Should you always be closing? That’s a bit of advice that you’ve no doubt heard repeatedly. But is it good advice?
I say no. I believe “Always be closing” is awful advice.
In fact, I think it can do your real estate career more harm than good. Maybe in some far away “once upon a time” it worked. But even then, maybe not.
That term was first popularized by the movie “Glengarry Glen Ross,” and if you’ll recall, those guys were kind of slimy salesmen. They didn’t give one hoot whether what they were selling was right for the buyers. They ONLY cared about making that sale and reaching their sales quotas.
You can bet that people who operated in that manner weren’t getting referrals or repeat customers!
If you’re looking for long term success in real estate today, you need a better goal.
Yes, you do need to make sales in order to make a living, but the goal should be to earn your living while helping people buy property that will benefit them in some way.
Real estate sales will always be about closings, but successful agents know it is also about building relationships. Thinking that you must always be closing will get in the way.
Consumers want to trust the people they do business with. They don’t want to feel pressured or hurried to make a purchase before they’re ready.
Hard sale tactics – and an attitude of “always be closing” will only serve to drive them away.
Yes, I do know we’re not all alike.
There probably are some people who will respond positively to a hard sell. They’re the ones who say yes to Internet offers that say: “Order now or this offer goes away forever!” when they’re trying to sell you just a bit more than whatever you ordered.
Those “offers” make me so cross that I want to go back and cancel whatever purchase I’d agreed to. And when they go on and on to yet another offer and another and another, I feel like I’ve been flim-flammed. I must surely have just purchased from a sleazy company and will probably regret the purchase.
Here’s one bit of advice that will always serve you well: Never use a sales tactic that makes you feel like you’re being slimy.
If it feels creepy, just don’t do it, no matter who tells you it works. Maybe it does work for them, but if it feels wrong for you, it IS wrong for you.
More bad advice routinely given to new real estate agents…
- Choose a brokerage based on the commission split.
- Be available to clients 24/7.
- Never turn down a listing.
- Focus on listing high-end, luxury properties.
- Cut your commission rate to get listings.
Choosing a brokerage:
Choose based on what the brokerage will offer in terms of mentoring, education, and support. When you’re new you’ll need plenty of advice, so make sure it is offered. Expect to share a bit more of your commission in exchange for that continuing, hands-on education – because yes, you do need far more education.
Choose also based on the atmosphere in the office. Is the broker approachable? Are the other agents friendly and welcoming?
Being available 24/7 …
Only if you want to show prospects how little you value your own time and life. Set boundaries and don’t go outside of them except when in the midst of negotiations or some sort of emergency comes up. Otherwise, set your working hours and stick to them.
Yes, you do need to work evenings and at least one day on weekends, but not at all hours. You don’t want to rudely tell clients “I have a life, you know” as I once heard an agent say. You simply need to say something like “I’m available from X a.m. until X p.m. and again in the evening from X to Y.”
The trick to having clients respect your working hours is to inform them in advance. Don’t want until they ask you to go show them vacant lots at 5 a.m. And really, don’t most people expect professionals to have set working hours? No one expects to be able to call their accountant or attorney at 10 p.m. And if they need their plumber or electrician at 10 p.m. they know they’re going to pay extra!
Never turn down a listing.
Wrong. There are plenty of reasons to turn down listings. Some have to do with the sellers and their willingness to present their house at its best and price it realistically. It could also have to do with their attitudes and personalities. If they start giving you a litany of complaints about their last 4 real estate agents, you’d be wise to run the other way.
Some have to do with location. It really isn’t wise to go far out of your usual territory to take a listing. You won’t know enough about the area and you’ll grow to hate the listing if it takes you an hour and a half to go there.
Focus on listing luxury properties.
Sure – but only if you genuinely like the people who live in luxury homes and are absolutely comfortable conversing with them. And… only if you “speak their language.” Before you target the high end, you’d better know something about the brand names and value of their fixtures and furnishings.
Meanwhile, don’t ignore the mid-range homes that will likely provide the bulk of your income. Depending of course on your community, there are probably many times more mid-range buyers and sellers than high-end buyers and sellers.
And don’t be snooty. Selling a fixer or three will also add to your income. And… you just might make connections with ambitious do-it-yourselfers or professional rehabbers who will list with you when their properties are renovated.
Cut your commission to land more listings.
No. Don’t do it. Not unless you want to tell the world that you and your time aren’t worth much. If you do your job correctly, you’re going to earn every bit of that commission, so don’t sell yourself short.
If you have a client who absolutely can’t afford for you to take a full commission, then cut a service or two in keeping with the commission reduction.
Is there more bad advice out there??
Of course. “Always be closing” is bad advice, but there is plenty more of that variety.
If one or two examples come to mind, please do add them to the comments. New agents just starting out need the advice and expertise of seasoned agents to steer them away from expensive mistakes.
And if you’re new and you’ve already fallen for some bad advice – do share your experience!
Add your two cents. Or your twenty-two cents! It’s all welcome.