In part one of a three-part series, learn how to explain to prospects and clients that your specific real estate knowledge is worth the money they’ll pay for your services. MAY 2018 | BYTONYA EBERHART AND MICHAEL CARR
Everyone wants to feel appreciated, and you’re no different. You want your clients to see the value you bring to the transaction, but many real estate professionals are timid about tooting their horn to prospects and clients. You don’t want to come off as self-important, but you do want to educate customers about what you do—and most importantly, why you’re worth a commission check. Particularly in this digital age, where face-to-face communication is becoming scarcer, you might hear some of these aggravating comments:
“You made what off the sale of that home? It must be nice to ride around all day and make money.”
“I can save a lot of money if I don’t use an agent. That’s 6 percent more cash in my pocket. How hard can it be?”
“You can show me some homes, but I’m not going to sign an exclusive agreement with you. I’ll work with whoever brings me the best deal.”
“I’ll consider using you to sell my home if you’ll cut me a break on the commission.”
You know all the reasons you’re valuable, but this list is a resource you can provide customers. It’s part one of a three-part series designed to help you bust common misconceptions about your profession, drawn from our book,31 Reasons Your Real Estate Agent Is Worth Their Commission. We’ve grouped our points into three value-building categories, beginning with knowledge.
Glean talking points about your experience in the field, which will come in handy if clients object to the amount they’re paying you.Read more.
You have better information to assess a home’s value.Homes listed with a licensed full-time real estate agent sell for nearly 26 percent more than FSBO listings—even after factoring in the agent’s commission—according to the National Association of REALTORS®’2017 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers. Why? Mainly because you have intimate knowledge of the local market and what price it will support. Homeowners may have an idea of what price they want to ask for, but that figure is often not in alignment with market fundamentals. You have the professional training to assess your clients’ situations and position their home to sell for maximum value.
You understand the appraisal process.Buyers and sellers don’t always know why there is an appraisal and why it matters. Federal rules on appraiser independence requirements can add confusion to how a buyer or seller can communicate with an appraiser. A full-time agent understands that an appraisal is meant to help the lender determine if the sale price of a home will adequately support the loan the lender is giving to a borrower. You can explain how the process works to confused buyers and sellers so they don’t feel caught off guard and understand the need for an appraisal. You can also provide the appraiser with additional information, including comps and market analyses, to ensure the information that is most important to the value of the home is being considered.
You’re a professional dealmaker.Common sense might dictate that a professional salesperson’s talents are applicable to any industry, but nothing is farther from the truth. The average consumer can’t sell a vehicle as well as a professional car salesperson. The same goes for houses. A natural salesperson might be able to win the confidence of a buyer, but are they prepared for the next step? You can earn a client’s trust, but you also know how to handle contracts, negotiations, etc. Negotiating is generally done on the back end, when the details of the transaction come to the surface. In order to keep a deal together, you sometimes have to play hardball—especially when the opposing side drags its heels, potentially harming your client. Negotiating takes a lot of practice, which you’ve taken the time to master.Your clients need that expertise to keep a deal from falling through.
A Google search won’t teach your clients what you already know.The real estate business is a complex system. Your customers could search online for the answers to any state or national real estate test, and it still will not give them the full knowledge you possess. Buyers and sellers might be able to glean the basics of filling out a contract—but then what? Even if they could find every answer to every possible question, how long would that take? Google is indeed an incredible gateway to knowledge, but it is no substitute for the hours, days, and years you’ve spent applying your knowledge to real-life scenarios.
You do most of the thinking for your clients.The brain is a muscle, and when muscles are overused, they get sore and need recuperation. You can supply peace of mind—literally—to your clients by handling the most taxing parts of a transaction for them. And that’s worth every penny of a commission. Your clients don’t need to tax their brains in an attempt to gain knowledge or information you already have. You can let them focus on their bottom line while you engage with those who want a piece of it.
When you make money, your clients benefit.You might make a $30,000 commission on a million-dollar home, but you don’t keep all that money to yourself. Some of it goes back to your clients in the form of rewards for loyal customers, gas and meals when taking customers out on a day of showings, not to mention marketing expenses such as MLS fees, Google ads, listing photography, signs, and open house events, all to help sellers find a buyer for their home. You put your money where your mouth is.
You’re properly trained.It’s not possible to do what you do at your skill level without the proper training it takes to understand all the nuances of the industry. Not only are you properly educated and licensed to conduct business, you are required to take continuing education courses to keep your skills in line with current trends. Would your clients make that kind of commitment?
You have an eye for what sells.Staging is a key factor in selling a home for its full value. You know which improvements or repairs will bring maximum return on investment for your clients. You keep up with home style trends in order to make a property stand out and catch buyers’ attention. You’re skilled in portraying a story with listing photos, and you know how to highlight the attributes of a home and properly address the drawbacks.
