Everyone who is selling needs a salesperson to seek out the most serious, motivated, qualified income and the creditworthy purchaser who will fall in love with your home, right? But at the same time has the savoir-faire and astute knowledge to be a professional consultant by asking probing questions to ascertain, narrow down and pinpoint those who are the real buyers from those who are the tire-kickers and shoppers, out for a day perusing homes for whatever reason.
Time is always of the essence in real estate and once it is lost or squandered it cannot be regained or reinvented. However, a salesperson is what I call the old-fashioned term we use for someone who tries to sell you something in whatever fashion or way he or she can to close the transaction. It’s the old ABC, “always be closing” as Alec Baldwin said to his agents in the 1992 movie “Glengary Glen Ross” giving a tough, condescending pep talk to them (Al Pacino, Jack Lemon Alan Arkin, Ed Harris, Jonathan Price, and Kevin Spacey).
If you are in real estate and have never seen the movie or saw it a long time ago, go watch it again, it’s a must-see! The hybrid version today is a sales-consultant, one who goes through the complete process and whatever is necessary for qualifying buyers (as well as sellers, investors, landlords, and renters, too) to zero in on their specific “needs and wants.” They are trying to hit that “home run” in finally satisfying the client’s search for what they are looking to get that tingling feeling from and fall in love with.
This is something that is learned through trial and error and is defined, honed and finessed through many years of experience like a fine-tuned race engine. It is no different than listening to those applying for a basic or high-profile position, and the probing questions that one needs to ask to know if that individual is the right fit for the job. I’m thinking about the tremendous amount of time I have spent over the years with clients, developing rapport and long-term relationships with them through poignant and pertinent fact-gathering conversations as one would do in an interview.
This has truly reduced the amount of wasted time, although there are times some clients like to go beyond the “real estate” conversation and get into personal matters. I oblige them because like myself, there are moments in time when some of us in the real estate industry feel just like psychiatrists, psychologists and even hair stylists, who also hear the same stories, right? We do our best to listen to private personal and confidential issues, eg. husband, wife, girlfriend, boyfriend, and children matters, and when asked we offer advice from a layman’s point of view or from our own personal experiences.
If handled properly, this can bring us more closely to our clients and can form extremely tighter bonds and relationships. I have several close friends that began as clients and I now consider them very close who I, too, can rely upon when I may need their advice. This process of consulting is mainly about listening twice as much as we talk. I am sure that is why we were born with two ears and one mouth, but you would never know sometimes with those that talk more than they listen! There are those who have five mouths and half an ear if you can find it, LOL!
To me, it’s never been about selling anything. But it’s always been more about getting prospective purchasers, investors, and renters to buy or rent from or through us by our consultative methods and information, guidance, and analysis that we provide. Clients can then decide through careful and thoughtful conversations while considering the pros and cons and then finally narrowing down their parameters and trade-offs. At this point, that is where they can come to a final decision in making an acceptable offer because they know and feel comfortable about what we have shown and guided them through by answering all their questions and meeting their desired requirements and not ours.
Then we swing and hit the home run into the bleachers! Sometimes a grand slam will occur, where we list their home, find another one and then they provide us a solid referral from a family member, friend, or business associate. As I say, it’s all about constantly and consistently listening, observing, absorbing, practicing, and applying one’s knowledge and expertise that makes a successful Broker and therefore leads to satisfied and happy clients who become your lifelong advocates and sometimes friends for future business.