Product Knowledge is Key
Sales people in any industry are constantly reminded of the importance of knowing their product. In the real estate business a common axiom is “never show a property that you haven’t seen first”. Sales agents all across the country “caravan” every week and preview the new homes listed in their city or town as a regular part of their business plan. Simply put it is considered “unprofessional” to show a property you haven’t seen.
The same logic should apply to the rental side of the business but for a variety of reasons many agents do not know their product the way they should. In the larger cities the issue may be that there is too much inventory. In markets where rental properties move very quickly due to high demand the excuse may be that it isn’t worth your time to see a property ahead of time because it will rent in a few days anyway. None of these excuses are acceptable to me. Real estate agents should know their product and that means seeing every property before they show it, period!
Doesn’t the consumer deserve an agent that adds value? One of the primary responsibilities of an agent is to show the most desirable homes possible. Is it professional for an agent to say “I haven’t seen this apartment but according to the information on the listing I think it’s a good one”? Agents that operate this way are using what I call “The Tour Guide” approach. Essentially they are trying to get lucky instead of using their knowledge of the inventory to bring a person to a home they are familiar with and know suits their tastes.
Do You Know Your Product?
I don’t think many people would disagree with my logic but what do you do if your market is too big and it moves too fast to make seeing every home for rent in your territory feasible? My answer is to choose a portion of your market and do your best to become an expert on your specialty. Here is a link to one of the training pieces of written dialogue titled “Jack Oatmon”. The dialogue with this agent “Jack” outlines a strategy for doing business in Manhattan but I think you will find the reasoning applicable to any market in the USA.
About Greg Young
Greg Young is the owner and President of Broker Heaven NY, a real estate training and consulting firm located in Manhattan devoted to helping agents and companies reach their full potential. Greg has trained thousands of agents over his 30 year career and has created numerous rental and sales training programs.