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Monday, June 19, 2006

Real Life Gaming: Tips For Realtors

The Girl and I have been actively homeshopping. This is something of an understatement as the manhours put into this effort would be now approaching the invasion of Normandy. Our own realtor is something of a business friend and normally does commercial work, so we're willing to cut him some slack. If only every other residential realtor had a similar excuse. So should anyone out there happen to be in the realty business, allow me to offer some friendly advice:

If you advertise an open house ... actually have an open house
I know ... bizarre concept. It seems that if one were to examine, etymologically speaking, the phrase "open house" it actually implies that someone ... and I mean a literal physical person and not some kind of spiritual presence ... will open the house for others to view. I thought it was just euphemism, but apparently not. If you spend all that money for a Chicago Tribune listing that you'll show a place to the general public, doing so might help sell the property.

If you schedule a viewing, actually show up to the viewing
Again ... bizarre!! But the phrase "viewing" is not some kind of sly reference to paranormal activities. It's not a "seance" so much of a "get your ass out of your bed and show up to this appointment".

If you schedule a viewing, actually show up on time
If that last one was confusing, this will completely blow your mind. Sometimes people have these things called "schedules". Now from what I've seen, many realtors don't employ this concept and hence find it very foreign when they run into others that organize their life around them. See, the usual viewing only takes about fifteen to twenty minutes. So if you show up fifteen minutes late to a viewing ... well by gosh it's almost like there wasn't a viewing at all. Isn't math fun?

Cell phones are fun
More important than that pretty expensive car to impress clients ... is the cell phone. It's a magical device that allows people to call you when you didn't show up to your viewing/open house/whatever on time so that you might be able to toss together some kind of feeble excuse like "my assistant forgot to add that to my schedule" or "I don't know what a schedule is" ...

ZIP codes are not relative
Funny thing ... ZIP codes are used to define a specific area of space. One might consider them to subjective ... as in "perhaps I can get people to view my hellhole of a condo in the ghetto if I use a trendy ZIP code." It's actually "advertising a different ZIP code than reality might constitute fraud." Weird, huh?

Knowledge is your friend
It's a frightening concept ... but people who show up to your viewing might need more substantial information than "my ... doesn't that duvet compliment the room!" or "did you know this is a king sized bed? Because it is!" In fact things like utility payments, pet policies, condo reserves and parking options could potentially be factors in someone's purchase. And if you can't answer those things ... they might wonder what the hell you're doing there at all.

Don't pit your properties against each other
In general it's best not to badmouth the property you happened to represent three weeks ago to the same people you're showing a different property to this week. In actuality, it possibly won't effect any decisions that much ... but it really makes you look like an asshole.

All true stories, of course. Far more common than one could possibly hope in fact.

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