*You can be a diva* or you can show the house

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Riverbend Realty, Cape Girardeau, MO 2004008944

DivaThe caller wanted to see one of the company's listings, but she wanted an appointment that day, 30 minutes after our office closed. The floor agent did not want to work that late and offered the phone call to me. I now have a very nice listing, another deal under contract, and the prospect of yet more business--all from that showing.

The listing the caller wanted to see was not mine, but I knew that the owners needed to sell. The caller was impatient and even demanding, having already left unanswered messages for the listing agent, who was out of town that day. More than anything, I did not want the sellers or the listing agent to lose a potential sale, and the floor agent was about to put the caller off again.

I showed that first house to the caller sort of as a personal challenge. Could I change her mind and convince her to choose me as her agent, rather than the one she had in mind (she did not have an agency agreement)? You know, I was exercising my persuasive muscle a bit. This is a sales business, after all.

If a salesperson never has to face a sales challenge, she will not grow; so I decided to take a chance and lengthen my work day that rainy day back in September.

At first, you see, she just wanted to "look at" a specific house and made it very clear to the floor agent that she already had another agent in mind if she liked that house. I understand the floor agent's reluctance, but the fact remains that the caller represented a business opportunity.

I did not sell that house, but I became acquainted with the caller. The person with whom I am under contract is a family member of that "looker" who sounded like a dead-end floor call. Not only did I eventually list the caller's house, but I also was able to meet other members of her family, two of whom have real estate needs. I will be getting a commission check in January because of it. As I continue to work with the extended family, more commissions may follow.

I put on my bright, cheery face and went out on a cold lead that day. Try it, every once in awhile, instead of waiting for the perfect lead. You might strengthen your own persuasive muscle and dampen your inner diva.

This real estate business is about serving client needs, but first you have to sell yourself, if you are going to get the business. A lead is a precious thing to be valued and cultivated. That's the sales aspect of the business, so put on a smile and challenge yourself.

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* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

If you are looking for a foreclosure in Cape Girardeau, Perry, N. Scott, or Bollinger counties, I am the region's most experienced REO agent. As the area's ONLY Fannie Mae direct listing agent, I list more foreclosure properties than any other agent in this MLS. I am among the few local agents approved to both list and sell HUD properties. Give me a call if you are looking for help with the purchase of a foreclosure property.


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Mike Cooper, GRI
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro

Good for you, Liz.  It seems strange that the caller would tell the desk agent that she already had an agent in mind.  That was sure to put her off, Diva or not.  But, I appreciate how you handled it.  Good job!

Dec 28, 2011 05:08 AM #73
Kristin Moran
Owner - RE/MAX Access - KristinMoran@Remax.net - San Antonio, TX
San Antonio,TX - Real Estate - 210-313-7397

so many times we get mad & don't want to do as they ask but you never know!

Dec 28, 2011 05:17 AM #74
Dawn Maloney
RE/MAX Trinity Northeast Ohio Real Estate Specialist - Hudson, OH
330-990-4236 Hudson & Northeastern Ohio

Nice! Congratulations and thanks for the clarification...great job. The comments are inspiring too. Happy New Year!!

Dec 28, 2011 05:41 AM #75
Alisa Delice
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Rockville, MD
Professional Realtor in Maryland & Washington, DC

Yay - Good for you!!

Dec 28, 2011 05:54 AM #76
Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
Liberty Homes - Mililani, HI

What a wonderful motivational story!  I think we all can relate to the story and have lost (at least once) a client because we didn't want to challenge ourselves. That happened to me ONCE.  lol

Dec 28, 2011 06:03 AM #78
Tammie White, Broker
Franklin Homes Realty LLC - Franklin, TN
Franklin TN Homes for Sale

I did 100% of my business the first year from floor duty (I was totally new to the area and had no friends or family here.) You did a great job with this one.

Dec 28, 2011 06:13 AM #79
Kay Van Kampen
RE/MAX Broker, RE/MAX - Springfield, MO
Realtor®, Springfield Mo Real Estate

Way to go Liz.  We no longer have floor duty, but once in a while we'll get a call that demands to see one of our listings. You did a great job converting that dead lead into a business opportunity.

Dec 28, 2011 06:24 AM #80
Tracy Lee Parker

Thank you so much ! I have done this type of thing myself, that no one else wanted and turned it into gold.

 If a salesperson never has to face a sales challenge, she will not grow;

love this!

Dec 28, 2011 06:43 AM #81
Kim Skumanick
Keller Williams Real Estate - Tunkhannock, PA

Congratulations Liz! Some of my best opportunities in this business and most loyal customers have come from other agent cast-offs. It's been a gift that keeps on giving.

Dec 28, 2011 06:52 AM #82
Cynthia Larsen
Cotati, CA
Independent Broker In Sonoma County, CA

I'm going to guess that 75% of callers who tell you they have an agent ... don't. Way to go!! Also, instead of deleting spam comments, click on "Report a Concern". The Active Rain staff will delete it and will give you 10 points for reporting it.

