You should be very afraid of the Big Bad Wolf
For 20+ years I've been trying to teach you about safety procedures for Open Houses but you keep doing things that put you in jeapardy. Either I'm a lousy teacher or you have lousy hearing. So let's try this again:
Do Not - Do Not - Do Not - Do Not
HOLD AN OPEN HOUSE BY YOURSELF!
I repeat... Do Not! It doesn't matter if you carry a gun or a taser...just don't do it! Have another ADULTwith you and ALWAYS stay posted next to the front door with the door open for easy exit. Let visitors go through alone no matter how innocent they look... you're a Realtor, not a security guard, so just stay put by the door. What are you going to do if you see them steal something? Wrestle them to the floor? Karate kick them? Come on Rambo, get real. You're worth far more than a wrist watch or a prescription bottle, no matter what your in-laws say.
In nice weather, stay out front with a chair and folding table. Have your phone in your hand at all times - or better yet - hold the homeowner's cordless phone so if you have to hit 911 the police can trace the call.
You probably didn’t know that 206 Realtors® were murdered on the job in the United States from 1982 to 2000. If you think you’re a good judge of character, you’re not! Con Men are Con men for a reason… they’re good liars. And if you think you can defend yourself, you’re dead wrong. Attacks happen quickly and you’re probably not trained for lightning fast responses like an Army Special Forces Ranger.
An Open House ad is simply another way of saying "Hey Baby, come get me! The door is open and here's the address!" And of course never, never say vacant or immediate posession in an ad or in MLS.That's like waving a red flag in front of a bull. There are many more Realtor-related purse snatchings, rapes and molestations than you ever hear about.. don't be another victim.
As for your other daily activities here are some tips:
With apologies to Floyd Wickman I’ll pass along a term this great sales trainer coined. I can’t explain it as well as Floyd the Master, but here goes:
CITO! It means COME INTO THE OFFICE. And that’s exactly what you should say to every single potential buyer. Whether they call on your ad or your sign or are referred by someone you know, start with the CITO (pronounced “see toe”) and you’ll save tons of time and make a lot more money.
It makes sense to meet them before rushing over to a property and here are two extremely good reasons:
- Your personal safety
- It’s good business
Learn to say, “Let’s get together at my office. We’ll have a cup of coffee and review some things before we head over there.” (If pressed, tell them you have an office policy about personal safety and you have to meet them first. Normal people will understand.)
Once they arrive you can get them settled in the conference room and show them your buyer presentation and ask to see their pre-approval letter. Of course they don’t have one so you can send them off to take care of it before showing property. After all, they want negotiating strength, don’t they? And most sellers need to know they’re approved, right? There’s no point in seeing houses today without the pre-approval letter!!! You just accomplished two things… you’ll have a preapproved buyer and you’ll weed out the lookie-loos and the con men. DO NOT show houses until the approval is ready. You won’t lose out on anything by waiting. You’ll gain.
Anyone who won’t drop by your office first is probably not a real buyer for you, anyway. It’s a 99.9% certainty they won’t buy from you. So forget about them, don’t waste your time and protect yourself from evildoers. Use the extra time to prospect for real customers.
This initial meeting is a wonderful way to bond with buyers and explain issues like buyer agency, inspections, showing procedures, contracts, earnest deposits, etc. This works equally well with strangers, friends and relatives. Win them over first and your whole job will be that much easier down the road. You’ll have credibility with them and enough knowledge about them to do a better sales job.
Granted, you won’t see a lot of agents using the CITO. Okay, let’s look at this way… you’re smarter than they are! You save more time and gas than they do! You have more buyer loyalty than they do!
CITO. Goofy word. Smart choice.
Happy sales to you until we meet again, Jan.
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Posted on Tue, August 18, 2009
by Jan Pringle