Real Estate Training | RE/MAX Central

Property Buyer Process

Monday, February 29th, 2016

When buying a home, property buyers go through a process that few real estate agents truly understand. Not understanding where buyers currently are in their process can lead to frustration for both buyer and agent alike. The result is usually a lack of good service and buyers feeling that the agent is only interested in pressuring them into buying a property. That the agent is primarily interested in selling them a property is actually correct. Let’s face it why would one expect an agent to invest time and money to find them a home given that he or she will only be paid for their effort if they are successful in finding them their home? On the other hand when a good agent understands where the buyer currently is in the process of buying a home, the experience can and should be enjoyable for both.

The first thing that the agent has to understand is that there is a process and that the process is governed by the character and experiences of the buyer and not the agent. Some buyers go through the entire process in one month whilst others take six months, a year or sometimes even more. The second thing that the agent has to understand is that buyers are always serious about purchasing a home and few are those that simply go about viewing properties without the intention to purchase. Agents need to learn to qualify the seriousness of buyers and gauge the speed with which the buyers are likely to commit themselves to a property purchase. Once this qualifying exercise is completed the agent will need to decide if these buyers fit into his business practice or not. Agents too have different expectations and may choose to invest their time and money in a particular buyer, or not.

The property buying process has different phases. Not all buyers go through all these phases and each buyer will have a different tempo for each.

The first phase we like to call ‘Contemplation’ It always starts from here. Should we move home?, should we start looking for our home now? Should we buy or rent a home? Such thoughts and discussions are where we all start the journey to homeownership. At this time it is customary these days to delve online and start looking at properties on estate agent websites. There are enough of them out there with enough information for the task. During this time likes and dislikes are being established, areas are contemplated and prices are being considered. At this point some buyers are not likely to initiate any contact with an agent whilst others may venture to sending an email request for information without supplying a contact number, we find. If an agent receives such a communication, the agent must understand that the buyers are not yet keen to discuss the matter because they themselves don’t really know what they want and what they could buy. Agents should respect this, supply the information requested, possibly a few similar options and offer contact details should the purchaser wish to make contact. The agent should retain the information and make contact by email again a week to ten days later. In the second email one should offer a few more options.

The next phase that buyers generally go through we call ‘Excitement’ they still don’t know what they want but they tend to contact anyone and everyone about a whole variety of different properties in different locations. This phase does not seem to last very long probably because they realise that now a whole bunch of agents are calling them back and it all becomes rather confusing. As website administrators we note that these buyers will send as many as a dozen requests within a period of a few hours but the same people do not quite repeat the process. At this time they are likely to be selecting the agents that are showing empathy to their needs and are not pushing them, expecting them to buy now. In a nutshell, they are choosing to work with the agents who have identified that they are potential future buyers and are showing the willingness to work with them long term.

The next two phases seem to intertwine and one slowly leads into the other. We call these stages ‘Fearful’ and ‘Educated’. Once the initial excitement has worn off, the fear begins to creep in. Banks are approached for pre-qualification, stamp duty is calculated, notary fees, Mepa compliance concerns and a myriad of things that have to be understood and considered. Other issues that cause fear are budgetary restraints, can I buy what I really want? and also how do I know that I am not being taken for a ride? As buyers spend time looking and comparing homes they slowly begin to understand the market. This learning curve slowly begins to reduce and replace the fear and the buyer becomes bolder and more realistic. During this time a buyer may be disappointed a few times when favorite properties are snapped up most particularly if an offer had been contemplated or even placed. To our knowledge buyers spend most of their time in these two phases. During this time they will become experts in the areas and types that are of interest to them, are able to judge value and probably place a few offers on properties that they end up not buying.

The final phase we call the ‘Committed’ phase. As mentioned above they have a few regrets, they know what they want and how much they should pay for it. Agents on the other end of a phone are hoping that this new lead is in this phase however experience shows us that these buyers are not really surfing through the websites much any longer. These buyers have a set of hand picked agents with whom they have built a working relationship and would much rather deal with them then contend with a new person who has yet to begin to understand their needs and wants.

If agents understand these phases and furthermore understand in which phase the buyer they are dealing with is currently in, they will be able to tailor make their approach to suite the buyer, build a successful relationship and hopefully eventually be the ones to identify the correct property at the current time.