You work in an age-old industry that has weathered ups and downs.The REALTOR® brand has been around for more than 100 years, and you are carrying on a legacy of continually putting systems into place to help consumers, set industry ethics standards, and find better marketing solutions. You’re backed by industry leaders who lobby for better training and laws that protect the client from fraud. And in the end, your clients are better off because of it.
A word from Chris Russell, CEO of Plum Tree Realty:
"One of my greatest passions is to use our real estate business to help alleviate suffering in this world. So we take proceeds from Plum Tree to help orphans, feed the hungry, heal the sick and hurting, and to aid the homeless ... both in the States and abroad. We are not about "getting rich." We are about making a difference. So when you do business with Plum Tree Realty, you can know that a portion of your money is going toward helping those on this planet who are in need of help. Together we can make a difference!"
To help people realize their dreams in home ownership and real estate investing through the highest levels of broker services at the most affordable prices available.
Our Core Values:
Integrity in every relationship, decision, and transaction.
Truth in word and deed.
Hard work that keeps us ahead of the competition.
Sacrifice of our own interests for the gain of our clients.
Commitment to excellence in every task we perform.
Respect for all people.
Giving to those with whom we work.
Areas of Expertise:
Residential Real Estate Sales and Purchase
Commercial Real Estate Sales, Purchase and Leasing
Real Estate Investing (buying, selling, holding, rehabbing)
Property Management and Leasing
Putting it Together
Plum Tree Realty is a premier real estate marketing company focused on helping buyers and sellers get the highest level of real estate services. We help home owners, for instance, who have homes for sale in Mason, Ohio to price their homes in a competitive way since the market is growing in such a fast rate in that area. When a buyer is looking for West Chester, Ohio real estate for sale, we can guide them to the very best deals that are available, and we can give them expert advice as they make such a huge purchase. We cover all of the major real estate markets of the Greater Cincinnati including the following hot markets:
Cincinnati, OH Real Estate (homes for sale)
West Chester, OH Real Estate (homes for sale)
Madeira, OH Real Estate (homes for sale)
Monroe, OH Real Estate (homes for sale)
Indian Hill, OH Real Estate (homes for sale)
Hyde Park, OH Real Estate (homes for sale)
Blue Ash, OH Real Estate (homes for sale)
Lebanon, OH Real Estate (homes for sale)
Loveland, OH Real Estate (homes for sale)
Fairfield, OH Real Estate (homes for sale)
Hamilton, OH Real Estate (homes for sale)
Liberty Township, OH Real Estate (homes for sale)
Kenwood, OH Real Estate (homes for sale)
Mount Adams, OH Real Estate (homes for sale)
While some people search for homes according to the suburb names, others are very interested in the top school districts in the area such as homes for sale in Mason School District, homes for sale in the Lakota School District, homes for sale in the Wyoming school district, homes for sale in the Sycamore school district, homes for sale in the Monroe School District, and more. Our agents are highly-skilled in placing families in the best school districts in Cincinnati according to the desires of each family involved.
Of course, we also have great skill in helping buyers and investors find foreclosures, short sales, bank owned homes, and other great investment properties in the Greater Cincinnati Metro Area as well. Many of our agents are investors themselves, so they are great at helping other investors be the first one to the "golden egg."
We also have agents who specialize in helping families who are relocating to Cincinnati, Mason, West Chester, Blue Ash, Madeira, and any of the other regions in Southwest Ohio. It's great to have "feet on the ground" when you are looking to make such a move.
Plum Tree Realty has also become quite a favorite company for those who like to try to sell their home as a For Sale By Owner in Cincinnati as well. The reason for this is that we offer a $500 flat-fee listing to home owners who would like to sell as a FSBO, but they would also like to have a presence on the Cincinnati MLS search for homes for sale. Most FSBOs miss that exposure, but for just $500, we can help them get listed on the Cincinnati MLS and find buyers at the speed of ... the internet!
While most brokerages feel they have the best agents in Cincinnati, we truly believe that we are at the top. Many larger companies like Sibcy Cline, Remax (RE/MAX), Coldwell Banker West Shell, Comey & Shepherd, and others are at a size that makes it difficult for them to react to the markets and changing times at a great speed. Since Plum Tree is smaller, we are able to respond to market conditions rapidly and efficiently which gives us a disting market advantage. Remember: "It's not the big who eat the small; it's the FAST who eat the SLOW!"
Location, location, location: Location is one of the most important el
"We used plum tree realty to sell our house. The experience was superb, we will never use a different realty company for this process. We were under contract within the first week of signing with them."