The Car Wash Model

No, it’s not good for showings, or broker and Sunday open house traffic, when the weather is especially frigid, or a snowstorm temporarily shuts things down. In other words . . . today (at least in the Twin Cities).

But experienced Realtors know that it doesn’t really matter, for two reasons:

One. It all averages out.

Two. Concentrated activity is better than diffuse activity.

What do I mean by that?

If 20 people are going to come through my open house, my druthers would be for them to all show up at the same time.

That way, there’s a buzz, and buzz heightens interest. Heightened interest, of course . . . . leads to offers!

Think of it as the “car wash” model: the longer the cold snap, the longer the line of cars — er, prospective buyers — when there’s a thaw.

P.S.: the same principle helps explain why FSBO’s sell their homes for much less than Realtors do (statistics suggest about 15%). Instead of “collecting” prospects’ names and concentrating interest ahead of their market debut, they deal with them one at a time, diffusing interest.

Building prospect awareness and anticipation is precisely why good Realtors spend a lot of time and energy promoting their “pre-lists.”

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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