith on. Hence, it is important to bear in mind that the first impression you create is not only important, but also lasting. If your first impression has a positive impact on the prospects, it is more likely that they will buy from you. It is possible that the buyers have had poor experiences earlier and they would never like a repeat of the same. Hence, it is important that you are cautious and try to adopt the measures mentioned below as they may go a long way in making your first meeting with the prospect a success.
- Display real importance and honesty while talking. Give particular importance to the representation made, general behavior and the portrayal of your verbal as well as body languages.
- Never hurry in coming to a conclusion regarding the gentility of the prospects' interests and whether they are eligible buyers.
- Classify the prospective buyers particularly regarding their requirements, aspirations and economic potentials.
- Appraise the agency with the prospects and set up the basic rules.
Obtaining the offer
Closing the sale is definitely a vital aspect of any marketing and lots have been written on this subject, while different people have expressed their individual and diverse opinions on the issue. Many people seem to believe that closing the sale is an altogether separate and discrete task that can only take place at a pre-set stage during the course of marketing any item. However, this notion has already proved to be utterly wrong. In real estate transactions, closing commences right from the time of listing any property. This is evident from an old adage that says that 'a properly listed property is already half sold. To be precise, the closing process in already in progress for any listed property that has been reasonably priced and adequately portrayed.
In every fruitful business deal there comes a point when the marketing agent has to solicit for the offer. Nevertheless, it must be always borne in mind that asking for an offer before a person is ready to make a purchase may be disastrous, as there may be nothing worse than doing this. Here are a few things that all sales persons should always remember.
- Closing a sale can never be described as a pressure technique or a modus operandi to strain the prospective buyer to make an offer. On the contrary, closing is a way of giving a surety to the buyers that their emotional considerations are substantially valuable from the tangible standpoint.
- Successful marketing agents always pay keen attention to as well as observe the indications of genuine interest of the buyer. For instance, they will listen and look for any minor disapproval, expressions showing approval, expected presence in the dwelling and affirmation of some inclinations.
It may be noted here that the marketing training materials (literature) incorporates several closing methods. The four accepted and well-liked closing concepts or methods are discussed briefly below.
- In the event of having two choices of equivalent nature, the buyer is able to make precise evaluation of the advantages and attributes of each of the listed properties. In this case, the buyer mulls over the question 'which property should I purchase' and not 'should I buy'.
- Advantages vs. disadvantages
- This particular modus operandi is frequently called as the Benjamin Franklin method. The method derives its name from the fact that during a decision making process, Benjamin Franklin usually took a blank sheet and drew a straight line in the middle. On one side, he listed all the positive arguments and the negative arguments on the other. Then he would take a decision depending on whether the positive arguments over weighed the negative points.
- Minor details
- In many cases, the buyers are able to move ahead from insignificant factors or details to taking important conclusions. In fact, the groundwork for an offer entails several trivial things such as the fittings, chattels and circumstances. One may commence working from these items and step ahead towards taking an important decision.
- Confirming advantages
- This approach of making an offer best suits the buyers who have identified a property of their choice, but are still uncertain about taking a final decision. They can, however, overcome this dilemma by abridging and focusing on the important benefits from the property and diverting their attention from the minor factors. Adopting this method will help things to fall in the right prospect. Here it is important not only to summarize the advantages of home possession, but also the aspects of a particular dwelling. In fact, home ownership has the potential to offer security, a protection against inflation, beautiful environs and most importantly personal fulfillment.
The open house approach may prove to be an effectual selling means provided it is utilized appropriately. There are basically three main objectives for consider the open house and they include:
- Providing adequate exposure to the listed property to existing buyers,
- Creating a portfolio of all the potential buyers; and
- Showing the sellers that most excellent endeavors are being made to promote and sell the real estate property.
Despite the numerous advantages of an open house as a marketing tool, on the whole, the success of this approach centers around the homework done by the seller and the marketing agent. Hence, it is important for the sales person to discuss the strategies of the brokerage vis-à-vis holding an open house with the seller in detail. It is important to note that the security of the sellers' property is of utmost important during an open house. Hence, it is advised that the seller should remove all valuables such as jewelry, curio items, trinkets and delicate ornamental items from public view before holding an open house, where any buyer is free to inspect the property and make enquiries. All efforts should be made to diminish any possibility of theft or any damage.
Here are a few additional tips that may prove to be effective in successfully holding an open house.
- It is essential to clearly specify the liabilities of the seller as well as the marketing agent in the brokerage guidelines while offering an open house.
- There must be a definite promotional policy to drive in traffic, for instance classified advertisements, flyers, counseling neighbor and telephone calls and/ or fax messages to other brokerages.
- Directional signs that would help buyers to get to the property must be put up on the open session day.
