Desperate Times Call For PATIENT Agents!

Education & Training with Sell with Soul

Ooooh, I must respectfully disagree with my friend Jim Crawford's featured blog today. But that's no surprise, I think Jim and I almost always disagree on matters of real estate philosophy. No worries... there's room on this planet for both of us.

Jim's blog is entitled "Desperate Times Require Drastic Measures: A Survival Guide for Real Estate Professionals." It's a story of how real estate agents are so foolishly desperate for business that they're willing to work with anyone - egads!

But here's what I'm thinking...If I were going to write an article or blog entitled "Desperate Times Require Drastic Measures: A Survival Guide for Real Estate Professionals," it would have a 180 degree different spin!

As in... "Agents! Go out of your way to RISK your time and your gas! Bend over backwards to spend time with not-yet-qualified or not-yet-committed buyers! If someone is evasive and elusive with you, take even more time to gain their trust!"

Folks, in my world, buyers are not growing on trees or beating down my door. Maybe I'm in the minority, but I could use a few more buyers in my pipeline and if they don't buy til next spring, I'll take a paycheck in April just as surely as I'll take one next month. I'll also happily accept their referrals for years to come.

Here's the thing... in the Good Old Days, a little triage was expected and necessary. When you had ten qualified, signed-up buyers in your pipeline, yes, you may have had to shuttle off the not-yet-qualified or not-yet-committed ones, simply due to the realities of the 24-hour day. What Mr. Crawford proposes in his Desperate Times blog makes much more sense under those circumstances than under today's... where most real estate agents, even successful ones, are not buried under a pile of pre-approval letters and Buyer Agency contracts.

If you are so busy with pre-approved, EBA'd buyers, then knock yourself out blowing off anyone who needs a little winning over. In fact, please send them my way. I might have a little repair work to do to get them to trust me, after they've been summarily dismissed by the first five agents they spoke with (or tried to speak with), but I'm up to the task. I have the time... and I can afford the gas... and...

... I LOVE a full pipeline!


Posted by

It's Here!


The More Fun You Have Selling Real Estate, the More Real Estate You Will Sell! 
(True Story)
Order Your Here!










This entry hasn't been re-blogged:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
More Referrals: Strategies & Tips on Getting More Referrals
Real Estate Rookie
Rookies Turning Pro
Selling Soulfully
Best Business Practices
selling soulfully
all blogs

Spam prevention
Show All Comments
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

Whew, Ken... feels so much better to be back in your good graces!

Bryant - Agree 100%. Although I function better under pressure, so even if I say it will be a week, it probably won't be... if I'm that busy.

VRG - Yeah, somehow I don't think I'm the only agent on the planet with a little time on my hands!

ASD - Imagine! EARNING one's business and trust?!

Kevin - the thing is... there's no good way of knowing until you've "risked" some of your time. I, myself, have been a perfect buyer... and a "waste of time" buyer.

Marc -  But my points are MORE valid, right? LOL

Sep 03, 2008 08:45 AM #7
Gary L. Waters, Broker Owner, Waters Realty of Brevard, LLC
Waters Realty of Brevard, LLC - Rockledge, FL
... a small office, delivering big service!

Guess there is two sides to every issue. I try to get all the business I can but still there are some I choose not to work with... like the folks who are looking for a tour guide.

Sep 03, 2008 08:51 AM #8
Kathy Carson
John Stewart Walker, Inc - Lynchburg, VA
Realtor, Lynchburg, VA, VA Homes - Lynchunberg,Bedford, Campbell

Jennifer - I agree with both of you!!  How? - well - when I get the Buyer that either just lies or is so evasive it keeps me from assisting them - then it's "kick-em to the curb" time - BUT - if I get the ones that are honest, need my help and are willing to put out their info so I can assist them then they are in "my pipeline."   Yes help the ones that want it but let the "bottom feeders" go!

Good Post - Thanks!

Sep 03, 2008 09:11 AM #9
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

Kathy - the thing is... in my experience... it takes time to figure out who the bottom feeders are! And, frankly, some of my worst clients started out feeling like sure-things... and some of my best started out a bit hesitantly.

