Thursday, April 1, 2010

I Spent $500 to Slap You In the Face!

I am fascinated by realtors. They are in a profession where nearly everyone should use their services, yet some people try to save a few dollars and do things on their own. My rule is: hire people who enjoy doing what you would have to really work at. The experience, connections, and efforts of many realtors allow you to leverage your time for more enjoyable things (like doing what you do best!)

Real estate professionals invest thousands in their licensing, continuing education, and marketing their name. With all of that being said, I just have to share an experience that I had this weekend. We are currently looking for investment property and noticed a home not far from ours that is owned by a very motivated seller. The home is listed with a very well known realtor who has been in the business for quite some time. I told Shelly that I would stop by the the open house last weekend and look at the property.

Upon entering the home, I noticed it was clean and well lit. The realtor walked toward me and instead of introducing herself and asking a bit about me, this person handed me a flyer of the MLS listing and told me that I could just look around. Whether or not the property would have fit into what we were looking for is irrelevant. The inconsiderate manner of the realtor was like a slap in the face. Keep in mind that I am not a thin skinned guy who needs a hug from someone when I enter an open house, but I was amazed at the waste of money and time that this individual exhibited. Most realtors will invest $500-$1000 (at the very least) in time, advertising, and opportunity cost to market a property. My hope for this person is that I happened to be the exception, not the rule in terms of her behavior.

When I speak to realtor groups and ask them how much an average client will make them over the course of their career, the answer is usually $40,000-$75,000. The top producing realtors who I know are people who are genuinely interested in people. That quick 10 second introduction, the follow up card, the smile can pay enormous dividends.

Here are a few tips from the top producers:
1. Introduce yourself to any prospect and find out a few things about them. The "small talk" that some people don't think they need to waste time doing are usually the subconscious factors that prospects evaluate when determining whom to do business with.
2. Be helpful, but invisible. This can apply to a salesperson or a restaurant server. I love frequenting restaurants where the server makes sure our drinks are full, plates are cleared, but they are not feeling the need to sit down next to us and show us pictures of their kids.
3. Follow up. Most people in sales are absolutely terrible at this! Drop a "nice to meet you" card in the mail. I also recommend sending a quick email thanking them for their time.

Hopefully these tips and this story will keep you practicing an "Always Better Your Best" business philosophy.
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