One of my pet peeves: Realtors (or anyone) who don't reply to email

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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.



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Derik Tutt
InstaSure Financial - Covington, GA
I can't stand agents who don't check their e mail. It makes no sense to me. You made very strong points here.
Nov 27, 2007 02:02 PM #1
Ginger Magoon
Remax - Bryan College Station - College Station, TX
Bryan, College Station Texas Real Estate
Same here.  Maybe the agent is too busy talking on his cell phone to check his email. lol
Nov 27, 2007 02:05 PM #2
Jo Olson
HOMEFRONT Realty - Kettle Falls, WA
Retired - HOMEFRONT Realty @ LAKE Roosevelt

I remember the post - that is too wild. I wonder then why they have that sign up -hmmm. So keep sending an email until you get a reply, hmmmmm like a couple a day - hey put their email here and we can all email them :) (j/k)

Nov 27, 2007 02:05 PM #3
Bill Roberts
Brooks and Dunphy Real Estate - Oceanside, CA
"Baby Boomer" Retirement Planner

Spencer, I don't know about Julia Roberts in Beverly Hills, but I do know about the difference between prospects and suspects. Real interested parties would have called on the phone, not sent an email. When they are really ready to buy, they're on the phone and won't take no for an answer.

Bill Roberts

Nov 27, 2007 02:07 PM #4
Chris and Maria Jeantet
Coldwell Banker C&C Properties - Redding, CA
Redding CA Real Estate Couple
You're right on target Spencer. I was recently in a situation where I had a referral to a local lender and after an email and two phone calls, I gave up and gave it to someone else. 
Nov 27, 2007 02:07 PM #5
Shannon Lefevre
John R. Wood Properties - Naples, FL
Shannon Lefevre, PA Your Naples Smart Girl
Spencer, Excellent post!  By the way Bill, my real buyer who purchase a condo for over 2 million earlier this year, sent me an email....don't be so quick.  Today, whoever calls, whoever emails should be taken care of.  It's not like any of us are too busy with too many contracts anyway and if you are...poor management skills go hire an assistant.
Nov 27, 2007 02:11 PM #6
Charles Tharp
Prudential California Realty - Fontana, CA
Inland Empire, Real Estate & Short Sale Specialist

I agree with you Shannon & Spencer. You never know where buyers are coming from. They can come into your office, call you, e-mail you, or text you (actually had that happen to me). Whether or not you get them or not, they buy or sell or not, you should reply to everyone as a professional courtesy! The newer generations are using e-mail and text messaging more than the standard phone call now!

In fact, I just answered a few questions from someone who contacted me Saturday on ActiveRain. I immediately appologized for not answering him right away and then answered his questions. I know I am not going to get his business (he lives in NJ, and I am in CA) but it was the least I could do since he contacted me.

Nov 27, 2007 02:22 PM #7
Missy Caulk
Missy Caulk TEAM - Ann Arbor, MI
Savvy Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate

You're right Spencer. Dave Liniger said this at our conference, millions of leads through RE/MAX go unanswered too.

I do PPC and get a ton of leads, my Buyer Agents better answered them. I a gentle team leader but when it comes to NOT following up leads, I am a bear. Ask them !

Nov 27, 2007 09:06 PM #8
Sara Bonert
Zillow - Atlanta, GA
Real Estate Internet Marketing
I love how you worked Rodeo Drive shopping reference into your post! 
Nov 28, 2007 09:21 AM #9
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