Sep 03, 2008 09:16 AM #10
Mana Tulberg
805 County Real Estate - Camarillo, CA
Real Estate Agent - Camarillo CA

Jennifer, I do agree with you. Different markets require different services on our behalf. However, I have my limits as well.

Sep 03, 2008 09:24 AM #11
Christina Ethridge
The North Idaho Dream Team powered by SKE Realty Group - Coeur d'Alene, ID

I agree and agree (with you and Jim).  My husband works with buyers (I do not).  I choose not to work with buyers.  My hubby is getting pickier and pickier with the buyers he will work with.  He'll spend X amount of time and energy on the prospect and after that, if they won't get themselves qualified or won't provide the information he needs to fully move forward, his motto is NEXT.  The pickier he is, the more buyers he ends up working with.  In other words, he's done more buyer business in the past 2 months than in the past 18 months and it's not perceived improvement in the market - it's his focus and time management.  He no longer spends his time on unqualified buyers - even if he doesn't have an immediate buyer in the pipeline. 

Sep 03, 2008 09:37 AM #12
Ed Schneider
Evers & Co. Real Estate Inc. - Washington, DC
Washington DC Real Estate Specialist

If they don't sign a EBA and have a pre-approval from BOA, they can just kiss my royal butt.

Oh, wait, that's my evil twin talking.

Sep 03, 2008 09:39 AM #13
Terrie Leighton
Ferrari-Lund Real Estate - Reno, NV
Reno Real Estate Agent ~ Selling Homes in Reno

Jennifer - Your points are very valid! I love how you stand your ground and are able to express yourself so well. I am with you on this one. I don't know to many desperate agents right now that will do anything for anyone. I personally will work with buyers and I don't feel I am giving anything up. Pre approvals are nice, if they don't have one, I help them get one.


Sep 03, 2008 10:08 AM #14
Rick Trowe
Cerium Learning - Tulsa, OK
Go With Trowe

Well said. In my business, everything is a risk - of some kind or another. It's a matter of risk management.

Sep 03, 2008 10:55 AM #15
Norma Toering Broker for Palos Verdes and Beach Cities
Charlemagne International Properties - Rancho Palos Verdes, CA
Palos Verdes Luxury Homes in L.A.

Thank heavens, there is more than one way to manage a real estate career.  We can have very different approaches and still thrive.  The key is finding our comfort zone and working within it.  In 2005 I sold a home to buyers I showed property to for 10 years--off and on.  They bought a $1,000,000+ home and have since sent referrals my way. 

Sep 03, 2008 10:57 AM #16
Petra Norris
Lakeland Real Estate Group, Inc. - Lakeland, FL
Realtor, Lakeland FL Homes for Sale

Jennifer - I read Jim's blog and found it very interesting as well as yours. Different views! Each seller and buyer is very different and mostly bring on their own situation that we agents deal with. I'm a customer service oriented business, with safety in mind. That doesn't mean that I will not show homes to buyers that I don't know. Usually, I'll talk to the buyers to get a feel what their intentions and situations are before I show homes. When dealing with buyers, I find mostly that other agents don't communicate with their prospects and don't provide the service they promised to give. From there, I'll lead them in the right direction to achieve their goal as well as mine, whether or not they are 1 day, 1 month or 1 year away.

Sep 03, 2008 12:00 PM #17
Lisa Hill
Florida Property Experts - Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Beach Real Estate

Hmm. I just read Len Harley's blog about how fast she blew off a buyer who had called to ask questions about her web site. I partially agreed with Len, but would'nt have reacted so quicly. I haven't read  Jim's post yet, but I AM NOT willing to drive around with people who are not qualified. I'll be happy to help them get qualified ASAP, so we can start looking for their next home.