This by far is not the only recipe for success however if understood and applied correctly it would serve to create more happy buyers and even happier agents.

RE/MAX Central is currently looking to recruit sales persons.  To find out more email hr@remaxcentralmalta.com or call our Careers Manager Lawrence Kelly on 79499734

Getting More Appointments Scheduled

Wednesday, December 24th, 2014

Real Estate sales is a contact sport with the agents getting the most face to face, buyer in the house appointments getting the lion’s share of the business.  Watch this short video blog by Tom Ferry explaining the importance of getting on the phone and making calls.

 

 

Prospecting

Friday, November 14th, 2014

There has never been a real estate mentor that has not incessantly prescribed prospecting to new and experienced real estate agents.  There also has never been a real estate agent that has quickly wrapped his or her head about whom he or she should call or visit to prospect.

Common mantra is your sphere of influence, in simple terms people that you know.  At the onset of “Succeed” RE/MAX Malta trainer Paul Vincenti requests that participants compile a list of 100 persons they know.  A very useful tool to have however agents eventually report that they begin to feel uncomfortable repeatedly asking their dentist, their barber and the neighbour for new business.  Although this is true in reality it is all about how the conversation with the barber (or whomever)  pans out.  If  an agent calls and only asks for a referral, the barber is likely to become uncomfortable, and so will the agent.

Prospecting calls need to be intelligent and in some way give as much as they receive.  In other words “What’s in it for the barber”.  Some agents think that the answer should be money however the reality is that most people are busy with their own business or lives to work for you as well.  They will in reality be more prone to remember about you and your business in property related conversations if they are returning a favour which you have already done for them.

One can at least assume that your name could come up only if the conversation was property related.  Now let’s face it, if your barber is not currently looking to buy or sell a home himself and he is an avid football fan, most of his conversations are likely to be about football.  His customers or people he speaks to may of course be buying or selling a property, the conversation may well turn to property and this is when you seriously want the barber to remember to refer you and whip out your business card.

In an ideal world you would have a list of persons who frequently have conversations about buying or selling property.  Wishful thinking you might say, but is it?  What agents don’t really stop and think about is that they all do have such a list. Not only do they have such a list but they are already talking to them all day long! You call them your buyer list and your seller list.  Let’s face it, who more than a person currently involved in buying or selling a property is more likely to strike or gladly participate in conversation about property during which you could be referred?  Since you are already having property related conversation with buyers and sellers what you may not be doing is asking these persons to refer you.

So whilst prospecting using a sphere of influence is highly productive, it requires that you dedicate specific time to accomplish it. Since talking to buyers and sellers is already what you do all day long, all that is required is that you develop a habit of asking for the referral of new business.  As is the case with any new habit that one would like to adopt, self discipline and perseverance are key factors and dictate the difference between success and failure.

The author of this article is the franchise owner of RE/MAX Central with sales offices in Attard and Birkirkara in Malta. Should you be interested in joining one of his teams you may submit your application for a confidential meeting to discuss the matter by clicking HERE. RE/MAX Central is interested in hiring experienced agents as well as those who would be new to the business.

Below you will find a video presentation by Bill Crespo from MAPS Coaching outlining ten useful tips on how to go about prospecting.

Conditions vs Objections

Thursday, November 13th, 2014

Words of gold from Dirk Zeller from Real Estate Champions.  In this seven minute video presentation Dirk not only clearly outlines the difference between a customers who can move forward with a transaction now and  those who can not.  Dirk explains how important it is for an agent to identify the current position of the customer and makes an informed decision before investing quality time.  He touches on a very important common error made by estate agents who do not understand that customer conditions frequently do change over time. He stresses the importance of ensuring that less qualified customers are to included in  a follow up plan to ensure that you keep in touch.

 

Top Tips for Real Estate Agents

Friday, September 26th, 2014

Whether you are a new real estate agent or one of the old hands the tips below will serve to enlighten you, or remind you of what should be most important to you on a daily basis.

