28: Why Providing Showing Feedback Is So Important

I timed myself as to how long it took to write feedback after a showing.  It took 14 seconds.

14 total seconds of my day.  That’s all.

Why is it then that only about a third of agents take the time to provide any type of feedback?  I don’t care if it’s a brief reply such as “interested” or “not interested”.  That at least gives me what I need to know.  Those simple words allow me to give my client some type of update.

Is it really that hard?  Does 10-30 seconds of time really cost that much?  Or is the effort just too great to reply to my email (or text or actually call me back after my 3rd inquiry about what the buyer thought).

real estate showing feedback

I think it’s reasonable that if a seller leaves their home for an hour on a Sunday morning to enable a buyer to visit, that the buyer’s agent will take 15 seconds to give an update afterwards.  Or am I totally out of line thinking this is logical?

Providing that feedback, as brief or in-depth as it may be, is so important because:

It Helps Show Our Clients That We Are Watching Out For Them – To sellers, getting feedback is common sense.  If we can’t get it, it makes us look like we’re not paying attention.  Or, worse, that we don’t know what we’re doing.

It Provides Direction – How do we know what to fix if we don’t know what’s broken?  Feedback gives an unbiased opinion of the property from an outsider.  Sellers are often way too attached to their home to see the faults.  When an outsider can point them out, it can help give credibility to needing to fix things that maybe the seller didn’t think were problems.

Pricing & Value – Although you have to expect that a serious buyer is probably going to provide feedback that the “price is too high,” other non-interested buyers will likely be giving you their honest opinion on if the price is at market value or not.  We all know that sellers think their house is more special than every other one on the block so, if 10 people are saying it’s priced too high, then maybe the seller will finally get the hint that their over-priced property needs to come down.

What Goes Around, Comes Around – As agents, we have an informal brother/sisterhood, right?  We have to watch out for each other.  I’m a believer that what goes around, comes around.  So, providing feedback to others is the best way for you to get feedback of your own when you need it.

The next time you visit a home as a buyer’s agent, make sure to provide feedback within 24 hours.  We all help each other, don’t we?



9: [TOOLBOX] Win Over The Pet To Win Over The Client

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I can tell you from experience in owning a national pet services company that, if you can win over the pet, you stand a great chance to win over a new human client.

That’s because people love their pets.  And, they often trust their pet’s intuition.

how to do listing presentations with petsHow does this apply to real estate?  Well, how often do you go to make a listing presentation at a potential client’s home and are greeted at the door by a furry four-legged friend?  With roughly 66% of American households having a pet, there’s a good chance that there’s a dog or a cat waiting for you in that house.

In my pet business, we do client consultations at the client’s home and our normal practice is to make a HUGE deal out of meeting the dog or cat when we first walk in the home.  We basically pay more attention to the pet than the person for the first 30 seconds in the house.

That’s because we want to let the client know that we care greatly about their pet.  Of course, we also want the pet to feel comfortable around us so they like us.

And, when the pet likes us, then the clients normally do, too.

So, again, back to real estate, why is this important?

It’s because pet owners are usually pretty enthusiastic about their cat or dog or other pet.  They typically have an affinity to the type of animal, the breed, the size, the personality, and more.  If you can identify with this and bond to it, there’s an immediate connection between you and this potential new client.

I’ve literally had people not hire me (for the pet business) because they flat out said that their dog didn’t like me.  Now, that’s a little extreme and a home seller may not take fluffy’s opinion into too much consideration when listing their house.  But, none-the-less, people trust their pets.  If Rover is normally a well-behaved dog but is growling and barking at you incessantly, it may set off a small alarm in their heads.  On the other hand, a normally shy pet that comes to sit on your lap for no reason will probably elicit a positive response from the home owner.

I understand that a pet dog or cat isn’t your main concern when visiting a home.  But, keep it in mind that bonding with a pet is often a huge and easy step towards connecting with this new home seller or buyer.

If you get to a home and they have a dog or cat that you’re not a fan of, don’t do things to give the impression that you don’t like them.  Many pet owners will be conscious of making sure you’re not uncomfortable but, if you clearly don’t like the pet, just fake it until you leave.

