Tips On Talking To Real Estate Agents

Tips On Talking To Real Estate Agents


Ryan: When it comes to investing in property,
something that people often get nervous about is talking to real estate agents and negotiating
with real estate agents in order to get the best deal. So today I have with me Ben Everingham from
Pumped On Property, my buyer’s agent of choice and good friend to talk about how to talk
to real estate agents, how to identify the best opportunities and best agents to work
with so that you guys can go into this quite confidently. So hey Ben, thanks for coming on today. Ben: Good day Ryan, thanks for having me man. I’m just loving what’s happening in your background
by the way. Like for anyone that’s listening to this on
the podcast, Ryan is doing this wicked trip around Oz right now and I’m just watching
cars going past, people running past with dogs, kids skating past, it’s just sick. Ryan: Yeah, so at the moment, we have moved
into the van so we did up a camper van and have moved in. We’ve been in for about three weeks and it’s
rained literally every day except one which has been hard. At the moment, we’re in Lennox Head which
is a really nice area, we really love it here. But it’s raining, so we got an Air BnB. So the wife and the kids are inside and I’m
here in the van, working. Sweating it out ’cause it’s a bit hot in there. But yeah, it’s a good setup, we’re having
a good time doing what we want to do which is what we wanna help you guys do as well,
live the life that you guys want. And so part of that is buying property and
part of that is talking to real estate agents. So in the last video if you guys watched that,
we did come across a really good tip from Ben which was actually choosing the right
real estate agents to work with when you’re starting and actually understanding who those
real estate agents are. So do you wanna talk a little bit about that,
Ben? How do you find about the real estate agents
before you actually give them a call on the phone or turn up for an inspection? Ben: Yes, so I think the way that this came
about was just obviously it’s important to understand who you’re working with. So I know all of us that have partners, obviously
did our best to understand our wives when we first got with them and that definitely
helped me sell myself to my wife. I didn’t talk about myself for a long time
until I understood who she was and what she was looking for ’cause she’s way too good
looking for me to actually be with normally. So I suppose it comes back to something like
that. Like understanding the person you’re negotiating
with is very important and so the way to most simply do that I suppose is if you’ve identified
a property that you really like on realestate.com or domain, click on the real estate agent’s
name and a whole lot of that history, particularly, over the last 12 months but even longer term
than that, now that realestate.com’s grabbing that information, shows up. Shows which suburbs they’re selling property
in, how many properties they’ve sold in each of those suburbs in the last 12 months, how
many properties they’ve sold in general and exactly what properties they’ve sold. So you can start to go, does this guy sell
cheap stuff? Does he sell unrenovated? Does he sell really high quality stuff? Does he sell that stuff for a premium or below
market value? And then you can begin to get an idea before
you even pick up the phone of who you’re gonna be dealing with. And the reason that’s important is because
some people are amazing at their job and they sell a huge amount of property because of
that and other people aren’t that amazing at their jobs and probably cost their clients
more than they make them to be honest with you, if they’re not doing the right thing
by them. Ryan: Yeah. And so the figure that you gave in the last
video was real estate agents who have sold under 20 properties in the last 12 months
generally tend to be easiest to negotiate with than real estate agents who have sold
over 20 because the ones who are the top performers, they got less financial pressure themselves
in order to sell that property and they’re generally likely to be better at their jobs
as well, making it even harder to negotiate with them. Ben: I saw a really crazy statistic recently
on I think it was realestate.com.au and it was 92% of real estate agents in Australia
earn less than $50,000 per annum. Ryan: Yeah. Ben: So when you think about real estate agents
you don’t think about the average person making less than 50k because even the 50k guys drop
out with $100,000 sports car. Ryan: [crosstalk 00:04:04]
Ben: It’s on finance, on the credit card. Ryan: They all rock up in these really expensive
cars. Ben: Yeah, and it feels intimidating. It’s like “Man, this guy’s got his stuff together.” But it’s all just a show. Like some of them … the real top performers
that I know that it’s got nothing to do with any of that stuff, it’s really about doing