Dec 28, 2011 07:47 AM #83
Sibley Poland
RE/MAX Stars Realty - Mount Vernon, OH

"made it very clear to the floor agent that she already had another agent in mind if she liked that house."  I would have dug DEEP to the bottom of this statement before I went any further. Kudos to you for making it work!

Dec 28, 2011 08:47 AM #84
Eileen Hsu
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Manhattan, NY

Liz, great job, you went on a cold lead inquiry and you were rewarded. Sometimes, we have to just put down our Diva ego and get out there.

Dec 28, 2011 10:25 AM #85
Eric Michael
Remerica Integrity, Realtors®, Northville, MI - Livonia, MI
Metro Detroit Real Estate Professional 734.564.1519

I don't understand when you said "I did not want the sellers or listing agent to lose a potential sale." I don't think I'd take on the responsibility of someone else's listing and/or sellers. That being said, if they said they have an agent in mind, I'd certainly try to find out how committed they are to them and see if there's any way that I might be able to work with them instead. Unless there's a buyers agency. Then I'm off the phone asap.

Dec 28, 2011 10:40 AM #86
Mel Ahrens, MBA, Kelly Right Real Estate
Kelly Right Real Estate - Hood River, OR
Customized Choices for your Real Estate Needs

Good for you. You approached the potential buyer with a positive attitude and it paid off for you. Congratulations.


Dec 28, 2011 11:29 AM #88
Liz Lockhart
Riverbend Realty, Cape Girardeau, MO - Cape Girardeau, MO
GRI, Cape Girardeau Real Estate

Amy (#3)~I thought so, on that particular day, at least.
Jennifer (#4)~I didn't have to, but I decided to try.
Katie (#5)~The house was vacant (and the caller knew that), but your technique certainly works.
Cheryl (#6)~I thought about working on her hair color to make her look a bit more like me, but the point that I am not HER made that seem unnecessary.
Dan (#7)~Brilliant observation. I have to admit that had not occurred to me. It would be a little like a single person wearing a wedding ring to ward off unwanted advances.
Debbie (#8)~Thank you!
Kate (#9)~So often it seems that we don't make time for taking on a challenge. I agree that challenges sometimes define us.
(#10)~He was watching the clock.
Chuck (#11)~Happy New Year to you, too!
Todd (#12)~Glad to help. That's exactly why I posted it.
Catherine (#13)~Yes! Yes! Where do you find business? Wherever you are, that's where! Meet and greet!
Praful (#14)~Truthfully, it's also about having enough self-confidence that you might be able to pull it off.
Sherry (#15)~ Sort of what I just said to Praful. You have to take some chances to feel the reward of a win.
Susan (#16)~I did talk to the caller, and she had no contractual affiliation with another agent in my office or any other. She had someone "in mind." She was already angry at the listing agent, because she had left two unanswered messages (the agent was out of town). Keeping her interested in THAT house was my first motivation, as a matter of loyalty to my company's listing.
Luis (#17)~Like a lost coin, it's always in the last place you look!
Sandy (#18)~I have to admit that I almost passed it up, also. The thought of that seller needing to sell was what moved me off of my duff.
Tom (#19)~ I haven't received a commission yet, but I'm under contract for a January closing.
Christiansen (#20)~And I will probably pass on more than I chase...
Maria (#21)~Isn't that the truth? Taking on a challenge every once in awhile is a good thing.

Dec 28, 2011 12:37 PM #89
Liz Lockhart
Riverbend Realty, Cape Girardeau, MO - Cape Girardeau, MO
GRI, Cape Girardeau Real Estate

Scott (#22)~You are either up very late or up very early, so I hope you have a great biz day!
Janis (#23)~Thank you, and I do feel a great deal of satisfaction when the challenge is great.
Lenn (#24)~I asked her that, and that's when she admitted that she hadn't actually called the agent she had "in mind." At that point, she had thrown down the gauntlet.
Gabe (#25)~All of that! Thanks.
Fernando(#27)~Great analogy. You may have to get past lots of mud to find the nugget.
Ellie (#28)~Seizures, that's what it's all about. ;-)
Kate (#29)~So often it seems that we don't make time for taking on a challenge. I agree that challenges sometimes define us.
Bruce (#30)~And on another day, I might pass up the challenge, as well.
Melissa (#31)~If you haven't already, you need to turn that story into a blog post!
Charlie (#32)~No perfect leads and the "multiplier" effect: That's exactly why I posted this story.
Michael (#33)~Though my post did say that she had "an agent in mind," I must not have made it clear that I carefully verified with her that she did not actually have an agent. The floor agent failed to glean that bit of information before he gave up on her. I did not cross over the ethical line at all.
Gary (#34)~And accommodating her could have been where it ended. You are correct. If only we had foresight to match our hindsight.
Heather (#35)~ When I was a teacher, I used to tell students who said they had heard of me, "Good. When my reputation precedes me, that saves us all a lot of time." :-) Come to think of it, that may be why she had not yet called the other agent--the one she had "in mind."
Kevin (#36)~Much of the time, that next lead is coming over the phone or email, so we had better be paying attention.
Barbara-Jo (#37)~They're dropping like flies, though.
Pat and Wayne (#38)~Most of them are fun, at first. ;-D. The floor agent didn't even bother to ask for a referral. Truthfully, I wouldn't have agreed to one, either. This was a long shot, and I knew it.
Susanna (#39)~ I am sure we never know how many opportunities we actually walk right by. It is all about relationship building and considering each piece an important part of the puzzle.
Kimberly (#40)~You sure did hit the time right. It was a 5:00 call for a 6:00 showing of an empty house!
Mike (#41)~You are completely correct. Since the caller was a woman and the floor agent was a man, I didn't feel too threatened when she was willing to switch to me, a female. I also made a couple of phone calls to let the listing agent and my husband know where I was going.

