10 Ways to Establish Expectations in Today's Hyper-Low Inventory
Listing Management for Solo Agent - 2021 Version
I am sending this out to help some of you, mostly solo agents, manage your listing during this period of 20 to 40 offers on every listing.
Why am I doing this? Let's just say lessons learned, as I am just coming off an extremely hot listing where I received over 700 text messages, 300 phone calls, and who knows how many emails in four days; this took me out of my daily life while consuming almost every minute for a week. The intensity of the inbound communication prevented me from doing other work tasks, keep up with my sellers, oh yeah...and about that family. I guess the marketing package really did work!!!
Do send out an Offer Instructions Sheet. This will help establish expectations with your buyer's agents and their clients. I try not to get into the weeds of earnest money, DD days, appraisal contingency, and other details like that; I want to see which agents are already smart about these details. I do suggest closing attorneys, closing dates, and special stipulations. I also require all offers to be written upon Georgia Association of REALTORS forms; all offers have to be sent via PDF and load the details into my KW Listing URL (In Command for KW agents). I send the offer instructions separate from the seller's disclosures, so it is easy for the buyer's agent to use. Of course, you have to present all offers to your sellers, this system is not foolproof, and agents will be agents, so you still have to keep track of and present all offers no matter how they come, but this does help.
Use Calendly: If you want to control your showings, use your own private system to control access. I require the agents to send me the pre-approval letter, and only then will I send them a link to my scheduling calendar (already set up). I also put in the private remarks; "appointment only, no supra, email Travis your pre-approval letter for showing" https://calendly.com/
Keller Williams Agents set up a listing URL on Comand (Under your opportunities and "Offers and Commissions"). This will help you keep track of your multiple offers. Send out the URL to all the interested selling agents and put it in your Offer Instructions and on every email to the buyer's agents. If you are not a KW Agent, let's talk!
Pricing. I did a great job pricing this listing. I researched all the comps for weeks, followed the market, made adjustments for the current environment, and held strong with my sellers who wanted to raise the price. I held the price at $450k to capture as many buyers as possible. I wanted ALL the $425 to $450 buyers and ALL the $450+ group; BIG MISTAKE! Pareto himself would have smacked me for this one. 80% of the "work" I was doing qualifying agents and buyers were in the "up to $450" camp; these buyers all dropped out when they realized $450 wasn't going to cut it. Many of them had scheduled appointments and dropped them the night or minutes before their appointments or just didn't show up. Almost every agent (who got back to me) said their buyers were capped at a hard $450. In retrospect, if I would have raised the price by even a dollar, I would be on the bottom end of the $450+ group, thus allowing well-qualified buyers to duke it out, and 100% of my"work" would have been with this group and not wasted.
Ask for follow-up. Look, all of this information is coming directly to me, not my 1-800 number, not my assistant, not my listing coordinator's assistant's assistant; NO- directly to me and my little iPhone. I ask the buyer's agent to keep following up with me until I confirmed receipt of their offer. If they just sent in a blind offer and never reached out to me....well.... that was like 200 emails ago at this point in time, and that offer just went into the cloud somewhere, and that's not serving the buyers either.
Communicate Often with your Buyers Agents. Sending out regular emails will help eliminate your calls and text. Buyers and agents hate uncertainty; keep them posted where you are in the process, or they will ask.
Update the Public and Private remarks on the MLS as quickly and often as needed. (See #5). I also would suggest adding "pre-approval letter required for showings" in the public remarks to reduce unqualified inquiries. Maybe don't put "Text listing agent" in the private remarks...just saying.
Use Dropbox for all Offers. I set up a shared folder in Dropbox and had my sellers set up the notifications so when I sent in a new offer, they were aware and could review it. I renamed each offer with the selling agent's name and offer amount. "John Smith Offer - 200K - Cash" since every offer comes in as "Offer for 123 Main St" or "Multiple Documents."
Print Out Offers. Well, not the entire offer. I print out the offer page, special stipulations, and signature page. I would then create a chicken scratch note section to make sure all the offers were uploaded to DropBox (DB), entered in Command (C) under "Offers & Commissions", and any special stipulations (SS) were noted. Use whatever system you want, but this works well for me. I can also very quickly reference an offer when an agent calls. No matter what you do, keep a record of your process, all your offers, and communications about those offers; you may need to reference it in the future.
10. Use a Transaction Coordinator. Enough Said
Hopefully, these will help you. These are also only suggestions, not laws. Please let me know if you have more suggestions or improvements on these.
- Travis (still recovering, but the wine is helping)