the right thing by people and helping people but there’s a lot of people in between obviously
as well that can be very sophisticated sales people and flashy but most of the very good
people are well, well, well past that. Ryan: Yeah. So I think it’s really good to get an understanding
of the real estate agents you’re gonna be working with, as Ben said, what type of properties
they sell, how much they’ve sold, so you can get an idea of whether you’re gonna be at
an advantage when negotiating or if they’ve got the advantage. You’re also saying that there’s potential
to identify opportunities for the biggest discount before we actually speak to agents. So how do we do that? Ben: Yeah, so something that I’ve identified
recently is that there’s definitely types of people that you can buy from, obviously
personality types and playing to personality types which is important to understand but
more than that, there’s people that are selling a good amount of property and as Ryan said,
don’t need the money. And then there’s the complete opposite of
that. So people that I love to buy from as a buyer’s
agent who bought 129, 130 properties in the last 12 months. The first one would be an out of area agent. An out of area agent is like a unicorn, like
it’s my favorite thing to walk across on a day to day basis. And the way that an out of area agent gets
a listing, like you start seeing these people everywhere now. It’s like one of the first questions I ask
is, “How many sales have you done in the last 12 months? What’s your plan for the next 12 months?” Just to get them thinking about where they
are and where they wanna be. And then I go, “Where is your area? Are you selling much around here?” And they can help themselves but say things
that they shouldn’t say and release too much information. They’ll say, “Well, this isn’t an area they
focus on, I’ve picked it up through either a rent roll or I’m doing it as a favor for
a friend.” And I’m just like, “You’re not doing anyone
a favor except my client, man, because this is like an opportunity right now.” Even if they’re a top performer out of area,
they don’t wanna drive to another area that they know nothing about which means they generally
appraise it really, really cheap or really, really expensive which are equally bad. Yeah, so after they’ve appraised it the wrong
way and they’ve realized that after a couple of weeks of owning the listing, it’s becoming
a bit of a pain in the ass because no one’s bought it yet and that’s … you know, so
you’re definitely further away than their normal territory, their job then turns from
trying to sell the property as a favor or because they’ve got a listing and they thought
it would be easy to getting this thing off their books as quickly as they possibly can. It’s an immediate switch in their head. And so these out of area agents are fantastic
to negotiate with because you know they’ve got motivation to move it quick and you know
they haven’t done the right thing by the person to pick it up. And they are the people without a doubt, like
I’ve bought one of these myself in December last year where this out of area agent that
was doing a friend a service, sold it to me for about 75 grand below market value for
an unrenovated product but this was completely renovated. So there’s a huge opportunity to identify
these people. They are by the far the lowest hanging piece
of fruit in the market that most people don’t know how to identify early enough. Ryan: And could you identify them just by
looking at their past sales history and what they’ve sold? If it’s an out of the area. Ben: 100%. So I don’t let my team go out without clicking
on the agent’s team and having a look at what they’ve sold and obviously buying large quantities
of property in specific area, you know who’s who in the zoo quickly anyway but if you don’t,
you can look at the suburb name and then you can look at where they’ve sold in the last
12 months and if that suburb hasn’t shown up and it’s not in within a five kilometer
vicinity of where they’re buying from or they’re generally making their sales from, sorry,
you know that they’re pretty much out of agent and they’ve fluked that listing one way or
another. Ryan: Yeah. So that’s a great way to identify interesting
agents to work with with the potential for good discounts. Obviously it’s not gonna happen every time
but more often than not, hey? Ben: You know, if there’s a market where there’s
100 sales a year, in any one market that’s got 100 sales, there’ll be three people selling
80 properties a year which means if you think about it, one out of every five times or 20%
of the time, you’re gonna bump into someone that’s either needing to sell to keep a job
or an out of area agent. So there’s a bigger opportunity there than
you think about when you look at bigger averages. Ryan: Yeah, that’s really interesting. And so let’s say that we’ve found a property,
