How Well Do You Know Your Product?
Several years back, our family purchased a new car. At that time, I recall that the salesperson was not very knowledgeable about the features of the vehicle. My husband and I had done our research and already decided on this particular car, so we really didn’t need to hear a huge sales pitch. We did, however, want an explanation of certain vehicle components, how they work, etc. Truthfully, after that car purchase, I always had a negative opinion of that dealership. How could they allow salesperson on the floor who did not even know about the product—how the radio worked or how the cruise control is programmed? No matter what field you are in, you must know your product!
Lately I’ve come across many real estate agents who do not know their product. I’ve met agents who are not familiar with the neighborhoods in which they sell. I’m also acquainted with other agents who know the floor plans of almost every home in the neighborhood. They preview homes, study closings, and are familiar with all area pricing.
In the distressed property market, you also need to know your product.
In addition to knowing how to process a short sale, you must be familiar with the foreclosure process. When a seller calls you, you need to be able to ascertain (after asking just a few questions) whether foreclosure is imminent or whether the seller has time to participate in a short sale. Each state has different foreclosure laws. It is important to be familiar with the laws for your state; that’s knowing your product!
Knowing your product in the distressed property market also means following the news—listening to radio programs, reading the newspaper, familiarizing yourself with the government programs. For example, did you know that as of January 2010, there have been only 170,000 successfully completed loan modifications through the Making Home Affordable Program? (That would be a good piece of product to share with a potential seller who is getting nowhere on a loan modification, wouldn’t it?) And, did you know that the HAFA program begins on April 5, 2010 and that only some loan servicers will be participating? (That would also be a nice piece of information to share with a client.)
Once you know your product, you will be able to better assist them in the purchase and or sale of property. You will also gain their respect and this will serve to build your referral business. Lastly, you will be much further along than the car salesman whose services I would never use again!