My phone rang, and when I answered, the caller introduced himself as an agent from Keller Williams. He told me that he has a young couple looking for a home to purchase in my neighborhood and he was wondering if I knew anyone who might be selling soon.
OK, in this era of super tight inventory, this young man did what I often do when I am seeking hones that might be coming soon, but not in the system yet. I call agents who do the most business in my target neighborhood, and it's a strategy that can work very well.
So I did happen to know of several possibilities, and I began by asking him how much his buyers were looking to spend. And then this agent got quite flustered.
"Perhaps I misunderstood," I said. "I assumed you were calling because I'm a Realtor who is active in this neighborhood."
Then he 'fessed up! He said he was "circle prospecting" - a term with which I am unfamiliar.
So I asked him if that meant that he lied about having buyers to try to nab a listing from an unsuspecting homeowners.
"Well," he answered, "This is just telemarketing and a very great way to get business."
"Um, I feel an unsolicited coaching moment coming on," I replied, explaining that this was his lucky day. He had just called an real estate veteran Realtor who is on the national Do Not Call list. Instead of ratting him out to the Federal Trade Commission, I would give him some advice.
It was just basic stuff that his broker should have shared before releasing him to the streets of DC -
- Always tell the truth - real estate is a business where you are worth what your word is worth. Little fibs will catch up with you and destroy your credibility.
- There are better and more productive ways of prospecting than cold calling strangers.
- If you are going to call strangers, you risk big fines and legal hassles if you call someone on the Do Not Call list, so before you dial a number, be certain that you make sure it isn't registered.
By the time he hung up, he agreed that he needed to re-write his script - a script that I'm guessing his broker gave him. And who knows? Through his calls, he might even find a buyer for my gorgeous new listing in Adams Morgan!