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Realtor formal training is often very dry, focusing on legal issues and contracts. Sometime you can get private training on prospecting and closing techniques and some of the usual motivational stuff, maybe sponsored by your broker. Yet today for closing on a deal and for building a customer base one needs to be more than just very good at the technical or communication aspects, one must be able to put together everything that is needed to make the transaction happen and to make the two ends meet, WHATEVER it takes.
The Realtors that close deals regularly know this very well. It is often something unexpected that holds up a sale, and when you hear all these “gurus” talking about their systems for prospecting and selling on automatic one cannot refrain a giggle.
You can delegate most of the work and leverage the work of other people for sure, but it is going to be people not systems. But what people again? The people who add emotion into the the action. Sometimes you meet Realtors that are very dry themselves. Professional, but boring to say the least.
I understand that selling or buying a house can be a serious business, but chances are that the more serious you make it the less it is going to happen. You don’t need to ridicule the house of course or any of the parties, but you definitely need to put some emotion into the deal. That is what people are responding to today.
But let’s not confuse true emotion with what they call “emotional labor”: the display of fake emotions for the sole purpose of obtaining an end. You know, like one of those stereotyped smiles you see around.
When you can display a real genuine emotion, you can tie up with the person in front of you. An emotion he can respond to. You are liable to see some amazing results and what before was impossible now becomes possible.
So more true in the web and social media arena where people are attracted by emotional factors and “artistic“ factors more than anything else. I was befriended just yesterday by a Realtor on Facebook. The next day I got in my Facebook e-mail a request from her to like her Fan page. She would not try to even connect, not even provide me the link to it. I was supposed to search for it myself.
No this is definitely the wrong way to go about things. This is again the export in social media of the old habit of going around in meetings and exchanging stacks of business cards without ever really meeting anybody.
This is not going to work anymore. There are tons of mediocre Realtors and real estate investors out there. Why should people chose one of them? Because they bring them a better deal? Because they ask for a lower commission? There can be an art in everything you do, even a real estate transaction. There is no manual to follow but you are expected to create your own . Mediocrity is going out. Art is coming in.
We have been living for a long a time in an Attendance Base Compensation society. It was enough to show up and get rewarded. While this was clearly the method of working for any white collar at a big or small company or any blue collar at a factory, it permeated thought our western culture and has become also the basic approach to life and business of more freely organized professions, like that of some salesmen and Realtors.
It was enough to show up at the brokerage office, or to show up at a house showing with a potential buyer or to show up at social events to network with other professionals and gain referrals by just exchanging business cards. Now that the ABC approach is falling apart everywhere (please read the book Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?
by Seth Godin on how and why it is falling apart – I don’t like the second half of it, with all the “Lizard Brain” discussion that doesn’t seem factual, but the first half is worth reading). We are now facing an increased majority of Realtors that just don’t know what to do to bring their income levels to a reasonable level.
We complain about the market, the financial credit crunch, the economy, the slow buyers and the unreasonable sellers. It is very true that many things have changed and doing business in real estate is much tougher than before, but just for this reason one cannot expect to continue being paid for just showing up.
People are looking for somebody and something remarkable. In real estate they are looking for someone who can truly answer ALL their questions. It is funny for example how many times I have personally ended providing sources for tax information and immigration information to my international buyers. These were central concerns that came before any discussion about the size of the house, its location ans so forth.
Their main concern is naturally to protect their investment, to be able to live or use their house in a foreign country, and to save on taxes as much as they can. And indeed many of them made the most profit in currency exchange or in tax savings other than just getting a good bargain price. And it is not just applicable to international sales. In any kind of transaction there is information and service that a salesman or Realtor can procure in oder to give the perfect or best experience to its customer that no one else would be able to replicate.
So let’s forget the ABC we have been taught for so long time and let’s start working on a new approach to our business. Let’s become artists in our field, people that are simply indispensable because what we offer cannot be found easily elsewhere. Let’s become the linchpin of our business model.