Published by Kartik Subramaniam
One of my early real estate sales managers passed away a few years ago. When I think back on our interactions, one thing that stands out is his advice that an agent isn’t going to make money sitting in the office behind a desk. You’ve got to get out there, pound the pavement and understand the local market.
Previewing property is something that should be a non-negotiable for a real estate professional, especially a newer licensee. Even if you are just starting in our real estate license course you can still play around on websites like realtor.com or other IDX sites to sort of “arm chair” quarterback and see what’s going on in the market.
Once you get your real estate license you’ll want to start physically entering as many properties as possible so you can keep a pulse on what’s happening in the marketplace. By the way, this shouldn’t seem like too much of a chore as most people that take our real estate classes have at least some interest in viewing homes and property for sale. I can’t tell you how many students I have spoken with that say “I love going to open houses! I want my license!” Now get out there and do it!
Previewing property involves searching the MLS for homes and then scheduling times to physically walk the properties. As an additional prospecting method, some agents even knock on the doors of nearby homes to let neighbors know of the home that’s for sale. This can be particularly valuable in the event there isn’t a For Sale sign on the property you are previewing. When knocking, a good script could be to ask nearby owners if they know a friend, family member or co-worker that might be interested in the home for sale, it’s a great opportunity to “pick their new neighbor”. This is an easy and natural way of networking with nearby owners.
One of the biggest benefits of previewing properties is the fact it’s an absolutely free method of gaining local market knowledge. The only investment is your time - and most new agents have more time than money. Savvy real estate agents who preview properties on a routine basis find they get more listings, obtain valuable market knowledge in the areas they work in and grow their businesses faster.
When you follow the strategy of previewing property you will gain a stronger understanding of the local inventory. This will empower you to rapidly identify properties for interested buyers. For instance, knowing a geographical area intimately means you’ll be armed with the ability to quickly answer questions clients have about inventory in the area. This boosts your professional reputation and people will start to see you as an expert.
Agents who have previewed properties may also have earned access to unpublished or not widely publicized information. Additionally you’ll learn what homes are on the market and the routine of previewing property will force you to dig into the local inventory daily.
Physically going out to look at homes in a specific market means you’re also actively meeting people and expanding your professional network. While you could just view Matterport tours from your home or office there really isn’ta substitute to getting out in the field and touching the inventory. An added bonus is that you never know who you’ll meet that wants to hire you.
Buyers will be impressed with your proactive approach to understanding the market and know you’ll be equipped to help them find their dream home.
Sellers will appreciate that you have your pulse on the market and are more inclined to list with you because they’ll have faith you can help them present a solid marketing strategy.
Agents may also find as they preview homes, they stumble across properties not listed on the MLS, such as pocket listings, FSBOs, expired listings, and owners who want to sell but temporarily removed their homes from the market.
Networking is an important activity for any industry but has a special place in a direct sales business like real estate.
When you are on a listing presentation, rest assured that the seller is looking to hire an agent who knows the neighborhood, knows the street and knows their home. Previewing 3-5 properties daily will aid in your listing presentations because you’ll be able to demonstrate to your seller that you intimately know the market having seen all the inventory in the local marketplace. This is a non-negotiable as you don’t want to be seen as an agent who knows less than the client.
The net-net bottom line is that previewing properties will give you a reason to get out of the office – you just never know where it’ll bring you or what clients you’ll land next.
Remember what that sales manager told me so long ago - the money in real estate isn’t made sitting in the office.
Are you ready to get your real estate license?