Anyone can play, here's how to win.
This book will be the basis for my course at York University on residential real estate. It's directed at prospective agents, but it will provide valuable insights for anyone who is interested in learning how the industry works.
I wrote this book because the majority of Realtors have little understanding of what their clients really expect of them. It is a harsh thing to say, especially standing in front of fifty Realtors as I do when I conduct my workshops for their boss, but they are largely an under-educated and under-informed bunch that lacks emotional intelligence skills. I don’t put the blame squarely on them; the whole industry seems unwilling to insist on excellence.
Here’s a case in point: Did you know that the only requirement to be an instructor for the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) is to have been licensed for five years? Quality real estate experts are not courted to teach Realtors, and as such, instructors tend to be, at best, very average.
The most horrifying aspect of this topic is that Realtors have significantly more influence over their clients’ money, in one transaction, and often for a larger dollar amount, than other professionals (financial advisors, lawyers, accountants, etc.) will ever have over a client’s money. Realtors engender trust in their client; they are looked to, to help make decisions in times of great anxiety and stress. But do Realtors really know what they are doing? Are they deserving of such trust?
When the majority of people hire a Realtor, they don’t properly interview him or her, and neither do they ask for testimonials and references (and even if they are given references, don’t make the calls). The end result is that many people end up with an unqualified, or under-qualified, Realtor. This book will teach Realtors how to practice real estate salesmanship properly, ethically, morally, and to everyone’s mutual benefit.
And for everyone else here’s your chance to be a fly on the wall.
Table of Contents.
PART I/ GENERAL
1: Is selling and/or leasing real estate the right occupation for you? Attributes of a successful Realtor. It’s not a 9 to 5 gig.
2: Qualifying to be a Realtor: the types of courses one needs to take. Who hands out and administers the licenses.
3: You’ve got your license, now what? How to interview prospective brokerages. What criteria do you apply to your decision about where to work, and for whom?
4: The business of real estate: how a brokerage operates.
5: How much will you earn? Typical expenses. How revenues you bring in are shared. Is the Realtor self-employed, an employee, or a business owner? Financial planning is a must. Accounting and tax guidelines for a Realtor. Can a Realtor be sued? Insurance etc. to cover off this possibility.
6: Where do clients come from? Tips on how to source clients.
7: Being an emotionally intelligent Realtor: the soft skills such as communication and sensitivity that make for efficient and personable relations with clients, buyers, and sellers.
PART II/ REPRESENTING THE SELLER
8: Pricing strategies: how to arrive at an optimum price to market a property (and to get your clients to accept it).
9: Home preparation and/or staging: advising clients on what they need to do to get their home ready to market.
10: Advertising: it’s a brave new digital world: using social media and digital technology for a competitive edge.
11: Showing the property: do’s and don’ts. Property disclosure statements.
12: When the offer(s) comes in: what happens if there are multiple bids? How to react when various conditions are attached?
13: How a deal proceeds to closing once your client has accepted an offer and conditions are met.
PART III/ REPRESENTING A BUYER
14: Ask the right questions about what your clients really need and what is “nice to have”.
15: Why your clients should get pre-approved by a lender.
16: Using RRSPs for first-timers.
17: Prospecting open houses: how to build relationships with other Realtors.
18: Explaining a listing to your clients: what do all the terms mean/taxes/basement apartments if not to code, etc.
19: Explaining the detail in an offer to purchase. It is a contract and needs to be taken seriously.
20: Why a deposit accompanies an offer, and how much is sufficient?
21: Technology helpers: how to set up your clients with a daily MLS feed based on their parameters.
22: How to take the emotion out of buying a property
23: How does For Sale by Owner differ from working with a listing agent?
24: How to know when a property represents solid value and/or meets your client’s needs, and you can confidently advise your client to put in an offer.
25: How to work with the listing agent to see that your clients’ offer will receive due consideration.
26: Multiple-bid situations—how to manage these with your client and where to draw the line.
27: Conditions—how to include as many as necessary to protect your client, but not so many that they might kill the deal (trying to get an offer as “clean” as possible)
28: What happens if the home inspection turns up a serious problem—mold, cracked foundation, termites, water pooling in the basement, knob-and-tube wiring, etc.
29: When your client’s offer is accepted—what does he or she need to do next? Give your clients a list of items regarding closing costs. Land transfer taxes. Legal fees, municipal taxes, utilities etc. that will be pro-rated. Why title insurance is a must. When your clients need to see their lawyer.
PART IV/ SETTING UP A NETWORK OF EXPERTS
30: Home inspectors, stagers, cleaners, lawyers, mortgage brokers/lenders, accountants, appraisers, surveyors, etc.
31: Creating an atmosphere of cooperation with other Realtors.
PART V/ TALES FROM THE TRENCHES
32: Real-life stories about deals that went well and those that became challenging and complicated. Can a deal not go through once an offer has been accepted?
33: Words to the wise: A checklist of things that could lead to disaster, such as poor management of client relationships, overpromising and under delivering, dishonesty or working in a gray area, underpricing a property to start a bidding war, overpricing a home to get the listing, etc.
Checklists, forms, legal documents