Which is More Important to You - Serving Your Current Clients or Pursuing Your Future Ones?

Education & Training with Sell with Soul

(My opinion will be glaringly apparent in about 10 seconds).magnet

I'm horrified on a daily basis by the emphasis in our industry on PROSPECTING PROSPECTING PROSPECTING! Anyone who reads my blog already knows that, but here I am again with my jaw dropped to the floor at some recent comments on another blogger's post. I won't repeat them here because I have no desire to publicly criticize anyone (must be feeling abnormally sweet today) and besides, it's only my opinion, but JEEZ! To imply, heck to outright state that our most important duty as LICENSED real estate agents is to focus on finding new business as opposed to taking great care of what we already have... literally nauseates me.

My friends, I'm not stupid or naïve. I know that as self-employed people we need to ensure a steady stream of business to our door, but for heaven's sake - show those people who find their way there and HONOR us with their business the respect they DESERVE - and take care of them AS OUR FIRST PRIORITY!  Yes, BEFORE our prospecting activities. I'm serious.

Because you know what? If you approach your business with that attitude - if you get up every morning asking yourself what you can do for your clients to make their lives better (and frankly, impress the hell out of them with your service), they will take care of you the rest of your career. I promise.

Is it that many in our ranks don't really know how to take good care of their clients? That they were never trained in the nuances of buyer or seller representation? Or never cared enough to figure it out themselves? All they learned how to do was prospect, GET that sign in the yard and then waltz away to pursue the next victim prospect? Say it isn't so!

Be assured, I'm not asking anyone to do something that will hurt their business by begging them to spend more of their time on their clients instead of their prospects. The very best prospecting you will ever do (and by far the cheapest) is to prove to your clients that you are a fabulous real estate agent who knows how (and cares enough) to get the job done. Not surprisingly, that's awfully darn rare in our business, and will make an impression on those whose paths you cross.

This, by the way, is the essence of Sell with Soul. Be worthy of the business you attract. And as a result, attract lots more of it.

Rant over. Tomorrow I'll pick back up with the Confident Rookie Series.

An Unsoulful Tidbit from Broker Agent News
Phooey on Prospecting - I just wanna do my job!

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  1. Yvette Gardner 04/07/2009 02:22 PM
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Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

I have not been notified of a single comment today - I assume this is a wide-spread issue and not just me personally??

Apr 06, 2009 10:28 AM #21
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

Erica - VERY TRUE! I always say that those who prospect full time better enjoy prospecting because they'll be doing it the rest of their careers!

Apr 06, 2009 11:40 AM #23
Tim Bradley
Contour Investment Properties - Jackson Hole, WY
Commercial Real Estate Expert in Jackson Hole, WY

Be worthy of the business you attract.


Tim, who wishes he were as pithy and insightful

Apr 06, 2009 01:36 PM #24
Glenn S. Phillips
Lake Homes Realty - Birmingham, AL
CEO, Lake Homes Realty / LakeHomes.com

Theoretical "Shortcuts" to money.

I see this any many businesses but it is worse in real estate.  As businesses go (not jobs, businesses), Real Estate is a relatively easy, relatively low-risk opportunity to make big money.  And that makes it easy for people with little business sense to be involved in high-dollar deals in some capacity.  That leads to ego problems as well as a large pool of people that are all looking for a shortcut to a pay day instead of a solid business.  Good stuff Jennifer! G

Apr 06, 2009 03:02 PM #25
Patricia Beck
RE/MAX Properties, Inc., GRI, CDPE - Colorado Springs, CO
Colorado Springs Realty

I was recently reading about this very issue and I have to agree with you Jennifer, we have to take care of our clients!  If agents forget about their clients because they are more focused on lead generation, they may end up losing the business they already have!

Apr 06, 2009 03:48 PM #26
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

Patricia - I can guarantee they WILL lose the business they already have!

Glenn - good point. Although I have to say that for me anyway, it's way more fun (and therefore easier) impressing my current clients than chasing new ones.

We real estate agents always compare ourselves to doctors & lawyers & such... okay, fine. So how would you feel if you got the distinct impression that your doctor felt his prospecting activities were far more important than taking care of your health needs? If you came home and found blog after blog after blog by him extolling the virtues of one lead generation technique after another? This obsession in our industry with lead generation over service is SO unprofessional!!!

Apr 07, 2009 12:10 AM #27
Maria "Antoinette" Scognamiglio, GRI, ASP
Coldwell Banker Realtors - Mountain Lakes, NJ
There's no substitute for EXPERIENCE!

"On to the next VICTIM" is an absolutely accurate description!

I recently had the experience in working with an agent who did NOTHING to educate their buyer client in how the transaction needs to run and what they need to do to stay on track.  When I asked the agent if the buyer had obtained her home insurance policy, she responded, "She really doesn't know any better that she's supposed to get one...this is the first house she's buying."  YOU CAN'T MAKE THIS STUFF UP!!!!

