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Ask An Ambassador: Block and Tackle

Real Estate Agent with Transaction Alliance 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com SAL.2002007747

Our move to the mountaintop has been much slower than we expected.  It's been two years since we purchased our land and the design process has taking a few twists and turns, but we finally have a final set of drawings and ideas for how we want to optimize the use of our land.

Finding the right builder is a key part of that process.

Recently we had reason to re-evaluate our builder selection.  The local loan officer had provided us a list of local builders her clients had liked.

After some online research we called 8 of them.

Of the 8:

  • 2 answered the phone because they actually had office staff, the rest went to voicemail.
  • Another of the 8 did call back a couple of days later, but has since not responded to our follow up contacts.
  • The two that answered both asked for copies of our plans to provide a quote.
  • Of the two, one called back with follow up questions, the other hasn't even acknowledged that they received the plans.

From a consumer viewpoint, one of our key criteria for our builder is someone that can communicate well.  We're 7 hours drive away from our new home site, so frequent visits on our part isn't going to be possible. 

So based on our initial round of calls, most of the builders failed a basic block and tackle criteria:  communication.

There may be legit reasons those builders didn't return our calls:  family emergencies, they're hiking Mount Everest, they've got more business than they want so taking time to call us back isn't a priority...

On the other hand, taking 60 seconds to call back and say:  "Thanks for the interest, but I'm booked out for the next two years so unless you want to wait, I can't help you" closes the loop.

As real estate agents and bloggers, we have plenty of our own block and tackle fundamentals to address:

  • Blogging original relevant content frequently enough to matter
  • Identifying our service areas
  • Making it easy to know how to contact us
  • Making our posts easy to read (visually appealing and vocabulary wise...save the 14 syllable words for your doctorate thesis)
  • Avoiding the use of excessive real estate jargon when writing consumer facing posts

And of course if your blogging works, the fundamentals that follow:

  • Responding promptly
  • Demonstrating that your expertise actually matches up with your blog posts
  • That how you WRITE that you do business is actually HOW you do business

Not every clients is right for us, but the courtesy of a conversation can also help put the consumer on the right path to finding the right agent for their needs.

Block and tackle stuff can make or break your reputation.

Until next Tuesday, just Ask An Ambassador if you need help,

Bill & Liz aka BLiz

Posted by

Serving Warren County Ohio & Adjacent Areas

The Liz Spear Team of Transaction Alliance
Elizabeth Spear, ABR, Ohio License SAL.2002007747

William (Bill) Spear, Ohio License SAL.2004011109  Kentucky 77938
Ask for us by name if you visit the office!

Bill Direct:  513-520-5305
Liz Direct: 513-265-3004     
Fax: 866-302-8418

MailTo:  Liz@LizSpear.com

Search Homes:  Https://WarrenCountyOhioRealEstate.com

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Comments (16)

Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Pasadena And Southern California 818.516.4393

Hello Bill (and Liz too) - mastering the basics matters.  It's the foundation for the building blocks that follow because it seems ol' man Murphy makes that his "modus operandi".  Good luck.  

May 23, 2023 07:34 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

And hiring the right person to put the foundation down on our new home is critical.  We've learned the hard way over the years that the builders for our current home could have done a better job with that.  I don't want to be age 80 and needing foundation repairs on our new place.  A mountain slope is not the place to gamble.

May 23, 2023 08:00 AM
Kat Palmiotti
eXp Commercial, Referral Divison - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

As your example demonstrates, it's the simple things that can make or break a relationship of any kind. Call back. Be responsive. Do what you say you'll do when you say you'll do it. So 1 out of 8 has been truly responsive so far. This should make us all want to be that 1.

May 23, 2023 07:53 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

My experience over the years is that many craftspeople may be great at their trade, but not so great at the business aspect.  Finding someone that has mastered both is someone we hang onto.

May 23, 2023 08:01 AM
Dr. Paula McDonald
Beam & Branch Realty - Granbury, TX
Granbury, TX 936-203-0279

I love this analogy. Answering the phone is a basic for this business.

May 23, 2023 08:25 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

I've gotten business in the past from just picking up the phone.  I suspect many consumers are just dialing agent after agent...the first one that answers and isn't a jackass to them gets hired.

May 23, 2023 11:48 AM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good morning Bill,

We were just talking about this in sales meeting this morning. Our Texas Real Estate commission has found the majority of complaints are against some agents that appear to have checked out of having communication during a transaction (let alone just a simple inquiry call). Are they burned out? too busy? Don't care? Its unacceptable! 

May 23, 2023 10:57 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

It can be very frustrating.  Sometimes something that is key to a buyer isn't in the listing information.  Or how about a response on an offer?  Should the way I find out that we didn't get accepted is seeing PENDING in MLS?  (been there, done that).

May 23, 2023 11:49 AM
Buzz Mackintosh
Mackintosh REALTORS - Frederick, MD
“Experience, reliable, leadership”

I know so many skilled craftsman who are terrible business people. If they would just return a call or communicate they would make a ton of $$. I feel your pain and it is very frustrating when they will not take the time to follow up in a timely manor.

May 23, 2023 12:29 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

I've got relatives that ran their own businesses.  They knew to get help on the business side while they took care of the trade aspect.

May 24, 2023 04:46 AM
Anna "Banana" Kruchten
HomeSmart Real Estate - Phoenix, AZ

Hi Bill this is an excellent analogy to real estate!  I'm thankful we had 'our contractor guys' on our team and when we called they picked up right away or called us back shortly.  Reliable, top notch service.

