Buyer demand has reached record levels, and as the world comes out of severe restrictions for social mixing, there is going to be even more interest in trying to purchase a home before interest rates get any higher and prices go up even further. This means that sellers will still have the upper hand in most markets, and whenever that happens, they can become much more demanding of their real estate agent. This frequently leads to sellers not renewing a listing agreement when they haven’t gotten an out-of-reach price or switching to an agent who falsely promises them a higher price, all while leaving you in the lurch.
Since the beginning of the modern real estate industry, the best way to prevent this from happening is to build a solid rapport with clients so that they feel a sense of loyalty to you. But how can we do this in an increasingly digital era? One way is having a digital document where you compile all the marketing efforts for their property in one place. This includes pictures of the postcards or brochures you send out, a link to several different tailored maps of local interest points you sent to each potential buyer (a topic I covered for RISMedia in July 2020, available here) and a section where you list all the different outlets you utilize. If you paid for the photography and brochures, use this same document to mention this either outright with an itemized list of marketing or by subtly listing the photographer or companies you used for each task on the list.
If it gets to the point where your seller is contemplating jumping ship, this is when it comes time to explain that if they have to start all over again with a new agent, they are going to waste time getting their property marketed. Adding in this extra time may cause them to miss the peak of the selling season. If they are holding out for a higher price, they lower their chances considerably due to the fact that there won’t be nearly as many buyers looking for a home. Also, if the house returns to market quickly with a new brokerage after not selling the first time around, it can give the impression to the buyer population that there is something wrong with the home.
The near future for real estate will be one where there aren’t anywhere near enough listings to meet the demand in most major markets. But that doesn’t mean sellers should be allowed to wrest all the control away from listing agents. Digital tools now exist that make it easy to show sellers in one central location all the groundwork you have laid for selling their home. And if that doesn’t convince them, remind them of how much time they will waste by switching to a new agent.
Allen Alishahi is president of ShelterZoom, the technology company behind DocuWalk. For more information, please visit www.docuwalk.com.