we’ve looked into the agent and now it’s time to either give them a call or show up for
the open house. What sort of tips do you have in talking with
them, what to share with them, building relationships with them et cetera? Ben: So I think building a relationship is
the key, even though they’re not gonna take you that seriously because one, you haven’t
provided them with a written offer and two, he might only do this one transaction with
you. If you can build a relationship with the person
and show them that you are motivated and you don’t waste their time then it can be a very
powerful way to start a relationship. So when I go into the property, I do the … the
first thing I do is I sit … like I talk to the agent for between two and five minutes
just to get to know them, to explain my situation and what I’m looking for. I then get the agent to show me, if there’s
not too many people at the property, to show me around. Now I don’t, as a person individually and
as a team, I never ever show up to an open for inspection because what a waste of time. And the open for inspections never coincide
with when I wanna do it which is mid week. Like why would you want to go and see a property
on the weekend when everyone else is there and you’re not getting the right information
from the agent. So book a one on one time with the agent to
go through so that you have their full attention and focus. And you can build a meaningful relationship
if you really like the property. So you spend that-
Ryan: So is that something that you guys always do? Is that you get a one on one inspections rather
than- Ben: Every time. Ryan: Yeah. Ben: I can’t remember in the last three years
where we rocked up to an open home because it’s just such a waste of time. Ryan: So what is it about the open homes that
makes it a waste of time? ‘Cause I know there’ll be so many people listing
to this and they’re spending their weekends, going to open homes, they’re taking the afternoon
off work to go on a Wednesday at 4 p.m. Ben: The worst thing about open homes for
me is it doesn’t suit the time that I wanna do it. I’m sure there’s plenty of people that don’t
want to bail work at 4 o’clock or to get to the open at 3 o’clock, they would much prefer
to go do it in their lunch break or they’d much prefer to do it before work or after
work in their own time. So that’s the big thing for me. Like you know, you control the outcome. If you can negotiate your own time on the
property against the good agent, you should be able to negotiate a discount as well. Like it’s one of the things that kind of throws
the power balance from them having the power of showing it to everyone to you going, you’ve
made time to be here for me outside of normally what you would do. I’m a serious buyer because I’ve wanted to
arrange a one on one and it kind of sets the expectation both way that they’re prepared
to do something for me and I’m prepared to do something to help them as well. It’s a psychological thing plus when you’re
inspecting 40 properties a week, you just can’t get through all of them between the
hours of 9 a.m. and 12 p.m. on a weekend either. Ryan: Yeah, okay, so that’s a great tip for
people. Try and negotiate to see the property by yourself. Ben: Yeah, and like most guys are gonna say
no and you just need to ask why. Like I literally, if they say no, I say, “Why
can’t you do that, seriously, why?” And then they’ll make a time for you because
it’s awkward to answer that question. Ryan: Do you say, “I can’t come on the weekend?” Do you have to say that sort of thing? Like “I can’t attend at your time.” Ben: You can’t tell a real estate agent that
you won’t, you’re not prepared to work weekends because this poor person has been working
weekends since the day they got into the industry. And so if someone has a weekend off, it’s
like the dream. So you definitely don’t tell them that you
can’t make the open or you don’t do Saturdays but make sure that they know that you can’t
make the open home for whatever reason it is. Ryan: So you just don’t give … you just
say, “I can’t make it.” Ben: Yeah, unfortunately I can’t make the
open home, but how does this time suit you on this day and just assume that they’re gonna
maybe not say yes to that time but play ball one way or another. Ryan: Yeah and then ask them why if they say,
“No, we don’t do that.” Ben: Yeah, just say, “Why?” Like if you’re in Bali walking around the
streets bartering, you’d ask for a discount but in Australia where it’s not part of our
currency so we don’t ask people that question but it’s just a question. Like the agent’s not gonna go because I don’t
wanna waste my time going out there for your one on one when I know it’s just gonna burn
me. That’s what they’re thinking, I mean, let’s
get real. So you know, I’ve kind of gone a bit of topic
there, sorry. Ryan: Nah, but that’s good. It’s good to have that sort of tip for people
to help them in their negotiation and to help them actually see the property without the
