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Getting past "I just want the address".

By
Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams The Marketplace One

A colleague and I were having a conversation today about customers just wanting the address on an advertised property. This question/request for information from potential buyers is very frustrating and challenging. If we give them the address and they go by the home and hate it - they don't call us back. If it's new construction, in my market, all builders won't allow you to represent them if they go in without you. If you don't give them the address you are being difficult and/or deceptive. You most definitely can't win.

OKAY, I do realize that if I run an ad and they call on that ad what else would I expect from the inquirer. So, what I want to know is...How do we get the message across that we not only offer a service to help them find the home that meets their requirements but we can save them time and well...money, all while making them feel like we answered their question. Huh? I genuinely want to help these buyers. Most buyers feel that the way the RE market is these days coupled with mass amounts of information on the internet available at anyone's fingertips that they can do a better job without a real estate professional. This is even more prevalent in those leads that come from the internet. After all they did find me on the internet...they've been doing their homework. They know their stuff. So they say "I just want the address" and they want to go on their merry way. My guess is that answering their question all lies in educating the buyer with a short concise message.

My colleague uses a "Here's what we do..." kind of message. I use a combination giving cross streets and following up with a question about areas that they are interested in.  Both of these are only as effective as the audience allows. What do you use??? Any suggestions?

Susan Walters
Keller Williams Realty, Ann Arbor, MI - Ann Arbor, MI

Everyone is overburdened these days and my approach is that I can save them time by tailoring a search to just what they want.  I email, let them look at the offerings, and promise not to bug them, only checking in every week or so.  I ask them to call me if they see anything they want to see.  Of course, all of this requires getting email, name and phone number, and giving out my own.  I usually don't need to call them, they call me first.  In most instances, if I do call them, it is because nothing is appealing to them and we revise the search.  Just get them on search with your face and contact information popping up in front of them!  Even in our slow market in Michigan, this is working well for me.  I am not getting rich, but I don't think a lot of other realtors here are either.  I'm still in the business, and that is more than a lot of realtors here can say.  This is practice time.  It will particularly pay off when the market turns.

Dec 10, 2007 05:08 PM
M. Suzi Woods (Gravenstuk)
NOW Sharing the life and spice of the GC one day at a time - Grand Canyon, AZ
Suzi Woods, Prior Independent REBroker in MS

I never withhold the address unless a seller feels that they have safety/security issues. I advertise by address. I have also run ads encouraging buyers with questions about ANY ad to call me. Personally, I feel that withholding vital information such as price, address, etc. is very "old school" and not consumer friendly.

...So, if I were with holding addresses from ads, and prospects called to get the address, I might volunteer: a list of homes with similiar features, latest "sold" comp information by email, virtual tour at my website...

Dec 10, 2007 05:12 PM
Nancy Brenner
Referral Associates of Georgia, Inc. - Roswell, GA
Roswell Georgia Real Estate Agent
I agree with Susan.  I'll give an address but in return, I want a name, phone number and email address. 
Dec 10, 2007 05:14 PM
Ray Essick
Coleman Realty Group - Hampton, NH
I agree too, Nancy. We have to be accountable to our sellers about who is inquiring.
Dec 10, 2007 06:09 PM
D B
Quakertown, PA
e-PRO, Realtor - Bucks County PA - 610-952-3578
SOme great thoughts here Heather.  I will check back to see some of the comments on this one.
Dec 10, 2007 08:44 PM
Joseph Ellman
Realty Executives- Williams-Sykes Realty - Poughkeepsie, NY
Great post, Heather.  I try to learn about the caller and gather some info during our conversation.  Ideally, I try to get them to come into the office, but we know that does not always work.  The same problem comes up when we're asked the price of a property on the phone.
Dec 10, 2007 09:34 PM
Daniel J. Brudnok, REALTOR
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Fox & Roach, REALTORS - Exton - PA License #RS-225179-L / Delaware License #RS-0025038 - Downingtown, PA
SRES, e-PRO,ABR,GREEN,CSP

Heather,

I always try to get their name and then an address or email and tell them I need this information to protect my Seller, again that is why I must have their contact information....it dosen't always work, however if they have any true interest they usually cooperate.

Dec 10, 2007 10:07 PM
Renée Donohue~Home Photography
Savvy Home Pix - Allegan, MI
Western Michigan Real Estate Photographer

I advertise by address also when it is my listing.  If it is new construction I will do the drill sargeant routine.  Are you working with a Realtor?  No.  Are you pre-approved?  Yes.  Are you looking for x square feet with x bathrooms and x bedrooms?  (clue from ad they are responding to) Yes.  Are you willing to sign a Buyer's Agency Agreement? No, I am working with a Realtor, just give me the address.  

