I'm a Tire-Kicker - Should I Register at Your Site?

Education & Training with Sell with Soul

My husband and I plan to move to a lakefront property here in the Florida Panhandle... someday. Lake HouseDefinitely not today or tomorrow, probably not next year or even the next (although you never know) ... but... someday.

Well, it's Sunday morning and all is quiet here at the homefront, and I couldn't think of anything I'd rather do than surf the 'net looking at lakefront properties. I'm seeing some Good Stuff - properties I'd like to know more about, if for no other reason than to start identifying and learning about neighborhoods in the area that offer waterfront homes.

But of course, in order to find out more about the Good Stuff I'm seeing, I have to register my name, phone number and email address. Which I really don't mind doing - I understand that the agent who is providing (and paying for) the search engine does so with the hope of generating business for him or herself. Hey, they're providing a free service that I'm happy to take advantage of and if the only cost to me is a little contact information, I can live with that.


I'm sitting here at my computer hesitating to enter my contact details. Not really because I'm worried about being barraged with phone calls from hungry real estate agents, but because I suspect they'll be annoyed with me when I disclose my admittedly weak motivation to buy. After all, I have a house to sell that I've given no thought to selling, I haven't spoken with a lender, and I have no real need to move. I'm definitely not that 90-day paycheck that you *should* be focusing your time, effort and energy on.

So, what should I do? Do I go ahead and register, and, if you call me, lie to you about my timeframe? Do I register and then avoid your call? Do I register, and when you call me, tell you the truth and risk being ranted about in your blog as a Buyer Who Wants to Waste Your Time?

Seriously, I'm asking...


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  1. LINDA SABO 10/10/2011 02:58 AM
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Ginny Shipman
Keller Williams Executive Realty, LCC - Denver, CO
Shipman Colorado Homes

Go ahead and kick the tire (haven't we all kicked a few)! You'll find the "soul" that matches your style! and register!

Oct 03, 2011 10:07 AM #93
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Jennifer, I wouldn't worry about offending a an agent whose search you are using.  There is an excellent chance that he or she will not even know you are there!

Oct 03, 2011 10:42 AM #94
Karen Anne Stone
New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County - Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth Real Estate

Jennifer:  It sounds like you have consider every which way but telling them the truth.  Just tell them what the truth is.  If they don't want to work within those parameters, someone else will.

Oct 03, 2011 11:11 AM #95
Monique Ting
INET Realty Honolulu, HI - Honolulu, HI
Your agent under the sun

I totally agree with Karen Anne  #99 above! I have a large number of "prospects" that are receiving free real estate information updates and  I do know that only a small percentage will eventually buy or sell through me... and I don't mind at all... There is no 100% conversion rate in this business!

Oct 03, 2011 11:39 AM #96
Beverly Femia
BlueCoast Realty Corporation - Hampstead, NC
Broker Realtor Stager - Greater Wilmington, NC Are

Yes, register.  If you like what comes next then stay engaged but be straightforward about your objectives and loose time line.  Actually, you sound like a good candidate for a Client portal.  I would offer to set that up for you.  Receiving listings regularly within your parameters would help you understand the area that appeals to you and might move you forward.  It would also mean someone is ready to answer those questions that might pop up as you receive listings.  It only takes a few minutes of my time and could be helpful to you. 

Oct 03, 2011 11:59 AM #97
Linda Urbick
RealtyOne Group - San Ramon, CA
Selling San Ramon Valley - 925-786-5132

"Just looking" is not a bad response -it's the truth. It really is about your wanting the information or not. There may be sites that don't require registering so if you are unsure - look for those sites.

