In commercial real estate brokerage there is some value in chasing listings that are ‘for sale by owners’ (FSBO) but only if the listing and or the client offers promise of a positive result, and the asking price or rent is right. Make no mistake that many agents continually chase these listings, given the odd chance that something realistic can be achieved as a sale or lease. You however don’t want to be the ‘guinea pig’ to market something that has been an FSBO that is overpriced or over rented.
A warning about these clients
I say these things now because many FSBO clients that are seeking to sell or lease their own property are usually asking for results that are un-achievable or highly inflated. They also don’t like to pay commissions to brokers for results achieved, so they will commonly lift their asking price to pay the commission as part of the deal (what a dumb process considering that the listing is probably already ‘stale’ in the market). That means you can spend a lot of time on something that is unrealistic or a client that just won’t listen; client conditioning and control is required. If a property is of poor or average quality, no amount of marketing will move it other than a low price.
Your time is precious especially if you want to earn reasonable commissions. Only take on listings of this FSBO type if you can see promise and or a positive outcome in some way or form. Set your standards and control your interaction with this client type.
Your FSBO listing control
The object in taking on this type of listing is to get it on your terms. To achieve that you can use the following points of leverage in your FSBO client interaction or listing pitch:
- Inquiry rates – Quote the recent inquiry rates and types that apply to the property. Show the owner that you attract and control the inquiry for the property type.
- Database list – Show your database list by size, and also provide a sample of short listed buyers or tenants that you will approach and quote the property. It is typically difficult for a property owner to overlook such advantages.
- Recent inquiries – When you can show that there is a reasonable amount of inquiry coming in, the client will listen. Use some charts for that process.
- Target market – Show the client exactly what you think the target market is for their property and then explain how you will tap into that market.
- Inspection strategies – You can show the client how you would inspect their property given its strengths and attributes to the target market. Make a story and strategy out of your inspection processes.
- Signs in local area – Tell the client how many signs they have locally
- Internet strategy – You can use a number of different property marketing strategies today across websites, the industry portals, social media, and electronic newsletters or auto responders. Create a matrix approach to the process and show the client how you will do that for their property.
- Demand exclusivity – Yes, I did use the word ‘demand’, as you should take the FSBO listing on your terms, and that process should include exclusivity and a reasonable commission. You are the professional and you should demand reasonable fees for service.
Simple strategies like these will help you with your listing of property with FSBO clients. Set your standards with these types of listings and remain firm on the outcome and the listing approach.