The general public thinks that all Realtors do is show homes and write contracts and collect commission checks. After all, what more is there to the buying and selling of homes?
I’ve written before that the average real estate agent has only two or three transactions a year. What sets some of the more successful top producers apart, I’ve found, is that they find new, different and creative additional ways that they can provide value to their current and prospective clients.
Personally, I have found all sorts of things I can do to serve my clients. One of those is to have a in-house handyman as well as a list of outside professionals who can do those little (or big) things to ready a house for market, handle inspection items prior to closing, and help a buyer make improvements after closing. Examples include tiling carpeted bathrooms; replacing light fixtures, or other light electrical tasks; replacing a toilet or other light plumbing tasks; washing windows; painting; repairing drywall, etc.
A few years ago, I sold a home for a widow who was moving out of state and wanted to sell rather than move most of her furnishings. I made a slideshow of the items, with prices, put it online and sent the link to 250 neighbors for whom I had email addresses. Everything sold, and she was delighted.
Lot of agents “farm” a neighborhood, as I do, and a typical farming activity is to sponsor a garage sale. My garage sales have some extra features — I created a website, not just a flyer, showing the participating homes and listing what each home was selling. I provided this information ahead of time to neighbors so they could have first shot at their neighbors’ items. And after the sale I used my moving truck (and handyman) to collect unsold items and take them to Goodwill or Habitat for Humanity — and provided donation receipts to each homeowner.
Last Saturday I took a couple to see models at a new home community — and then introduced them to a client who had bought a home in that community to see if he was happy and if there were any problems with his house.
I don’t believe agents should also be mortgage brokers, but it is important to understand the variety of loan programs and have a stable of loan officers with different areas of expertise from first-time home buyers with only $1,000 down payment to conventional or reverse mortgage programs.
As a “newbie,” I did not think experience mattered much, but it has, in fact, brought me more and better ways to serve my clients.