I strongly believe in treating buyers like sellers, and getting a contract signed up front. Buyer Representation Agreements (BRAs) are not new, but agents still hesitate to get buyers to sign BRAs at their earliest opportunity. Some agents argue that buyers won’t sign BRAs because the market is incredibly competitive and other agents don’t ask buyers to sign them, so they can’t. I beg to differ. Just because others aren’t doing something, it doesn’t make it right. You remember the old cliché your mother used to say, “if everyone else is jumping off the bridge, are you going to follow?” I hope not.
Convincing buyers to sign a BRA before you start working with them is simply a matter of demonstrating value. Most agents don’t do a Buyer Consultation presentation when they first meet buyer prospects. Without a formal presentation to communicate the value of your services, of course buyers will hesitate to give you their commitment. You can’t ask for something without first giving something.
Before you drive potential buyers around to look at properties, invite them to meet you at the office. This initial meeting is critically important for you to get a sense of what they are looking for, to ensure they are financially able to buy a house in their preferred price range, and to outline the home buying process, so they are prepared to make a solid offer once they’ve found the right house.
The BUYER CONSULTATION MEETING does three things:
- Qualify buyers for financial viability – Buyers often think they can afford more than they can, or they may be shopping in a lower price range than they can actually afford. If your mortgage rep pre-approves them up front, you’ll know you are shopping in the right price range and all of the work you put into the file won’t be for nothing.
- Qualify buyers for emotional readiness – A lot of buyers may be able to afford a house, but they are not emotionally ready to move yet. They want to investigate what’s on the market. Driving these prospects around is a waste of your time because anything they see now won’t be available when they are ready.
- Qualify buyers for commitment level – If you are prepared to put your time and effort into finding them the perfect house, they should be willing to give you their written commitment that they will work exclusively with you, at your set commission fee.
Without these three components, odds are you will waste your time and energy working for free. Time is your most precious resource. You only have a limited number of nights and weekends to drive buyers around looking at properties. If you commit your time to buyers, make sure they are willing to commit to you. If they won’t sign a BRA, put them on a “B list”. Don’t spend time scouring the market for properties that meet their needs, but if you stumble upon one that you think they’ll be interested in, of course let them know about it. Spend the rest of your time prospecting for seller listings…that’s where the real money is at!
Here are two recommendations that will save you a lot of heartache:
- Sign BRAs with everyone, including family, friends and past clients. Every agent who has been in the business for a while has been stung by someone they trusted who wandered into an open house and bought it without contacting them. Don’t let this happen to you.
- Use a digital Buyer Consultation presentation at your initial meeting to clearly demonstrate all the amazing services you offer your buyers…services they can only get by working with you. For instance, perhaps you have access to exclusive listings that are not on the MLS yet. By becoming a preferred client, they will get first opportunity at the best properties.
If you need a great digital Buyer Consultation presentation, contact our office at 866-607-7999.
My last word of advice: no one can take advantage of you unless you let them. Get your BRAs signed!
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