flurry of people and the stress associated with open homes as well. Ben: Yeah, like the agent will know a lot
more about the local area. And if they are a high performer and the property
then you will and there’s a lot of meaningful information you should be picking up at the
inspection, it’s not just going round and going, “Hey, does this look like a nice house? Could I see myself living in it? Would I buy it as an investment?” It’s really about making the use of that time. And so back to what I was trying to say was
spend that first two to five minutes building a relationship with them, the way that you
build a relationship in the simplest form is to try and have a conversation about what
they’ve done in the past, what they’re trying to do for the foreseeable future. Like I just leave it that simple and then
I say- Ryan: Doesn’t that feel weird to call them
up when you’re looking for a property and to ask them about themselves? Ben: It’s not on the phone call, it’s when
you physically get to the open. Ryan: Okay, yeah. Ben: Yeah, of course it’s weird on the phone. [crosstalk 00:14:22]
Ryan: You call them and you’re like, “What are you doing with your life, where do you
see yourself in 12 months?” Ben: What’s your star sign? My computer is about to go [inaudible 00:14:32]. Ryan: All right. Ben: So this is after the call. What’s your star sign? So and get them to show you … ask them to
show you around the property. They’ll point out some of the positives and
some of the negatives and that’s an opportunity for them to speak and for you to listen and
by listening, you’re building rapport with that person and they’re gonna share more with
you than you may be asking them for in one way or another. It’s really an opportunity to listen to what
they’re truly saying. And then after you’ve gone through that, you
then get to the pointy end of the conversation which is basically them wanting to know, are
you a serious buyer, what do you think of the property, can we make some business happen
here type thing? And that, again, is an opportunity to tell
them exactly what you want, give them meaningful feedback but definitely don’t commit to any
sort of … they’re gonna ask you about price one way or another, don’t comment on price,
don’t comment on terms but let them know that you are a very serious person to have a conversation
with if you like the property enough to seriously place an offer on it. Ryan: So how do you do that? Like if they’re saying, “Oh, what do you think
about the property, are you gonna make an offer?” Or they say, “How much are you looking to
spend?” All those sorts of questions. Do you just-
Ben: Just because, again, someone asks you a question doesn’t mean you have to answer
it. It’s really uncomfortable to do that as a
human ’cause you … there’s awkward space for about one second but they will fill it,
’cause they’re an agent. So like learning to do that is an art form
and it takes a little bit of practice but just because they ask you, “What do you think
the property is worth?”, like Zoolander style, let me answer your question with another question,
like “What do you think the property is worth? Where is your comparative market analysis? What are some examples of properties you’ve
sold where you think this is comparable against?” And then it throws them around into another
five minutes of talking about stuff that they shouldn’t be talking about again. Ryan: I’m just imagining you in Zoolander
right now. Let me answer your question with another question. Ben: I’ve lost three quarters of your audience,
they’re just like, “That guy is such a-” Ryan: Dude, I absolutely love that movie,
that’s like one of my favorite movies to the point where I like I haven’t watched Zoolander
2 because I don’t want to ruin my impression of Zoolander 1. Ben: Don’t watch Zoolander 2. Like Zoolander 1 is amazing and Zoolander
2, they’re trying to do the same thing again. Ryan: Yeah, I watched [inaudible 00:17:01]
and that just wasn’t worth it. I was just … shouldn’t have done it. Ben: Anyway. Ryan: Okay. So we’re saying so don’t give away too much
when it comes to price or when it comes to terms. What sort of information do you advise giving
to the agent to let them know that you are serious but without giving too much away? Ben: I’ll let them know that I’m actively
in the market in this suburb right now. So I am looking for a property and the way
that I do that is I explain what I’m looking for in terms of a certain land size, certain
number of bedrooms, bathrooms, I’ll let them know only if the property is meaningful that
I do have an interest in this property and would seriously consider placing an offer
at the right price. And I also let them know that I do have a
preapproval in place because one out of every three offers in Australia at the moment is
not going under contract because of finance. Most of the time it’s because people use finance
