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Agent and principal

The Importance of back and forth communication between agent and principal

This is the third topic in the series; Sales strategies in real estate

The major ingredient of any relationship is communication. This also applies to businesses where communication is the major tool for any business person. A breakdown in communication is the most notable source of relationship hiccups. Many relationships have ended under bizarre and unexplained circumstances due to a breakdown in communication. From marital relationship to relationship hinged on partnership in business, any relationship at all.

Once there is a breakdown in communication. It’s a sign that something is wrong or that something is not going well or not happening as it should.

I usually tell people especially estate agents that are in business that for a healthy relationship to exist between principal and agents, then communication has to be greased and fluid. Hence it is essential that a high level communication exists between agents and their principal.

Regardless of the back and forth nature of communication which usually should pose a challenge, this aspect of the business cannot be overlooked because it is in doing it properly that you do it well and you get the right things done.

To buttress my point, let’s cite an example of how communication can help you do your business better:

Assuming the principal gives you a brief and let’s say at the start of the brief as it’s usual, the principal is looking at a particular price to sell his property or to rent his property out, albeit the information available in the market gives a different picture in terms of the selling price. Usually, clients don’t want to take this. Ordinarily they have the notion that if you push more you should get more from the market.

However, this is what will help you; what you should be doing at that instance is, as you attempt to market, make sure you always ask for offers from the people that are making offers. Don’t let it just end with conversations on phone, even if it doesn’t match what your principal has asked for. If the principal says my house should be sold for 50 million naira and in the market you are getting offers for 40, 42, 45 and even 48 million naira, whatever it is, make sure these offers are communicated to you in writing and always forward these offers also with a cover letter to your principal such that you can use those offers after communicating for a while as a basis of calling a meeting for a review of price. This offers an avenue for you to look at what is happening in the market so you will be able to advise and guide him appropriately as to what is to be done so that his property can be sold. You also can use this method to know the principal that just wants to waste your time or the one that is really serious about selling because if the market is saying a particular price for reasonable length of time and a principal is unwilling to change, it simply means that the principal is not a motivated seller, he can wait and so you also have to re-strategize in the resources and the effort you put as regards marketing that product.

Therefore, having periodic communication is key. You can have a meeting to review things which gives you a very good opportunity to be able to discuss with a client and advise him properly.

Read also: The Importance of having a marketing plan in real estate

Also this is one other thing it does for you; you will never know when a client is changing his mind or when he needs money badly, so when you are not communicating with him expect anything.  If it happens that another agent comes around to inform him that he has a buyer who wants to offer 45 million for the property the principal hopes to sell for 50million then there could be a switch of allegiance. Let’s assume that the principal is in dire need of money and under immense pressure to sell coupled with the fact that he probably has not heard from the agent that was saddled with the responsibility of finding potential buyers for the said property and here is another agent who is ready to bring a buyer that will pay 45 million naira, 5 million naira short of the asking price. Whereas, you as the initial agent have had potential buyers who were prepared to pay close to that range, the highest been 44 million naira for the property and yet turned them down because the price they offered was nowhere close to the asking price.

Then you go to the principal after a lapse in communication and you probably chip it in a conversation that ensues between both of you. Then the bombshell! The principal tells you the property has been sold out for 45 million naira.

At this point you are filled with a barrage of questions as to how it happened without your knowledge. Sadly, you realize that he sold for 45 million naira yet you had an offer pretty close to that range that you had gotten months before but did not communicate to him because you felt it wasn’t exactly his asking price. There is only one implication; you miss out of the sales completely.

It must be noted here that back and forth communication will not place a dent or leave ugly marks on your business rather it will help you do business in a more professional way. Furthermore, it will help you ensure that you carry your clients along as to what is happening as well as be informed when they are having a second thought on a particular deal.

When you communicate incoming offers that are not exactly the asking price to them, they will call you back when it’s about time they are changing their minds or pressed for money, even if it means confirming the seriousness of the offers and a possibility of the prospective buyer taking is bid up a bit; 46 or 47 million won’t be a bad deal.

This is what back and forth communication between an agent and the principal does; it promotes your business and helps you close deals regardless of the asking price.

Debo Adejana
MD/CEO Realty Point Ltd

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