Coffee and a Concept

Home Builder with Retired

Mike Carpenter at StarbucksToday I met with Mike Carpenter for coffee and I think we each had a concept in mind. A few years ago Mike showed up on my radar and very successfully preformed his role as loan officer in a transaction that was causing me some small logistical issues. I've learned since that Mike is the kind oflaon officer that is not working some kind of a numbers game, but is totally willing to give each client hours and hours of his time, and reams (kilobytes these days) of information to help them make the proper decision when moving forward with purchasing a home or not.

Once I had Mike in my radar, of course I was in range of his. His presentation is interesting and unique. His delivery is remarkable and reliable. If you live in the Puget Sound area, this is one place to go for competent and excellent personal home loan service.

But all of that is another story. For various reasons really unknown to either of us, we hadn't chatted for a while. A question came up on Facebook that triggered a somewhat related question from me, and so I asked Mike to educate me on a loan officer's perspective of the new federal regulations regarding loan officer compensation. We exchanged a short one else jumped in to this public social media exchange.., and that was it. Then I received an email from Mike and he proposed a coffee get together. We agreed to meet in the Roosevelt Square Starbucks this morning.

Our conversation took its own course. We are both somewhat concerned about the way communication is headed and information is passed in this modern world of email, texting, twitter, and the cloud. Simple confession, no surprise to anyone...we are both over fifty, and yet, both consider ourselves computer literate (or we know the means to affect that).

The upshot of our hour and a half conversation is this:

In the good old days, (10+ years ago) you could engage a contact, schedule an appointment (face to face) and in the course of 1-3 hours establish a relationship which allowed for proceeding with doing what we know well for the benefit of the client we had only recently met. In today's marketplace, with this generation of buyers and sellers we don't get 1-3 hours to establish a relationship that the client feels comfortable relying on.


  1. Too much information is available on line, so everyone seems to think they are an expert on everything.
  2. Everyone gets too much information constantly on their smart phones from Facebook, Twitter, Mom, Their mechanic, The library, A politician, The dentist, etal. There is no focus.
  3. Whatever it is that anyone wants, they are used to getting it right now. For example a) I need a pre-approval letter this afternoon. b) Can you show me this house today? c)What is my home worth? I have a buyer.

The current generation of those active, or those who want to be active in the real estate arena don't seem to be willing to take time to discuss their peculiar set of circumstances with a professional in order to make the right forward thinking moves. We don't know why. Not enough time in the day? Not enough ability or desire to focus on one particular issue at a time?

So I'm asking my Active Rain contacts, are you finding it difficult to sit and spend time with new clients in order to explain all of the nuances of the real estate transaction or loan process these days? And I'm asking the public, why is it difficult for you to interview agents or loan officers so that a complete understanding can be reached as to the best way to help you achieve your real estate ambitions?

It's time we all moved toward a better understanding of how to assist non-owners into an ownership position, and how to help sellers realize a true market value for their major investment.


Posted by





Glenn Roberts



Comments (21)

Glenn Roberts
Retired - Seattle, WA

Cheryl - you are one fast speed reader. Thanks for stopping by.

Apr 15, 2011 02:39 PM
Stanley Stepak
Howard Hanna - Avon Lake, OH - Avon Lake, OH
Realtor - Avon Lake, Avon, Bay Village, Westlake,

Very good thoughts here. people in this business need to step back and listen more to the needs of their buyers. And at the same time educate them on the realty of the home market I so agree

Apr 15, 2011 02:42 PM
Kristal Wilson
KB Home - Fontana, CA
Cause We Like 'Em New ~ New Home Specialist!

Glen ~ I too have noticed a brevity in my contact with new clients. I understand a relationship builds over time however we do not seem to have a true exchange of ideals because everyone is in a hurry. The instant gratification syndrome I guess.

Apr 15, 2011 02:45 PM
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

Nope Glenn, I am not finding it a problem at all.  I've always used the internet as means for folks to find me... the human me... the real me... the me who meets them at my office, writes down their tag number, then puts them in my car and drives them around until we find THE house and then sits them down in my office to show them the comps and help them compose an offer.  I'm hands on.  And if I ever get "replaced by a stupid computer" I'll simply find a new career.

Apr 15, 2011 02:48 PM
Glenn Roberts
Retired - Seattle, WA

Stan - We listen but they demand something different. How do we educate when all explanations seem to be given online?

kristal - I guess that is part of it.

Tammy - I agree. That's what I have done and like to do. But when contacts just demand one thing and don't have time for the rest, how do you proceed?

Apr 15, 2011 02:56 PM
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

I don't mind answwering those quick contacts... but I follow up with a call.  I have a knack for getting folks into my office.  I call it my southern charm.  If someone wants to buy a home they are spending generally lots of time surfing the internet.  After a while they either figure out I'm better than surfing because I know Lake Sinclair as well as I know my children or I just cut them loose and move on to those who can find value in my knowledge.  But generally speaking I can get pcaeople into my office and into my car within 2 weeks of first contact.  If they want a house they will make the time.  I have to admit... I keep crazy hours, work on weekends and late to fit the craziest of schedules.  But my husband works crazy hours too, so it works for us.

