A few days ago, I lost some clients.
A top-producing “mega-agent” would say: “Big deal! I list 70% of the people I present to. You just have to keep enough leads in your pipeline that it doesn’t matter. It’s nothing but a numbers game. Believe me, it’s better they decide early on before they waste any more of your time. Next!” (Mega-agents talk like that.)
The thing is, I don’t work that way. I build my business primarily to serve friends, family, and their referrals. Put another way, I have spent years trying to build enough awareness and trust with people I care about with hopes they will call me when they need the services of a real estate professional. I do so just as many other independent local businesses have done for years — because work is so much more gratifying when you know and care about your customers personally.
This isn’t to say that feel I’m owed anything or that I’m entitled to anyone’s business. In fact, after presenting a CMA and talking about the market (and our babies), I failed my friends by not communicating with them between Christmas and New Years (they wanted to list Jan 3) to reassure them that I value their business and that I am eager to work with them. I just quietly prepared to hit the ground running after the holiday season, so when I called them on Jun 3rd I was shocked to hear and later read:
We were just eager to get going and didn’t know what your interest level was. We have a 4 month contract with [another agent], so we’ll contact you if it doesn’t work out with him and you are interested in working with us again. No hard feelings – just business!
I share this story specifically because it is not the kind of thing agents usually share, even though it happens to all of us. Those of us in relationship-driven businesses walk a thin line: When people don’t need our services we communicate too often. When people do need our services we don’t communicate enough. Our greatest business challenge is to figure out which category each of the people in our sphere of influence (i.e. people that know us) is in. If you guess wrong, reality hits hard.
So watch out [another agent]! Because I’m coming back swinging in 4 months and I’m sure I care more for these people than you do. And by the way, it is Jan 6th and the property still isn’t in the MLS. You suck. :P