Pet/Client Bonding Suggestions

When you have the opportunity to meet with someone at their home and they do have a pet, make a point to ask things such as:

  • the pet’s name
  • age
  • male or female
  • breed
  • their personality
  • if there are other pets in the house
  • any tricks they can do
  • and basically anything else that gets them to start talking about their pet

Also, try and pet the dog or cat.  Make it apparent that you like the client’s pet and that you’re not afraid of it.

And, before you leave, make sure to say “bye” to the pet as well as the pet owners.  It will make them feel more confident in the fact that they just signed with you.  Because, who doesn’t hire a pet-loving real estate agent when the clients are pet lovers themselves?


7: [TOOLBOX] My Favorite Open House Visitor Gift Idea

charles shaw two buck chuckWhat do you think is the best open house gift idea?

When you do open houses, what do you do to welcome visitors and encourage them to stay?  What do you do to sell yourself and to make home buyers feel comfortable in the home?

For example, here are the more popular ideas that I typically encounter:

  • cookies or other treats to give out
  • adjusting the temperature to a very cool setting on super-hot days
  • small sandwiches from the local sub shop
  • canned drinks
  • branded marketing materials like pens, note pads, etc.
  • salads, pastas, or finger foods from the local deli or caterer
  • running contests or drawings to win a prize

These are all fine and good.  But the one that I’ve had the most overall success is…

A Free Bottle Of Wine.  Specifically, Trader Joe’s Charles Shaw variety (commonly referred to as “Two-Buck Chuck”).

Now, am I the only real estate agent in the history of the world to offer a free bottle of wine?  Of course not.  And I’m not saying it’s any better or worse than any of the ideas I’ve mentioned above.

But here’s why I love using this as my go-to open house gift strategy.

It Impresses People

You want to make a great impression as a real estate agent, right?  Sure you do.  So, what makes a better impression: a can of pop or a bottle of wine?  A plate of pasta salad or a bottle of wine?  A one-out-of-15 chance to win a $10 Starbucks gift card or a guaranteed bottle of wine?

Again, I have nothing against these other ideas I’m comparing to.  It’s just that I’ve found that the free bottle of wine make people think “wow, this is pretty nice” more than those other items.

Proof:  it’s common for people to give me a questioning look when I give them their free bottle.  It’s common for people to say something to the effect of “really?  I can take this?”  or “no thanks, I couldn’t possibly take this as I’m not a serious buyer right now” or “thank you very much.”

It’s Cheap…And Good

Am I a total wine snob?  Nope.  I really couldn’t tell you the difference between this wine and a $40 bottle of something else.  Luckily, most of your buyers also couldn’t tell the difference.  So, this one, in my humble opinion, certainly tastes good enough to hand out to people and be confident that they’ll actually like it.

I personally think these bottles taste just fine.  Even pretty dang good, especially considering the price.  Further, this line has garnered a few wine awards, so there are at least a few fancy-pants wine people that like it, too.  And, with 800 million bottles sold, there’s some social proof that it’s good stuff.

And, like I said, this stuff is cheap.  Like, $3 cheap.  Roll out of your local Trader Joe’s with a case for about $40 including tax.  That’s a pretty good value.

It’s Reusable

When your open house is over, what do you do with all those extra cookies left over?  Or the pasta salad?  Or the sandwiches?  They probably go into the garbage if they’ve been sitting out or you can’t find enough mouths to feed them to.

But with an unopened bottle of wine, just pack it back up and store it until the next open house.

If 10 people come, it’s cost you about $30 (10 X $3/bottle) to do that open house.  And, if no one comes, your open house was free.  You didn’t have to spend and waste money on food that no one came and ate.

It’s A Marketing Tool

Attach your business card to the bottle so when people go to open it later on, they’ll see your name…again.

Let People Leave On A High Note

Don’t mention the free bottle until they are about to leave.  If they liked the house, it’s a great extra add-on to their positive experience.  If they didn’t like the house, it’s a great lasting impression for you.

Where You Can Get Two-Buck Chuck

You can get Charles Shaw wine at any Trader Joe’s location.

My personal favorites are the Merlot and Shiraz varieties.

What else do you do for your open house guests?  Leave us a comment below.