- You must be equipped to be present at the open house for the entire period with backup provisions in case there is a flood of buyers/ viewers or any particular visitor needs some additional notice.
- During an open house it is normal for sales persons to offer leaflets detailing the features of the listing. Before they circulate the feature sheets, the sales persons must be sure that the details mentioned in the sheets are correct and the latest.
- Organize a system to register personal information of the people visiting the property on the open house day. These data may include the visitors' names, residential/ office addresses, e-mail addresses and their telephone numbers.
It is the sole responsibility of the sales person to control the situation at the open house. In case there is an unexpected flow of visitors to view the property on that day, the sales person may send them inside in smaller groups to manage the rush. Once the earlier group has left, the sales person may allow another group to enter the property and the sequence should follow till the end of the open house. However, the responsibilities of the sales person do not end with the conclusion of the open house as he or she has to ensure that no theft or damage has taken place at the property during the open session. Hence, following the conclusion of the open house, their responsibilities include:
- Checking each room vigilantly and ensure that the property is returned to the state in which it was before the open house event.
- Fulfilling the explicit strategies of the brokerage firms regarding holding open houses and lock-up/ closing modus operandi.
- Thanking the owners for their cooperation and provide them with instantaneous pointer on the open house.
Qualifying the buyer
Remember, method of qualifying a buyer or establishing that he or she is eligible requires more skill than any science or discipline. Being completely frank with the buyers is one of the effectual ways to successfully qualify the buyers. If the sales person is able to make the buyers realize that it is a waste of time for both them if the sales person continues to show the buyers high priced properties for which they do not have enough money to purchase or real estate assets that do not meet their requirements or fulfill their personal contentment. It is also advisable for the sales persons to cautiously pay attention to as well as look further than the buyers' answers to questions to find out their fundamental requirements against their longings and also the essential affective aspects. Hence, it is not unusual for the sales persons to explore again and again before ascertaining the real enthusiasms of the buyer while qualifying the buyer. The sales person may use two useful expressions, such as 'why do you think like this' and 'are there any new causes' to understand the buyers' mind or their motivations.
It is necessary for a sales person to look into few specific spheres in order to qualify a buyer appropriately.
- First and foremost, the sales person needs to collect as much general surroundings information as possible regarding the prospective buyers' employment, present home, the share of equity in the home if it is mortgaged, the buyers' way of life, facilities and features in their existing home and their objectives.
- The marketing agent should also be familiar with the objective and practical necessities of the buyer, such as the number of bedrooms he or she needs, number of cars, the heating system they like better, requirement of number of large rooms (for dining and family rooms), preoccupations and pastimes.
- Find out the buyers' monetary competences together with the GDS and TDS percentages, the kind of data needed, and instances of general mortgage request documents that are prevalent in the locality and a common perception of the variety of prices of properties that should be checked.
- Find out if the buyer is in a hurry to relocate as this will indicate his or her basic impetus to look for a new home. For instance, if the buyer's existing house is situated on a busy road, this could point toward his or her motivation to look for a new home that will offer safer surroundings for the kids.
- It is essential for the sales persons to prevail over the different aspects of a buyer experiences in the real estate market that may come out during their deliberations. For instance, the buyer may say that although he or she has inspected around 15 to 20 houses so far and are puzzled and disturbed with the goings on, as they are yet to come across the right property.
- Try to realize if the buyers are logical or poignant regarding the purchase of a new property and take appropriate actions.
- Find out if the buyer requires approval from another person, e.g. a different member of the family, before he or she is able to purchase the new property.
It is important to note here that the possibility of the buyer's eligibility will largely depend on the marketing agent's function with the buyer - whether the role of the sales person is that of a fiduciary (client) or a non-fiduciary (customer).
Showing the property
Appropriate qualification of a buyer is crucial as it lays down the foundation for fruitful showings of listed property. Following the qualification of the buyer, the actual showing of the property is the next crucial stage in the marketing of a real estate asset. Hence, a sales person needs to be properly organized and responsive to criticism or assessment from the buyers during the presentation of the listed property. Here are a few specific ground rules that would enable successful showings by the sales persons.
When a sales person is fixing an appointment with a prospective buyer, it is advisable that he or she should stay away from meeting the prospects at the listed property. There are numerous reasons for this and they include a failure of an occasion to make the buyer see the locality, it is possible that the buyer may not be able to locate the property, there is a possibility of the buyer reaching the place before the appointment time, meet the seller directly and may a have an aversion to for the property's façade and drive away leaving the seller as well as the sales person disturbed. In addition, it may prove to be an opportune way for the seller to leave the place even with no scope for post qualifying.
In addition, the sales person would benefit by following the guidelines mentioned below:
- Ensure that all the scheduled meetings are affirmed by the sellers as well as the prospective buyers on the very day on which the property is to be shown.
