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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Selling Real Estate

My wife is studying to become a real estate agent. I have accompanied her the last few weekends to check out open houses. Doing this let me see interesting opportunities.

Beth always identifies herself right away that she is not a buyer but intending to enter the profession. The agents have been varyingly helpful, within the human norm.

As an agent, you have the resources of the company for which you work, but you largely work alone. I have had the opportunity to talk shop with some of these agents. The smart ones understand that strong communication is essential.

I do not know that the challenges of selling a house are larger than selling other things, but the scale of the purchase certainly adds considerable concern. Agents must be able to communicate clearly with prospective buyers, to overcome the fears and confusions associated with that scale of concern.

The agent must reassure clientele that:

  1. His/her knowledge of the business is adequate
  2. He/she understands the needs of clients
  3. He/she is scrupulous, both in the sense of perspicacity, but also in the sense of ethics.

Should an agent dress up particularly when showing a $3 million house? I was asked that. This is one of the things one must decide. A blanket answer does not exist. Regard the specific situation and decide.

That same agent asked me to help him with some of his communications. His company puts out quarterly flyers that associate with the agents. He wants to be sure that this effort ties in with his own initiative.

I can help him, because I think in terms of the language. This is a matter of training, both in the sense of taking courses, and in asserting my own course of study. The language of communication for these sales situations must be dynamic, concise, accurate, and clear.

Temptations to skirt these necessities abound. A lovely house was two miles from the center of town, not “steps”, as the flyer reported. Perhaps one was to understand that by steps they meant 5000. Why even attempt to suggest closer proximity? The ruse is obvious.

Some people will accept the necessity of sump pumps in the cellar. For others, no gilding will suffice. Words of communication must be framed by verities. Show the house in good light, but acknowledge the faults. Those faults can be ameliorated or accepted.

Within these strictures, I take my duty as removing obfuscation and duplicity, highlighting verifiable features, and trusting that an honest delivery will find the proper audience. I know that an urge to sneak by exists, but that is a bad implement, and one I will not use.

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