Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Why Your Realtor® Holds a 'Brokers Open' After Listing Your House

One of the advantages to having a blog as a Realtor® is to hopefully share some insights into the marketing tools we tend to use. One of those is the broker's open. Real estate is local, and here in NE Ohio Tuesday is tour day. Most brokerages participate in one form or another. Holding your listing open for other real estate professionals to see is, in my humble opinion, a necessary event. It allows agents to see your home and to get to know it's features first hand. They may already have a client in mind (I've had agents call from my open houses to set up an appointment for their buyers to see the home) (And I have done the same!). Or, they may just want to be prepared in case they get a call from someone looking for a home with those features.

It's important to know the inventory of homes on the market. I make appointments to see a home to preview for clients so I know whether I should take them to see it as well. I also use the brokers opens to learn about the inventory of homes. One thing I am seeing is a smaller number of agents touring homes on Tuesdays. I think this is a big mistake. Homes are usually held open between 11:30 and 2 PM and in that short period of time, with practice, I can see ten homes. This is much easier than calling to schedule a preview of these ten homes. And even less of an inconvenience on a seller's time.

There seem to be four styles of touring:

1. Agents who see homes listed by their office colleagues
2. Agents who tour homes listed by their company
3. Agents who tour homes with certain clients in mind
4. Agents who tour certain neighborhoods

I may have missed some styles but you get the point. My theory? Combine all four styles.
It has bugged me lately to hear rumors that certain brokerages want their agents touring only their own company listings. I keep hoping this is just a rumor. Isn't this like saying to your seller client : I'm only going to allow agents from my company to see your home? It may be a bit different but to me it's the same philosophy. If I have a buyer, I need to know what is listed by my office mates, my company, and every other broker out there. Otherwise, how do I know my client is able to see all the homes that fit his/her needs? For whatever reason, fewer agents/Realtors® are touring homes. Again, I think this is a mistake. Hint: if you are a buyer working with a Realtor®, ask them every week 'what homes did you see on tour and should I see any of them?'

Depending on the week, I may run around and see a lot of homes on tour, or I may do what I did this week; I focused on a Realtor® who has been in the business for years and years and knows his business. He had two listings on tour, near each other. I was able to sit down and talk with him about our profession, the neighborhood markets, etc. I never had the opportunity to do that before and I always wanted to meet him. I see him as a colleague more than I see him as a competitor. Seriously! I want to get to know everyone in my profession who has a good reputation, knows their business and their markets. That makes me better at my job, I think. Every now and then, who knows, maybe something I say can be of value to another agent as well.

Let me ask you this question: does it do you, as a seller or buyer, any good if your agent is only operating within the parameters of their own company listings or their own listings? I think I know what your answer would be, and it's the same as mine; NO!

If your agent hasn't held a brokers open in your owner occupied or vacant home, you just might want to suggest they do so! Peace Out - 3C

Happy Fourth of July