In Landfall Realty’s recent community forum, I related the points made by Bob Seelert (outlined in Part 3 of this series) to the relationship between a good real estate sales agent and a client. At Landfall Realty, we teach and recommend the following, which we believe leads to a successful relationship.
1) As an agent, be truthful. Don’t tell a prospective customer what they want to hear to get a listing. Give a fair and objective evaluation of value based on what is occuring in the marketplace.
2) Set standards based on the new reality. This can be painful, as the real estate economy is very different than it was 24 or 36 months ago. Both agent and client must recognize this. What a property was worth 3 years ago has no bearing on what it is worth today, nor does what one paid for it. The new reality is that buyers (and there are buyers) are seeking the best value in the category of property being sought and there are a number of properties available in each cateogory. Value, not emotion, governs.
3) Think long term, act short term. This is key for a seller. A seller should know what the bottom line acceptable sales price is before an offer is received. Many offers expire or are withdrawn quickly. No decision is in fact a decision. The best time to debate an offer is not when you have 24 hours to make a decision. If an offer does not meet one’s bottom line, counter at or near the bottom line. If it meets or exceeds the bottom line, the decision, made after consulting your agent, is to accept or counter. We have seen many deals fall through over a few thousannd dollars. If the seller had thought long term, in many instances that difference in price would have had little if any lifestyle impact, and when property ultimately sold for less, the seller was unhappy.
4) Communicate within your team. This means to be certain that your agency’s team talks among themselves about your property, and that there is communication between you and your contact at the agency on a regular basis. At Landfall Realty, each agent is a team member; we don’t advertise individually, as do most general agencies, and we readily show all company listings, not just those of the agent meeting with a customer. We feel this best suits the customer needs.
5) Listen and learn from customers and peers. We at Landfall Realty try to constantly learn from what our customers tell us. I personally also use my extensive network of contacts through planned communities throughout the southeast to see what is selling, and what issues are important in the market place. Our team meets weekly to discuss these trends, and to tweak our sales presentation.
We value what we learn from our friends and customers, as we know continual improvement is critical to success in these difficult market conditions. I encourage you to talk with us at any time with any ideas you may have as to how we can better serve the Landfall NC community.
Kenneth M. Kirkman, general manager