Oct 03, 2011 12:08 PM #98
Camille Ruiz
Watson Realty Corp - Lake Mary, FL
Camille Ruiz
Hi Jennifer. I would suggest creating a separate email for your house hunting endeavor. From agents to lenders, insurance quotes etc. I would also tell the agent your plans and time frames up front and have a conversation with that agent or agents about what he can expect from you and what you can expect from them in return. I work with a lot of "tire kickers" I am one my self and other clients that are not sure yet of if they want to move or when; some even saying this is where someday I would like to go. Actually working with a couple now that got in contact with me at the beginning of the year they mentioned central FL is where they wanted to move to but had to sell their home first, but had no time frame. We spent the following months sending listings so they had an idea of what was available and building a relationship of friendship and trust. Sent them a listing that I thought they would love and they just finished writing the contract. They will close in November. If there is anything I can do for you do not hesitate to contact me. Wether it is for the Tampa or central FL area. You may also check out my listingbook page for up to the moment house and community info. Just start the dialog with honesty and develop trust from both sides. Camille Ruiz Watson Realty Corp 407-929-4632 Camilleruiz@propertiesbycamille.com Www.propertiesbycamille.com Www.floridahomes4sale.listingbook.com
Oct 03, 2011 12:58 PM #99
Debra Gould
Staging Diva / Six Elements Inc. - Toronto, ON
The Staging Diva

I think registering makes sense, but you raise an excellent issue. Forms where agents ask for contact information should have a spot that asks, "How soon are you considering moving?" Perhaps there's a drop down menu of possible answers, eg:

  • ASAP
  • 6 to 12 months
  • more than a year
  • don't know

With that information filled out, they could automatically shuffle you into different interest categories and it would be up to the agent how much effort they'd want to put into contacting you or building a relationship in anticipation of your potential move and timeframe.


Oct 03, 2011 02:01 PM #100
Dawn A Fabiszak
Private Label Realty ( Denver metro area, Colorado - Aurora, CO
The Dawn of a New Real Estate Experience!

Jennifer ~ the truth goes a long way, start with that.  If the agent gets upset, you know that is not the agent you would want to work with when you are ready to make your move.

Oct 03, 2011 03:48 PM #101
Max Boyko
Team Hybrid - REMAX Gold - Sacramento, CA

You never know... you just mind land on a great sales shark that will convince you to sell your home, get preapproved, and buy that dream home you've always wished you lived in! :)

Oct 04, 2011 06:56 AM #102
Carrie Sampron
Home Smart Realty Group - Highlands Ranch, CO
ABR SFR & Kathy Sampron (303) 931-3629 Highlands R

We let them look with out registering so they would not be having this internal battle, but to answer your question, I would rather they fill it the info and we could put them on an auto search. They get to look at the beautiful photos of homes and dream, we might get a call when they're ready to buy. Carrie

Oct 04, 2011 12:08 PM #103
Nic Transtrum
It never hurts to know the owner @ BizPrintSolutions.com - Blackfoot, ID

Excellent Jennifer!  You bring up a great point that haunts all agents...  the tire-kickers

Tire-kickers don't want to be "hounded by pushy sales people" and that's why they're reluctant to make any contact until they are ready.   We have to capture leads in order to build relationships, and also be able to contact them if needs be, right?  There has to be middle ground where we create a lead capture that is non-threatening for them to join.  The information they receive in exchange has to be helpful to them.  And in return we can build relationships over time with 'arms-length' contact and stay in front of them until the time is right for them to take it to a new level.

That's my take on it anyway:)



Oct 04, 2011 12:19 PM #104
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

Wow - so many comments! I haven't had a blog break 100 in quite awhile. Thanks, everyone, for your thoughts.

For those who are concerned that I might be lying to the real estate community ;-] please don't take that literally. My point was a philosophical one - that if I told them the truth - that I'm Just Looking right now and probably won't be moving anytime soon, would they be irritated and write a blog post here about how buyers seem hell-bent on wasting agents' time? Because, c'mon, we see those blogs all the time and the atta-boy comments the follow are always in agreement that those pesky tire-kickers need to get their act together before bothering a real estate agent - oh, and show up with a loan approval stamped to their forehead, ready to sign a buyer agency agreement.

