Are you still selling houses?

Real Estate Agent with InCity Realty

The subject line of the email read: Are you still selling houses?  The email was from a former client I am in face-to-face contact with at least once a year, and stay in more frequent through social media.  Yet by the time she sent the email she had already had a listing appointment with another agent.  

From the content of her message, it was obvious that she was not happy with the agent's stated commission rate, nor was she happy with the valuation of the property, or the repairs the agent suggested, and now she wanted my opinion.  I presume that if the other agent had offered a more reasonable commission, higher valuation and less repair suggestions, my client would have signed the listing agreement there on the spot.

I told her I was shocked to see that she had contacted another agent before me, and that she new I was still a full-time agent, specializing in her neighborhood.  I did offer to visit for a CMA, inspection of the property and listing presentation.

How do you maintain top-of-mind contact with former clients? How do you handle clients who go astray?


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Krista Lombardi
Prudential Calfornia Realty - San Diego, CA

Wow, Im not sure how I'd deal with that either.

Aug 10, 2011 05:28 AM #1
Ken and Leslye Huebsch
3x Individual Agent of the Year, Luxury Homes, First-Time Buyers, Residential Resales, New Construction - Harrisburg, PA
Realtors - Harrisburg Homes for Sale 717.514.1793

Staying in touch is key. We have strived for everyone's email addresses; and have gone so far as to contact all our old clients to obtain them. Keeping Ken's name in front of them is key in our minds. Repetition and frequency. Knowing all that, there are still those that move on. Our goal is to let them know we appreciate them, and in turn we hear back from a great percentage.

Aug 10, 2011 05:29 AM #2
Georgia Perez
Windermere Real Estate / WSI - Seattle, WA
Broker, ABR, CNE, Seattle, WA 206-356-9872

Joe, I feel your pain. At least she did contact you, eventually, before listing. My favorite (not) is when someone you know sends you their listing from the MLS and says "I hope you can bring the buyer for my home", and you're thinking.... why didn't you ask me to list or at least talk to you first?

Because of the surprises like your post, I have really forced myself to have a system of staying in touch with every person in my sphere - on the phone -at least once a month. So many of us don't like making phone calls. That fear of rejection or awkward conversation. So, I make all the calls short (unless they want to talk more) and about them. You've probably heard of this but they are called "F.O.R.D." calls because you focus on talking about:

F- Family

0- occupation

R- recreation

D- dreams (it takes a while to get enough rapport for this one).

When I call I just ask them about themselves and it's amazing how good that makes people feel. Over time these quick calls give you lots of information about people that gives you more to talk about but also hints at changes in their lives that might lead to buying or selling or referring RE business to you. If you're not a phone person, it will take some effort to make yourself do this. But you will find that the calls are actually appreciated and then you'll want to do them more and more.

These regular calls about them (not you / not business, unless they open that door) keeps you top of mind & builds great relationships that just happen to lead to great business.


Aug 10, 2011 06:28 AM #3
Juan Bassett
Long & Foster - Germantown, MD

Joe , You touch base with past clients as a routine.... The rest is out of your control.

Aug 10, 2011 06:38 AM #4
Bob Force (REALTOR®)
Weichert Realtor - New Colony - Mount Airy, MD
The FORCE in Maryland Real Estate


I too feel your pain. 

I too have had a call from a previous client wanting to know if I was marketing his property being I specialized in that neighborhood.  Told him No, and that I was not even taking my current clients to see the place - it was over priced.  He wanted to then know what price he should be asking for,  Told him that was a discussion for his current agent.  Guess what, she did call - wanting to discuss a mutual friends property. Told her to do a CMA using the last 60 days.  Her response was - Do a what?

Aug 10, 2011 05:57 PM #5
Joe Spake
InCity Realty - Memphis, TN
Midtown, Downtown, East Memphis Specialist

Thanks for the responses, folks.

Joel, it's interesting that, when you lose one like that, it is usually lost to an agent who either doesn't know anything about the neighborhood, or worse, doesn't know anything at all.

Aug 11, 2011 03:49 AM #6
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Joe Spake

Midtown, Downtown, East Memphis Specialist
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