Category Archives: customer service

If you are new in the business, we will write the offer for you!

watsoncares1Many new real estate agents are hesitant at the beginning of their careers simply because they do not understand the paperwork they are required to assist a buyer with, when purchasing a home.

Ellen and I offer an extensive initial training program for our new agents, however, when an agent gets started quickly, sometimes they need help before they receive their initial training.

We are there to help.

We are happy to write the offer for our newer agents.  With our use of transaction desk, we are ale to shadow the new agent’s profile and complete the offer for them and their buyer.  All they would need to get the following from the buyer; purchase price, escrow deposit amount, closing date, type of financing or will they be paying cash, do they want a home warranty. Any other terms or conditions that are important to them that are not already on the contract.

We never want our agents to miss a sale simply because they are new.

If you are a new agent and want to be part of a team that is there to support you, give us a call!

Follow up on those REALTOR.com inquiries!

I discovered a 2011 Census survey where consumers were asked what source they used to find the home they purchased. The top 3 responses for those that purchased were;

1. Talked with a REALTOR

2. REALTOR.com

3. Word of Mouth

The number 1 result,” talked with a REALTOR” most likely included a number of different ways the home buyer got in contact with a REALTOR originally. Floor, open house, direct mail, general internet are just a few of those potential methods of first contact. Number 2 and 3 are more specific and for purposes of this post, let’s look at number 2, REALTOR.com.

My company enhances REALTOR.com for our agents. We do this for a reason obviously and statistics, much like our own Census Bureau prove that this is a good move. But simply enhancing REALTOR.com is not enough. The rest of the work, fall upon the agent.

• First they need listings.

• Second, they need to make sure they upload as many photos as possible, a virtual tour if available and make sure to spend time describing the home for sale. They are encouraged to read up on what a “call to action” is and experiment with different call to actions, measuring the results.

I have heard some agents say that the inquiries they receive from REALTOR.com, never respond to the agent after the agent replies to the email they received or phone call returned. I am sure this is true. But I would challenge them to take the responsibility off the customer, and place the responsibility directly on the agent.

What do I mean by that?

Simple, don’t give up. It is the agent that repeatedly and consistently follows up with potential leads from the internet that closes more than average. Continue to call and email them, change up your message and until they tell you to stop, don’t!

http://www.census.gov/newsroom/cspan/housing/20130426_cspan_housing_slides.pdf

Risk management and the real estate agent

This morning I attended a risk management meeting. The speaker was a E&O insurance specialist. Right off the bat he tossed out this statistic for claims his company is involved with; 70% of the E&O claims his company receives are against real estate agents with over 7 years’ experience! Does that surprise you? It certainly caught me off guard. It would be reasonable to think newer agents are at higher risk of being sued, right? After his explanation and examples he provided it started making sense.

Ask yourself if you have said or heard an experience agents say or do something similar to the follow;

1. The roof is new.

2. This is a great deal!

3. You will love the neighbors.

4. The house has all new appliances

5. Just make offers on several homes, I’ll make sure you only buy one.

6. Yes, you can build a house here

7. The buyer said they would…

8. The seller said they will leave the…….

9. I only show homes to buyers that are prequalified.

10. I am a short sale expert.

11. Don’t make your mortgage payment.

12. Foreclosure hurts your credit score more than a short sale.

13. Short selling is better than bankruptcy.

14. Yes you can put in a pool, the neighbor has one.

15. The schools are great!

16. The schools are bad!

17. I don’t think you need a survey.

18. I don’t think you need an inspection.

19. You can have chickens here.

20. You don’t need flood insurance.

21. There are several offers on this house, I think you should offer more than list price.

22. Don’t worry about the inspection report, it looks pretty good to me.

23. I did not see anything really bad on the inspection report.

24. Let me have a contractor I know take a look at the problem.

25. I would offer $5000 more.

26. I would offer $10,000 less.

27. You don’t have to see the house to make an offer.

28. You don’t need an attorney.

29. I don’t speak your language; will your young child/family friend/complete stranger interpret for you?

30. This is a great neighborhood!

31. This is a perfect family home!

32. Sink hole inspections are too costly.

33. I have never heard of anyone getting a radon inspection.

34. That would be a waste of money if you ask me.

35. I am happy to meet the inspector at the house since you can’t be there, I’ll let you know if he finds anything bad.

36. You are paying cash, you don’t need an appraisal.

37. I have never sold a commercial property but I have always wanted to try.

38. I think the appraisal is wrong.

39. I knew I needed to get the extension, put it in writing, fill out the escrow, I just didn’t get around to it.

40. If the buyer defaults, you will get their escrow money.

This list could be endless. It makes sense that experienced agents have the majority of the issues. Often times out of habit they say things to buyers and sellers that never become an issue UNITL…it does. In our office we are fortunate that many of our seasoned experienced agents attend sales meetings where important information is discussed, but there are some experienced agents that feel they no longer need this weekly education. As a result they might miss out on important updates, new changes to the law or worthwhile conversation dealing with local sales issues and risk management situations.

The presenter made a great suggestion for Brokers wanting to protect themselves and help inform the agent body. Hold mandatory risk management meetings. Scheduling these meetings would give the Broker time to deal with the most common risk management situation Brokers face; escrow issues, and would also allow the Broker to speak on a variety of subjects encountered weekly. I actually liked that idea and am considering offering that type of mandatory meeting at least once throughout the year.

Oviedo real estate school starts in April!