Your Realtor has access to the same information I do, have a nice day! Edited to add:  I just noticed you are in the same valley as me!  I was referring to Salestraq when I was talking about new construction info and I am sure you are too!  I am surprised at how many agents do NOT use that tool!

Dec 11, 2007 12:05 AM
Marey Hoeppner
Kalamazoo, MI
Your Success Is Our Goal!
Heather good post and well written. Give the address if they choose to have that, but get their information as well to follow back up with them. Have a Successful day!
Dec 11, 2007 12:16 AM
Calvin Neely
FLI Properties - Lagrange, GA
Let's get you moving!

Having relocated over 11 times in my career I have often been frustrated by the lack of information available in the local real estate magazines; in particular the lack of the price of the home.  There is such a wide price range of homes that have 3BR/2BA.  Now that I am an agent I prefer to include the price and address of the properties in our ads.  You may not get as many calls, but the ones you get are better quality.

Dec 11, 2007 01:25 AM
M. Suzi Woods (Gravenstuk)
NOW Sharing the life and spice of the GC one day at a time - Grand Canyon, AZ
Suzi Woods, Prior Independent REBroker in MS
Heather, I almost edited my response because it sounds a bit ethnocenric, or rude.  I will let it stand as a reminder to myself to be more careful in how I word comments. My apologies. So, similar to Calvin and Renee, I prefer to "filter" my listings by advertising address and most often price as well. I personally feel it is a move towards good will and trust.
Dec 11, 2007 03:04 AM
* Rate A Home
Rate A Home - Saugatuck, MI

Heather, good lead off post. Welcome to Active Rain, I'm glad you joined us.

You are correct with the tech savvy buyers these days they do run on their own much quicker then even a few years ago. The use of "here's what we do" is a good lead off, it's some thing the Internet can't provide. By utilizing unique services the buyer will feel more compelled to sign on the dotted line with you. Selling yourself is mpre important now then ever.

I'll be watching the comments on this post, should be interesting.

Dec 11, 2007 03:48 AM
Heather Jemison
Keller Williams The Marketplace One - Las Vegas, NV
Las Vegas & Henderson, NV

Hi Everyone! Thanks for all the great comments.

This is my first blog and quite honestly, I didn't think anyone would find this post. Cool....you found it and commented!!!

I do agree that not providing the address or price in the ad is "old school". I always put price. However, since I am primarily a buyers agent I don't have a lot of my own listings. No addresses to provide and no sellers to appease. So I will advertise new homes. I really don't want to spend my money on advertising to be a free information booth. If I give out the address, they won't call. I think I have to diffuse their question by demonstrating that if this home location doesn't work for them, that I have similar homes available in other areas...what area are you looking for? What do ya think??

For those of you who recommended getting the callers email, address and phone...I definitely need to work on this! I don't gather as much info from the caller as I should.

Suzi - Thanks for the honesty and opinion...that is why I post, to get other peoples views!

Renee - I totally agree about agents that don't use salestraq. It can save an agent so much time and make you seem very knowledgeable!

Duane - Thanks for inviting me to AR. I am learning my way around.

Thanks again, everyone!!!

Dec 11, 2007 08:07 AM
* Rate A Home
Rate A Home - Saugatuck, MI
Heather, you are welcome for the invite, glad you joined the family. It takes a little time to learn, but diving in with a blog like you did will get you kick started. Fine job!
Dec 12, 2007 01:25 AM
Renée Donohue~Home Photography
Savvy Home Pix - Allegan, MI
Western Michigan Real Estate Photographer
Heather:  You are absolutely correct about Salestraq.  It is such a great tool and many franchise brokerages provide it for free and then you get free training from ST but they don't seem to want to take the time or the initiative to make it work for them!
Dec 12, 2007 01:52 AM
Karen Anne Stone
New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County - Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth Real Estate
Hi Heather:  This is a great first post for you.  Congratulations.  Much of your telephone technique will become easier as your experience level increases.  You really establish a confrontational attitude if you refuse to give out addresses.  This worked thirty years ago, but not very well now.  I would guess that just the fact that they called you on an add... you have their phone number in front of you on your caller ID.  Try to get an email address, and simply follow up with them until you either decide they are not worth following up, or until you establish a relationship with them.  Best of luck to you, Heather.
Jan 07, 2008 04:28 PM