8 Comments

  1. David Neilan
    22nd October 2012 @ 2:35 pm

    Please bear in mind that not ALL estate agents / agencies are mindless, cherry-picking morons – some actually put in some effort and take pride in providing a cracking service. Point made.
    Ps – some agents are total idiots, so buyer beware!!!

  2. Amanda Evans
    22nd October 2012 @ 3:32 pm

    Firstly, don’t come to Caversham, Reading if you are looking for anything under £100k. Secondly – as an estate agent – we like you to register online. Thirdly – make an appointment! We are busy and if you want 15 minutes of our time, we will be much happier spending this time with you if it is booked in to our diary, rather than you just expecting it when you walk in off the street, especially if you are targeting the busiest person in the office!! After all, you wouldn’t just turn up in a solicitor’s office or a dentist practice and expect to be seen. If you are really clever, choose an estate agent with a Lettings department and then you can speak to the lettings manager about the type of properties and locations where properties rent the fastest. They might even be able to tell you why they rent quickly e.g. close to train station, amenities, etc. Sorry, but totally disagree with everything you have commented about sourcing properties via estate agents.

  3. Lal de SIlva
    23rd October 2012 @ 10:00 am

    Thanks Guys,
    Just about to go out in full force with my local agents and picked some golden nuggets from your article! (as usual) 
    I was dealing on the phone and trying to explain creative buying to couple of agents…WRONG!!! 
    Making rapport first is the key so here I come…

  4. Ed Ferguson
    23rd October 2012 @ 11:13 am

    Always good to read this stuff but going through it, most of it is common sense – although admittedly, sometimes, that’s not so common.

    All of it is worth a try but just dont expect them to dip into a bottom drawer and offer you too good to be true deals on your first meeting. Like most things in life, its about building trust over a long period of time, being honest in what you are trying to do and then actually doing it – ie buy the properties you say you will!

    I often wonder just how many ‘property millionaires’ walk through their doors every day asking for deals. Must be frustrating…

    Interesting last comment from an estate agent

    Ed

  5. Ed Ferguson
    23rd October 2012 @ 11:14 am

    If Amanda disagrees with everything about sourcing through estate agents, then what is the best way?

    Ed

  6. Rob
    23rd October 2012 @ 4:35 pm

    Thanks for your comment Amanda. Are you an Estate Agent? Would be good to know a bit more about you as –

    1. You may actually be backing up our points because you’re not one of the ones who finds investors the best deals – OR…

    2. You may be able to teach us some more stuff.

    Either way, it would be good to hear from you. I’ve yet to meet (m)any Agents who would ‘publicly’ agree with our contrarian methods – but love a good debate and am open to feedback…

    Rob

  7. Rob
    25th October 2012 @ 2:31 pm

    Thanks for your comment Amanda. Are you an Estate Agent? Would be good to know a bit more about you as –
     
    1. You may actually be backing up our points because you’re not one of the ones who finds investors the best deals – OR…
     
    2. You may be able to teach us some more stuff.
     
    Either way, it would be good to hear from you. I’ve yet to meet (m)any Agents who would ‘publicly’ agree with our contrarian methods – but love a good debate and am open to feedback…
     
    Rob

  8. Rob
    30th October 2012 @ 10:28 am

    I never had a formal training for the 200 odd personal properties we’ve bought specifically through estate agents. It worked. BUT when we created our sourcing through Agents training (as a response to what our market wanted, not something we ever set out with an intention to do), telling people to ‘go out and do it – you know how to talk to people,’ was not enough for the people who wanted to know the ‘how-to.’

    So my challenge, ‘how do I teach people to do what I just do?’ (TBH Mark does it much better than me, and many Estate agents we’ve hired much better than us).

    So I interviewed them. Loads of them. Some in secret. Some I published on our blog. I interviewed agency managers, area managers, wheeler dealers (men and women), the younger hungrier ones and the softer more relationship based ‘Aunt Mary’ types.

    It was really eye opening. One 22 yr old woman we’d got a couple of really cheap deals from said experience did NOT matter to her as long as the buyer/investor is organised, polite and does exactly what they say they will do, when they say it. To her she’d give one of her best deals to this type of person over someone more experienced. She didn’t like selling to women. You had to let her be in control. So what if you’ve done deals.

    To another ‘Aunt Mary’ Mark got 7-8 good deals from needed to be made to feel important. Flowers worked a treat. Publicly. The 22 yr old would have seen straight through it. But the 22 yr old loved Mulberry. The ‘Aunt Mary’ must be left alone to negotiate herself. Gently, softly, slowly. But the (many) 25 yr old wheeler dealers we’ve got deals from want to learn how to do what you do. They want a piece of the action. They want to be driven in your cars. Buy them Champagne when they’re out in the local bars.

    But the area manager will have none of that. Be humble, talk business. Cut a long term business deal to become part of their investor club. But they get the best deals, not you. You can talk the young guys into calling you before the manager/owner sees the deal, but the Aunt Mary won’t do that.

    You need to talk their individual language, and they’re all different. Different hot buttons, drivers, pains and desires. If you talk in ‘your’ language, only those you’re like and have natural synergy with, will give you the deals. Learn to talk the individual languages of each one, they all give you the deals.

    How will they remember you above anyone else, when that bargain deal gets listed by the lister and the neg gets the very first call, days before it goes in the window, or even through the manager. How do you stay or get in their heads right at the point when they get that deal, even if you’re not the top dog. Even if you’ve not bought the last deal from them. Can you strategically engineer this? Yes.

    Can your brand or mindspace leapfrog others in the pecking order? Yes. Does it matter what day you go and see the agents? Yes. Tue – Thu 10am onwards is best. Sat is often skeleton staff. Friday is completions day. Monday is meetings day and tying up weekend stuff. It all makes a difference.

    Some of them will protect deals for you, so your cheap deal doesn’t get gazumped. But if you ask them to they won’t. They’ll make out they can’t. If you ask them to ‘lose’ the keys, most of them won’t. But they do. It has everything to do with how you ask them, and how much you know about them, and the (genuine) engineered relationship you have with each different type. The wheeler dealer will love the game, the Aunt Mary will not play at all.

    How you word the offer makes all the difference. How do you make a low offer without upsetting the agent? When is the best time to make the offer? How do you know if what you have done hasn’t worked (they won’t tell you, and you’ll never even see the deals passed to someone else).

    We’ve hired around 6 ex estate agents now and they’re all different. For us, despite the amount of deals we had done, the bigger lessons came from the feedback they gave us. Who wouldn’t deal with us and why. What they really thought of us. What other investors we’re getting the deals, and as a result what we needed to do and change to get more of those deals our way.

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