Be aware of some of the traps that we as people fall into and DON’T do them:
- Reducing our commission: We sometimes think that if we reduce our commission we will convince the real estate lead to work with us and we will get the deal and cut our competition out of the deal. This is not true and actually works to all of our disadvantage. Cutting commission is cutting service without cutting expectations of service. We then find that our competition is cutting their commission below ours and we are in a full-fledged commission war with the broker agent across the street. This is what Nelson Rockefeller did to drive his competition out of business. It was a war of attrition and they are always long and painful for all sides. Winners and losers. Like siege warfare, we are starving ourselves and our competition into oblivion. At the end of the war we are no richer or happier. We just have less money…even if we win. Perhaps I go on about this too much but it breaks my heart to see people work as hard as we do and then cut their commission for no reason and without benefiting the buyer or seller we are working with. You may gain the Real Estate lead but you have not made more money as your time is your only inventory and you have just reduced the value of it.
- Speak badly of your competitors: This is a trap that we fall into as we are people and as people we are sometimes tempted to compare ourselves to our competitors. Even if we don’t compare ourselves, sometimes we get asked about our competitors by potential buyers and we feel compelled to be honest. Honesty without editing is never going to be our friend. Remember the joke about the wife that asks the husband if this dress makes her look heavy? Well that didn’t go well for him and it won’t go well for you either. Even if you feel it does at first the listener will always wonder what you are saying about them when they are not around. This makes everyone feel uncomfortable in the end.
This is not to be confused with the additional fact which is that speaking poorly about our competition is just plain unprofessional. This isn’t the Pepsi challenge. They are only going to buy one house while they are going to buy hundreds of cola’s. We can’t compare ourselves to these impersonal behemoths. We are people who can’t hide behind a logo or a cute advertising campaign. We are people dealing with people.
- Give your opinion when it is not asked for: This is another trap that we get caught up in and that can sometimes work to our benefit but more often will work against us. What is it they say about opinions and uh…well you know the saying. (Meanwhile I also understand that this is my opinion, so keep your opinions about my giving you my opinion to yourself) What has happened to more than one agent or lender is that they feel that their opinion is valued by the person that we are talking to since we obviously have more experience than the typical home buyer. The problem is that our opinion could be completely different to the opinion of who we are talking to . Quick story time…I walked into a home with pink carpet that had been on the market for some time. No one bought it and I knew why as soon as I walked into the house. So I said “Pink carpet, that is pretty horrible” and you guessed it the buyers loved the idea of pink carpet and I opened my big fat mouth and stuck my foot straight through to my lower intestine. I was able to remove it and save the deal. In fact they were willing to pay more than asking price to keep all the other pink carpet lovers away from their treasure. But wouldn’t it have been easier to just shut my mouth when not asked? After that I never gave my opinion again without being asked for it. Once asked of course always be honest. Honesty is easier than having a good memory, just use some internal editing and be 100% honest in regards to the question that you were asked. One question doesn’t mean to be open with your opinions on every subject. It only applies to the question that you were asked.