Infomercial marketer Ron Popeil had a famous saying. We all know it: “SET IT annnnnnd….. (say it with me now)… FORGET IT!” But Ron Popeil was never a listing agent who had to deal with anxious home owners, was he?
With the rapid rise in technology use, clients expect faster service and more marketing exposure than ever before. The pressure to perform, even in a seller’s market, is increasing every year. Even with proper staging, professional photography, and well-written descriptions, making a listing active and then sitting back to wait for a buyer is simply not good enough.
Here are three proactive approaches that you as a broker can encourage listing agents to take with their listings.
Measure the home before it’s listed. For a nominal fee, a licensed appraiser will measure a listing and provide a floor plan. This helps listing agents get accurate information to use in the MLS and provides a nice floor plan to use in marketing pieces. It’s also a chance to address any discrepancies in the beginning of the transaction instead of at the end. And for you risk-management junkies, this will add an element of protection for those agents who choose to hire a professional instead of taking measurements themselves.
Use a showing service. I am fortunate to belong to an MLS that provides a centralized showing service (CSS). I was in real estate before CSS was in place, but I have seen the benefits and I can’t imagine not having it. It provides a terrific platform to send and receive feedback with other agents. When a buyer’s agent wants to show a home, they call the central number and schedule the showing. The listing agent receives a notification of who is showing the home and when. This is a great opportunity to open the lines of communication, especially if there is something unique about the home that is not obvious in the marketing. If your agents do not subscribe to a showing service that prompts them to provide feedback, they can use a free app like GoConnect that allows the user to set reminders to follow up with other agents on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.
Contact the buyer’s agent prior to showings. This is one of the easiest, cheapest ways for a listing agent to be proactive. When I receive a showing notification on one of my homes (thank you, showing service) I immediately send a quick e-mail or text to that agent with timely, relevant information about the house. Why?
- I have no idea if they have taken the time to read what I put in MLS.
- I have no idea if they are showing one home or 15.
- I have no idea if they’ve ever sold a house before.
- They might just be lazy.
- We owe it to our sellers to provide as much information, in as many ways, as possible.
“But wait, there’s more!” There’s also a universal benefit to having proactive listing agents in your office. If the information they provide makes a buyer’s agent look more prepared or more knowledgeable, I have also raised the level of professionalism of that real estate professional in the eyes of that consumer. Two benefits for the price of one? Ron Popeil would be proud.
Reprinted from REALTOR® Magazine Online, November 2014, with permission of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. Copyright November 2014. All rights reserved. http://realtormag.realtor.org