Featured in BananaTude!


May 23, 2023 04:18 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

Anna, We have our go to guy for our own home and can recommend him to clients when they need help.  We've had the experience with other issues where people wouldn't call back, or would come out and then not send the estimate for repair.  The latter was baffling, you spent the time to come to my home, why not follow through?

Thanks for the group feature!

May 24, 2023 04:47 AM
Anna "Banana" Kruchten

Bill I remember one guy came and gave us an estimate for wood flooring throughout the home. For Pete's sake that was a pricey job.  And he never called me back - never.  Oh well......next.

May 24, 2023 10:36 AM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

I do feel as though it’s pretty interesting and such a fun  idea for a 

May 23, 2023 09:21 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

We're looking forward to living in our new home (some day).

May 24, 2023 04:48 AM
Brian England
Ambrose Realty Management LLC - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

Finding a solid contractor here has been a real hassle as well.  We finally found one for the renovation of my parent's home, but we sure have to stay on top of him and his crew, haha.

May 24, 2023 05:26 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

And it shouldn't need to be that way, should it?

May 24, 2023 12:31 PM
Candice A. Donofrio
Next Wave RE Investments LLC Bullhead City AZ Commercial RE Broker - Fort Mohave, AZ
928-201-4BHC (4242) call/text

My best GF was just complaining about the lack of timely responsiveness in our builder/installer community . . . all she wants is a slab of granite installed in her kitchen . . . Lowe's and Home Depot said 'they'll come out to measure in a couple days' and after multiple follow-ups it turned out to be more like 3 weeks. TO MEASURE! 
Local stone retailer no installers at all, gives a list . . . they're all out several weeks. TO MEASURE! 

NOW, we are winding down a building boom of several years in my area . . . these same guys who are too precious will be banging on our doors to help them stay afloat in a short while . . . 

Just say you can't do it . . . NEXT! 

May 24, 2023 08:59 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

I get being busy and being short staffed, but a little communication costs little time and no money.  Just tell me NO, I'd understand that.

May 24, 2023 12:31 PM
Ginger Harper
Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage~ Ginger Harper Real Estate Team - Southport, NC
Your Southport~Oak Island Agent~Brunswick County!

Back to the basics.  Thanks for an excellent post


May 24, 2023 09:47 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

The basics don't go out of style.

May 24, 2023 12:36 PM
John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA

We know from countless surveys that the number one complaint from clients about agents is the communication gap.

A very important point to remember in real estate and in life.

May 24, 2023 09:51 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

It costs little, but means a lot.  I work to make sure that's a strong point with my clients.

May 24, 2023 12:36 PM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

It shouldn't be so difficult, should it, Bill!?  Taking 5 minutes to communicate that you aren't interested, will call back when you have more time to talk, or whatever, is not asking too much. 

May 24, 2023 10:00 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

No is easy, and doesn't need a long conversation.  Beats guessing!

May 24, 2023 12:37 PM
Beth Atalay
Cam Realty and Property Management - Clermont, FL
Cam Realty of Clermont FL

Hello Liz and Bill Spear, this is a great analogy. A few months ago, I was on my way to the supermarket when my phone rang. Someone wanted to see a home that wasn't listed by me and she was in the area. I changed my plans and showed her the home and she purchased it. Also listed her home in another area and sold that one, I am now listing her third home. All because the listing agent didn't answer her phone.

May 24, 2023 08:55 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

I've had past clients say outright, you were the first agent that answered the phone.  Unless they need something very specific, the first agent that responds has the best shot, and as in your case, it can lead to even more business later.

May 25, 2023 05:04 AM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

Show me the people I know and I’ll show you a lot of them who love to watch their kids playing sports

May 24, 2023 11:00 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

It they don't, it's a lot of time spent watching rugby scrums on the soccer field :)

May 25, 2023 05:05 AM
Mike McCann Nebraska Land Broker
Mike McCann - Broker, Mach1 Realty Farm & Commercial Land Broker-Auctioneer Serving Nebraska - Kearney, NE
Farm & Commercial Property For Sale 308-627-3700

One ringy dingy...two ring dingy...does not seem to work anymore.

I ask people to contact me either via phone or text if out and about...or if they want via email.  

However, if I get a phone call from an out of area (area code) It will most likely roll to voice mail.  If it is a phone call or text, I will review the number and either call/text back or answer.

I use to answer every call and wasted so much time with crappy calls and getting on their re-call phone list that I changed my process.  Have I missed possible business?  Maybe...maybe not...but I do know it is easier this way.  Have a great week, Mike

May 25, 2023 08:14 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

Mike, with our patio home niche, a lot of our potential clients are out of staters with those out of area codes, so I thank my chances.  For the solicitor types, as soon as I tell them we're about to retire from real estate, they can't hang up fast enough :)

May 25, 2023 07:31 PM
Shayne Stone
HomeSmart - Fulshear, TX
"Your Rock Solid Choice Realtor" RETIRED

Interesting post Liz and Bill Spear thanks for sharing. The example reminds me of the ratio in sales marketing where as; "Out of a 100-people you ask for their business, 99 will say NO, one of the 99 will be an AHole, but that ONE will say YES!" LOL 



May 27, 2023 10:08 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

Always looking for the Yes, but I'd like a better ratio!

May 30, 2023 03:00 PM