Mat Steinwede of McGrath Terrigal is ranked consistently as one of the best agents in the McGrath network. With over 23 years of experience, Mat’s successes can be pinpointed to his understanding of real estate negotiation, which is often lacking in agents who don’t consider what needs to be said or done, or even how a situation makes people feel.
Recognising this problem, Mat developed the Mat Steinwede’s Real Estate System, a coaching method for agents that explains how effective communication can make the difference when winning the deal, and even achieving the right price.
The relationship starts immediately. Mat explains, “It starts by listening to what the buyer is saying and understanding the message that they’re getting across to you. Not so much the words that they are saying, but the feelings around what they have experienced before, what they want and where they are going. It’s about really listening and grabbing on to that information.”
In real estate, the fee, price, terms, concessions, marketing, listing, expiry of the listing and the final fee are all part of the process of understanding your client. Gathering intel during initial conversations with a buyer is crucial to the success of any relationship.
“Reference points and framing: this is what negotiation is about. What they are saying to you is that there are important characteristics which they would like to transfer to this area that they want to move to. I always ask people to tell me about the house they live in because this is a reference point for them.” Mat explained.
Question prospective buyers on what is important to them about their new home. “You have got to get into their world; it’s not about just racing out and helping them find a house in their budget. It’s really asking those questions about their kids, about their dog. Is a dog-friendly beach important to them?” Mat advises. This ensures that you spend more quality time with your clients and this series of questions will prepare you for other negotiations down the track.
Practising this precise method also eliminates frustration when showing a buyer a property, because you have asked the right questions and found the important characteristics that they are looking for, so there is no potential for them to say that they found others they like better.
The more information an agent has about why someone is buying or selling, the more it gives them a better chance of success as a buyer’s agent. Mat recommends only working with a maximum of 15 to 20 purchasers at one time. This will allow you enough time to find the right property for each one. “Every time I take them out to show a house, it’s like I’m gathering a bit more info, I work with people for quite a long time looking for what fits them.”
For example, Mat worked with a woman for two years to find her the right property at Avoca Beach. After he had spent all that time finding out her criteria, he knew when he had found the perfect property. “She paid $1.8 million, and it was worth $1.3 million, but to her, it didn’t matter. She knew it was more than what it was probably worth, but her number one criteria were for her kids to walk across the road to the beach – and it was 20 steps to the beach.”