Top Agents Provide Unique Inventory
By: Walter Sanford
If you didn't have more to offer than what's in the MLS your service won't be as good as a well-developed website - you would be in danger of soon being replaced! Today's buyer can search, find, view, negotiate, and buy their target property all over the Internet. Some are even asking, "Why do we need a real estate agent?"
Having unique inventory not only insures our place in the transaction but is a consistent magnet for new buyers, the acquisition of unique property for my buyer is a wonderful source of generation of new listings. We all have had the pocket listing. This unlisted, "I'll sell if you have a buyer" property that comes to mind once a buyer expresses their purchase parameters. The top agents always seem to have a handle on or can produce unlisted inventory. This is the mark of a superstar!
Because of the formalization of non-Realtor® Internet sites as competitors it is time we formalized the acquisition and solicitation of our unlisted inventory to not only increase our signage but also to provide a higher perception of value to our buyer clientele. Furthermore, outstanding services always cement a better relationship with a buyer consummating in a signed loyalty agreement and refunds.
My formalized business plan for the acquisition of unique property for contract buyer is as follows:
Search expireds, withdrawns, and canceleds for as far back as your local MLS system will provide. The search will most likely include an e-mail or direct mail with telephone follow-up to the ex-seller. Since these properties are no longer formally listed they provide an outstanding opportunity for you to not only negotiate an outstandingly priced transaction but also, should the buyer not be interested, to present listing opportunities. Watch your dual sided transactions go up!
Direct mail or e-mail to a geographical area merged with property tax information meeting the parameters of the buyer. This will allow you to announce that a pre-qualified, ready to buy buyer has signed an exclusive representation agreement for you to find a property that meets the location and square footage requirements that you have carefully searched out. Once again, this solicitation of unlisted and unique property will increase your buyer's loyalty and furthermore upon a successful showing but unsuccessful sale, will open the door to getting another sign up.
The age-old office meeting where new listings are pitched but not necessarily formalized within the confines of an on-line MLS system provides you and your buyer the first chance to purchase. In my opinion this is one of the greatest aspects of being affiliated with a large and high market share office.
Management of the rumor mill. It has always been said that you should not hang out with other real estate brokers and agents because they never buy or sell real estate through you. However one important aspect of having top agents within your sphere of influence is they talk about properties that are due to come on the market. This rumor mill allows you to once again have a mental inventory of properties that just may be perfect for that buyer. Once the fit has been tried and unsuccessful once again leaves the door open for a listing presentation.
Even today some markets are marked by discouraging sale price performance. In some markets the difference between the high and low prices within a few years can be as much as 30%. Therefore properties can become bank inventory. Bank inventory property has always been an insider's game and who better but the top agent in town to generate relationships with the institutions that may be holding bargain properties. This introduction of a buyer to a bank owned property will lead to many future successful listings once the bank understands you are the solution to their problem. Access to this inventory can make or break a buyers agents reputation.
Internal solicitation of your haves and wants. Databasing your relationships and cashing in on the good job that you have done for your past clients is the heart of good database management. Just like the movie line "if you build it they will come," the same is true of your database. Names and addresses garnered from outstanding performance will generate leads, referrals, and closings. If these relationships are recorded in addition to their haves and wants, these have and wants can be matched and therefore provide a greater chance for double end transactions, a complete inventory for that new buyer that walks into your office and an additional service at that listing presentation when they say, "Do you have anyone that might be interested in buying this property?"
A top agents prospecting techniques always secures additional leads. These leads can be matched to a buyer prior to the formalization of an MLS based listing.
The websites we are producing nowadays not only are a source of information but are a collection of pertinent advice for interested buyers and sellers. A well-advertised and promoted website brings visitors and those visitors bring information. That information is exclusive and once again another source for outstanding service to your buyers and sellers.
If your secret inventory or pocket listing business plan is more formalized you will find that your business will increase geometrically. Not only will more clients flock to you because of exclusive information but we all know it makes better sense to handle both ends of the transaction financially in that the fixed costs are the same. Let's outsmart the huge websites by leveraging our local experience and using technology for micro-generation in our market places.
Walter Sanford is a top producing real estate agent and speaker who travels the country delivering systems and strategies to top producers for higher productivity and client satisfaction.
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