Who You Gonna Call?

Real Estate Agent with Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA VA License # 0225089470

Who You Gonna Call?

It is always nice to see a past client appear on your caller ID.  It is especially nice when that past client is one you thought you would never hear from again because they happily settled more than halfway across the country from you when they moved.  Sure you are Facebook friends and get a glimpse into what is happening in each others' worlds, but there's no substitute for bumping into someone, or having an actual phone call with them.  

Excitedly, I didn't even answer with a hello, but with an instant greeting by first name.  If I hadn't, I'm sure this gal would have done what all past clients do.

"Hi Chris Ann.  I'm not sure if you remember me or not, but this is Sally.  You helped my husband Bob and I buy, then later sell our home in Front Royal."

There are very few people I will forget, so I keep past client from having to go through that re-introduction rigormorol by answering, "Sally!  Oh my gosh.  How are you?"

The reason for Sally's call was to pick my brain about getting into real estate.  Sally has a heart of gold, tons of motivation and is very easy to talk with.  She would be a natural.  Of course, there is a lot more to being a real estate agent than getting your license.  There isn't some magical money spigot that suddenly springs into action, making all your wildest dreams come true, with minimal hours of work.

Sally and I chatted for an hour.  My big pieces of advice were as follows:

1.  Don't pick your brokerage by who offers the biggest commission split.  You get what you pay for in this world and if you want to be trained well, you are going to have to pay for it.  You will make your own worth in this business when you produce.  THEN, you can renegotiate your split with your brokerage, or be recruited by another firm.

2.  Helping people buy and sell houses is not the most important part of your job.  If you want to be a business that doesn't constantly go up and down, FINDING people who want to buy and sell houses is the most important part of your job.  Prospecting is something
that needs to be done daily.  In the beginning you will be pushed out of your comfort zones, but try it all. Call For Sale By Owners and Expired and Withdrawn Listings.  Host Open Houses.  Farm by Direct Mail.  Sit Floor Duty.  And of course, I gave a big plug for blogging and social media marketing.

3.  Don't quit your day job until you have about six months of bills in the bank.  This is a costly business and when you are the sole provider in the family, you can't rely on how easy people in the business are telling you this is.  It is hard to get started.  Not impossible, but hard.  And having a safety net of cash will allow you to breathe easy while you start your business.

In Atlantic City, NJ when I met Donna in person.Lastly, I put her in touch with Donna Foerster , a good friend of mine in her new hometown of Parker, CO.  When I asked where Sally was living, she gave me a quadrant of Colorado.  I insisted she give me the name of her town.  "Parker?  I know a fantastic contact for you out there."

Yesterday, Donna and I were able to catch up about Sally's aspirations.  Donna is more than willing to meet  with her.  Turns out, her husband Rich is actually mentoring new agents, in addition to running their own real estate team.  More than possibly making a great connection in Parker, it was a joy to reconnect with Donna.  

Kind of funny that this happened in January when we are having the contest,  Advice For New Agents Getting into Real Estate .  And isn't there some sort of Ringing and Singing challenge happening too?  If so, boy, did I hit two birds with one stone.


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Show All Comments
Scott Godzyk
Godzyk Real Estate Services - Manchester, NH
One of the Manchester NH's area Leading Agents

That is great advice Chris Ann Cleland , congratulations on the feature blog

Jan 28, 2018 06:33 AM #20
Carla Freund
Keller Williams Preferred Realty - Raleigh, NC
Carolina Life RealEstate & Relocation 919-602-8489

Chris, great advice. How wonderful your past client remembered you and called you. You must have done something right! :)

Jan 28, 2018 07:04 AM #21
Mike Cooper, GRI
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro

Chris Ann, that is priceless. I love keeping up with past clients, but this one is even more exciting. You obviously left an impact on her.

Jan 28, 2018 08:01 AM #22
Donna Foerster
HomeSmart Realty Group - Parker, CO
Metro Denver Real Estate Assistant

Chris Ann Cleland I'm so glad you reached out to me! I will absolutely keep you posted on our progress. This is just the beginning of Sally's real estate journey!

