Back during the last recession when everybody was shrinking and dying, RE/MAX lost literally almost half of their Agents during that 4-5 year period. Most MLS areas lost about half of their Agents. There was only one large company that was growing, and that was Keller Williams. My company, Win Realty Advisers, grew six times during that period. The reason we grew is that we were working heavily with Investors. We do represent and did represent owner- occupants but when that business dried up, thank goodness for our Investors. We just dominated. We grew like crazy.
I would encourage you to shop around again when you’re looking for a broker’s company. Be careful of their requirements, what they ask of you. Some companies require you to do floor time, to come into the office and be there all the time and go to all these rah-rah sessions, stuff that doesn’t do you any good, In most cases, you’re just going to be wasting your time and getting involved in a lot of cold talks.
If you’re going with a large company, go with somebody like Keller Williams because you don’t have to go to the office. You don’t have to go to all those meetings. You don’t have to do any of that stuff and there’s no floor time. They train you how to build your business your way. They show you how to build the business around yourself, not around the brokerage company.
In every other large brokerage company, it’s about the broker. It’s not about you. I know it sounds like I’m plugging Keller Williams. I don’t mean to do that but they’re the only company designed to be Agent-centric. Otherwise, you could go to a smaller company and look for their benefits.
For you guys out there that already have your license, bear with me because I’m not talking about this relative to what you’ve already learned working with owner-occupants. Remember, most of us were trained to work with owner-occupants because that’s the vast majority of the business. At least, that’s how it was perceived.
This information is relative to Investors. When you work with sellers, just like with owner- occupants, you’re typically the only Investor Agent in your office. Whether strictly commercial or simply working with an Investor division, you have an agency relationship that creates fiduciary duties.
With sellers, you automatically run into a fiduciary agreement to keep their information confidential and sell their property for the highest amount of money in the shortest amount of time. The reality is the documents say nothing about you selling their property. They say you’re going to market the property. You are agreeing legally and contractually to market the seller’s property. You need to be aware of that.
When representing buyer always, always get a buyer-agency agreement. Don’t ever work with anyone without a buyer-agency agreement. I can hear and see you guys out there now. You hate to do this. You don’t want to scare people away in the beginning of the relationship. Here’s the simple solution to that. Get your pad of paper and a pencil or pen handy.
First off, you never want to meet anybody in person until you know they’re pre-qualified or pre-approved. Especially after this last recession. From the seller’s perspective, this is almost mandatory. They will tell you “Don’t bring anybody by here unless they’re pre-approved or pre-qualified.” You should follow suit and say, “Mr. and Mrs. Buyer, I know you’re interested in buying some rental properties. Please get pre-approved first. When you do, let me know and let’s get together.”
At that point, you don’t want to bring them into your office. A lot of these guys are entrepreneurial. They’re already busy and they don’t want to get tied into an hour-long conversation to hear the basic spiel most agencies make them go through. They see it as a waste of time. Remember, you can do this over the phone.
Once you know they’re pre-qualified, you can refer back to the rules of engagement for either people buying rentals or flipping. You’ll see most of that can be done over the phone. The first time you meet somebody at the property after they’ve already gone through the desktop analysis and narrowed their search down, you will know they’re engaged because they’ve gone through all that effort.
If they haven’t even taken the first step, why would you ever want to meet them? They’re just going to ask you to do all the work. If you follow my process, you’ll only meet them after they’ve done a lot of work. They’ve got some skin in the game. When you meet them at the property, maybe you’ve shown them six properties, that’s your opportunity to present the buyer agent’s agreement.
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