For Real Estate Sales Professionals

March 11, 2002 E-zine

Jim Gillespie's
March 11, 2002
Publisher: Jim Gillespie


Doing what has you become the best real estate
agent in your territory definitely beats all
of your other options.


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1. Get Their Attention With Mailers

2. Have Your Buyers and Lessees Sign an Exclusive

3. A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Escrow

1. Get Their Attention With Mailers

It's interesting to note the huge difference in how mailers are
utilized in residential real estate sales when compared with
commercial/industrial real estate sales. In residential real
estate sales mailers are sent out quite frequently. Postcards,
newsletters, and announcements are quite the norm on the
residential side of the business.

However, in commercial/industrial real estate sales, regular
mailing by agents is almost non-existent. It's extremely rare to
find an agent who sends out even four pieces of advertising mail
to his or her territory in a given year. Many agents don't even
send out one piece of advertising or promotional mail to their
territory throughout the year.

There are huge opportunities waiting in the commercial/industrial
arena for those agents who seize the moment and begin mailing
once or twice a month to their respective farm areas. When you
have no competition from other agents through the mail almost any
reasonably designed mailers will begin to have your prospects
thinking about you as being a frontrunner to work with when they
are ready to buy, sell, or lease property.

Whether you are on the commercial/industrial side of the business
or on the residential side, you ideally want to design mailers
that give your target audience a compelling reason to pickup the
phone and call you. And the truth is that most of the real estate
mailers I've seen out there simply do not do this. They merely
provide information.

The best residential mailer I ever received offered me a FREE
booklet containing comparable sales for the last six months in
the area where I live. All I had to do to receive the booklet was
pickup the phone and call the agent. I called the agent, we had a
conversation, and he mailed me the booklet. And.....that agent
immediately went to the top of my list of agents I would consider
listing my home with when the appropriate time arrived.

Mailing is extremely powerful! How else can you successfully
canvass thousands of prospects and clients one or more times
every month? And, when you design your mailers to give your
clients and prospects a compelling reason to call you, you
instantly begin building new relationships with people and
solidify relationships with existing clients at a deeper level.

2. Have Your Buyers and Lessees Sign an Exclusive

When your buyers and lessees are working with you exclusively you
are maximizing the use of your time as a real estate agent. If
you work with clients on a non-exclusive basis throughout the
year and other agents end up successfully closing transactions
with a number of these people, you are wasting a lot of your
valuable time which in turn is costing you a ton of money. So,
you want to give your absolute best to ensure that the people you
are working with are working with you on an exclusive basis.

Robert, a coaching client of mine, has found a way to do this
that is very simple and also works very successfully for him. He
will only work with people on an exclusive basis, and he has
found a way to make it very easy for his clients and prospects to
agree to work with him exclusively.

What Robert does is he drafts a very simple, short written
agreement stating that he and the client agree that he represents
them exclusively. The agreement then describes the type of
property that the client is interested in buying or leasing and
also has the termination date of the agreement. And, to make it
really easy for the client to sign, the agreement further states
that the agreement is cancellable at anytime by any party.

So why in the heck would you want your clients and prospects to
sign an exclusive agreement that they can cancel at anytime?
Well, let's take a look at a few of the reasons...

First of all, most of the pre-printed forms out there for
exclusive rights to represent buyers and lessees are long,
complicated, and scare the pants off of the people you would like
to have sign them.

Second, while not all of your clients and prospects are 100%
honest, most of them are good, ethical people. They will sign
the simpler agreement with you because they like you, trust you,
and want you to be the agent who represents them in their next
real estate transaction. And, as is the case with most
people, once they make a written commitment they will hold this
commitment in high regard. Simply put, any agreement in writing
makes it a little harder mentally and emotionally for most people
to try and back out of it. But yes, we both know there are always

Third, even if you had your client sign one of those lengthy,
pre-printed exclusive agreements to represent them as a buyer or
lessee, what are you going to do if they don't honor the
agreement and buy or lease through another agent anyway? Do you
think the agreement will hold up in court? Do you think that the
judge will agree that paying you a commission on top of the 6%
paid to the other agents who worked on the transaction is a great
idea? And, on top of this, if you go the distance in the
courtroom are you willing to pay an attorney $25,000.00 or more
along the way before you find out if the judge agrees with what
you think is fair? I talk from experience on this one. What you
and your attorney may feel is a slam dunk case for your
commission is not always the same way that the judge will see it.

My point to you is this:

Anything you can do to get your buyers and lessees to commit to
working with you exclusively will most likely be good for you.
Robert's approach works great for him, and he finds that once his
prospects sign his simple, cancellable, exclusive right to
represent agreement they remain true to him and successfully
complete their next real estate transaction by having him
represent them as their agent.

3. A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Escrow

When you've worked in real estate sales for a long time you
accumulate some great stories along the way. Once I was
representing the buyer of a property that was being sold as a
result of a partnership dissolution. The partners owned two
separate properties in partnership with each other but the
partners were also no longer speaking with each other. So, as a
result, the two properties were being sold through an auction
with a court-appointed receiver handling the sale.

While the sale that I was involved in definitely had it's own
level of excitement, the real excitement revolved around the sale
of the other property...

Two well-known real estate developers, let's call them Harry and
Stan, were trying to purchase a parcel of land that was in a
prime location for new development. The court receiver asked each
of them to show-up in his office on Tuesday at 4:00 p.m. and
submit their best written offers for the property at that time.
Harry and Stan were further told that the higher of the two
offers would be the one taken to court for the judge's approval
to complete the sale. However, the conditions of the sale
stipulated that anyone could continue to bid for the property in
front of the judge if they were willing to increase the proposed
sale amount by a minimum of 5%.

Well, it turned out that Harry's offer at the 4:00 p.m. meeting
at the court receiver's office was $1,824,000.00, and Stan's
offer was $1,818,000.00. So Harry's offer was the one that was
then given to the judge for ratification of the sale. This is
when the true drama began...

When the day to go to court for the final ratification of the
sale arrived I was there representing my buyer on the sale of
the other property. My buyer was the successful high bidder for
that property during the meeting at the court receiver's office
and fortunately for both me and my buyer no one showed up in
court to attempt to overbid the price of that property by 5% or

However, Stan showed up as we were all standing in the hallway
outside of the courtroom waiting for the proceedings to begin.
And Harry immediately knew that this meant that Stan was prepared
to bid the price 5% higher or more on the parcel of land that
Harry was hoping he would be able to purchase himself for
$1,824,000.00. And the truth was that Harry was prepared to
overbid Stan back by another 5% if necessary. Both of these
buyers wanted the property that much. So Harry thought for a
moment then leaped into immediate action...

He called Stan over and said, "Stan, it appears that one of us is
going to buy this property today, but the price will probably be
$200,000.00 or so higher than it is right now by the time we're
finished bidding against each other. So I have a better idea..."

Harry then suggested that the two of them decide who gets to buy
the property by flipping a coin with the winner purchasing the
property at the existing price of $1,824,000.00. Stan agreed that
this was a good idea and the showdown began...

Harry pulls out a quarter, flips it into the air, and Stan calls
"tails." The quarter hits the floor, and all of us are jockeying
around for position to see the final outcome as the quarter rolls
around and around across the floor, completely controlling the
fate of a $1,824,000.00 transaction in the process.

The quarter came up heads, Stan shook Harry's hand, immediately
turned and left the building, and Harry walked into the courtroom
to finalize his purchase of the property in front of the judge.

I've never been involved in another situation quite like that one
in my over 20 years as an active, full-time real estate agent!


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