By Susan M. Renfrew
Whether you’ve been in the business for years or you’re newer to real estate; the basic skills we established as we first trained to become Realtors® are essential to success in a challenging market. Going back to “basic training” so to speak will protect, promote and sustain your business in the months to come.
In a slower market there are numerous basics that we can fall back upon to refresh our skills and rejuvenate our momentum. The information in this issue’s feature includes elements to help us thrive such as a good look at our marketing and business plans. Often times we lose sight of what we are selling. We are not only selling our customers or clients a home but we are selling them our expertise. To do so we need to demonstrate the benefits of using a Realtor® and help customers understand the professionalism and reliability that goes hand in hand with the term, Realtor®. The feature, “Taking Care of Business,” beginning on page 16 provides strategies on research, marketing, listing and servicing that will help recharge our basic skills and will give us the edge needed to stay successful in today’s market.
Beyond marketing basics, it is critical to practice proper disclosures that are essential to our transactions running smoothly and safely for all parties involved. In tougher climates such as today’s, we can find ourselves faced with situations in which we may be compromised. I specifically speak of our ethical obligation to keep the interests of our clients at the forefront and to treat everyone honestly. We must be careful to establish a proper role and relationship with our clients and understand the importance of our responsibility as agents. Margy Grant, MAR’s associate general counsel, offers a brief booster session on agency in her article, “A Role Reminder” on page 22.
The article explains optional roles and strategies for the consumer as we move through a transaction. She discusses the benefits of establishing a contractual relationship between an agent and a buyer or seller to clarify both party roles reminding us not to lose site of the bigger picture when and if the transaction gets sticky. By defining our role in a transaction we reduce our risk and protect our right to payment for professional services.
All this lends itself to yet another great reminder that’s included in this issue and that is to protect ourselves from liability. (See page 20) We have errors and omissions insurance to safeguard us should disputes arise and a lapse in coverage could jeopardize that protection. It is important in leaner times to step back to the basics and streamline our business practices but we need to carefully examine the elements that should be trimmed and those that should be preserved in order to protect ourselves.
Go back to the basics paves the way to sustaining our professionalism and maintaining our success.