You might recall that a few weeks ago I wrote a post about a Realtor who I called sketchy because he put up a sign for a listing "coming soon". However, the listing was his own condo unit, and the sign has been up for weeks while the unit hasn't actually been listed for sale anywhere. And to make matters worse, his photo on the sign has him talking on his cell phone, which I think is very tacky (but maybe that's just me).
Well I went to this guy's website (which was on the sign) and I sent him an email through his website, inquiring about the unit on the sign. Guess what? No reply.
So here's my question: If you're going to go to all the trouble of putting up a sign with your picture and your website address, and you're going to break the homeowner's association rules by putting the sign up weeks before you actually list the unit, and you're going to bother having a website at all, then why not reply to emails that potential buyers send you!?!
This reminds me of some of the research that I sometimes read about lead generation companies. Apparently between 10% and sometimes as many as 50% of the leads that are sold to agents go unanswered. Why subscribe to a lead gen system and pay all this money for leads if you're not going to respond to them. Now quite possibly the leads are junk, and maybe this is obvious to the agent so they choose not to reply. But we should all remember the lesson from the movie Pretty Woman... you know the scene, where Julia Roberts goes shopping in Beverly Hills. You never really can tell whether someone is a bonafide buyer or a waste of time. So out of self-interest (and courtesy), it's just appropriate to respond to people's inquiries.