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8/29/13

Are Real Estate Office Tours Productive?


Q - My real estate agent did a two-hour long office tour at my home.  I asked her why 2 hours when usually they are in and out in a flash but she couldn't really answer me because she was quite new.  Can you answer?

A - I highly recommend the 2-hour long office tours and don't find the 'in and out in a flash' kind of tours, often referred to as caravan tours, productive.

The long version of the office tour works like this.  The real estate companies involved usually have their office meetings on the same morning and are encouraged to attend.  After their meetings, they all proceed to the properties listed on tour.  This list contains basic information - address - price - square footage and so on plus room for comments.  The agents who have properties on tour are already at the homes. The doors are open, the lights are on, more information is available, and special features are pointed out.  If any questions come to mind the agent is there to provide answers.

To encourage real estate agent participation, snacks are offerred  or there might be a draw for a bottle of wine for all agents who attend.  Sometimes, at the last house on the tour, there may even be a light lunch available.

Usually there are no more than a dozen homes on the tour and are routed logically so there is no waste of time.  This enables an agent to spend quite a few minutes at each home and often results in a phone call or two to the listing agent after the tour for client showings.

I have just given you the basic outline of this kind of tour and the customs may vary across the country.

The 'caravan' style tour works like this.  Everybody follows each other to the house on tour.  The listing agent may or may not be there first.  The key has to be taken out of the lock box, the door unlocked and the lights put on.  You all rush through to see what you can.  The listing agent is probably, putting on lights and then turning off lights and busy locking up as you drive off to repeat the process as many as a dozen times!  There is no to time to digest anything or take notes.  Sometimes you have to skip a house to catch up to the caravan.  This is a very unproductive way for real estate agents to view new properties in their communities.  It's a process that creates a very blurry picture.

You were very fortunate to have had an office tour where the community of real estate companies cooperate on office tours and have productive results.

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