It's just kinda cool being on the other side - the thoughts that go through your head, the questions you have, the things you worry about.

Every real estate agent should try it from time to time!

Oct 05, 2011 12:56 AM #105
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

Okay, I have to giggle... I just came across a blog here in the Rain where a buyer was HONEST with the real estate agent she was interviewing about her lack of motivation and what did he do? Race over to his blog and write about her - complaining about the public's lack of respect for our valuable time and gas money, and bemoaning the fact that buyers think they can just use us and abuse us and how he really wished buyers would wait to contact a Realtor until they were ready, willing and able to move.

And, predictably, the commenters mostly enthusiastically agreed...


Oct 05, 2011 02:09 AM #106
Blake Russell
Sacramento, CA


I have to confess that when I've been in front of a computer screen and go to a particular site that I want more info from, I always hesitated and weighed just how much the person on the other side was going to blow up my phone with systematic attempts to reach me, and many times I listed a wrong number by rearranging numbers from my real number; that is, until it occured to me that I probably exposed some other poor soul to the vendor's calls! Shame on me for that! We're trying to accomplish the same thing with our lead capture, right? No more being a hipocrite!

I try to make my first attempt with an email welcome message and if they list a phone number, I make it a point to include a note that since they did so, I assume they wish to discuss their needs further and if that's not the case, let me know and I will respect their wishes. This seems to work better for me and since I warned them in advance, the initial rejection when I do actually connect is actually very low!

I don't understand these agents who beat people up in their professional blogs because they were either "just curious" or like you, their timelines were fairly long. I love having curious prospects or ones with different timelines because in order to remain successful, you need future business as much as you need now business and in the meantime, you can end up with referrals from these prospects if you treat them right.

Thanks for posting this blog!

Blake :)



Oct 05, 2011 07:24 AM #107
Keisha Hosea- KASIHomes.com
KASI Homes - Chino Hills, CA
Real Estate Solutions For Real People

Jennifer, there's nothing wrong with being a tire kicker. Just be honest about it when they call you. That is what I appreciate most. I don't mind having someone honest on my site. I have people who came to my site six years ago, who recently gave me a call to look for homes. Sometimes people just need the info to prepare for later and I totally get and respect that.

Oct 06, 2011 04:40 PM #108
Kasey & John Boles
Jon Gosche Real Estate, LLC - BoiseMeridianRealEstate.com - Boise, ID
Boise & Meridian, ID Ada/Canyon/Gem/Boise Counties

Definitely register!  We have tons of tire kickers on our site and I've actually made great relationships with some of them. I don't mind and all and we have sold homes to folks who have been on our site and we've been sending leads to for 5 years!  No problem - if you ever decide to purchase in Boise, definitely register for my site! -Kasey

Oct 06, 2011 05:23 PM #109
Kim & Kristine Halverson
Compass - Santa Monica, CA
Sisters, Realtors


I would be thinking the same thing. And would probably just like to be on the list for that area. If it is a great Realtor, I'm likely to hear about the market, new listings, and area info...just by being on their list. Now thinking about what I'd like...I really need to get my but in gear.



Oct 07, 2011 06:12 AM #110
Jenny Durling
L.A. Property Solutions - Los Angeles, CA
For Los Angeles real estate help 213-215-4758

I say register and be honest. I have people in my database that have been there for years before buying. My only problem is not really knowing how to stay in contact with someone for as many years as it may take them to be ready without them feeling I'm annoying them.  If I simply leave them alone and never acknowledge them, it's very likely they will have been recruited by some other agent when they are finally ready to make their move. How are some of you staying in contact with these long-term potential clients?

Oct 10, 2011 03:48 PM #111
Jayson Holland
Listings.com - Denver, CO
Jay Holland

WOW! Truth and honesty for ONCE. Amazing.

Buyers arent all Liars afterall.



Oct 20, 2011 11:34 AM #112
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