Apr 15, 2011 03:31 PM
Glenn Roberts
Retired - Seattle, WA

Tammy -How long do I have to live south of the Mason Dixon Line to become charming?

Apr 15, 2011 03:42 PM
Doug Bullwinkel
Envoy Mortgage,NMLS ID 6666 - Sacramento, CA
Mortgage Loan Originator NMLS #281609

We're living in an upside down world.  Your post was right on the money to explain what we are all dealing with in this market.  Everyone wants everything NOW and there's little time for the details.  We all just have to slow down long enough to make sure everyone understands the goal and the path to get there.  Communication is the key and keeping everyone informed of what is happening throughout the transaction is the key to getting the escrow closed with all parties still sane at the end.

Apr 15, 2011 08:08 PM
Cindy Edwards
RE/MAX Checkmate - Johnson City, TN
CRS, GRI, PMN - Northeast Tennessee - 423-677-6677

Great blog.  You have great points and everyone needs to slow down, steo back and listen more.

Apr 16, 2011 02:11 AM
Glenn Roberts
Retired - Seattle, WA

Doug - it does seem that way. Clients don't seem to want to know anything unless there is a problem, and then by gosh it better be fixed.

Cindy - There are many decisions to make besides "I want that house" and there are make processes and implications to understand. We do need to take the time to discuss them.

Apr 16, 2011 02:33 AM
Bill Burchard
3B Realty: 951-347-3818, CA - Murrieta, CA
Broker, Realtor, Representing Buyers and Sellers

Hi Glenn. First of all, no need to move south of the Mason-Dixon Line... you’re already charming!   ;)

I find it difficult to have an in-depth conversation up to a point. But when that point is reached, then the in-depth, slower-paced, take-your-time-to-understand conversations begin. And that point seems to be when the home buyer or home seller decides I’m the real estate broker they want to deal with.

Apr 16, 2011 03:01 AM
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

Oh Glenn that made me laugh so hard.  You don't have to move.  I can see your charm jumping off the page.  Don't tell anyone, but my best secret is my total lack of close the deal tactics.  The other day I ran into a him buyer from a couple I've been showing homes to for over a year now.  He sorta freaked on me and indicated it was all HER fault they hadn't decided.  I smiled and say, hon, you know where I am and I'll show you homes until you find "THE" one that moves both of you into wanting it.  But stop worrying about what I think.  He hugged me right there in WalMart.  It may be another year before they are ready to buy.  But I know I'll be their gal when they are ready.  I hate psuhy people. 

Apr 16, 2011 03:36 AM
Glenn Roberts
Retired - Seattle, WA

Bill - Well I've never been very pushy but when someone asks a question and you spend 30 minutes or more preparing an answer and sending it to them with other info and links to resolve the question, and then you don't hear back from them, do you follow up? And what kind of reception do you get when you do?

Tammy - I think I need personal lessons from a real southerner with charm.

Apr 16, 2011 04:00 AM
Gabrielle Kamahele Rhind
KGC Properties LLC, Tucson Property Management & Real Estate - Tucson, AZ

GOOD MORNING GLENN!  I make it a point to make the time to talk with new clients.  I always listen to what advice they've received from EVERYONE and then discuss the realities.  It has to be done ahead of time -- it makes for a better working relationship!

Apr 16, 2011 04:45 AM
Glenn Roberts
Retired - Seattle, WA

Yes, Gabrielle, I too make time for clients. But what does one do when they won't take that time? They want to to go and show with out discussing anything first.

Apr 16, 2011 05:40 AM
Mike Carpenter


Thanks for the meeting.  It's always great connecting with people experience and perspective!

Apr 16, 2011 05:09 PM
Sheila Newton Team Anderson & Greenville SC
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - C. Dan Joyner - Anderson, SC
Selling the Upstate since 1989

It is amazing how face-to-face has become a thing of the past.... When I started real estate, (over 20 years ago) we didn't even have computers (well, we did but they were "dos" versions so not helpful)..  and no cell phones either (let alone smart phones)... There is good and bad about that I guess.. Some things are much easier now, but getting face to face is much harder.. I actually have several listings where I have never met the sellers .. we did all the paperwork online  and they mailed the keys to me.. It is surely a different world out there now.

Apr 17, 2011 05:39 AM
Glenn Roberts
Retired - Seattle, WA

Mike - Good to see you too.

Sheila - I've talked to people who have never met their sellers, but in my market, it's pretty tough. Perhaps the Internet will send a few my way.

Apr 17, 2011 12:14 PM
Mitch Gover - Orlando, FL

Good Morning Glenn.  Somehow, I missed this post the other day.  Information overload via the many sources we are subject to is definitely a hindrance to building true relationships these days.   Forums like Active Rain are very helpful, but there is no substitute for looking people in the eye to build a connection.  I can certainly attest to the fact that the most clients that we have signed have been the result of personal, eye-to-eye contact.  I wish I could get into every real estate office in the country and present what we do that way.   

Apr 19, 2011 03:47 AM
Glenn Roberts
Retired - Seattle, WA

I've not been getting email notices for comments with any consistency. When you have a real person know where you stand. Good talking to you on the phone, Tuesday, Mitch. Persistence.

Apr 20, 2011 03:36 PM