I’ll start with this, we’ve all been there! It’s going to take a minute to get really comfortable, especially if you have no history in real estate. I’ve trained well over 100 agents at this point and what is most beneficial is getting comfortable with the documents you are using. Role play feels a little awkward but without a doubt, it is the best way. If you can get your broker or someone VERY experienced to do a video of how they explain all of the documents you’re going to use in the transaction that is a true life saver. This gives you the opportunity to practice and take notes at will. You’ll find you get into your own rhythm and you create your own style but the important thing is to make sure you understand well enough to explain it to the client. If you don’t know the answer to their question, there is nothing wrong with saying “You know, I’m not sure, I will get the answer and get back to you!” You’ll want to record yourself doing the presentation as well. Compare your video to your mentors and see what it is that you don’t quite understand. Also, look at your expressions while you’re presenting.
Create a Pre-Filled Offers Binder
Create a binder and/or a google drive where there are pre-filled offers. In the blanks, what would typically need to be in the blank, even if it is a description of what should be there. There are key phrases that must be correct otherwise they totally change the meaning. For example, “Seller agrees to pay 3% of SALES PRICE in buyers closing costs, pre-paids, inspections and fees.” or “Seller agrees to pay 3% of buyer closing costs, pre-paids, inspections and fees” That’s a pretty costly error. I’d recommend having someone with experience sit down with you and create an example for each document. Get it organized because “on the fly” you’ll find it will make a huge difference in that anxiety attack you have the first few times you have to write an offer or fill out a listing document/buyers agreement.
Work out a Deal
Remember a buyer is just as nervous as you are. They’re excited and typically won’t notice how nervous you are unless you really don’t have a good poker face. Remember, it’s okay if you don’t know everything. Just have a mentor you can text with questions. Ask to shadow busy agents, ask to be in the room when they’re on a call handling negotiations, and be respectful of their time. Have someone review offers before you send them off. Another tip, negotiations shouldn’t be emotional for an agent. You are there to work out a deal, not duke it out. Be respectful of one another. You want to advocate for your client, not make the other side mad! EXP agents have a lot of really great resources. Use them!!! You’re assigned a mentor and they are trained and experienced agents.
Establish Rapport with Buyers
I do a buyers presentation with my buyers, regardless of if they are new buyers or not. Most buyers haven’t purchased in 7+ years, it has been a while and they don’t typically remember everything involved. It’s the best thing you can do to establish rapport. They get to see you as the professional and not just the door opener. Most buyers don’t get to see a contract prior to making an offer, which is the most emotional time. They’re excited, scared and overwhelmed. Going through a contract and really explaining expenses prior to that moment is going to help put them at ease and make you the hero. I do this via zoom and will often share the video with them for reference. They can also do the call in the comfort of their own home. They appreciate that a lot.
How eXp realty agents approach Sellers
Talking with sellers, that’s a little nerve racking regardless of how long you’ve been in the business. You need to know the comparable properties. You need to do more than show up with a couple of MLS sheets. You need to know the differences and similarities. We use a spreadsheet that we put them all in side by side. You can do this through several services, your MLS is one. When I got in the business I called a local appraiser and asked if he would allow me to sit with him while he did comps. We discussed the values he used and what was important. From there I built a spreadsheet and still use it to this day. The spreadsheet automatically calculates the adjustments. We, also, take those values and insert them into a net sheet. It is important that the seller knows where their numbers are. You cannot in all fairness allow them to negotiate their most important asset flying blind! You want to show them what they are getting by having you as their agent.
eXp agents have all kinds of additional services, home warranties, utility services, the ability to market to other states. You have more to offer than just putting a sign in the yard. You need to be able to express it. You’ll run across sellers who couldn’t care less. They know you and they just want to sign the paperwork…..it’s okay to let them. Just make sure they understand what they are signing. You’ll also find sellers who want every detail. Take your time and let them ask questions. If you have a seller that insists on listing high, offer to give it a “trial period” but with set dates for reductions. This feels like a win-win. Nail down the dates of the reductions and write it into the listing agreement whenever possible. Take the stance “I want you to get every dollar possible, but it’s important that we maximize the days on the market so your listing doesn’t go stale. That sends the wrong message to buyers.”
