Relationships - you can't succeed without them. I'm thinking that is one hard fact we all have in common.
I work with an on-line lead generation service and developing long-term, productive relationships is the key to a decent paycheck. I just got to have them.
So, when I sign someone up to receive leads from our company, I make sure they have the number to the telephone on my desk and my e-mail address. I tell them if they get a closing out of the first lead we send them, I want to know about it. Or, if we send them a bad lead they can't work with, I want to know about that too.
What I really want to do is develop a back and forth interaction with clients that solid relationships are built from. I hope to be a resource to them and to provide value beyond a lead I am sending. I really don't want to sell someone a package of leads. Over time, I want to sell them five packages of leads.
Successful real estate professionals know exactly what I mean. Yes, a closing is where an agent wants to end up. But more often than not, that closing comes after time has been spent developing relationships. Those agents know that sometimes, time must pass before a sale is closed. Trust, education and a positive work relationship can take time to develop.
That is why I wonder when an agent calls me back concerned that a buyer we referred out has a six month or longer purchase time. Here at Real Estate Pipeline we verify buyers who have a buying horizon of up to one year. We do that because study after study has indicated buyers with a one year time frame close as consistently as someone who wants to buy right away.
After all, for many of these people they are preparing to make the largest purchase of their life. They know they are going to buy but they want to take the time to become comfortable with the process, find just the right piece of property and to develop a solid relationship with the agent they are working with.
Sometimes the difference between a good agent and a great one is that a great one understands the numbers and how to work them. They know a buyer with a longer time frame is just as likely to buy as other buyers, they know the vast majority of buyers will remain with the first agent they establish a good working relationship with and they use the time until a purchase is made to nurture their relationship with those buyers.
By now we should all understand that real estate is not an instant gratification industry. People take time buying a house and they will usually live in it for years before buying another one.
A great agent will take advantage of the time before and after a sale to strengthen the relationship established with these clients. So, as time passes, keep in touch with all your clients. Answer your telephone and be quick to call back. Then, when you are speaking with them, be honest, never sugarcoat the truth; take the time to get to know them, let conversations move on occasion from business to personal matters, learn what is going on in your clients' lives.
Finally, be a problem solver for them every chance you get. While the approach may not get you more sales next week, I'm confident it will end up resulting in more sales over your career.
Grant Sasek works for Real Estate Pipeline, an on-line lead generation service.