Jan 28, 2018 10:45 AM #23
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

I love your story - and how wonderful for your past client that she had you to give her sound advice. I know Donna will help carry that advice forward, too.

Jan 28, 2018 11:08 AM #24
JL Boney, III
Coldwell Banker - Columbia, SC
Columbia, SC Real Estate

I had a client that bought and sold 3 homes with me here in Columbia move to Florida about 3 years ago. A couple months ago he called me one morning and had just passed the test to get his real estate license and wanted advice. It was a good feeling.

Jan 28, 2018 01:09 PM #25
Nathan Gesner
American West Realty and Management - Cody, WY
Broker / Property Manager

It's great to see how your relationship with past clients continues to help them. Congratulations!

Jan 28, 2018 08:43 PM #26
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667, kat@thehousekat.com, Broker, Blackstone Realty Group - brokered by eXp Realty - Kalispell, MT
The House Kat

That was great advice you gave to your past client! Now she knows what she would be getting into, should she move forward with this career choice.

Jan 29, 2018 05:13 AM #27
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line

Love the way you turned this competition into a story, well done. Great advice as well and linking them up with someone local, priceless. 

Jan 29, 2018 09:38 AM #28
Mary Jo Quay
Remax Results - Edina, MN
I Move You Home

Great post, and great story.  Our job is selling a lifestyle, and building community.  You've invested in your clients, and they appreciate you.  thank you for posting. 

Jan 29, 2018 12:54 PM #29
Curtis Van Carter
Better Homes & Gardens Wine Country Group - Yountville, CA
Your Napa Valley Broker Extraordinaire

Chris Ann

Talk about a perfect post, one that reflects exactly who you are and all you provide. I just wish I was 1/2 of you, cheers cvc

Jan 29, 2018 04:43 PM #30
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Chris Ann, you must have done a wonderful job for Sally and her husband - and I'll bet you made it look really easy!

Jan 29, 2018 05:51 PM #31
Steve Bracero
Heisler and Mattson - Shrewsbury, MA
First Time Homebuyer and Investor Specialist

Keepng up with your sphere... great read! 


Jan 30, 2018 05:15 AM #32
John Wiley
Right Move Real Estate Group- EXP Realty - Fort Myers, FL
Lee County, FL, ECO Broker, GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA

Chris Ann Cleland Congratulations on the Feature!

Thanks for sharing from your personal experience and showing us the caliber of person you are. You made a lasting impression on a past customer and now have connected them with other quality agents who may help them on their journey.

Well Done!

Jan 30, 2018 06:32 AM #33
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

Perfect timing for your story and advice!

Love the added bonus of connecting Sally with Donna!

Awesome story all around!

Jan 30, 2018 09:18 AM #34
Diana Dahlberg
1 Month Realty - Pleasant Prairie, WI
Real Estate in Kenosha, WI since 1994 262-308-3563

Seems to me you found the perfect combination ... a win win for all! Congratulations on the Feature!  Well deserved.

Jan 30, 2018 10:22 AM #35
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area

Sound advice for Sally!  I hope she is enjoying the business.

Jan 30, 2018 01:42 PM #36
Curtis Van Carter
Better Homes & Gardens Wine Country Group - Yountville, CA
Your Napa Valley Broker Extraordinaire

Chris Ann

This was such a good read, I had to reread it. cheers cvc

Feb 14, 2018 10:34 AM #37
Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty
Front Gate Real Estate - Brandon, MS
601-991-2900 Office; 601-278-4513 Cell

#1, I love to hear from past clients, and of course we remember almost ALL of them. #2, it's great you could put her in touch with Donna, a fellow ActiveRainer. #3. I wish Sally great success in her new venture. She will do fine with the right mentoring, which I personally feel is crucial to success for new agents.

Feb 19, 2018 08:40 AM #38
Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty
Front Gate Real Estate - Brandon, MS
601-991-2900 Office; 601-278-4513 Cell

Following up on your above comment, property management is a different creature. I'd must rather be in residential sales, but to each his own. 

Feb 19, 2018 11:27 AM #39
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Chris Ann Cleland

Associate Broker, Bristow, VA
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