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Keeping Consumers Confident

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By Paige Tepping

RISMEDIA, July 9, 2009-It’s no secret that real estate agents today are dealing with a lack of consumer confidence. While the Oklahoma City marketplace has been fortunate to not experience the slowdown that many real estate companies across the country have witnessed, Bob Linn, broker/owner of EXIT Bob Linn Real Estate says that prospective buyers in the market have still seen the national media discuss the state of real estate. “They then bundle all of the bad news together and think things are bad everywhere,” he says. In this article, learn what real estate best practices Linn and his company are incorporating into his business to help keep consumers confident in their particular marketplace.

Bob Linn
Broker/Owner
EXIT Bob Linn Real Estate
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Region served: Oklahoma City
Years in real estate: 39
Number of offices: 3
Number of agents: 85
Average sales price: $219,000
Average time on market: 69 days
Best tip for dealing with difficult customers: Listen to what they are saying so you can get to the root of their problem and then work together to come up with a plan to solve it.

How are you working to stay one step ahead of your local competitors?
Having an in-house photographer has been crucial to our success, as we have someone who can photograph each of our listings and design all of our virtual tours. In addition, our “25G” program has been a huge advantage. If a home qualifies to be part of the program, the seller will put up an additional sum of money, which then motivates all Realtors to show the property. The money goes into a special account, where it is held until 50 “25G” homes are sold.

How do you ensure that you are always getting the right listing price?
We train our agents on how to do an effective CMA (competitive market analysis), and we always try to price our listings within 10% of the current market. We are upfront with our clients and explain that it will hurt them in the end if the home is overpriced because the home will sit on the market and buyers will bypass it. If the customer wants to list the home higher than we suggest, we have preplanned steps in place so that if the home sits on the market, they know we will come back to them and work with them to lower the price.

What is the biggest challenge your company is facing in today’s market?
We are dealing with a lack of consumer confidence. While we have been fortunate not to experience the slowdown that many real estate companies across the country have witnessed, prospective buyers in our market have seen the national media discuss the state of real estate. They then bundle all of the bad news together and think things are bad everywhere.

How has your conversion to the EXIT brand benefitted your company?
We converted our three offices and 90 sales associates to EXIT in August 2007, and this has proven to be a great advantage for our company. While most companies focus on quantity, we took a different approach and focused on getting our offices filled with quality agents that have a passion for real estate. Having high-quality associates in our offices shows our clients that we are committed to offering them the best service.

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