Negotiations and Deals That Fall Through
Negotiations and deals that fall through….this is where the rubber meets the road. Remember, the decision belongs to the client, not you. You cannot be emotional. You’re not the one buying the house or selling it. It’s not your asset. It is theirs! If they choose to be unreasonable you cannot wear that. Your job is to educate them. When negotiating, look for compromises. Get additional estimates to see if you can get a better deal on things like a roof if it’s an issue. Keep a good line of communication with the other agent. Share what you can, but do not breach your fiduciary duty. That is a big one. If you think sharing a detail will get the deal together ask your clients permission first and express why you think it would be helpful. There is nothing more sickening than a deal that a seller or buyer is so excited about, except for when you have to make the phone call to the client to tell them. You can only control what you can control. Sometimes you’re going to take the blame even when you didn’t do anything wrong and it’s going to feel so unfair but this too shall pass. You have to lay the facts out and they have to come to terms with it. If you have a magic wand and can fix everything, give me a call because I’ll need your services from time to time; otherwise, you’ll just have to let it go! Learn from the experience! Having “real” conversations with the client will either be fruitful or it won’t. It will be one of the more frustrating parts of your career.
Understanding DISC Profiles
It is helpful to learn the DISC profiles. You’ll get to where you have a good idea of your clients personality and you can use that knowledge to approach how you present information. It’s also important to know where you are in regard to your strengths/weaknesses as well. Use this knowledge to adapt when needed. I know the money is important but learn to walk away when you spot a personality that you know you’d rather walk through hot coals than to deal with. Trust me, refer them out and get the referral fee. It is never worth it.
You Must Know EVERYTHING
I know there are some personalities that feel they must know EVERYTHING before they can get in front of a client. You are NOT going to know everything so STOP IT! Really, it’s okay to learn as you go. After being involved in over 1000 transactions, owning a real estate company and being a broker for quite some time…..I still have a situation occasionally that stumps me. No two deals are the same and that is why people need us. One of our local real estate attorneys teaches our real estate school and he helped write the tests that we take to become an agent. He will tell you that he’d hire an agent before he’d do his own real estate transaction. I have a show on my YouTube channel where you’ll hear him say that! If he doesn’t know it all then we shouldn’t put so much pressure on ourselves.
Use eXp Resources
I love the eXp agent model because you have accessibility to all of the coaching, marketing, training, presentations….the list goes on and on. Before companies like eXp you were at the mercy of an agent in your office giving you “just enough to get by” because no one wanted you to succeed more than they did. eXp is a platform where we all want to see you succeed and that is why there is so much content readily accessible. Use it! You will be light years ahead of us that had to learn from a book or video from an agent in another territory! Podcasts are still a great way to learn as well. Interview top producing agents in non-competing markets. Ask to see their listing/buying presentations. You’ll be surprised how open they are to sharing.
If you are interested I have over 300 shows on my YouTube channel. Some from my radio show and some from my video blog. There is an interview with an industry professional about every topic that even resembles real estate. If you have a client moving to another state or country, there’s likely a show in that area that walks you through how to explain the process by an agent that lives and works there. Every State and every Country has something new and different than you are likely use to. You can check it out by going to link.tree/realestate101kareybrown.
Meet Karey Brown
Karey has been a real estate agent for 21 years. The majority of that time she has run her Team and been a Real Estate Broker, and Franchise Owner. In 2019 she closed her franchise and moved her team to eXp Realty. Karey has also hosted a Real Estate Talk show, recently turned podcast, for over 6 years. She interviews experts in the field about everything Real Estate. In 2003 she's expanding from educating the community to helping agents as well. In addition to starting a second podcast about living the Digital Nomad life. Karey is a wife, and mom of 3. They were 1, 2, and 8 years old when she got into real estate. They're all now grown and homeowners themselves! She started with no experience and sold up to 232 homes a year. She shares her passion on her real estate channel. You can find years worth of content on link.tree/Realestate101Kareybrown