A Great Way to Scare Off Prospective Buyers!

Real Estate Agent with RLAH Real Estate AB95346

A lot of what we learn about working effectively with our own clients comes from watching people who sell products and services in other industries.  And lately I've had some great lessons while out looking for a new car.

My lovely Lexus is really old now, and she's been an amazing car for the last 16 years.  But a lot of the new driver-assist technology is calling my name. Also, the Lexus gets really awful gas mileage, and it would be nice to spend less money at the pump.  

In my search, I found a beautifully designed hybrid that gets 56 miles per gallon, has all the help I need to stop and change lanes safely, and every other bell and whistle I could ask for. And I met a young car salesman who wants to make it happen in the worst way - well actually, in the best way!

Like many of my own buyers, I'm not in a hurry.  I have a beautiful car that still runs well, so a new car is near, but not at the top of list in terms of urgency.  And I've been really, really busy with my business. Every week or so, my young car salesman friend calls, beginning his conversations with something like:

Him: "I just saw that you were on [another dealer's] website and ..."

Me:  "Whoa buddy! Are you cyber-staling me?"

Him:  "Oh, no!  And I noticed you checked out prices on BlueBook's site for you Lexus.  If you want to trade it in, we can make it happen!"

Me: "OK, this is getting a little bit creepy."

Maybe people his age take it for granted that a car dealer or anyone else would be following their every stroke online, but when you are working with anyone over about 50, discussing their recent browsing history might not be the best strategy for winning trust and getting them closer to closing the deal.  Stalk them maybe, but don't share your little secret with a would-be customer!

This kid is a good guy, and I'd like to see him earn a commission selling me a car.  Why hasn't it happened just yet?  Once I was a cat's whisker away, and he couldn't figure out the paperwork.  Another time, I had my checkbook with me, and he couldn't answer (or get answers to) some very basic questions about financing and his boss was on a break. And I had an appointment in half an hour.

But he's a really nice enthusiastic newbie, and there is something about him that I like. Hmmm.  Should I offer unsolicited coaching? 

If you are planning a move to or from the Washington, DC metro area, contact me before you make any real estate decisions.  Call or text me at 202-549-5167 or email  housepat@mac.com.   




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Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker and Attorney Licensed in DC, MD, VA,

Pat - I would just be up front - and nice- and tell him that letting you know he is cyber stalking you is not a good way to close the deal.

Nov 13, 2018 05:00 AM #29
Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®
Vision Quest Realty - Lewisburg, WV
Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate

Patricia, glad to see you back in the Rain.  The young man really needs help and you are the one to help this newbie. We have all been there.

Nov 13, 2018 05:08 AM #30
Carolyn Roland-Historic Homes For Sale In Delaware and S. Chester County PA
Patterson-Schwartz Real Estate - Wilmington, DE
Carolyn Roland, GRI, CRS

Patricia- I have a 15 year old Lexus and still love it (gas mileage aside). But to cyberstalk a buyer? Now that is creepy. I don't even know how he would do it.

Nov 13, 2018 07:14 AM #31
Faye Y. Taylor
StepStone Realty, LLC - Floresville, TX
Homes for Sale Floresville, La Vernia & San Antoni

Ok that creeps me out.  I knew we were tracked but I did not know someone who you have spoken to had the ability to specifically stalk you.  I use a "fake" email address for any site that I don't want to spam my inbox.  We have a VOIP phone for my "home" phone and I use that number as we don't answer it; just listen to the messages and I use no script on my  computer browser.  It can't track you without you giving it permission so a lot of my browser tracking is automatically rejected (sales people & google analystics hates it as GA is declined in my browser)  The problem is my phone can't use it so anything I do on my phone is tracked.   But you have seriously creeped me out and I agree with a lot of the others.  You may want to gently coach him as we were all newbies at one time.  But not sure if you want to share about the stalking part because that is good public knowledge.  If the general public knew it maybe the pushback would stop it.  At a car dealership??? Maybe not. 

Nov 13, 2018 08:46 AM #32
Gordon Crawford
Gordon Crawford Home Selling Team - Morristown, NJ
Your Morris County Specialist!

Patricia, I do my research but never share it as I find most people are very uncomfortable with it.  Good luck with the new car search!

Nov 13, 2018 08:54 AM #33
Adam Feinberg
NYC Condo, Co-op, and Townhouse specialist

While it's great the salesman is putting in the effort- he needs to be aware that a lot of people will be turned off by his approach. Like the posters above- I might be aware that logging into a site is going to result in tracking activities- but having someone monitor it- and then tell you about is creepy.

Nov 13, 2018 10:22 AM #34
Mike Frazier
Carousel Realty of Dyer County - Dyersburg, TN
Northwest Tennessee Realtor

Personally I would hate to make a living selling cars but there are some that make a great living at it. I too would want to see this kid succeed but not with me paying too much.

