One of the things that makes building long lasting client relationships tough in the mortgage industry is the lack of face time and time we have available to really get to know our clients - not many people want to chat for hours with their mortgage pro.
Car time in the agent world is a great opportunity to get to know people, build the professional-client relationship, and create a long lasting friendship. It can also aid in your sales by hearing what people like or dislike while driving through certain areas or by certain properties. In short: car time=time well spent.
In today's Q&A section, Michael Thacke asked: "When was the last time a client (buyer or seller) rode with you in your car? And I was pretty amazed at the answers."
And as of about 2:00 this afternoon (eastern time) only 11 out of the 33 people who answered indicated they actually had buyers in their cars on a regular or semi-regular basis. And while some of the people who answered might never work with buyers, there were many who did.
So, I just thought I'd share my experience with buyers and my car .
First, I don't have safety issues that some agents might be concerned about. Most of the people I work with are all either from my sphere of influence, or they are referred to me by someone I know. Then there are some I meet at Open Houses. And I the prospect is someone I don't already know, I have them vetted before they make it to my car.
Second, there is a lot of sharing during "windshield time". I learn more about their likes and preferences - what might be deal-breakers in any property or location, what is motivating the move, where they work and play, where they like to shop, hobbies that might need to be accommodated, plans to expand the family. This is information that will help me do a better job of finding the perfect place.
And finally, whether they drive or I do, most of my buyers are pretty green, and driving one car instead of two uses half the gas.
This was something I'd never thought about until I was working with a couple looking for their first place. We stopped at one of the houses on the list, and the listing agent (who they had just fired) was presiding.
When we climbed back into my old Lexus, they shared the thing that bugged them the most - his car! He drove a fancy sports car (it was a very cool silver Porche Boxter that had been parked in front of the Open House) that he was quite fond of. It was too small to accommodate both of these buyers, and he was too much of a car snob to be seen in their Accord. So he had them follow him to the houses they saw.
It was too small to accommodate both of these buyers, and he was too much of a car snob to be seen in their Accord. So he had them follow him to the houses they saw. One day, they got separated, and these buyers turned around, found a romantic little restaurant for lunch, and stopped taking his phone calls.
I asked them if they'd ever spoken to him about the car thing not working for them, and they had not. Like so many people, it was easier to walk away.
So the lesson I took away from this was you do what works for you, but understand that if it doesn't work for your clients, it could cost you money. And you might never even know why your buyers jilted you for another agent!