Preparing For Floor Duty

Given the importance of floor duty, there are several things you should do to prepare for it. Make sure that you know well in advance when it is to be your turn "up." Mark the date on your calendar and make no other commitments for that day. Arrange for a backup to be on call if you have to leave the office for an extended period. Most agents have slipped up once, arriving at work unaware that they have floor duty. The ensuing panic is generally adequate to ensure that it does not happen again.

On the day you are actually on duty, get to your desk even earlier than usual so that you will be prepared if you get a call or a walk-in right at the opening of business. Some house hunters are early starters. Because many of the inquiries you receive will be in response to advertisements, make certain you are thoroughly familiar with those of your company, both the current ones and those from the immediate past. There is no substitute for firsthand knowledge, so try to personally visit each of the properties advertised.

Most companies discuss upcoming advertisements during staff meetings, with the listing agents presiding. Current advertisements represent only a portion of your brokerage's total listings, so it is essential that you bring yourself completely up-to-date on all the listings. Try to visit each property with the listing salesperson when the home is listed. Otherwise, you will need to hustle to catch up by looking at the ones you have missed, because it is crucial that you know the total inventory. If there are "listing caravans" in your locality where specific days are set aside to visit new listings, try hard to take advantage of them.

It is also important to read the advertisements of the other real estate companies in the area so that you can respond intelligently if you are asked about their listings. Using all the information you have from all sources, prepare a short list of select properties, similar to the ones in your advertisement. You will then be prepared to suggest alternatives if the advertised property does not meet the buyer's needs.

Have a form ready on which to record each call-in and walk-in. Your office will likely have a log for this. When you answer the telephone, a simple and confident, "Professional Realty, Sally Smith" gives the caller all the information needed to proceed. Some agents insist on answering with a minifili-buster ("Good morning! Thanks for calling Professional Realty, where service makes the difference. This is Sally Smith. How may I help you solve your housing problems?"), but that technique seems a little contrived. An effective way of handling calls you receive at home is to answer with just your name. Simply saying "hello" doesn't really help.

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