One of the most important things an agent needs to do is to be ready to turn a negative in to a positive. This is whether it is a new agent or one which has 30 years of experience. I bring this up whether in one of my workshops for agents or consulting with agents who are marketing or coaching clients.
There are times when things do not go as hoped or as planned, especially in real estate. The news article below describes one such time, in which a multi-million dollar property sold for more than $400,000 less than the asking price and below a sales price from 2013. (This sale occurred in the Fall of 2019.)
The article about this property sale appeared in the Chicago Tribune, which remains one of the largest newspaper publications in the country. It so happens that the reason for this story is that the 'featured' home was once owned by a former Head Coach of the Chicago Bears.
However, this sale of the house had nothing to do with the former coach, who did rather well with buying and selling the property earlier in the decade.
The "negative" in this story is the report that the home sold for $400,000 under the asking price and for less than it did in 2013.
Within the story it is noted that the agent, Paige Dooley, "declined to comment". This is exactly where an agent needs to turn that negative into a positive. Trained journalists know to report the specific results of attempts to contact an individual for a story.
Consequently, that Paige "declined to comment" is much different than the story saying "She could not be reached". Declining comment infers that Paige had nothing to say about this story.
It is as though she is admitting that she did not do well for the sellers and wanted this story to go away. There are likely to be potential home sellers reading this story that would be less likely to consider her for selling their home because she had no explanation for a deal that was not what it should have been for her client.
I always advise my clients (and workshop attendees) about the benefit of outside publicity. Dooley had the opportunity to be quoted in the Tribune, at no cost, and could have turned that in her favor. Chances are she spends marketing dollars on social media and advertising of her services. Positive publicity in this newspaper and its web site would normally cost a large amount.
What she should have done is commented about how "This home is one of many great opportunities for buyers in Winnetka to secure a great deal!". Had she done so, she would have pointed out how this buyer got a home in 2019 for less than it cost in 2013. Such a quote would have made readers of the story think that if they contacted her, she could help them find a good deal.
Instead, by declining to comment, she put out only a negative impression. And probably killed her chances of being contacted in the future for a newspaper story.
Do not decline comment and lose out on publicity. Be ready with the positive.