DISCLAIMER: What follows is being written first-hand from one individual’s life experiences. In other words, this won’t be definitive but will try to be comprehensive.
In a previous post I went into detail about my first showing. As luck would have it, I had another opportunity to show the same couple a different home. This time went differently and it is because I really took the time to think through the process and what I needed to do better. Here’s how that thought process went.
No. 1- Think through the showing process before you ever leave your office to show a listing. Like the Boy Scouts say, “Be prepared.”
- Does the customer want to view a listing listed with your office?
- What are the requirements from the seller to show the house?
- How much advance notice do they need?
- Do you need to call another office to schedule a showing?
- If they are viewing multiple listings, what is the best order to show them in?
- Is this your first contact with the individuals?
- How will you disclose that you work for the seller and transition into working for them? NOTE: Always try to get a buyer’s agreement in writing.
- Is the customer coming to your office or meeting you at the house?
- What if this is a completely cold meeting? They call your office and want to see something right now. How will you handle that?
No. 2- Have everything that you might need with you. Create a showing toolkit.
- What kind of house are you showing? Is it vacant? Was it repossessed by a bank? Do people live there? This will be important to know as you may not have power to turn on the lights.
- Have an MLS listing sheet that tells you things like room size, acreage, what appliances will convey with the house, and other important information that the client may ask.
- If there is a Seller Property Disclosure, bring it with you. That will also help to answer questions about the condition of the house.
- Whenever showing a home, work from the assumption that there may be some kind of recording device. Don’t do anything that you wouldn’t want to be recorded. You shouldn’t anyways, but we all have little habits that show up when you think no one is watching.
- Bring a tape measure and keep it with you. There is always that one person that is wondering if their favorite sofa is going to fit in the room. Or that guy that wants to know if the square footage is really correct.
- Have a note pad and pen to take notes about what they liked and didn’t like about the listing to pass along to the other agent. Not to mention so that you can get answers to those inevitable questions that you’ll need to refer to the other agent.
- Bring business cards to leave for the owners or listing agent so that they know you were in the house. You’ll also want a card to give the customer.
- Bring your cell phone. I know. That should be a no brainer except it isn’t. I forgot mine in my haste to get to the client to show a house.
- Have your entry card to get in. And make sure that you remember your pin number. Yep. Guilty again.
- Keep a flashlight in your vehicle for those houses without power. Also keep fresh batteries for your flashlight on hand.
No. 3-It is a sad truth that the world isn’t always a safe place. Nor are all people as honest as you would like them to be. Like they say, “The best offense is a good defense.” Really think through what scenarios could occur and how you will react to them.
- If this is a cold meeting and you aren’t comfortable with the client, what are your options?
- What will you do if you discover the “buyers” are using a five finger discount while you are distracted?
- Get in the habit of making sure someone in your office is aware of where you are going and who you are meeting with. It is a good practice to ask for driving licenses and photo copy them.
- If you find evidence of a break in, what is your companies policy? Have the local authorities stored in your phone. I learned during a first responder course that when you call on your cell phone you are automatically sent to the state patrol. They may not be the ones that you need to speak to.
- Check into what phone apps exist to keep you safe.
- Talk to your broker. They have a lot of experience and have most likely encountered a few interesting incidents during their day.
- See if your local board offers a safety course.
- Finally, be cordial but not too nice. The more authority you exude the less likely you are to have an issue. “No!,” is a very powerful tool.