Best Business Practices: Say What You'll Do, Then Do What You Say

By
Services for Real Estate Pros with Marte Cliff Copywriting

Best Business Practices: Say What You'll Do, Then Do What You Say

This is so basic that no one should ever even have to mention it, but unfortunately, a whole lot of people in business don't do what they say they'll do.

In my copywriting business, doing what I say I'll do usually means turning in copy on time, or making a phone call at the appointed hour. But it can be other small things. For instance, when I'm promoting Active Rain (always, always!) I often tell agents that I'm going to send them the link to join. That's a promise I have to keep, so I do it immediately, before my amazing memory lets me forget.

For real estate agents, there are quite a few more promises involved. Man making a promise And if they can't be kept, they shouldn't be made.

A few years ago I had friends who interviewed several agents before choosing someone to market their home and land. Because they had hired me to write about their property, they asked me to sit in on some of the interviews, so I was witness to promises made.

The agent they chose promised SO much, and she even put it in writing...

  • She would hold an open house once a month
  • She would advertise monthly in a number of magazines - both homes magazines and local publications
  • Their listing would appear on dozens of internet sites, including the paid commercial sites, since this property included commercial buildings.
  • Her MLS entry would be a shining star!
  • She would use the descriptive copy I had written
  • She would use the extensive "photo gallery" the owner had provided of the house, the land, and the various buildings

And guess what she did? NONE of the above!

When they called her she didn't return calls. When they emailed repeatedly they finally got some answers. One month she had been on vacation. Another month her dog had died.Then she was getting the kids ready for back to school or helping with her husband's business. It was nuts!

The strange thing is, this agent was angry at the homeowner for asking her to keep her written promises.

The question is, WHY did she make all those promises?

Because she wanted the listing.

But WHY did she want the listing if she wasn't going to do anything to get it sold? It's not as if theirs was a high-traffic location where a sign (had she brought one) would have helped build her presence in the area.

Naturally, she and her clients parted in an unpleasant manner, and naturally she'll get no referrals from them. (Quite the opposite!)

Someone should have told her long ago: Make good promises, but ONLY make the ones you can and will keep.

 

Image courtesy of Dreamstine

close

Re-Blogged 1 time:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Pam Hills 09/25/2011 05:13 AM
Groups:
Almost Anything Goes
Addicted to Active Rain
Bartender, Make it a Double
ActiveRain Contests
WeBlog Anything (almost)!
Tags:
best business practices
making business promises
keeping business promises

Post a Comment
Spam prevention
Spam prevention
Show All Comments
Ambassador
786,105
Mimi Foster
FALCON PROPERTY SOLUTIONS - Colorado Springs, CO
Voted Colorado Springs Best Realtor

What a right-on post, Marte!  A few years ago I learned that there are some things I don't WANT to do.  So I am honest up front when I take a listing . . . if you want someone to hold your hand and call you daily, I AM NOT YOUR AGENT.  It was quite freeing for me . . . and them :)

 

Sep 24, 2011 07:36 AM #1
Rainmaker
1,530,551
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Mimi- Good for you! There's nothing worse than feeling obligated to do the things you just don't want to do.

Sep 24, 2011 08:07 AM #2
Rainer
22,950
Shelly Sierra
RE/MAX Masters - Keller, TX

AMEN!! I often find myself interviewing the clients while they are interviewing me to determine if I am the right person for this listing.. If I feel I can't give them exactly what they are looking for, I let them know this! It takes everyone involved to get the home sold! I do however stand behind my word. When I say I am going to do something, I do it! It is the right thing to do.

Sep 24, 2011 08:12 AM #3
Rainmaker
1,530,551
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Shelley - That is so smart of you. I remember taking a listing that was 25 miles away from the office, and agreeing to be there for EVERY showing, even if the agent was from my own office. I did it, but oh how I hated that listing!

Sep 24, 2011 10:20 AM #4
Rainmaker
345,666
Stephen Proski
RE/MAX Scottsdale, AZ Real Estate - Scottsdale, AZ
Scottsdale Homes For Sale

Marte unfortunately I have seen many agents in our business tell people what they want to hear whether they are working with buyers or sellers.  It seems to always come back and bite them in the butt. 

Sep 24, 2011 11:12 AM #5
Rainmaker
1,530,551
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Stephen - As my neighbor Terry would say "As well it should."

Every lie should come back and bite the teller...

