An Open Letter to All REALTORS - from a Prospective Buyer (and Potential Client)

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Education & Training

Dear LetterDear REALTOR,

Allow me to introduce myself.  My name is Prospective Buyer.  I am the person that all of your marketing and advertising dollars, when applied properly, appeal to.  If all the stars align, I’m your client.  I’m even already pre-qualified to buy a new house.  While my credit score is not quite perfect, it is in the excellent range. 


Quite unexpectedly, I found myself in unfamiliar territory (outside of the state that I currently reside in) looking for a new home.  As the majority of today’s buyers do, I started my search on the internet.  I looked through the local MLS and determined a quadrant that appealed to me.  My search included four local cities within a 25 mile radius of my new office location.


After two days of searching (without a local REALTOR to help), here is what I determined:

 

House For SaleFor re-sale homes:

I visited approximately 26 single family homes with for sale signs posted in their front yards. Out of those 26:

12 had no fliers at all

10 had no price listed on the flier

1 flier’s information did not match the sign in the front yard (different agent!)

0 fliers invited me to call for more information (or to make an appointment)

 

 

From the new home communities:

 

Who we'd hire:     

Who we  would not hire:

 

 

KB Homes representative was very nice to my family & smiled a lot!

Agents that did not greet us upon entering or did not offer their name.

 

 

Beazer Homes REALTOR took time to explain what set his homes apart from others (even showed us).

Agents who talked about items that were of no consequence to us. Like the Agents who warned us of how terrible Arizona’s real estate market is!

 

 

Beazer Homes REALTOR who personally showed us around the first model to explain upgrades vs. standard options.

Agents who did not explain their product, build outs, incentives, phases, etc.

 

 

REALTORS / Agents who referred to us by our names & pronounced them correctly.

Brochures with incorrect information, misspellings, etc.

 

 

The REALTOR / Agent who opened the door for us & obviously ready for business.

Model home offices that closed prior to the times listed on the door – even though their car was sitting there!

Now, as I mentioned that I did not have a local Real Estate Professional and before you ask, I want you to know that I did contact a few of them – 4 to be specific.  I called on Sunday afternoon to see if they could show us around on Monday.  What I found was, 2 did not answer their phones, 1 already had a meeting and could/would not refer me to another agent in their office and 1 didn’t work with new home communities – so I felt this left me on my own.  (Remember, I said I was there unexpectedly).

If you are spending your money, energies and your time to sell your listings and catch the attention of perspective buyers, then it shouldn’t be this hard to do business with you. 

Here are my suggestions:

 

  • When your phone rings – answer it. 

 

  • If you’re too busy to answer my questions, please refer me to someone who can.

 

  • Be patient with me.  I’m going to ask questions that you have answered a hundred times, but it’s all new to me.

 

  • Update the fliers and keep the tubes/boxes filled.  Even black/white copies are better than nothing.

 

  • I know it’s probably inconvenient, but could you please put the price on the flier?

 

  • Consider including additional information on the back of the flier – how about your other listings? More info on the house?

 

  • Tell me why I should hire you as my REALTOR?  Even if it’s over the phone, I really want to feel/hear that you like – no make that LOVE – your chosen profession.  (There’s nothing worse than working with someone who hates their job. Right?)

 

  • Use the Internet.  If you can’t include info on the fliers (which seems like a loss of opportunity), at least point me to an Internet website that will fill me in.

 

  • When posting your listings on the local MLS, please, please, please provide me with as many photos of the actual property that you can.  I don’t care about the community pool as much as you think, but really want to see what makes this particular property worth my time to call you and schedule and site inspection.

 

  • Take advantage of out-of-state buyers and blog!  Share yourself, experiences, education and listings with me – appeal to me like you really want my business.

 

I want you to know that I DO want to hire you.  I do want to be able to utilize your skills, talents and education to my fullest advantage when either buying or selling property.  This is not an area that I am comfortable in and am willing to pay you to share your expertise and represent me in this transaction. 

Thank you for taking your time to read my letter.   I appreciate your time and look forward to working with you in the future.

 

Most sincerely,

Prospective Buyer

 

(The above story is true and based on this bloggers recent experience. On a personal note - I work with incredible and professional REALTORS and real estate professionals every day.  I have been well educated by them on what is a fair and acceptable expectation...this is probably why my recent experience caught me so off-guard.  In my naivety, I thought most agents operated the same way.  (Obviously my mistake)).

 

 

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Comments 62 New Comment

Rainer
54,900
Calie Waterhouse
Business Coach
Thanks Marti.  I visited your website and see that you have indeed been quite busy.  Looks like you've been inspired. Your new paintings are absolutely awesome.  I now have one as my wallpaper, too. - Calie
December 04, 2007 07:30 AM
Rainmaker
205,471
Erby Crofutt
The Central Kentucky Home Inspector, Lexington KY
B4 U Close Home Inspections&Radon Testing (www.b4uclose.com)

Interesting and thought provoking post.

Am I meeting my prospective customer's needs?  I'd like to think so, but it never hurts to review it from someone else's perspective.

Thanks for sharing.

December 04, 2007 08:02 AM
Rainer
54,900
Calie Waterhouse
Business Coach
Thanks for stopping by, Erby - I would think that being a home inspector would require some kindness, efficiency & the art of being tactful.  - Calie
December 04, 2007 07:45 AM
Rainmaker
205,471
Erby Crofutt
The Central Kentucky Home Inspector, Lexington KY
B4 U Close Home Inspections&Radon Testing (www.b4uclose.com)

Hmmm,  it does.  It almost seems that you are implying that I didn't utilize those qualities in my post above.  If so, it was not meant to be that way.

I appreciated the fact that you made me think about how I'm meeting my customers' needs.

December 04, 2007 08:01 AM
Rainer
54,900
Calie Waterhouse
Business Coach
No, No, No - Erby - not that at all!!! Just the opposite - I was saying that as a home inspector one would need to possess the qualities of kindness, efficiency and tact.  (Obviously something I need to work on).  Please take it as a compliment. - Calie
December 04, 2007 09:30 AM
Rainer
54,900

Calie Waterhouse

Business Coach
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