Desperate Times Call For PATIENT Agents!

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Ooooh, I must respectfully disagree with my friend Jim Crawford's featured blog today. But that's no surprise, I think Jim and I almost always disagree on matters of real estate philosophy. No worries... there's room on this planet for both of us.

Jim's blog is entitled "Desperate Times Require Drastic Measures: A Survival Guide for Real Estate Professionals." It's a story of how real estate agents are so foolishly desperate for business that they're willing to work with anyone - egads!

But here's what I'm thinking...If I were going to write an article or blog entitled "Desperate Times Require Drastic Measures: A Survival Guide for Real Estate Professionals," it would have a 180 degree different spin!

As in... "Agents! Go out of your way to RISK your time and your gas! Bend over backwards to spend time with not-yet-qualified or not-yet-committed buyers! If someone is evasive and elusive with you, take even more time to gain their trust!"

Folks, in my world, buyers are not growing on trees or beating down my door. Maybe I'm in the minority, but I could use a few more buyers in my pipeline and if they don't buy til next spring, I'll take a paycheck in April just as surely as I'll take one next month. I'll also happily accept their referrals for years to come.

Here's the thing... in the Good Old Days, a little triage was expected and necessary. When you had ten qualified, signed-up buyers in your pipeline, yes, you may have had to shuttle off the not-yet-qualified or not-yet-committed ones, simply due to the realities of the 24-hour day. What Mr. Crawford proposes in his Desperate Times blog makes much more sense under those circumstances than under today's... where most real estate agents, even successful ones, are not buried under a pile of pre-approval letters and Buyer Agency contracts.

If you are so busy with pre-approved, EBA'd buyers, then knock yourself out blowing off anyone who needs a little winning over. In fact, please send them my way. I might have a little repair work to do to get them to trust me, after they've been summarily dismissed by the first five agents they spoke with (or tried to speak with), but I'm up to the task. I have the time... and I can afford the gas... and...

... I LOVE a full pipeline!



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Comments 26 New Comment

Michael Sahlman
e-PRO - Miami Beach Florida Luxury Homes - Keller Williams Realty

Everyone has their own comfort level with buyers; qualifying them and sorting them. We just have to find which way makes the most sense for our own business model.

September 04, 2008 06:13 AM
Chris and Maria Jeantet
Redding CA Real Estate Couple
Coldwell Banker C&C Properties

a client emailed me the article and was disgusted by it. What does the guy know about real estate anyway? Providing CMA's, taking people around, etc. is all part of the "service" we provide. No stupid person would waste time just for fun but evaluate each scenario and determine the potential of obtaining that business whether it's a buyer or seller.

good post

September 04, 2008 12:08 PM
Bart Whitmore
Real Estate Agent
Keller Williams- Louisville

I see both points, I will say this some agents wont even talk to a buyer if they arent prequalified, I will meet and talk to them this past weekend I met with 5 potential buyers who werent prequalified and 3 are getting approved right now, 1 was told that he dosent qualify, 1 is now ready to go with an acceptable down payment, sometimes you have to take chances---bart

September 09, 2008 08:44 PM
Glenn S. Phillips
CEO, Lake Homes Realty
Lake Homes Realty

Jennifer, I'm with both you and Jim... sort of. 

Here is why I say this.  I believe most agents (and sales folks in general) have lousy qualification processes.  If they have a process, they then either ignore it based on "feelings" or follow it to the letter independent of great opportunity.

My belief is that agents need to qualify clients "better" and with flexibility.  And "better" can only come after some time (but not endless) with potential clients.  Then it is okay to either proceed or shake hands and part ways.  The customer can do that, so can we.

The mistake many people make is believing the qualification of clients is a formal list of requirements the client must provide first.  I believe that the mutual qualification process (I wrote a post on this weeks ago) involves helping the client while at the same time learning more about how well the client can proceed.  It does not mean that you have to stick with a client if you start a discussion with them. 

But done properly can provide an appropriate client qualification process that does help match each agent with the clients that we can really help the most.

Thanks for this post... good stuff and a great point for discussion!!

September 09, 2008 09:34 PM
Team Honeycutt
Allen Tate

A full pipeline is always great, a half full pipeline is good, and no pipeline is an opportunity to improve. Great post and always stay positive!

September 10, 2008 08:36 AM

Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn

Author of Sell with Soul
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