Every week, we ask a real estate professional for their Short List, a collection of tips and recommendations on an essential topic in real estate. This week, we spoke with Vickey Wachtel, a broker-owner with Imagine Realty International, who shared her tips for being a well-rounded agent.
5. Don’t be afraid to say no – A lot of agents, especially young agents, will jump through unnecessary hoops for their clients. If they want to meet at 1pm but you’re not available until 2pm, tell them you can’t meet until 2pm. It seems that most agents believe if you tell a client no they’ll immediately go with someone else, but most people are adults and they understand schedules.
4. Make time for yourself – Sunday is my cheat day. Every week I set aside Sunday as my day for myself. I’ll keep my phone on me, but no work on Sunday. Being in real estate means not working a typical 9 to 5. Real estate is an around-the-clock profession, and it’s easy for people to abandon or neglect their personal lives for work.
3. Give clients options – This pertains to every aspect of the homebuying and selling process. Real estate is a service industry, so clients will often expect to have a lot of control over the process. It’s ok to allow your clients to hold the reigns, but you’re the professional, and it’s your job to guide the client. Don’t leave decisions open ended, give clients solution options to choose from.
2. Plan for negotiations – Prior to going into a negotiation, it’s a good idea to know what your client is willing to part with and what their absolutely must haves are. Once you know that, you can use those as points of negotiating. I was selling my house a while back, and I had just put in a new overhead microwave, which at the time was a pretty expensive installation. When I was making a list of what I wanted and what I didn’t, I decided that I’d spent too much money on the microwave to just leave it. Even though it wouldn’t have fit in my new house, I was going to take it anyway. Once the buyer saw that I wanted to take the microwave, he immediately offered to pay for me to get a new microwave in my new home. I learned that day that people want what you tell them they can’t have.
1. Get on social media – We are very active online, and in this market you have to be. One of the biggest boons to our business and customer service has been through social media. We’re on all the major platforms, including pinterest, and even when we’re not generating leads, we’re still finding the sites useful. On Facebook, I connected with an agent in a different state who wanted to pick my brain about the industry, and after a few conversations, they ended up opening an Imagine branch. We haven’t generated any leads from Pinterest, but it is good for letting clients and prospective clients see a little bit more of your personal side. It lets you connect with customers on a different level.
After living abroad for more than a decade, Vickey Wachtel and her husband returned to Houston, upon which she opened a retail store in Old Town Katy. For five years she worked with future clients and Realtors, helping to decorate and consulting, before Wachtel finally decided to close up shop and join the real estate game.