How engaging a stranger ... may help your business!

Services for Real Estate Pros with John Henry Masterworks Design International, Inc. 13013

I tend to be gregarious at restaurants...

My wife and I were having an alfresco lunch yesterday.  Two tables away sat a woman with a branded shirt, quietly eating some great Mexican food and sipping a Corona.

All of a sudden her laid back demeanor changed when she answered a cell call and went into 'business mode'.  You know how that is: you are away from your office walking your dogs or waiting in line at Starbucks and suddenly an important client calls.  You totally gear up and go into serious biz mode.  

This person stood up and was a bit loud, even sitting outside, but I could totally relate.  After the call was over and she revved back down I jokingly commented to her how she'd gone into that business voice and demeanor, psyching up to handle things.  Apparently she had gotten some orders from up top to promote a new gym club.

We started talking.  Not that I was into athletics at all...  She started gushing: divorced her contractor husband, currently working for Brita, move from Ft. Lauderdale, had a business that got crushed during the last recession, had a double mastectomy, etc.  She was a fighter and a go-getter.   A little unlike me.  We shared some additional stories when I told her I was an architect and I prodded her about her latest assignment.

She was to go door to door in Winter Park, a high-end neighborhood, and leave a flier if she didn't make direct contact.  Winter Park is a market I wanted to get back into as I have been absent locally, working around the country rather than in my own back yard.

"I will offer you a 10% commission", I blurted out - to include one of my cards with her program, and if a client got into a contract with me.  A deal was made, phone numbers exchanged, and I am hoping to hear from at least one or two people in that neighborhood that is going through a lot of teardowns and new builds.

You never know what can happen when you start up a conversation with a ... stranger!



Re-Blogged 1 time:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Barbara Todaro 10/24/2019 11:45 AM
ActiveRain Community
business contacts can be anywhere anyone
outgoing personality is good for business

Spam prevention
Show All Comments
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


Sometimes, we feel like striking a conversation, and sometimes we do not.  It depends on the situation.  Good idea, and I hope she sends you some business from Winter Park.  A

Oct 24, 2019 08:01 AM #4
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Good morning John Henry - always in networking mode.  That's the way.  You never know when you will make a great connection!

Oct 24, 2019 08:05 AM #5
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667,, Broker, Blackstone Realty Group - brokered by eXp Realty - Kalispell, MT
The House Kat

Good for you. I hope you wind up with some new clients as a result of this arrangement!

Oct 24, 2019 09:53 AM #6
Mimi Foster
Falcon Property Solutions - Colorado Springs, CO
Voted Colorado Springs Best Realtor

What an excellent post! I am the woman in line who people turn and tell me their life story after I smile at them. My husband says it's the damnedest thing, but I've picked up a couple of clients over the years. Here's to counting on at least five calls from your efforts!

Oct 24, 2019 10:58 AM #7
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Franklin, MA
Marketing Agent for The Todaro Team

Hi John Henry wow.... what a great move by you..... get a piece of the action by blending into her marketing piece.... that's a great job of negotiating....agents should be taking a page from your book... if they can't do it on their own, tie in with someone who is beating the pavement.... great job....well worth paying a referral fee....

Oct 24, 2019 11:44 AM #8
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

The outcome is always the same when we do nothing....

Oct 24, 2019 12:17 PM #9
Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, CRS
Phoenix Property Shoppe - Phoenix, AZ

Love this story John Henry !  You just never know what will pop up in a seemlingly fly by conversation.  My Dad was the master of masters of small talk and one hell of a business man. I am grateful I learned that from him. Albeit when we were kids we 'hated' that he'd go on and on....while we were waiting!!  Good luck on picking up some good referrals from your new idea and helper!

Oct 24, 2019 01:23 PM #12
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

John, wishing you good luck, I am not a fan of people who can not leave the table and go outside of earshot to conduct business.... I get it there are times I have to take a call because..... now with that said I tell the person to please hold on I am leaving a spot so we can talk quietly out of earshot of others....but that is just me...Endre

Oct 24, 2019 04:41 PM #17
Zippy Larson

I talk to strangers all the time.  On a winter walk at Baltimore's Inner Harbor I saw 3 young people: one had a professional camera, the sort that television crews use when they are out gathering news. So I said hello and asked what they were photographing. The reply of the reporter was: "Stand over there and say: "Thank you, Ray Lewis." it seemed harmless so I did as they asked.They used me in a tv tribute to Ray Lewis, the Baltimore Ravens football player. I received SAG wages: $500. less a few bucks for taxes. 
PS.  I don't watch football, don't understand or follow the game. I didn't even know who Ray Lewis was.
I still talk to strangers.

Oct 24, 2019 05:54 PM #18
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

HI John- I strike up conversations all of the time when I'm out and it's so much fun (usually) I think it's a wonderful idea to market to the Winter Park of my favorites!!!! 

Oct 24, 2019 06:47 PM #21
Tom Bailey
Margaret Rudd & Associates Inc. - Oak Island, NC

Great story John. I can't do that in NC. In NC we can only pay other agents

Oct 24, 2019 11:19 PM #24
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line

Always good to engage with strangers, and see what opportunities open up for both of you. It can be that you can help them as well, as you did offering a commission. Good luck and hope the calls come in.

Oct 25, 2019 12:43 AM #25
James Dray
Fathom Realty - Bentonville, AR
Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results

Morning John.

One just never knows what will happen, or when.  Congrats

Oct 25, 2019 01:05 AM #26
Kris Collis, Associate Broker
Smart Way America Realty - East Stroudsburg, PA
Professional Results you Expect 570-507-7510

John Henry 

A wonderful story, a win-win for both of you, best of success with your new partner.  As it works out, perhaps you can share with her some of Endre Barath, Jr. advice about professionally handling business calls while in public 

Oct 25, 2019 01:06 AM #27
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area

So who is the photo at the top of your blog...thinking it's someone from The Clash....??  Anyway, great story!!  I hope it works out for both of you!!

Oct 25, 2019 09:06 AM #38
Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089
Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers - Haiku, HI
Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info

You just never know.  Sounds like an interesting conversation between the two of you.

Oct 25, 2019 10:37 AM #41
Jill Sackler
Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500 - Long Beach, NY
LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate

Quick thinking on your part. Great use of someone else's intention to go into your local area.

Oct 25, 2019 01:42 PM #42
Debra Leisek
Bay Realty,Inc Homer Alaska - Homer, AK

You never do know what random conversation with strangers can bring to the table!  Who was it who said he never met a stranger.... that was my mother She never met a stranger they all became friends

Congratulations on the promise of new business in Winter Park... Sounds delightful! 

Oct 26, 2019 12:55 AM #49
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi John:

Great story! You just never know what might happen with a random could build an interesting connection. Hope that business relationship works out! Keep us posted.


Oct 26, 2019 03:10 PM #50
Carla Freund
Keller Williams Preferred Realty - Raleigh, NC
Carolina Life RealEstate & Relocation 919-602-8489

Great story. I used to work for a Brokerage on Fairbanks Rd. in Winter Park. Our owner has two offices there including a KW Luxury Homes office. It is such a gorgeous area!

Oct 27, 2019 07:54 AM #51
Show All Comments

What's the reason you're reporting this blog entry?

Are you sure you want to report this blog entry as spam?


John Henry, Florida Architect

Residential Architect, Luxury Custom Home Design
Ask me a question
Spam prevention