Who You Gonna Call?
It is always nice to see a past client appear on your caller ID. It is especially nice when that past client is one you thought you would never hear from again because they happily settled more than halfway across the country from you when they moved. Sure you are Facebook friends and get a glimpse into what is happening in each others' worlds, but there's no substitute for bumping into someone, or having an actual phone call with them.
Excitedly, I didn't even answer with a hello, but with an instant greeting by first name. If I hadn't, I'm sure this gal would have done what all past clients do.
"Hi Chris Ann. I'm not sure if you remember me or not, but this is Sally. You helped my husband Bob and I buy, then later sell our home in Front Royal."
There are very few people I will forget, so I keep past client from having to go through that re-introduction rigormorol by answering, "Sally! Oh my gosh. How are you?"
The reason for Sally's call was to pick my brain about getting into real estate. Sally has a heart of gold, tons of motivation and is very easy to talk with. She would be a natural. Of course, there is a lot more to being a real estate agent than getting your license. There isn't some magical money spigot that suddenly springs into action, making all your wildest dreams come true, with minimal hours of work.
Sally and I chatted for an hour. My big pieces of advice were as follows:
1. Don't pick your brokerage by who offers the biggest commission split. You get what you pay for in this world and if you want to be trained well, you are going to have to pay for it. You will make your own worth in this business when you produce. THEN, you can renegotiate your split with your brokerage, or be recruited by another firm.
2. Helping people buy and sell houses is not the most important part of your job. If you want to be a business that doesn't constantly go up and down, FINDING people who want to buy and sell houses is the most important part of your job. Prospecting is something
that needs to be done daily. In the beginning you will be pushed out of your comfort zones, but try it all. Call For Sale By Owners and Expired and Withdrawn Listings. Host Open Houses. Farm by Direct Mail. Sit Floor Duty. And of course, I gave a big plug for blogging and social media marketing.
3. Don't quit your day job until you have about six months of bills in the bank. This is a costly business and when you are the sole provider in the family, you can't rely on how easy people in the business are telling you this is. It is hard to get started. Not impossible, but hard. And having a safety net of cash will allow you to breathe easy while you start your business.
Lastly, I put her in touch with Donna Foerster , a good friend of mine in her new hometown of Parker, CO. When I asked where Sally was living, she gave me a quadrant of Colorado. I insisted she give me the name of her town. "Parker? I know a fantastic contact for you out there."
Yesterday, Donna and I were able to catch up about Sally's aspirations. Donna is more than willing to meet with her. Turns out, her husband Rich is actually mentoring new agents, in addition to running their own real estate team. More than possibly making a great connection in Parker, it was a joy to reconnect with Donna.
Kind of funny that this happened in January when we are having the contest, Advice For New Agents Getting into Real Estate . And isn't there some sort of Ringing and Singing challenge happening too? If so, boy, did I hit two birds with one stone.