to pull out of contracts because it can be like a get out of jail free card in some states
in Australia. Obviously talk to your licensed solicitor
about that before you ever try and do that but most of the times smart people will have
a finance clause in their contract to protect themselves so they can pull out. But an agent’s worst fear is doing a month
worth of marketing and open homes on a weekend, selling a property, taking 14 or 21 days to
get to a point where they know it’s officially sold meaning it’s gone under contract and
then having that fall over because someone’s pulled out on finance and then they’ve lost
seven weeks which means they’ve lost their full opportunity to sell that property at
the most premium price and now they have to start from scratch again and build momentum. It’s a pain point for an agent. So explaining that you have a preapproval
which means you can buy the property and you’re not gonna terminate is a very powerful thing. Whether you terminate or not is at your discretion
later on but having that initial conversation will build a lot of credibility. Ryan: Yeah. And that’s also … you wanna let them know
you’re serious but then you also wanna make their life easy, right? They are there to sell a property and to make
a commission and earn money as a result. That’s I guess their motivation behind it. And so you wanna help be the easiest buyer
for them as well. An easy person to work with that they can
definitely do business with. Ben: That’s 100% it. Just being a good person that’s relatable,
that’s why I ask questions about them because in the real world, if you’re mates with someone,
you find out a bit about them, they find out a bit about you and that’s a real meaningful
relationship. And you know, not wasting their time. Like these poor agents do have a hard life,
man. It’s mentally [inaudible 00:19:51], like every
time they make a sale, they have to go find another place to sell because … you know
what I mean? It’s like this constant life thing that just
never stops for them. And when they get someone that treats them
with actual respect that doesn’t waste their time, that is a serious bar. That’s all they are looking for as well and
most people just waste their time and don’t treat them with that respect. Ryan: Yeah, well that’s something that’s so
key I think. It’s just that treating them with respect
and treating them like a person because it’s they same as if you’re-
Ben: They are. Ryan: Yeah, well, right. But it’s the same as if someone works in a
caf� or something, as soon as you show someone like a little bit more respect than other
people would, like you can really make someone’s day by doing that. And you can make the negotiating process so
much easier with the agent if you build that rapport and you show them that respect so
that they feel appreciative to you ’cause of the way you treated them. Ben: 100% and these goes a long, long, long
way. Like we might not be able to talk about all
the negotiation stuff right now but it can go a long way to the sense that we’ve got
agents that we’ve built really meaningful relationships with and a meaningful relationship
is based on honesty, it’s based on not wasting someone else’s time, it’s based around doing
what you say you’re gonna do. And so I will always give an agent a quick
follow up text message after I’ve gone to the open for inspection going, “Thank you
so much, I’m gonna have a really serious look at this in the next couple of days and I’ll
come back to you either way.” Because a lot of people go, “Yeah, I’m seriously
interested,” and then you never hear from them again. And it’s you know … so that goes a long
way. And then when I place an offer, I don’t verbally
place an offer, 50 grand below what it’s listed for knowing that it’s listed at market value
and go … I’m just gonna play the game and yeah. If I do 300 offers, maybe one of them will
be accepted. The agents just laugh at that. It’s like an inside of industry joke that
those people are just wasting their time. The agent will play the game with them but
they know how to identify a serious player within two seconds of you walking into the
property so that’s what they’re really good at and you’ve gotta recognize what their skillset
is. And not give too much away but enough away
to know that you’re a genuine prospect if you do like the property. Ryan: Yeah, and negotiating, we’ve covered
in previous videos and I know we’ll talk more about it in the future. But I hope this gives people an understanding
and a confidence to go out and to talk to real estate agents, to build rapport with
them, to find out about the property, to choose the best agents to talk to and as well to
let them know that they are serious buyers so then negotiating can start happening. And at the same time, not giving too much
away. So the real estate agent doesn’t have it over
them, basically. Ben: Yeah, you gotta be careful with what