 

 

 

  1. Inventory –  Buyers want to work with an estate agent that has a wide selection of properties to choose from.  You will not need all the properties but you will need a good volume from which to choose the best properties that are likely to sell soon. Associate yourself to a large agency that has many agents bringing in properties for sale.
  2. Education – Real estate sales requires serious training.  There is not one person who can teach you everything in time for you to start earning serious money.  Associate yourself to an agency that provides serious local and international training.
  3. Drive and Motivation – As an agent you have the liberty of setting your own systems and work schedule, if you are not self disciplined you will find yourself wasting time and blaming others for your lack of success.  The solution is generally to make yourself accountable to a mentor.  You should find an experienced mentor who is willing to invest time in you.  You will not find a mentor who is willing to waste time listening to your excuses so buckle up and get serious.
  4. Proactive vs Reactive –  If you are  often waiting for the phone to ring for your next lead then you are on the wrong track.  Great real estate agents do not wait for business, they are proactive, not reactive.  They habitually leave their comfort zone and they go out there and create it.  Call sellers, call buyers someone out there has decided that they will buy or sell now.  If what you are doing is waiting for the best buyers or sellers to call you! It’s not going to happen, start calling now!
  5. Become the expert –  You will not be the expert in all types of properties in every area.  Focus on a sector of the market and grow it slowly.  Buyers and sellers want to do business with those who know, not those who hope to know enough. When listening to a customers requirements, you should already know what is on the market and suitable for them.  Agents telling customers ‘I’ll run a search and get back to you’ are not impressing anyone!
  6. Dress for success – If you want to be successful you will need to dress accordingly.  Scuffed shoes, ill fitting suits etc need to go.  You need to invest time and money in your appearance.
  7. Work harder than anyone else – If anyone told you that an estate agent has easy hours, they were lying to you.  Flexible hours maybe, but anything less than ten hours a day, especially at the onset of your career will not work.  Challenge yourself to be the first in and the last out.  Experience is generally calculated in years, but years are made up of hours.  Put more hours in a day than the average agent and you will gain experience faster.
  8. Stay away from negative agents –  This industry is plagued with has beens, wanna bes and those who are not willing to make the sacrifice to make it.  In most cases these agents are very willing to pull you down to their level.  Spend time and listen only to agents who are successful.  If you ask nicely you will find that the successful agent wants you as an ally and is more than willing to share his or her experience with you.
  9. Sellers –  Property sellers are the people with whom you should be spending most of your time.  Sellers are important to a real estate agent as they provide the stock for the agent to sell.  Not all sellers are good sellers, many are hesitant to sell or not motivated.  The successful agent spends most of the time speaking with sellers to establish their motivation.  Building a strong relationship with motivated vendors will mean that you are likely to be the first one to find out when the price is reduced to market value.  It’s not about the house, it’s about the seller!
  10. Qualify your customers – Both buyers and sellers should be qualified in the same way.  The simplest yet most effective system is the WWW system  Why? When? What if?   Read more about Qualifying here
  11. Plan a tough day – Do not end your day before tomorrow is a very busy day.  Starting a day with just a few items on your agenda will result in a non productive day.  If your agenda is full you can move stuff to accommodate important surprises.  Reserve time each day to ensure that you have the time to plan a tough day tomorrow.
  12. List more property – Seasoned successful real estate agents know that most of their success comes from listing properties.  It a well known fact that agents sell more of their own listings than of others.  This occurs due to the fact that they invest more time in the owner whilst listing and updating and are more likely to know when the vendor is primed to sell.  Not to mention that selling your listing or having it sold by a colleague increases your revenue by 30%.  Taking the time to prospect for listings and doing a good job of it is practically a guarantee to success.

At the end of the day, your success or failure will depend much on your attitude and your perspective.  There are a thousand and one ways to be a successful real estate agent but the level of your success will depend on how you perceive the work that needs to get done to obtain results.  The agent with good habits will not look at the ground work ( the basics) as a chore but as the safety net that ensures he is successful every week, every month.

 

Qualifying Buyers and Sellers

Monday, September 22nd, 2014

A good recipe for success is for a real estate agent to work mostly with qualified buyers and sellers. Some agents are unable to ask the correct questions, only to end up finding out the truth at a much later stage when they have invested too much time with the buyer or seller.

Some agents feel that they do not have the right to ask pertinent questions. The only logical result is that these agents have a low closing ratio and their business is not as profitable as it can be. Frequently this is the difference between success and failure for an estate agent.

