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It’s not easy to be a new real estate agent in this fast-paced, ardent market. Connections have always been important in this industry, but they are more important now than ever – So what is a beginner to do?
If you are a newly minted agent, you may be wondering where to start and how to cultivate those listing agent relationships. Below are some best practices and ideas for building a strong network among real estate colleagues.
1. Read – and then read again
Listing agents receive calls, emails and texts all the time. The agents who don’t check the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) first before calling something you’ve already added can frustrate listing agents.
So make sure you have read all attached documents on the MLS. Read and follow the offer instructions and agent notes. In a market where everyone is in a rush, you can stand out from these details. It also sends a message to the listing agent that you are acting together.
2. Reputation is important
Certain agents have a reputation for being difficult to handle, combative, and disorganized. As a new agent, you want to be the one who gets people to say, “I loved working with you” or “I was so happy to see your name on this listing” or “You were so professional; I can’t wait to get another deal together. ”
It’s not about being best friends – it’s about behaving with integrity and honesty, developing win-win solutions, and being professional.
On a deal I made a few months ago, an agent who was not from our market but was trying to sell here was extremely disorganized. My admin team and I were amazed at how many things she dropped the ball on, but the worst part was when she sent me a text she meant for her clients.
It was on a pungent note about a new listing I had in the same neighborhood and how it was “outrageously cheap”. I replied, “I don’t think this was meant for me,” and she apologized profusely. It’s easy to make a mistake and I told her I had a similar experience once and it was all good. As a side note, I sold this property for what my seller wanted.
If there is something you have to say about another agent (that you don’t want that agent to read or know), maybe keep it to yourself and definitely do it Not Write it in writing, whether by email or text. In contrast to e-mails, SMS has no delay or callback function.
My own embarrassing and humiliating moment: I sent an email once that I thought was about my husband about a luxury video with too many drone footage. It felt like the entire video was the drone pacing up and down the facade of the house, and I wrote (it pains me to say this) that it “bored me to tears!”
I thought I sent this email to my husband, but it was to the listing agent. At that point, I didn’t have a callback feature in my email. (I have it now!) To my credit I had never sent an email like this before and of course this first time was a disaster. I was ashamed. I started crying as soon as I realized what I had done.
After about 10 minutes, I emailed the listing agent and said, “I’m so sorry for this email. Sure, you’re the one with the incredible luxury list and I’m the newbie so I’m hardly the one to criticize your work. I hope you forgive me? ”
He sent back a nice message and was very gracious, but that stupid email haunts me to this day. Knocker from Bambi got it right: “If you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”
3. Be creative
There are the traditional terms of offer, but there are also all kinds of ways to make your offer stand out. If your buyers are able to do so, you might offer sellers a free leaseback. What about the offer to pay the seller’s legal fees or state excise tax (if you have them in your state)?
The regular terms of an offer are important, but showing the flexibility and creativity of your customers is worth real money in this market. While you’re creative, you should obey all federal fair living laws.
4. Read the contracts
I recently learned from a new agent that my sellers need to fix items found during an inspection. In our state, houses are sold as they are under our contract. Often sellers and buyers negotiate repairs, and some loans are subject to repairs, but he mistook material disclosure for repairs.
This is a huge difference, and I kindly recommended that he read our 15-page contract again to familiarize himself with it. As a new agent, it is so important to have a good understanding of the contract and where certain things are (like the all-important “settlement delay”).
The agent purchase offer is like the lawyer constitution – make a note of it and use your knowledge to your advantage and that of your client. Confidence without competence is the ultimate sign of a beginner.
5. Make use of your leader’s existing relationships
If your team leader, agent in charge, or manager has a relationship with the listing agent, they may be able to provide you with some pointers on how best to work with them.
If the relationship between your manager and the listing agent you are writing a proposal for is good, it is wise to let the listing agent know that even though you are new, you are under the supervision of (yourself) you can rest easy and have all the support you need for a smooth transaction.
6. Be educational and honest
If you might not win the offer, ask the listing agents if they have any feedback so that you can be successful in the future. They may not answer, but there is a chance they will answer – and you never know what pearls of wisdom they might give you.
There is another true story that happened to me not so long ago. I was the listing agent on a deal and the buyer’s agent was a church acquaintance. Because of the pandemic, I hadn’t seen him forever, but I knew him.
This wasn’t a multi-offer situation, but of course it was still quite stressful. At some point, we had to change the deadline and a credit for the deal. In his novelty, he has rewritten the entire contract without realizing that we can find a simple solution with a change.
That confused me at first because re-signing a new contract didn’t make sense and honestly I wasn’t sure what legal implications it would have for my sellers and I knew the lender would be even more confused.
After a text or two with the agent, he called me on the phone and said, “To be honest, I’m new to it. I’m mostly into rentals and I’m not sure how to write this down. ”
His refreshing honesty was all I needed to get the document right and sent to my sellers, and then all he had to do was get his buyers to sign. He was grateful and learned how to do these things. I could have told him he should have known better, or called his leader or manager, but we were new at one point and showing someone a little kindness goes a long way. The golden rule is still golden.
7. Presentation matters
As a buyer, I’ve found that listing agents really love it when I write an email that includes a summary of the listing and a summary of all the attachments. I also follow all quote instructions for a T – and so should you.
I use this time to highlight specifics of the offering, including my buyer’s flexibility, and when the lender is on site or how much my buyer is putting down, etc. When I offer a free leaseback, I write the entire lease, including pet addenda to make sure the sellers know how serious the buyers are about this item.
Anything you can do to make the life of the listing agent and the seller easier has an impact. If there are multiple offers, you should also choose numbers that are not obvious. For example, instead of $ 10,000, try $ 10,200 or $ 10,555.
As a listing agent, sometimes the smallest differences matter. Another $ 100 in due diligence fees in one of my recent deals caused the seller to prefer my offer to another.
8. Return to the basics
Please make sure your grammar, punctuation and spelling are correct. This sends a message that you are a pro and that you are paying attention to the details.
Do not send an offer via SMS. If you are duck hunting and cannot get access to a computer, do not send a quote by text. Don’t send a quote that is incomplete or has the wrong seller names (this really happened to me).
Take an additional five minutes to go through your package of offers before submitting it. Don’t call an escalation clause an escalator clause. Slowing down and paying attention will really pay off.
9. Pick up the handset
Using the phone works wonders for relationships, especially new ones. You can easily misinterpret people’s sound via email or text message, but you won’t have that problem if you can hear their voice.
During a phone call, you will also hear background noise that can tell you a lot about the listing agent. Maybe they are at a sporting event and stepped away. You could hear a young child in the room or find out they are driving and offer to text them a summary of your questions instead (if that would help).
On the phone, you can hear frustration or excitement, and even long pauses can tell you something that an emoji can never do. You can build rapport and trust on a phone call faster than ever with a text or series of emojis.
Being an agent that others trust and enjoy working with is a reputation you will earn over time. When you make a mistake, big or small, you take responsibility. Slow down the process to double-check that your contract is properly filled out, names are correct, and your emails are well-written.
When you work with an agent who is great, tell them how much you enjoyed working with them, give them a call on social media, spread their good name around your office – and always think about the golden rule.
Stephanie Lanier is the founder and CEO of Lanier Property Group, a boutique real estate firm in Wilmington, North Carolina.