Watson Realty Corp. will be holding a Florida pre-licensing real estate school for interested persons in the Oviedo area starting on April 17 and ending with final exam, May 23.

The classes will be held in the Oviedo Watson office located at 2100 Alafaya Trail.  Class schedule is as follows:

April 17th – May 20th                          Mon, Wed, & Thurs    6PM to 10PM
Class Exam: May 23rd                             Thursday                        6PM to 9PM

Email me for a registration package.  gstaker@watsonrealtycorp.com

Watson Realty Corp. agents now have a phone app available for their customers!

Watson Realty Corp. agents now have their very own mobile home search apps that can be used by their customers to search for homes in Kissimmee and the Orlando area. The home buyer wants access at their fingertips and our agents now have a tool the customer can use on their phone. Watson Realty agent app

Congratulations on selling a house! What did your customer think about the process?

Do you have a system in place to follow up with your buying and/or selling customers after the closing that would allow them to give their take on the entire process? We believe you should. More often than not the reviews will all be good with the happy and pleased customer complimenting your skills, professionalism and abilities. With permission, these reviews are great to use on your website testimonial page or in your “about me” book.

On that rare occasion when the review is not as complimentary you will have an opportunity to take into account the customers critique and re-examine your systems and specific portions of the home buying/selling process.

As an office we send evaluation surveys immediately after closing to our buyers and sellers on behalf of our agents. It is a one page letter that asks the customer to comment on the service they received. We want to know if they were satisfied with the service they received, were the transaction details handled efficiently and would the recommend their agent to a friend.

We appreciate it when the customer takes the time to complete the survey and our agents appreciate the feedback too. This follow up system allows us to continually improve our service to our customers.

Why are you refusing to use a contact management system?

Why are you refusing to use a contact management system?

Yes this is directed to you. Over the past several months we have heard success story after success story of how our agents are benefiting from their using the Watson Connect contact management system and yet many agents have past customers and potential business from their COI still stuck away in a notebook or on index cards and rarely hearing from them, if at all.

Stop it!

Year after year agents try and reinvent the wheel, all the while ignoring potential business simply because they have no system in place to stay in contact with their sphere of influence or past customers.

It would seem to be a no brain-er!

There are many systems available similar to what we provide our agents here. They are easy to use and for those agents who are not comfortable, here in my office we have a tech trainer available to help get you started!

So please, please do yourself a favor and start loading your contacts into contact management solution. You can thank me later!

Don’t forget to ask for the outgoing referral!

Every week I ask my agents to turn in at least 1 outgoing referral. Each time I see that an agent has placed one with our Relocation Department, I am happy. The process of locating and sending in an outgoing referral will ultimately make you, the agent, happy too! Just think of how many past customers and dear friends you will get to say hello to and catch up with?

I imagine the conversation starting something like this….

“Hi Mary, this is Sue. How have you been?

(At this point you will probably have a lengthy conversation about life, family, remember when stories, etc)

After 30 minute to an hour of chit-chatting and just before hanging up…you might say something along the lines of…..

“Oh before I forget, the owner of my Company has personally asked me to see if my friends or family know of anyone moving anywhere outside of my market area. Do you know of anyone moving within the next few months?”

BOOM!

There you have it.

A great conversation may end up with a pay check down the road, and your friend or family member helped, which would be another good reason to call them back again!

What are you waiting for? Make those calls!

Always, always, always, try to get the name, phone number/numbers and email address.

I work with many outstanding agents.  Irena and Suzanne Aistrop are  two of those outstanding agents.  Year after year they do what it takes to succeed.  There are no excuses with these two ladies, regardless of the market, they find a way to sell more real estate than the average REALTOR in our market place.  These ladies are awesome with floor duty.  I asked Irena to give me her thoughts on why she has so much success on floor.  Here is a portion of her comments and opinions.

“Always, always, always, try to get the name, phone number/numbers and email address for the customer whether buyer or seller and make sure you have offered to be of help even though they may be initially unreceptive. 

Try to keep them talking.  Even unreceptive customers can frequently be persuaded to open up by friendly helpful conversation.  And don’t forget to give them your details.

Ask a few sensible pre qualifying questions but, contrary to all you have probably been told, do NOT insist on seeing a pre qualification letter or proof of cash to close before you show a home. 

Use that first viewing as a chance to build rapport and then at that point seek further financing/cash confirmation which is always easier to obtain face to face. 

If you are not prepared to risk a little of your time to gain a commission, you are most likely going to miss out on a good few strong buyers and are probably in the wrong profession!”

 

Real estate agents need to have and use a contact management system.

Why is it that some real estate agents struggle year after year unsure where their next lead is coming from while others seems to have an endless supply of business? There are a variety of reasons of course but none more important that an agent’s ability to prospect and stay in touch with their customer base and center of influence. Don’t be the agent that is always trying to reinvent the wheel before learning how to use the wheel that is already in existence.

“The only way to predict the future is to create it.”

I do not recall who said this but that is exactly what your using a contact management system will help you do with your business. By keeping in regular contact with everyone you know or have come in contact with, you will be creating future business!

My company has provided an easy to use system that is designed to help our agents succeed. We ask that our agents take advantage of it! For those who have not been using the system nor are not sure how to start, we have a tech trainer that provides individual assistance to get them started.

I have ask all floor agents to set up their contact management accounts as soon as possible in order to qualify for floor duty. I feel that strongly about the power of this tool. At our last sales meeting I heard from 3 of our top agents about the power of using the system!

Real estate agents need to have and use a contact management system if they are determined to outlast and outsell the competition.