This morning I am working in my office, doing "up" or "op" or "floor" time (depending on what it's called in your local real estate office). This is supposed to be the time when an agent is available to take care of buyers or sellers or renters who might call or drop by the office. Unfortunately, there are almost NEVER drop ins, as most buyers or sellers start their search for an agent online or via their referral network. And there are rarely productive incoming rental calls either. Most calls are one of the following two varieties:
Sticker shock call:
A gentleman called in looking for assistance with a specific rental home. He wasn't working with an agent and had some questions. I answered the questions and he indicated he would love to look at the home. I told him I'd be happy to assist him, but wanted to make sure he was aware of the process and fees first, so I shared that information as well. In our area, the tenant is usually the one that needs to pay a realtor fee and it's typically a month rent that is shared between both the landlord and tenant brokerages. The conversation was going along just perfectly until I said there was a one-month rental fee. Screech! He said, "OK, I'll speak to my family and call you back" and I knew I wasn't going to hear from him again. Subsequent calls to him have been unanswered.
I don't really need you call:
A caller this morning was interested in a high end rental home. I let the person know there was a lease in process of being signed for that particular property. The caller then volunteered that they wanted a 4+ bedroom rental in a certain school district. We talked a few moments about what exactly they wanted, and then the question of whether they had a real estate agent was raised. "Yes, we are working with one, but she's hard to get in touch with." Um, you don't need me if you have an agent; your agent needs to be the one you contact with questions or to set up appointments to see properties and if she isn't doing that, then you might want to end your relationship with her. I didn't say that last part, but just indicated the caller needed to work with her agent to obtain information. And that was that.
So floor time is not too useful for helping buyers and sellers, but it certainly is a great time to send out monthly emails, write posts, make calls to follow up on pending activities and real leads and practice phone answering skills. So let's hear it for floor time!