“Real estate is the last bastion of caveat emptor.”
I’ve used that quote twice—to hammer the point home. In real estate transactions, there is risk. The Broker’s role is to help mitigate that risk wherever you can.
Caveat emptor is Latin for “let the buyer beware.” You do not want to let your clients take unnecessary chances with their transactions if you can help it. You want them to work with nothing but the best, and have instant access to solutions when and if problems arise.
The Broker is the licensed professional in the equation, and must do what they can to guide clients down the safest and correct path.
I can advise on the merits of choosing to work with a lawyer all day long, and indeed, 99.99% of the time, things will go just fine with whomever is processing the documents and registration. However, advising clients is one thing; adding a big carrot to the mix always seems to make the decision easier.
We All Buy Business
Everyone in this industry buys business: pay-per-click, bus bench, billboard, newspaper ads, social media ads, advertorial content for real estate publications and websites, the extra-generous rewarding of referral sources, rate buydowns and more.
Some of us think the “other” is doing it the wrong way, and we of course are doing things the honourable way, the new school way, the “embracing-tech” way, the right way. Whatever, folks, we are all just doing it our own way. And the financial statements of one Broker really do not look much different than those of another that is seemingly handling things so much differently.
Part of my process was that I offered a credit; not a massive one, but a big enough credit to clients to help them opt for a lawyer over a notary in order to eliminate the perception that they would be getting a better deal with the notary. Bridging this gap eliminates price objection.
What did I get for my money? What did I get when my clients worked with a lawyer over a notary?
Robert Louis Stevenson said, “Compromise is the best and cheapest lawyer,” and these words resonate because with this strategy, my clients received a premium level of professionalism not always present in the absolute cheapest notary’s office in town.
The clients receive professional legal advice, often at no extra cost, on their contract and any addendums. This offer of contract review is something too few people take advantage of.
The clients have somebody on their side who can write a letter on a law firm’s letterhead to motivate the other side to stay on track.
And clients receive all of this, at what is effectively the cheapest price in town, because we subsidized it.
Having a strong working relationship with a few law firms in your area is a wise move. You want the lawyers who meet with your clients to have your contact data on speed dial. If there is an issue that arises while the clients are signing documents with the lawyers, you want to address it on the spot.
Often, small misunderstandings can be fixed on a quick conference call with the lawyer while the clients are still there, and the fact that the lawyers know and trust you goes a long way to making the clients comfortable as well.
You only need to have one set of clients get up and walk out of the lawyer’s or notary’s office without completing the signing to know what I am talking about here.