How Realtors Maximize Inspection Time
Through the years I’ve been doing inspections I have worked with many realtors. I have truly enjoyed getting to know so many great professionals. I see their hard work and dedication to their clients and how it pays off again and again for those they serve.
I see some realtors maximizing their time and others that get completely restless and can’t wait to get the inspection over and get out the door. I can truly appreciate this tension. I understand that sitting at an inspection for 2 1/2 to 3 hours is not anyone’s idea of a fun time.
So, having facilitated hundreds and hundreds of inspections and interacted with so many realtors I thought maybe I could share some of the best practices I’ve seen from realtors that are killing it in the business.
Lessons we Learned in Middle School
First, let me take you back to your middle school days. Remember when a kid would show up to class without his text book? The teacher might say, “Would a construction worker show up at the job site without his hammer? Of course not, they need their tools to do the work. Go get your book!”
Let me encourage all of the realtors to come to work with the tools you need to do your job. Some of the agents I work with find these three hours of inspection to be their most productive work time because they don’t have other distractions. Come ready to work on your business!
[Side Note: Many realtors encourage clients to show up about 2 hours into the inspection time. This saves the client time, allows the agent to get some things done, and allows the inspector to stay focused on their task. While we strongly encourage clients to be at the inspection, it is not a bad practice to come later in the inspection so they can see things with their own eyes.]
Four Tips for Maximum Impact
Here are four tips I’ve learned from watching some great real estate professionals get things done:
Tip #1: Write some notes.
Saying thank you sometimes seems notably absent from our culture today. Getting a handwritten thank you note seems to be the stuff of years gone by. We all love getting a personal note in the mail that was not just printed by a machine. I have seen some great agents sitting at the kitchen table just writing notes to invest in the lenders, insurance agents, seller’s agents, past clients, and other people they want to honor. The art of note writing can be rediscovered at your inspections.
Tip #2: Use the bandwidth.
Running comps, posting social media updates, returning e-mails, checking on closing times, and reading contracts are all things you do on your computer or tablet. Most high production agents I see maximize their time by bringing along their computers and a hotspot so they can get things done while the inspection is taking place. Investing an extra $30-40 a month for a hotspot feature on your phone or an external device is a great investment for the full-time realtor who will hopefully be at multiple inspections a month. This is an ideal time to work the internet to accomplish your technology-oriented-tasks for growing your business.
Tip #3: Work the phone.
The phone is probably one of the most powerful tools an agent has. Agents getting the most out of their inspection times are texting and calling machines at inspections. Whether it is reaching out to current or future clients, calling insurance agents or contractors on behalf of your clients, or just connecting with your team members or broker, a lot of agents work the phones and advance their business during the inspection.
Tip #4: Build the relationship.
Finally, if your client comes to the entire inspection this is a time to really build relationship and trust with them. You’ve been on a journey with them to get to this point. You know them well. But, there’s still more to invest in the relationship.
The inspection is a great time to educate your clients on a variety of things. Help manage their expectations. Let them know about the next steps as it relates to resolutions, radon mitigation, having HVAC serviced before closing, the current trend of on-time or late closings, and important contacts they may need to follow up with even while their at the inspection.
In addition, this is a great time to find out who else they may know that may be looking for a realtor. This doesn’t have to be names and numbers. It can simply be started with a question like, “Do you have any family or friends that are wishing they could be where you are in the home buying process?” Or, “Who do I need to connect with that you want to see make some progress in buying a home?” These questions can be wonderful for your client, the people they care about, and you. Make a note and follow up with the client later to get more information about those prospects.
Inspections can be a tremendous burden if your mindset is that it holds you back from doing some things. However, if you see it as a concentrated time to work on your business it can be some of the most productive times of your work week.
Now go sell a house so we can get an inspection on your calendar so you can get some things done!