If you haven’t yet been inaugurated into the “Out of Towner” club, it’s just a matter of time. Out of town clients can be the most fun, interesting, rewarding and exhausting people you will ever get to work with. You become very close with your client because they are relying on you completely. You are often their first point of contact in a brand new city or town, so be prepared. You are not only their Real Estate Sales Representative, you are their Tour Guide, Accommodation Specialist, Chauffeur, Restaurant Expert and so much more. Most real estate transactions are like a marathon, you pace yourself and go through the checkpoints. When you have Out of Towners, prepare for a sprint! Here are a few tips;
- Ask them in advance if they need any help with travel/accommodation arrangements and get their itinerary. Find out if they have any other appointments planned. They may not be aware of traffic and travel time in between showings.
- Bring a lot of resources because they will ask a lot of questions. Have transit maps, school districts, walk scores, sales in preferred neighbourhoods and whatever you can think of available in advance, or invest software that can tell all of this on the fly.
- Do as much paperwork as possible in advance, explain agency, send them a copy of an agreement of purchase and sale and answer their questions before they arrive.
- Cancel anything else you have planned during the days they are looking at houses or hand off whatever you can to a colleague. They might say they only want to see 5 properties, but as you drive them around, that number will go up.
- Clean your car & update your GPS! While most of you probably have a clean car already, you will almost always be driving them around during their stay and talking a lot while driving. The GPS will come in handy even in areas you know well.
- Bring snacks/drinks, Out of Towners don’t usually want to waste time on stops, most of them have spent money on travel and taken time off work to find a property, they are determined! Everyone will get cranky without snacks.
- As Big Brother says “expect the unexpected” you will have to roll with the punches and be able to adjust on the fly, don’t be afraid to abandon your plan and start over.
- Don’t get discouraged or frustrated. They might tell you they want a downtown condo, only to settle on house in the burbs. Be patient and understanding because they are not just buying a house, they are relocating their life!
Sarah Kiraly, YPN Committee Member and OREA YPN Guest Blogger