Dec 28, 2011 01:19 PM #90
Liz Lockhart
Riverbend Realty, Cape Girardeau, MO - Cape Girardeau, MO
GRI, Cape Girardeau Real Estate

Joni (#42)~I don't sign up for floor duty anymore, but I'm here most of the time so I end up with calls when the floor duty person is late or missing in action.

Paula (#43)~As I said to Joni (above), floor agents are often MIA, and I end up with calls by default. "Dead zone" time is often not so dead, as people are just getting off work--or they make a call right before leaving work. 8 AM on Monday morning is also often another productive time.

Donald (#44)~Why, thank you!

Gail (#45)~That ought to help you recover a bit from Christmas. It should go smoothly, since it is a cash deal. Good deal!

Jeana (#46)~A commission check as a reward sure beats Karma alone.

Andrew (#47)~Speed reading and speed writing will get 'cha. I went back to the original post and added a phrase that clearly states I had verified that she did not have an agency agreement. And, yes, this buyer thought she had been put off already, so responding to her request quickly was important.

Michelle (#48)~She had an agent "in mind," not a buyer's agency agreement. Thinking of asking someone on a date is not the same as being engaged.

John (#50)~It bears repeating: "The divas are already giving way to the hustlers." (Just in case someone didn't read your response or my earlier comment back to you)

Erika (#51)~"Drop the diva routine" would have been a good title!

Kathy (#52)~I did ask the right questions up front to be sure I wasn't totally wasting time. Thanks for noticing that!

Jon (#53)~I agree. Often, our job is defined by doing what others failed to do.

Rosalie (#54)~I agree. So many times, I have heard others say "I wouldn't put up with THAT." That very state of mind is what left the field of working foreclosures wide open for me back in 2004. Guess where I'm sitting now? Right where lots of others would like to be, that's where!

Benjamin (#56)~ I admit that I had some heavy-duty sales training, pre-real estate career. Two things were hammered home often by a trainer that I admit I did not like very much: First, you are selling yourself, so know that product well. Second, know your inventory.  I really should apologize to that trainer, because he taught me valuable lessons.

Marc (#57)~I already said this, but: Much of the time, that next lead is coming over the phone or email, so we had better be paying attention.

Gene (#58~I had not thought of it exactly that way; but you, as usual, are correct. It is important to treat every caller with respect, as well as the attention that THEY say they need. I don't know if other agents actually learned a lesson, but my broker did have me tell about the circumstances when I announced the contract at sales meeting last week (with the exact floor agent's name left out).
Chuck (#59)~More of them do go the other way. When I first went into sales, a salesman in my church told me to expect 11 flat-out turn-downs for every honest chance at a deal. I think of him and that advice often.

K W (#60)~ I did eventually list her house, though it has not yet sold. Just importantly, as you said, is also the extended sphere of influence.

Bob (#61)~I'm honored. Thanks for the Late Night feature!

Bill (#62)~Sometimes, it really starts with being willing to just show up.

Mike (#63)~Imagine turning down an interview opportunity! Your analogy is a good one.

Tinker (#64)~Word of mouth: Yes, she did say good things about me. I'm guessing that she did NOT say good things about the floor agent... BTW, my husband and I both graduated from ASU, so we know Jonesboro well (or we did back then).

Dec 28, 2011 03:17 PM #91
J. Philip Faranda
J. Philip Faranda (J. Philip R.E. LLC) Westchester County NY - Briarcliff Manor, NY

Liz, I love it. Nothing venured nothing gained. There was a book published many many years ago about a guy who hustled that is a classic called The Go Getter. 

You are a go-getter and you have my respect for that. 

Dec 28, 2011 03:39 PM #92
Christine Donovan
Donovan Blatt Realty - Costa Mesa, CA
Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M

Liz - Many times we just have to take a chance and see what happens as a result.

Dec 28, 2011 03:52 PM #93
John M. Scott
BRE # 01442690, Scott Keys Properties - San Francisco, CA
Broker / Owner San Francisco Bay Area

Liz, my inner Diva is always ready for a challenge! You never know what alterior motives potential clients may have in mind.

Dec 29, 2011 12:31 PM #94
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