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February 6th, 2010 9:35 AM by David W. Welch
Yesterday, I wrote that there are three keys to success in real estate: Contact, Contract and Closing. I shared some of my observations about prospecting, the first C which is really just about contacting prospective customers. There are two types of contacts active and passive. A lot of the typical advertising strategies are passive in nature, while actually reaching out to people; face to face, direct mail and e-mail are more active strategies to make contact. As I mentioned in the first part of this post, I feel that is the area that may require the most effort but have the biggest reward in terms of impacting your success in real estate. Today I am going to focus on the other two C's.
Let's begin with the end in mind, closing, afterall, that is why we work so hard at this business. It is also the last opportunity we have to make a great impression on our customers. You don't have to give some terrific closing present to make a great impression. I heard someone say that the real estate agent is like the shock absorber in the transaction. Get your customer to closing without too many bumps, making the process smooth and you can make a great impression. That begins from the moment you go under contract and continues right up until the keys are handed over. Expectations are a big part of transitioning from contract to closing. Staying on top of the details in the agreement is the other key to this aspect of the business. If you are not a detail oriented person, or you find yourself just too busy to keep on top of things, at this point a transaction coordinator can do wonders for your business. Most people are excited and more than a little nervous when the big day comes. If you handle the expected and unexpected bumps in the road and keep all the parties up to speed you can take a lot of the drama out of the closing room. The best part about this aspect is that transaction coordinators do not charge an arm and a leg for their services if you decide to go that route. If you want to improve on this and give your customers your personal attention, all you have to do is follow the contract and follow up with all the parties in the transaction. It really does not have to take a lot of your time to make the phone calls.
To get to the closing, you have to be under contract. The final C I am going to tackle comes at the heart of our business. It is also the aspect of the business where we probably spend the greatest amount of time and energy. Whether it is spent marketing and promoting our listings for our sellers or finding and showing homes to our buyers, this is the key to our ultimate success in real estate. In my opinion, this is the aspect that involves one of the toughest skills to learn, listening. You need to be able to listen throughout the entire process, but really understanding your customer's needs is critical in helping to transition into the contract phase. Again, setting realistic expectations, understanding your customer's needs and helping them negotiate a contract that meets those expectations and needs are the keys to success in this aspect of the real estate business. I know I am only touching the surface when it comes to this part of the business, because authors have literally filled books on this subject. Briefly, this is where knowing your market, and knowing your customer come together. Your marketing, pricing, people, listening and negotiating skills all converge at the point of contract.
I hope this at least helps you identify the area where you have the greatest opportunity for improvement. Hopefully, there are at least enough ideas here to point you in the right direction for making those improvements too. If nothing else, maybe there was something here to help you start a dialogue with your broker. A good broker either has the experience and tools to help, or can direct you to those resources internally or through your local Realtor association. Best of luck.
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