Sep 24, 2011 12:04 PM #6
Rainmaker
291,454
Rebekah Radice
Imagine WOW! Digital Marketing Agency - Burbank, CA
Social Media Marketing, Coaching & Training

This has been the motto of my entire career Marte.  It's so important that we say what we are going to do and then actually do it.  That's the only way we can build trust and a eventual relationship.

Sep 24, 2011 01:50 PM #7
Rainmaker
1,530,551
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Rebekah - I would expect that of you! Today, more than ever, trust is the vital ingredient in any kind of relationship - business or personal.

Sep 24, 2011 02:15 PM #8
Rainmaker
551,502
Lynda Eisenmann
Preferred Home Brokers - Brea, CA
Broker-Owner,CRS,CDPE,GRI,SRES, Brea,CA, Orange Co

Hi Marte,

Pretty fundamental isn't it? To piggy-back on yours I'm also a believer that it's best to under promised and over deliver.

Btw, with your example above ...I use an "easy-exit" listing agreement, meaning if I've not delivered and the client is not satisfied with me they can cancel the listing...no penalty...no questions asked.

Sep 24, 2011 03:38 PM #9
Rainmaker
1,530,551
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Lynda - I agree - over-delivering is something I try to do as often as possible. Whether it's turning in copy a few days ahead of deadline or  writing something extra.

When I was a real estate broker, my attitude was like yours. If the client wasn't satisfied, I sure wouldn't hang on to them. But it's a funny thing about that policy - people stay when they know they're free to leave.

Sep 24, 2011 05:06 PM #10
Ambassador
884,910
Janna Scharf
Keller Williams Realty Coeur d'Alene - Coeur d'Alene, ID
Coeur d'Alene Idaho Real Estate Expert

That's OUTRAGEOUS behavior.  I can't imagine that agent being successful once word gets around.

Sep 24, 2011 08:18 PM #11
Rainmaker
1,530,551
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Janna - I have a feeling that she isn't very successful - maybe one of those people who is playing at being an agent. My friends live out near Diamond Lake and she was from a Spokane agency. Prices had already started to free-fall by the time they were through with her and they never did sell. As far as I know, they didn't list it again.

Sep 24, 2011 08:32 PM #12
Ambassador
3,084,500
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

That's shameful behavior from a really poor agent.  I was reading over the list and thinking, "How hard is that stuff?" 

Sep 25, 2011 04:52 AM #13
Rainer
102,314
Pam Hills
Innovative Artistry - Kendall, FL
ASP/IAHSP- Stager Miami, FL, Creative Minds Innovatively At Work

Dear Marte - Oh my. those are the "basics"??  Yes, you are right, it is important to deliver on your promises & not violate anyone's trust....in life, in business, in community.  You are "walking your talk" as they say!  The client will always be evaluating if you are true.  It is at the top of the list in building relations.  I am re-blogging for you.

Sep 25, 2011 05:04 AM #14
Rainer
102,059
Peter Preston-Thomas
Real Ottawa - Kanata, ON

Amen to that.  Good story.  Underpromise and overdeliver is a tried and true good business practice.

Sep 25, 2011 05:19 AM #15
Rainer
87,124
Allen 2222
Austin, TX

Hi Marte - isn't THAT the truth!  I found your article from Pam's re-blog. It is better to under promise and over deliver than to make all sorts of statements about what you're going to do and then fall short. I had a relationship with someone like that and he also got mad when caled out on the broken promises. I don't understand people like that!

Sep 25, 2011 05:34 AM #16
Ambassador
628,186
Jeanean Gendron
The Address Realty - Redding, CA
Specializing in Selling Unique Properties

Marte, what a great post...and so important. We work so hard keeping our promises and it works for our clients. It is never a good thing to make promises that are not kept. Love the title. Suggested!

Sep 25, 2011 06:11 AM #17
Rainmaker
1,530,551
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Chris Ann - I can see why she didn't want to spend the money for the homes magazines and publications, but then why promise to do so? Yes, shameful.

Pam - Thanks!

Peter - Always, always, do more than you say, not less.

Alison - Isn't it strange how people get mad when they're the ones at fault?

Jeanean - Thank you. It's Business 101, but so many people fail to follow it.

Sep 25, 2011 09:32 AM #18
Post a Comment
Spam prevention
Show All Comments

What's the reason you're reporting this blog entry?

Are you sure you want to report this blog entry as spam?

Rainmaker
1,530,551

Marte Cliff

Your real estate writer
Do you have a question about real estate copywriting? Just ask!
*
*
*
*
Spam prevention