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This story comes from Andrew McSweeny, Principal at Ray White Carina, who shares the key lessons he learned during his first sale under his family’s office.
- Be attentive and ask the right questions to know exactly what your customer wants and needs are
- Follow the process in place for your transactions; be mindful you may miss something if its structure changes.
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Hi, I’m Andrew McSweeny from Ray White Carina. And this is my story.
It started in roughly July of 1995 when I first started in real estate as a young bloke, 19 years of age. Back then everything was done on an open listing basis. Every single agent on the street had exactly the same pieces of stock.
A lady come into my open home and she requests that, she only has one demand. She wants to close off the formal areas from the informal areas.
She’d been in the market for roughly three to six months looking. So I thought to myself, she’s probably already seen this piece of stock, but I thought I’d mention it anyways.
She said to me, “No, I haven’t seen this piece of stock. “And I’d love to go and see it with you.” Which was amazing to me because I thought to myself, well she’s been in the market for six months, she’s sure that she would’ve seen it. But nobody was attentive enough to listen to what she wanted.
I took her there and to her surprise, there was two doors, one that closed off the informal dining and the formal dining area.
She was absolutely amazed, wanted to buy the house on the spot so I suggested that we actually go for a tour and actually see the rest of the place so that she could feel comfortable with it which we did, then proceeded to a contract.
The baptism of fire at 19 years of age. I’d gone to put this contract together and it was between a retired judge and a used car salesman. I’d go backwards and forwards from Carindale to New Farm, from New Farm to Carindale.
I get back, get the contract, everyone’s agreed. So she signed, the vendor signed.
It’s the first sale for the office. My parents started this office so I thought to myself, they’re gonna be so proud of me.
It was a $237,000 sale and back then the average sale price was roughly around $85,000. So it was like a three…four-in-one deal. Maths was never my strong suit.
I hopped in my car, had my Jerry McGuire moment and I thought to myself, I’ve done it.
♪ And I’m free, free ♪
Wait…damn it. I forgot to get the authorities signed. So I put it in reverse and I’m going all the way back again
I’ve pulled up to the owner’s place and I said, “Hey, listen, I just wanted to let you know, in all the confusion and happiness because everyone’s really ecstatic about this deal that I put together for you and I’m sure you’re really happy. I just forgot to get a couple little pieces of information that I needed some signatures on.”
She then proceeded to tell me that she understood that it was – well, back then it wasn’t the Form 6, but it was the Authority to Sell – and if I didn’t sign this, then I don’t have to pay you commission.
“That’s correct but did I tell you that I’m only 19 and this is my first–“
“Don’t be ridiculous, you’ve been so good, I’ll sign the thing.” Back in the car.
I learned a lot from that at 19 years of age. I can tell you there’s two things there that will always resonate with me.
Firstly, listen to what someone is asking for. Closing off an informal area from a formal area. It doesn’t seem a big deal, but she’d been shopping for six months and no one had even shown her that property, except for me.
The second thing was obviously there’s a structure for a reason. Let’s do things in a particular fashion like get the Form 6 signed first then we show the property. There is a process there for a reason. We follow that, we don’t find ourselves in the situation I found myself in at 19 years of age. But I have learned.