- Every time make an endeavor to organize the seller beforehand so that he or she is able to clean up the property before the showing as well as help them in acting in accordance with the suggestions made during the listing of the property.
- Make every effort to ensure that the seller is not present during the showings unless it is very essential - instances where the seller is a vital source of information or is able to help in the showing process.
- If you are showing any property that is listed with other brokerages, take care to make the necessary deals only using the services of the listing brokerage. In this instance, there may be situations that will necessitate the presence of the sales person from the listing brokerage during the showings, but the modus operandi in this kind of topics will certainly differ.
- In order to steer clear of any unexpected and obnoxious shockers, the sales person must meticulously scrutinize the listed property before the showing. In addition, the sales person should openly tell the buyer if the property has not been checked before the showing.
- If the sales person arranges for several showings for the buyer, it is possible that the latter will be perplexed. It is necessary to re-qualify the buyer after every showing and in this case it may require reorganizing the ensuing scheduled meetings.
- Several real estate marketing agents choose to organize data lists of every property that is being presented to buyers and familiarize the buyers with these records in brief prior to the showing procedure. Apart from these brief records prepared by the sales persons, the buyers may obtain booklets from the market that would enable them to obtain some basic information on buying new real estate assets and home appraisal catalogues.
- The sales person should always tell the buyer if the listed property has any negative features prior to the showing with a view to avoid the buyer receiving a shock over the shortcomings and also being inclined to the negative notion. However, the sales person should be cautious while revealing the drawbacks of the listing to the buyer beforehand as different people may have different reactions to it. In fact, anything that may appear to be a shortcoming to the marketing agent may not seem so to other people.
- Contrary to the belief of many sales persons that there is a model order in the process of showing the listed properties, actually a number of aspects may be responsible for different overtures.
- Veteran marketing agents say that usually most of the buyers first acquire the site and secondly look for the detailed attributes inside the dwelling. Hence, it is advisable that the sales persons should focus on the locality, facilities and the general location of any particular listed property. Having determines these aspects; they should next deliberate on the design and the detailed attributes of the house. In addition, while accompanying the buyer to the showings, the sales persons should also plan the road to be taken to the property and ensure that the drive is safe and in a dirt free car. Remember, all these trivial issues leave a positive impact on the buyer.
- While driving to the showing, engage the buyer in a discussion regarding the facilities available in the locality of the listed property and observe and be responsive to the buyer's responses. It is possible that you will come to learn from the discussion that you have chosen an incorrect locale for the particular buyer.
- It is important to remain tolerant during the showing process and let the buyer have ample time to inspect the property.
- Remember an effectual listing is a crucial feature of any showing and so if any aspect has been ignored earlier, talk about it with the buyer. Or else, barring an expansion to any remark passed, try to resist any endeavor in a discussion that is continuing.
- It is important for a sales person to observe the deeds and expressions of the buyer during the showing process as this would help him or her to learn a lot about the buyer's preferences and desires.
- Irrespective of the fact whether the buyers appreciate the property or not, the sales person needs to continue the showing to be upbeat. Always bear in mind that both the positive remarks as well as the disapprovals are important in bringing a deal closer.
- The sales person should always try to understand as well as sympathize with the apprehensions raised by the buyer. At the same time, it is important to move cautiously and be cooperative and considerate with the buyer. Remember, making an offer is the sole discretion of the buyer and not the sales person's decision.
- Try not to be discouraged or taken in by the disparaging remarks of some people. On many instances, people condemn anything they want and do it just for the sake of criticism. But, by doing so, these people are simply trying to set the stage for bargaining. At the same time, it may be said that when buyers make no objections at all, it may denote that they do not have any interest in the property at all. With experience, one will come to realize that a person who seems to love each and every thing often finds it very difficult to arrive at a conclusion.
- At times during the showings, the sales persons should leave the buyer and people accompanying him or her alone for a brief while as they may require the time to talk about some crucial issues amongst themselves.
- Sometimes, buyers who do not have enough confidence in themselves bring along a friend or relative who they consider to be proficient in matters pertaining to real estate transactions. In such cases, the sales persons should be ready to sell the property as much to the friend/ relative as to the buyer and essentially take care of the friend or relative as genuine experts.
- The sales person should carry on with the buyer qualifying process even after a showing a house and presuming that the buyer is not going to acquire a particular property. Remember, there is nothing that may be called a fruitless showing as the process of re-qualifying a buyer continues even after he or she has not shown any interest in purchasing a property he has been shown. When the sales person frequently carries on with the buyer re-qualifying process vis-à-vis the preferred attributes and advantages of the buyer, it would only help them to progress a step closer to the property of the buyer's choice/ desire.