Nov 13, 2018 11:23 AM #35
Jerry Murphy, CRS, SRES
Long Realty West Valley - Anthem, AZ
Anthem, Phoenix, and Scottsdale AZ Real Estate

Yeah, I get notified everytime a client logs into thier home search.  However, I don't immediately call or e-mail them to let them know I saw them logging in.  I just send them an e-mail to "check in" with them at that time to see if they have any questions.  To the client it must seem like impecable timing on my part.  I just let them believe that.  Best of luck in your car purchase Patricia.

Nov 13, 2018 04:01 PM #36
Hannah Williams
Re/Max Eastern inc. - Philadelphia, PA
Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-953-8818

Hi Patricia Kennedy  My Bentz is hitting 75,000 miles and it is  about 12 years old  love it don't care about the gas mileage it is a heavy car  You know the newer ones they are making them lighter to save on the gas . My best friend sells Mercedes once he makes the sale they hand you over to the next person who does all the financing --maybe you should switch dealers -  good to see you back

Nov 13, 2018 04:26 PM #37
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

Patricia has a good head on her shoulders making it a sure thing she will prevail

Nov 13, 2018 05:26 PM #38
Debe Maxwell, CRS
www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

WOW! Now that is true cyber stalking, Patricia! I wouldn't like that either! Perhaps another dealer who isn't so invasive?! 

Good luck on the new car. Like you, a new one is on the radar but, I have yet to scope them out at the dealerships. I'll make sure I'm logged out of everything social media when I do my search though. That is just so intrusive!

Nov 13, 2018 08:07 PM #39
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Pat, with cookies everywhere on the Internet, cyber stalking is so easy these days.    I have a 2017 SUV, and gets 21-24 miles per gallon, but rides like a dream.  Lots of bells & whistles, and love it!   Have owned LX almost the whole 22 years in business.  Very reliable!

Nov 14, 2018 08:13 AM #40
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Seems your stalker knows all the wrong things and doesn't know any of the right things.  He should learn and stick to his craft!

Nov 14, 2018 03:17 PM #41
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

Wow....I would be freaked out if a sales person revealed they knew those things. He is lucky to have you being so patient with him.

Nov 14, 2018 07:29 PM #42
Matthew Klinowski, PA
Downing-Frye - Naples, FL
Golf Community Real Estate Specialist

It's definitely weird. In today's day and age, it's so easy to obtain information about others. In an ideal world the information would only be used in a positive manner.

Nov 15, 2018 04:24 AM #43
Kevin Mackessy
Blue Olive Properties, LLC - Highlands Ranch, CO
Dedicated. Qualified. Local.

Everyone starts somewhere, it's up to the receiver to decide if it is worth pursuing.  

Nov 15, 2018 10:46 AM #44
April Swenson
Coldwell Banker Ocean Shores Brokers - Ocean Shores, WA
CRS and Managing Broker - Ocean Shores Real Estate

That is creepy to think that someone can track you like that. But, not a good start with that salesman. I'm actually buying a car right now.

Nov 15, 2018 11:33 AM #45
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Pat

We can learn lots of lessons from others in terms of customer service styles and success, or failure. It’s often a good reminder about what we should be watching out for when working with different clients. The stalking, and revealing it, while we know it happens, is creepy.

I’ll look forward to a ride in your new car when we get together for lunch during NAR next May as has become our tradition


Nov 16, 2018 02:46 PM #46
Anthony Kirlew
Keller Williams Legacy One Realty - Gilbert, AZ
Helping You Make Fiscally Sound Choices

This is a great perspective for marketers to see. I am a marketer (as well as an agent) who implements some online technology that "follows" people. Before you start throwing eggs, please know, I didn't create this technology and nearly every company does it. It's actually quite simple, however the key to success if the execution where you don't look like a cyber-stalker. And this is something I try to remain aware of because the approach mentioned does seem creepy.

One time an older customer of one company I was implmenting this technology for, asked if the company had "installed a virus on his computer" because he was seeing their ads everywhere. That's actually something he can thank Google for. It's called retargeting, and it happens when you visit a website and your browser accepts the "cookie" (or digital footprint). It can be used in so many way, that most people would never know including:

- Knowing that you visited the company's website

- The pattern of other websites you visited (because Google knows all) :-)

- Any videos of the company you might have watched.

- Whether or not you have visited their Facebook page.

- And much more

The more I am writing this, I am realizing I probably should have made a blog post out of it.

Nov 18, 2018 08:26 AM #47
Paul Chau
Supercheap Storage South Perth - Alliance, AB

I would honestly be a little bit worried if someone told me that they have been tracking my every move. Why do you think there's this big ruckus about Facebook and their "spying". Nobody wants their personal information to be used for anything, especially unsolicited sales. Yeah I mean we're sales people ourselves, but you really don't have to be creepy about it!

Dec 17, 2018 11:46 PM #48
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Patricia Kennedy

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