you say as much as the agent’s trying to be careful with what they say. Like the agent to really look out for in terms
of tips for talking with an agent is the one that comes across as cold but is really not. Like the agent that has been around the industry
for so long that when you ask a question, they give you an answer, whether it’s the
answer that you wanna hear or not. But they give a very direct answer. Like those direct agents are the ones that
have been in the industry for long enough to know that the games are over. Here is what it is, take it or leave it type
thing. And they’re the ones that you might respond
like, “Oh, shit,” they are being very direct and they are being mean or they are not communicating
in the way that we communicate with our mates. But it’s just because they’ve talked to so
many shit kickers in the past that they know that just be honest about stuff, know where
it’s at, set people’s expectations properly and that’s gonna eliminate a lot of the people
that are just wasting their time. So they are also the ones that speak directly
that don’t budge on price and if you’re an emotional person that’s got an ego tied to
negotiating because you think you’re good at it, they will smash you every single day
of the week and you will end up bending over so far backwards that you feel like you’ve
been through a bad time. That’s a nice way of saying what I’m thinking. But if you had a listen to the first thing
that they said which is when you say, “How much do you think it’s roughly worth,” and
they say, “515k” and then you start at 450 and end up at 515k, if you just had known
who you were speaking with before you spoke, your problem would have been solved, you know
what I mean? If you see value at 515. Ryan: Are you saying that those people aren’t
really worth negotiating with? Or just not worth low balling? Ben: Not worth low balling. Like definitely worth talking with because
the good thing about a great agent is they’re selling the property at or a tiny, tiny bit
below market value generally because they know that it’s not worth listing a property
so far above market value. It’s just gonna chew up their time and their
energy. So like a good agent will have also set the
clients’ expectations very much upfront. They person they’re selling for and say, “This
is what it’s worth, if you wanna sell it with me, this is what I’m gonna sell it for.” And then they’ll go and tell the market that
as well. But the market, sometimes think … they’re
playing a game with these people and they’re not, that person’s almost always gonna win. Ryan: Yeah. Well that comes back to who you are negotiating
with and being smart about it, like building rapport, making their life easy and you gotta
adjust that for each individual person that you’re talking to. Ben: So an agent that sells 20 properties
a year would probably on average get between five and 10 offers on a property. So you’re talking about … let’s just say
it’s five times 20, that’s 100 people a year that they’re directly in writing negotiating
with. If you’re only buying one property every three
years and you pretend that you can come up against someone that buys … you know, that
talks to 300 people a year about it, plus all of the other time wasters, you know, you’ve
gotta look at where people’s skillsets lie. Ryan: Yeah, and sometimes your skillset isn’t
gonna be negotiating better than them. Ben: No, not unless the agent is average which
we’ve talked about before. Ryan: Yeah, exactly. Well, let’s leave it there because we’re coming
up to about half an hour. And I think that’s given enough for people
to chew on when it comes to talking to agents. I think we’ve given them some great tips and
I think now it’s just up to you guys who are listening to this or watching this to go out
there and to build that rapport. Try and get the viewing by yourself, do these
things that we’ve talked about. Become a serious buyer but don’t give too
much away. And we wish you the absolute best in buying
your property and in talking to these real estate agents. Because at the end of the day, as we’ve already
said, they are people and you know, you can have good conversations with these people,
you’re not necessarily gonna be best friends but you can have a good time in that buying
process and it can be as painless as possible. Ben: If you can make the process of buying
property fun, it’ll definitely add years to your life because if the opposite of that
is what most people experience, it can be really painful sometimes as well. Ryan: Yeah, you wanna go into it and come
out with just as few gray hairs as you started. [inaudible 00:26:55] so stressed that it just
ruins your life. Yeah, we’re gonna end it there but we’ll wish
you the best of luck and until next time, stay positive.

One thought on “Tips On Talking To Real Estate Agents

  1. Bend over backwards until you feel like you've been through a bad time haha

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