How Do You Think Your Current (and Future) Clients Might Feel About Your 80/20 Plan?

Education & Training with Sell with Soul

There was a featured blog here in the Rain a few weeks ago advising agents to devote 80% of their time prospecting for new business and 20% dealing with current business (i.e. active buyers and sellers). This isn't the first time we've seen this advice and it won't be the last; in fact, most Big Name training programs proclaim that a real estate agent's primary job is to prospect; that agents should vigorously resist the temptation to abandon their daily prospecting when clients call with pesky, administrative, non-income-producing problems to solve. Salesperson

But I can't help but wonder... If a real estate agent's primary job is to prospect... and if the job our clients have hired us to perform for them can be done in a few hours a week... how on earth do we justify charging fees in the thousands and thousands of dollars?

Hold that thought while we return to the advice to devote far more time to prospecting than to serving...

Let's say that all this focused prospecting is paying off, and an agent is gathering an impressive book of real estate business - 5, 10, 20, 40 active buyers and sellers. Bravo! 

But, hmmmmm, just because the agent now has more clients to serve doesn't add hours to the day, so if he insists (as he's advised to do) on sticking to his 80/20 plan (because it's working so well!), his current clients are obviously going to be receiving smaller and smaller slices of his care and attention.

"But," the Power Prospector protests, "if I don't make prospecting a priority in my business and I do focus on my current clients, down the road I'll find myself with an empty pipeline and I can't have THAT! So, even if I'd like to do the job I promised to do I'd prefer to provide great service to my clients, I can't because I need to ensure that I always have new business coming in."

Well, um...

I'm guessing your current clients wouldn't think much of this argument, especially as they're feeling more and more neglected by the agent who promised them the world in service - and isn't delivering. I'm guessing they aren't singing his praises around the water cooler or at yoga class. I'm thinking that if they knew his business model was predicated on spending the vast majority of his time searching for, preparing for and pitching to his future clients instead of taking care of THEM, his current clients, they might have thought twice about hiring him in the first place.

Here's the thing. Taking proper care of your clients takes time. Your need for a full pipeline doesn't change the fact that you made promises and commitments to the buyers and sellers who believed you would take great care of them and their real estate needs. Believe me, they did NOT hire you because they were impressed by your prospecting prowess; they hired you because you assured them you'd take better care of them than any of the other agents they considered honoring with their business.

The bottom line is that if you can't handle more than X number of active buyers and sellers without sacrificing your service to them, then I guess you shouldn't be looking for more business when you already have as much as you can properly take care of.

Now let's go back to the first concept in this blog - if you're only devoting a few hours or even a few minutes a week to your clients, don't you think they might start to wonder what on earth they're paying you so much money for? And IF WHAT WE DO FOR OUR CLIENTS IS SO EASY THAT IT ONLY TAKES 20% OF OUR TIME OR WE CAN HAND IT OFF TO A $12/HOUR ASSISTANT, are our services really worth the fees we charge?

You can't have it both ways. You can't say, on one hand, that client care is simply a collection of administrative tasks that can be handled in your spare time or by an assistant, and THEN in the next breath declare that your client-care services are extremely valuable and should be well-compensated.

For the record, I don't believe that what we do is easy and I do believe we deserve to be well-compensated... as long as... we're doing the job we were HIRED to do and giving it our full attention.

I'll continue this soon, but please share your thoughts with me!

If Real Estate is So Easy, How Do You Justify Your Fee? 





Re-Bloggged 6 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Wallace S. Gibson, CPM 11/29/2011 07:17 AM
  2. Tim Hill 11/29/2011 03:26 PM
  3. Gene Riemenschneider 11/30/2011 12:43 PM
  4. Maria Gilda Racelis 11/30/2011 04:59 PM
  5. Denise Dutson 11/30/2011 07:25 PM
  6. Kate Elim 11/30/2011 08:54 PM
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Comments 96 New Comment

Liane Thomas - Corona & Riverside Real Estate
Bringing you Home!
The Jet Team, Keller Williams Realty, Corona Real Estate

My clients know we give great service, and they also know they might hear from me or my assistant throughout the transaction. Many times they will call me, and I will have my assistant call back with the answer. She always asks if she has answered their questions fully, and would they like me to call them when I am free. 99% of the time, clients are satisfied with her calling them back. Frees me up to prospect!

December 01, 2011 08:36 PM
Marge Piwowarski
Phoenix AZ Horse Property, LLC
Phoenix AZ Horse Property

The most effective prospecting I have ever done was to take of the client at hand.  I try to make every client believe they are the only one.  It works for me.

December 02, 2011 08:54 PM
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Author of Sell with Soul
Sell with Soul
Matt Robinson
Pensacola Real Estate (850) 292-4000
ERA Emerald Coast Realty

You will have a tough time growing a successful business with that mentality.  Just about every large, successful business has 80% of it's activities handled by $12 an hour clerks, while they make billions in profits.  You act as if there is no way to provide examplary service that is worth a premium commission without being hands on 40 hours per week.  You are missing the boat big time, and need to go read Gary Keller's Millionaire Real Estate Agent. 

An inventor may spend hundreds of hours on his invention, but once it's done and gone to market...he may never work another day in his life, yet his invention is still worth lots of money to the consumer because of the service it provides, regardless of whether he is handmaking them himself any longer.

As an agent, I could spend weeks on an unbelievable marketing plan, the best in the business, one that produces a flood of buyers for my sellers, and top dollar for their home.  I could spend thousands paying for copywriters to write compelling ad copy that I use in my marketing, and train an assistant to implement my strategy on every listing.  If it produces RESULTS, then it's worth the commission...regardless of whether I am hands-on with the process any longer.

My job, now that I have created this incredible process/system that produces results and demands a premium commission, is to spend 80% (or more) of my time getting the word out (prospecting) so that others can experience the same success that I have created for other customers, and feel passionately about helping others with as well.

June 07, 2012 09:44 AM
Wayne B. Pruner
Tigard Oregon Homes for Sale, Realtor, GRI
Oregon First

I appreciate your point. It is very hard to maintain prospecting activities when you actually have business to complete.

June 19, 2012 09:55 AM

Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn

Author of Sell with Soul
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