I knew I would enjoy working with these new buyers after the first email exchange.
In the book Blink, it illustrates how we think without thinking and delves into the reasons why some people are able to make quick and decisive decisions while others seem incapable of making a decision about anything. While the book deals mostly with face to face communication, I believe you can tell a lot about a person from their electronic communication too. It's a good read and a theory that any Realtor can appreciate. In this job we have to be able to size people up quickly and get to the gist of what they are looking for and learning to embrace your "Blink" is a good way to do that.
And so it was with this new couple. It began with an email asking the kinds of questions that come from someone unfamiliar with the area. People usually want to know about the climate, shopping, proximity to larger cities. If they are writing about particular property, they will ask about the neighborhood; why the house hasn't sold yet; how does it compare to the rest of the neighborhood. There is often the vague and free floating request to "send me more information" that comes from someone who has seen the listing details online and watched the video tour. It begs a question of my own about how much more information is needed, but I always respond with links, and as many details as I can find. When I get emails like this, I am genuinely excited to answer them because I love what I do and I love where I live so I'm anxious to help in any way I can. But far too often, and for reasons unknown to me, these kinds of email exchanges stop there. When people who initiated the conversation don't write back to me it feels like being stood up for the big dance. All dressed up and no where to go.
This time, the couple wrote back as quickly as I did. It was a miracle! We began a friendly pen pal sort of communication that went on for a few weeks. It was email ping pong at its best.
When the time came for them to visit the area, and we had the chance to work with them directly, I knew my instincts were right. They were open and forthcoming about what they were looking for, what was important to them, what their price range was, and we had good dialoges about every home we saw.
The moral of this story isn't for Realtors. It's for the buyers and sellers who work with Realtors. The number one complaint that most clients have with a Realtor is "They never communicated with me" and to be fair, that is a valid complaint. I know because I've tried to work with some of those Realtors. But buying or selling real estate is a transaction that happens on a two lane highway and if you want your Realtor be the best he or she can be, then you have to be the best client you can be. Help us help you by communicating with us. That means returning documents in a timely fashion, responding to emails and phone calls, and being present in your own transaction. As Realtors, we can't sign those documents for you. We can't make those decisions for you. We can't read minds. What we can do is be a knowledgeable professional who guides you through the process and to the closing table where happy buyers and sellers meet.
These new clients have returned to their home in another state now and we have resumed our email communication. They have many decisions to make and naturally I hope they will decide to relocate here. But whatever they decide, I know one thing for sure. I won't be dressed for the dance and left waiting by the door, wondering what happened.