The buyer was horrifically uninformed about every stage of the game and furthermore kept everyone waiting for an hour when she was late for the (it's a miracle it even happened) closing.  Awful, awful, awful and this person is right in my marketplace along with her "team."  Furthermore, it came to light that she is PATHETICALLY UNEDUCATED on the rules and regulations of our MLS system!!!! Have mercy!

Great entry Jennifer!

Apr 07, 2009 01:15 AM #28
Tim Bradley
Contour Investment Properties - Jackson Hole, WY
Commercial Real Estate Expert in Jackson Hole, WY

Jennifer...in response to one of your comments. I'm not getting any comment notifications either, and haven't for over a week now.

Apr 07, 2009 01:41 AM #29
Bill Saunders, Realtor®
Meyers Realty - Hot Springs, AR


Absolutely true and as always, well said. I just came from a "list(en)ing appointmrnt" where to my amazement, found out the a previous "champion lister" returned calls to the client "in a week or sometimes TWO"!!!!

What the....?????

It is such a sad state of affairs when the only s e r v i c e that some "great agents" give is to grace a front yard with their sign and name!!!

OK...mini-rant over. Have a great day everyone!

Apr 07, 2009 02:55 AM #30
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

And y'know what Bill - those agents truly think they earned their commission. Amazing, isn't it?

Antoinette - My jaw drops on a daily basis at the incompetency of some in our industry.

Apr 07, 2009 03:08 AM #31
Margaret Mitchell
Coldwell Banker Yorke Realty - York, ME
Seacoast Maine & NH Real Estate

Great blog, Jennifer.  I struggle to find a balance and it's so nice to hear someone say IT'S OK to lavish time on existing (and past!) clients.

Apr 07, 2009 03:08 AM #32
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

Margaret - Lavish away! It's not only "okay" it's the right thing to do!

Apr 07, 2009 03:14 AM #33
Robert Rauf
HomeBridge Financial Services (NJ) - Toms River, NJ

This notification thing not working is a PIA!!

If I have realllly good recipe cards they become raving fans!  (JK of course!)  but the silly thing like the recipie cards etc help to keep you in front of them and remember how tightly you held their hand through the process. 

Apr 07, 2009 09:04 AM #34
Michael Cole
CPG Tours - Orange, CA

Hi Jennifer,

Great post! This is so true for ANY business, not just real estate. About 100 years ago, when I was in the Ad Agency business, we used to always say, "The best source of new business is our exisitng clients."

You're posts are always great. You should be a writer or something. I can see you on Oprah.   ; )

Apr 07, 2009 09:12 AM #35
Kathy Carson
John Stewart Walker, Inc - Lynchburg, VA
Realtor, Lynchburg, VA, VA Homes - Lynchunberg,Bedford, Campbell

Jennifer - To quote Brian Buffini - "Work Like a Hunter, Think Like a Farmer" - I have that quote up on my White Board!!  Service - Service - Service and that takes care of the prospecting!!!! 

Thanks for your rant - I agree!!  Kathy

Apr 07, 2009 11:12 AM #36
Ruthmarie Hicks
Keller Williams NY Realty - 120 Bloomingdale Road #101, White Plains NY 10605 - White Plains, NY

I don't subscribe to Broker Agent News - its a piece of JUNK.  They wanted to do a profile on me - all I had to do was pony up roughly $4000.00??? Are they nuts???

Anyway, I don't prospect, I market with blogs and postcards etc.  The work for that is best done in the evening when it is unlikely that you are going to get a fire of any kind. Issue resolved.

Apr 08, 2009 05:30 AM #37
Dianne Deming
RE/MAX Realty Group - Rehoboth Beach, DE

Jennifer, great post!  It is important, however, to follow up and keep in touch with past clients.  Even if you did a fabulous job for them during their listing or search and transaction, lots of people (me included) do not have a great memory for names.  I can't tell you who sold my house for me only 6 years ago, and it was under contract in 8 days and progressed to settlement without a hitch!  I don't do fancy follow-up either, but an occasional email, a phone call and now a monthly email drip campaign.

Apr 08, 2009 08:56 AM #38
Lori Churchill Cofer
Beasley Realty - Pullman, WA
Realtor - 509-330-0086 - Pullman, WA


I find  that everything in our business must be balanced...prospecting for new business....keeping in touch with past clients....but by far the clients now are the one that should always take top priority.  Great post!

Apr 09, 2009 04:37 PM #39
Wallace S. Gibson, CPM
Gibson Management Group, Ltd. - Charlottesville, VA

With property management, keeping the client/property you have is ALWAYS easier and cheaper than finding a new client/property; however, prospecting for NEW clients is very important.  Few property managers use direct mail and I actually have "farm" areas where I have current property listings....keeping what you have is GOOD - getting more is GOOD also...

Apr 10, 2009 02:52 AM #40
Michael J. Perry
KW Elite - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster, PA Relo Specialist

I agree ,but alot of agents actually stop prospecting or low priority serious Lead Generation !

Jun 28, 2009 01:53 AM #41
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