Translation:  ‘Are You Too Busy For Me?’

One of the questions that often comes up in a listing presentation — basically, a Realtor job interview — is some variation of, “how many other clients do you have right now?”

The subtext — at least for a veteran agent — is, “do you have time for me?”

(For a novice Realtor, the concern is that they are your first client — or that you have a part-time job doing something besides selling real estate).

That’s certainly a fair question.

Residential real estate is notoriously cyclical, and during busy times — like now — Realtors can easily put in 80 hour-plus weeks.

Which is why a better question to ask is, “how many listings are you currently prepping for market?”

Front-Loaded Process

As I tell my selling clients, selling a home is a very front-loaded process.

The time-intensive part — and not coincidentally the one where a good Realtor can add the most value — is before prospective Buyers ever lay eyes on the home.

Staging, de-cluttering, light (or heavy) repairs, strategic updating, complying with any city inspection requirements — all those steps are the stuff of getting a home in tip-top shape and ultimately fetching top dollar.

Then comes pricing the home, photographing it, writing and proofing marketing and sales literature, showcasing the home properly on MLS, and doing pre-list networking.

That’s what takes up Realtors’ time.

And what would-be clients should hone in on when they interview listing agents.

Practice Tips; Past as Prologue

Want to know how responsive a Realtor will be if you hire them?

How easy was it to reach them initially?

How long did it take for them to meet with you to do a listing presentation?

When they met with you, did they come across as well-prepped, thorough, and generous with their time — plus knowledgeable about how “things work?”

If they did those things punctually and professionally, you can expect more of the same if you hire them to be your Realtor.

If those steps were frustrating, sloppy and/or seemed to take forever . . . ditto.

P.S.:  And yes, some Realtors have assistants, and others work in teams.

But, getting the essence of a home, then capturing it in words and pictures, isn’t something that you can readily delegate.

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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