This may sound like a strange way to start a post but I had the pleasure(?) yesterday of visiting my local DMV and, during my extended stay, I had lots of time to ponder life. Aside from calling many clients (a little hard to do with all of the background noise), I started to think about how they run things down there and how it pertains to my business.
Everybody who comes in takes a number and then waits for their number to be called. This made me think of ways I use to generate leads and how I process them. If a client registers at an open house, on your website, gives you their business card, etc. what do you do with the information? Do you call the person once and then give up? This is a business of numbers and I used to make this mistake in the past: If I didn't get a positive response right off the bat (or didn't get a response at all), I would, most of the time, just throw the lead away and move on to the next. I don't know how you feel about semi-warm leads but now I treat every one like gold because I don't have a very large circle of influence (coi) list (although it's growing!). Have you ever had the experience of calling a new lead and having them straight hang up on you? What do you do then? Do you throw their information away or do you try to call them just one more time? I call them back. I've actually had two people apologize and tell me that their phone's disconnected me by mistake.
Now, here's the tougher question, after you call somebody let's say and actually talk to them, when do you follow up? Do you wait for them to call you back with questions or do you follow up in a few days if you don't hear anything? What if you don't have their phone number or address and all you have is their e-mail? Do you even bother? I've actually had two sales this year from people who wouldn't even talk to me on the phone until we actually met. For whatever reason, they just wanted to keep it at the e-mail level. Everybody's busy these days and a lot of times, buying a house is an emotional thing. If you don't keep your name in the front of your clients' "memory rolodex", they may "accidentally" forget that you're their agent and enter into a transaction with someone else. (I've had this happen to me twice and one of them was a family member. But that's a whole other blog topic!)
And the final question, do you work like they do at the DMV, with only one client at a time? This may sound silly but I know a few part-time agents who only want to work with one or two clients max at a time. I know it's hard to spread yourself out and juggle a lot of balls at once but I've learned the hard way that you never put all of your eggs in one basket. Real estate can be a pretty scary career when you're sitting there with only one or two active clients and your phone isn't ringing and you're not getting any response to your e-mails and you've got bills to pay and no closing in site.
We can't help every person we come in contact with but hopefully we can make the experience a pleasant one for the ones we can.
At least they had some good music playing there yesterday. I hadn't heard that Laura Branigan tune for about 15 years.