Sep 03, 2008 01:43 PM #18
Cindy Marchant
Keller Williams Indy NE 317-290-7775 - Carmel, IN
"Cindy in Indy" , Realtor, Fishers Real Estate

Jennifer, you and I have often been on the same page and it's happened again.  I have a healthy business going, but I love helping people.  I truly hope they buy but, if they don't...I've met some interesting people, seen houses I need to be previewing anyway and might get a referral from them because I was willing to show them a few houses.  I've always been a glass half full kind of person!


Sep 03, 2008 02:05 PM #19
Richard Byron Smith, NMLS #184479
Mortgage Loan Officer, Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation NMLS #2289 - Chattanooga, TN
Mortgage Loan Officer

It seems to me that there is some qualifying of a buyer that is needed before a real estate agent risks their time and gas, and in Jim's post he also mentioned safety - at least risk the time and gas on a client that could make a commitment to you. They may need to be sold on you before choosing, but I have heard too many bad stories from an agent failing to do any screening of their prospects.

Indiscriminate driving around may use up time that might have found a potential buyer.

It is a judgment call, but one that needs to be made.


Sep 03, 2008 04:26 PM #20
Frank Bailey Sr.
Keller Williams Realty - Schertz, TX

Funny Jennifer, I just talked to a "prospective" buyer today that doesn't have great credit.  I've been working with them for a month, and finally found a program for them to enroll in to help them in the future.  Funny thing is, they've been to the program just haven't followed up.  I reassured them how great the program was for their needs, the ensured me they would follow up.  I think the extra step is what makes us a professional, and not just an agent.  Just my 2 cents.

Sep 03, 2008 04:36 PM #21
Michael Sahlman - Keller Williams Realty - Miami Beach, FL
e-PRO - Miami Beach Florida Luxury Homes

Everyone has their own comfort level with buyers; qualifying them and sorting them. We just have to find which way makes the most sense for our own business model.

Sep 03, 2008 11:13 PM #22
Chris and Maria Jeantet
Coldwell Banker C&C Properties - Redding, CA
Redding CA Real Estate Couple

a client emailed me the article and was disgusted by it. What does the guy know about real estate anyway? Providing CMA's, taking people around, etc. is all part of the "service" we provide. No stupid person would waste time just for fun but evaluate each scenario and determine the potential of obtaining that business whether it's a buyer or seller.

good post

Sep 04, 2008 05:08 AM #23
Bart Whitmore
Keller Williams- Louisville - Louisville, KY
Real Estate Agent

I see both points, I will say this some agents wont even talk to a buyer if they arent prequalified, I will meet and talk to them this past weekend I met with 5 potential buyers who werent prequalified and 3 are getting approved right now, 1 was told that he dosent qualify, 1 is now ready to go with an acceptable down payment, sometimes you have to take chances---bart

Sep 09, 2008 01:44 PM #24
Glenn S. Phillips
Lake Homes Realty - Birmingham, AL
CEO, Lake Homes Realty /

Jennifer, I'm with both you and Jim... sort of. 

Here is why I say this.  I believe most agents (and sales folks in general) have lousy qualification processes.  If they have a process, they then either ignore it based on "feelings" or follow it to the letter independent of great opportunity.

My belief is that agents need to qualify clients "better" and with flexibility.  And "better" can only come after some time (but not endless) with potential clients.  Then it is okay to either proceed or shake hands and part ways.  The customer can do that, so can we.

The mistake many people make is believing the qualification of clients is a formal list of requirements the client must provide first.  I believe that the mutual qualification process (I wrote a post on this weeks ago) involves helping the client while at the same time learning more about how well the client can proceed.  It does not mean that you have to stick with a client if you start a discussion with them. 

But done properly can provide an appropriate client qualification process that does help match each agent with the clients that we can really help the most.

Thanks for this post... good stuff and a great point for discussion!!

Sep 09, 2008 02:34 PM #25
Team Honeycutt
Allen Tate - Concord, NC

A full pipeline is always great, a half full pipeline is good, and no pipeline is an opportunity to improve. Great post and always stay positive!

Sep 10, 2008 01:36 AM #26
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?


Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn

Author of Sell with Soul
Ask me a question
Spam prevention