An agent will always be working to performance; no sale, no pay. The customer is not willing to pay an estate agent for anything less than 100% success. It is therefore the agent’s prerogative to be able to estimate his or her chances of success. Before investing more time in a lead an agent will need to establish where in the buying or selling process the customer is currently positioned. A customer who wants to buy or sell ‘later’ deserves the agent’s service, ‘later’. A buyer who is less likely to have a change of heart and requires service ‘now’ should get the agent’s service, ‘now’. (more…)

CRADLE – How to build Trust and Rapport with clients

Saturday, April 26th, 2014

Paul Vincenti explains the C.R.A.D.L.E technique, designed to assist salespersons build trust and rapport with clients.

C –  Capable, have the skills necessary to deliver the clients needs.

R –  Resourceful, have the resources necessary to provide the service requested.

AAble, you are able to assist the client within the timeframe or plan required by the client.

DDependable, you keep your word and promise only what you can deliver.

LLikable, your clients will need to enjoy being with you, have a pleasant personality.

EExpert, know all the possible mistakes and avoid them.

 

Watch the video below and watch Paul explain the CRADLE technique to you himself.

 

 

 

By James Busuttil

2014 – A Transition for Real Estate Agents & the market

Friday, April 18th, 2014

Changes in the property market

2014 is definitely seeing the real estate market bouncing back in Malta most particularly due to the recent budget measure whereby first time buyers benefit from a reduction of up to €5,250 when/if they are purchasing their first property.  This has caused a transition period for real estate agents in Malta

This measure has caused a sharp increase in the number of serious property buyers on the market, all keen to avail themselves of the grant which expires on the last day of 2014.

This influx of buyers has caused the dynamics of the market to change. Where until last year, we were clearly dealing with a buyer’s market, this year the lines are not so clearly drawn.  Owners of properties that are suitablehome sold - light 4-8-2010 for first time buyers have noted an increase in visits, interest and sales.  A number of developers were quick to marginally increase their prices whilst other vendors lowered what were obscene asking prices so as not to miss the boat.

The Individual investor program has also created some waves in the middle to upper property market segment, it appears however that the majority of interested parties, so far are opting to rent a property rather than buy. (more…)

Understanding Property Buyers and Sellers

Thursday, October 31st, 2013

Property buyers and sellers all have a common emotion, fear.  In each case the fear is based on a different set of reasons but the bottom line is that nearly all of them are afraid.  Both buyers and sellers feel the need to take their time to understand the market and how it is going to affect their lives and their wallets.  Buyers fear that there are other properties that they may prefer and that they may pay too much for their home. Sellers fear that they may sell their home for less than it is worth and that they may not have enough proceeds to purchase an alternative home for themselves.

Given the marketing tools and advertising budgets available to real estate agents today, it is safe to assume that most house hunters or house sellers come into contact with an estate agent rather quickly.  Estate agents with a new lead are frequently like runaway horses, they don’t look left or right and gallop straight on.  They frequently fail to understand that the buyer is talking about what they want to buy but don’t really want to buy it yet.  The same applies to many vendors, yes they want to sell …. eventually.

Click to enlargeThe best way to explain this visually is through the diagram shown.  Imagine that buyers and sellers come into the market at the top of their respective ladders and that the transactions happen when they get into the bucket.  Both buyers and sellers will begin to climb down the ladders, each step is something that they have learnt or a fear that they have conquered. Once they have traveled down the ladder sufficiently they will jump into the bucket and that is where the transactions will happen.

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Principles of learning how to Close Sales

Saturday, October 5th, 2013

When I get to talk or write about closing, someone usually has to stop me.  Closing is a sales topic so close to my heart that I can go on and on about it all day long.

Let’s start at the end, a place that we can all “agree upon”. Closing is all about getting a buyer to happily agree to purchase your product. In the real estate agent world it also includes getting the vendor to happily sell the product.

Anything in between is open to discussion and various options. I myself have been in a sales career for thirty two years now, the last seventeen in the real estate industry and over the years my concept of closing successfully has evolved and changed. I call it evolving but I also have to admit that much of this evolution can be more accurately described as understanding and forming good habits.

Much has been written about closing, so my first concrete statement about closing without sounding like another broken record is : To close consistently, you must understand how people think and what prompts them to go ahead with a particular sales person and product.

  (more…)

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