What does that client really think about the house he just viewed? What did people who attended the open house think about the property?
Obtaining that candid feedback from clients can be one of the toughest aspects of the job for a sales rep representing or showing a property, says Don St. Germain, a four-year veteran with Sotheby’s International Realty Canada in Victoria. The clients may not tell their agent exactly what they think and a comment form that is handed out may simply not make it back to the sales rep.
“It’s really a passive business,” says St. Germain. Client after client may walk away from a home that the sales rep and seller see as a good deal, without commenting about why it has not struck a responsive sales cord.
St. Germain tells of one home where a dip in the driveway raised doubts with those viewing the property. When their concern was eventually revealed, the seller was able to show it was caused by a drainage ditch. In another case, the price of a condominium was being compared to two others in the building that had hardwood floors, but it took feedback to nail just why buyers were walking away.
That’s why St. Germain sat down and wrote a program called ASAPfeedback (www.asapfeedback.com) that he now wants to make available to sales reps for free. It’s a simple system to use, although it will take some work for reps to load listings if they are not on the current MLS for the Victoria area. Once a password to the system is obtained for both sales rep and seller, they can go online and see what comments have been left by those viewing the home after a visit.
To try the site out, visit www.asapfeedback.com and log on using demo as username and demo as password. To try out the Realtor dashboard, visit www.asapfeedback.com/realtor.html with 0000 as Realtor ID and guest as the password.
To begin the registration process, sales reps must email St. Germain at [email protected] and indicate the password the agent wants to use, the MLS system the agent uses and a contact number where the agent can be reached. He will follow up to make sure they are Realtors.
The agent can send an email link to individuals who have toured a home. It asks them six questions (from a drop-down menu) about the property including price. Before the information is posted, the agent has to either approve it or delete it. There is no ability to edit it, only approval or deletion. Once the material is approved, the homeowners can go into the site and see what comments are shaping up, a feature that helps both the owner and the agents.
If all the comments are pointing to one concern about the property, the seller and listing agent know there needs to be some action taken. It opens another door for sales, says St. Germain, since it provides the agent with a remedy for their concerns and an invite for clients to return. “You can ask, will you come back and look again or the other sales rep can ask them to come back again,” he says.
St. Germain created a nationally successful Victoria-based computer chain in the ʼ90s before turning to real estate. – Jean Sorensen