As Stuart St James continues to grow (265% in 2020, wow!), we have the privilege of hiring newly licensed real estate agents in Massachusetts. It’s really neat to help agents bridge the gap from pre-license classroom education to actually practicing real estate, working with clients, and closing their first deals as their Massachusetts real estate careers get underway.
Stuart St James is uncharacteristically transparent in how we operate and I wanted to give you a look at a candid interaction I had with a newly licensed Boston real estate agent who reached out to me asking for help as they began to work with their very first buyer client.
Many prospective agents evaluating real estate brokerages to join ask me what kind of support they can expect when they join Stuart St James. That’s a good question to ask a broker, especially when many new real estate agents don’t know what they don’t know. A broker should have tangible examples to share with agents on what support they will get and how timely it can be expected. The real estate agent who sent me the below email got a personal response in less than 2 hours.
Here’s the email exchange.
Email subject: First buyer, help!?
Good morning Darin,
I have a few questions for you. I have a buyer that’s looking to purchases a home in Boston, MA. He doesn’t have any pre-approval or pre-qualification. He has a great credit score (720+) and a stable income. This is gonna be his primary residence with his family. He wants to purchase and what are some of the actions that I should guide him to do?
Where should I take him to talk to lenders? or should I be involved in this process of him getting a pre-approval at all?
I don’t have much knowledge regarding home mortgages.
Sorry for all the questions!
And here’s the response I sent in less than 2 hours.
Thanks for reaching out. Exciting stuff!
Sounds like you’re on the front end of helping this client.
Be sure to sign the MA Mandatory Licensee Consumer Relationship Disclosure with your client, it’s located in Google Drive in the Documents & Forms folder here. You fill this disclosure out and sign it during the “first material discussion” of property, which is usually when you see a home together for the first time, possibly sooner. In that form, you would check that you were a Buyer’s Agent and under “Designated Agency”, you would check “Buyer”.
Regarding financing, you want to guide your client to obtain a more stringent pre-approval. Do not focus on a pre-qualification. You can suggest some lenders, and I would encourage you to begin establishing relationships with mortgage brokers through networking, yet it should always be at the client’s discretion who they choose to work with – there’s a Professional Resources for Buyers & Sellers document in Google Drive in the Documents & Forms folder here that you can use for some initial ideas. Over time, you will want to establish your own go-to set of resources, including mortgage brokers, as you can provide value to your clients through such partnerships.
You will next want to use the search criteria of your client to deliver new listings that hit the market to them via email. You of course want to stay on top of this yourself too. Rather than sending them to Zillow for this, which will attempt to monetize your client by selling their information as a lead to other agents who buy advertising in the Boston market, you want to have those property updates delivered in a proprietary way so that you maintain visibility to and control of your client.
If you had a Lead Catcher subscription (this is an optional tech stack package we offer here). You could load your client into the CRM system and create custom searches for them and all their activity would be tagged to you (i.e. any time they commented on a property the system sent to them or requested a showing, those would flow to you). Don’t just have your client go to stuartstjames.com and signup to receive listings because they will be randomly assigned to an agent on the team who is subscribed to Lead Catcher. Lead Catcher is super affordable considering online real estate leads from providers like Bold Leads are $37 each, and it would give you the ability to maintain control over your clients’ property search, I’d recommend you subscribe.
I also highly recommend you go through the online video course you were invited to via Coassemble when you joined called “How to Evaluate & Negotiate Real Estate Offers”. It’s ~ 1 hour of content and will walk you step-by-step through an offer with examples of the forms, how to fill them out, and how to stay a couple of steps ahead of your client so you provide them value and demonstrate authority over the process.
I hope all this helps!
I receive emails from real estate agents asking questions like this almost every day and I thought it might be helpful to share this kind of information with the Massachusetts real estate agent community.
Many newly licensed agents who have never worked with clients before are intimidated or fearful when they get started in real estate, many think they will be on an island, yet there are brokers out there who have a genuine desire to equip and help agents level up – that’s how I’m wired, so it’s rewarding for me.