Today’s Coffee Talk:
What’s the highest number of showings you’ve had with a single buyer? Also, what advice do you have for managing buyers’ expectations and keeping them focused?
I’d say about 14 homes. In order to keep them focused, I ask them, “Is there a house that you would be sad if it sold tomorrow?” If there is a home that really stands out, and they would be upset if it were gone, then maybe we should focus on that one and possibly make an offer. If they have a deadline that they have to be moved out (rent is up, other home is closing, etc), I let them know that a decision needs to be made by such-and-such time, or they could face being without a home.
Century 21 Sunbelt – Cape Coral, FL
I think the highest number of showings for one buyer comes very close to 100 properties. Dealing with lots of European buyers it can happen that they come back year after year without buying – until they walk into a house and feel ‘that is the right one.
My experience in working with buyers is that you have to listen to them, their budget and their needs. You can get a good feeling about houses they like or dislike when you take them out and look at the first few homes.
Sharon Rix Crowley
22. I make sure I understand what it is they’re looking for and spend a lot of time pre-screening properties for them. Looking at homes starts out fun, but is tiring and overwhelming and that’s not a good time to make a decision. If the homes on the market are not what we’re looking for, then it’s time to make some changes to the criteria (price, area, square footage, and/or amenities). I don’t take clients out again and again just for the fun of it. This is a job.
Real Estate Central, LLC – Charleston, WV
I showed almost 50 homes to a couple recently. We are in contract for the second time.
The way I kept them focused is to help them narrow down their lists and only look at 5 or 6 a day. That way they don’t get burnt out and so all the homes don’t start blurring together.
To manage their expectations, as we viewed each home, we would discuss the pros and cons right there, and what inspections they might want if they chose that home. I kept them organized and gave them a summary after each viewing session so they could look back and discuss each home on their own. They really appreciated my organization and attention to detail.
The highest number of showings for a single client is 28. It was my first client. He had a lower budget, higher expectations, and was a first time home buyer. I was a newbie and was letting him drive the showings.
My advice, be in charge of what you are showing your clients, so you don’t waste their time and yours. Honesty is the best policy. If you know something is out of their budget, don’t show it. Sometimes the truth hurts, but ultimately you don’t want to see your clients get into a house you know they can’t afford either. I have found with many of my clients that it is best if I send them a list to choose from, instead of what they find on search engines themselves.
Baird & Warner – Chicago, IL
Sadly, I showed over 20 properties to one buyer…who wasn’t pre-approved yet. My bad. That will never happen again.
Now, I try to lay out the entire process with each buyer including how long each step should take. I get as much information from them as possible to help narrow down the home they are looking for. Even though some clients still don’t know what they want, I am able to help them focus by listening very very closely to things they say OUTSIDE of talking about real estate!
35 in one weekend. As a new agent I struggle with this. However, I am learning that you have to be honest and sometimes the truth hurts. If you do it in a tactful way, it can soften the blow though!
My first buyer ever was a first time buyer. We saw approx 45 homes give or take. I’ve learned you must LISTEN to what they want and don’t be afraid to direct them once you’ve seen the first few. You won’t get a real feel for what they really want until they are viewing the first homes. Tell them no more than 3-5 at a time and stick to it.
RE/MAX Legends – Grayson, GA
My highest is low, below 50, but over a year of working with someone because they insisted on NOT looking in a specific area (based on hearsay). Finally, I took them to a new construction home in that area and signed that day. I told them that if they lived their lives on other people’s words, then they are living other people’s lives.
As far as buyers are concerned, and this may sound old school but it is key and I know many that don’t do it, get them pre-approved first. I don’t mean just any old standardized letter. Set them up with a reputable lender and have the loan officer pull credit, check employment, pay stubs, bank statements, etc. This way there are no surprises when it comes to closing on a deal. Have them look online for a week or so. They can use listingbook.com to see what is available in their price range. Define a search area, a search area is a school district or a city, not 3 counties. Have the buyer narrow down to 5 properties, then you add 4 or 5 of your own (that they never saw) to the mix. After you show the homes, ask them to narrow down to just 3 – 5. How many of those were the ones you chose? If all or most, you’re doing the job they expect of you.