Treat Every Buyer Like the Gold Mine He Might be...

Education & Training with Sell with Soul

Imagine this scenario... you're sitting in your office and the receptionist forwards you a floor call from a potential buyer. The caller says something like this: "I'm lookin' fer a little piece of land on the outskirts of town to move my double-wide to. Just a nice little place fer me and the missus to retire on. Kin you hep me?"phone

Okay, so you're probably not overly excited about hep'ing this particular buyer, unless little pieces of land on the outskirts of town are your thing. You might be tempted to politely brush off this particular caller or, if you're in a particularly generous frame of mind, find someone a little hungrier than you are to refer him to (and get that juicy 25% referral!).

But what if he followed up by saying, "Oh, ‘n my uncle will be movin' up this-a-away in a few months and he'll be looking fer a place to keep his collection of vintage Ferrari's - mebbe something with a view and a pool, with a nice pasture fer his thoroughbreds."

Hmmmmmm.... Suddenly you see Mr. Double-Wide in a whole new light, might you not?

Here's the thing. Everyone you encounter during the course of doing business has friends, family and mebbe even a rich uncle or two. Whether or not Mr. DW ever buys his little piece of heaven outside of town really isn't the point. Whether Rich Uncle DW ever shows up or even exists isn't the point, either.

What IS the point? That it won't hurt any of us to take that extra hour (maybe even two!) to make an effort to impress any warm body who voluntarily puts him or herself in our presence. Even if he's not-yet-qualified. Even if she doesn't plan to buy or sell til 2010. Even if they're looking for a little piece of land in the flood plain.

Every person who crosses your path is a potential gold mine of business for you, if you treat them respectfully and competently. Treat every buyer like he has a rich uncle waiting in the wings and you may be surprised how many of them do!





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  1. Toni Dorigatti 09/09/2008 04:39 PM
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Cindy Marchant
Keller Williams Indy NE 317-290-7775 - Carmel, IN
"Cindy in Indy" , Realtor, Fishers Real Estate

Once again, I'm right there with you Jennifer.  I just got off the phone with a sign call on a property I have listed for $150,000 here in Fishers, Indiana.  He wanted to rent folks need the equity to move on.  I asked about his situation and there are some credit bumps...but I told him I knew of a few rentals in the area and talked through them with him.  We will go and see one tomorrow and hopefully he'll have a place to live.  In this area, our commission for that is about $100...but isn't it about helping people because we know the area, the houses, the lay of the land.  Yes, I want to get commission checks bigger than that; but we're in a business to help others and the more we do that the more contacts we will have.  My guess is (because it has for me) those contacts will refer and you will make the money.


Sep 04, 2008 02:22 AM #4
Ann Allen Hoover
RE/MAX Advantage South - Hoover, AL
CDPE SRES ASP e-PRO Realtor - Homes for Sale - AL

This is precisely why I am working with a particular couple right now.  It's one of those things that you just don't expect that particular deal to amount to much (if anything), but I have a new relationship that is strong and I can't get enough of those!  Sure it's a little investment in terms of time, but not excessive and I think well worth it.

Ann Allen Birmingham Realtor


Sep 04, 2008 03:16 AM #5
Lisa Hill
Florida Property Experts - Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Beach Real Estate

I've had calls like this! And they turned into repeat blients who also referred friends to me. But the friends bought a house on the river! You never know what that one little sale can mean for your future!

Sep 04, 2008 03:41 AM #6
Mana Tulberg
805 County Real Estate - Camarillo, CA
Real Estate Agent - Camarillo CA

I know the kind of calls you are talking about. For me some have turned to be great and some have gone no where. In both cases I treated the potential client equally, but it was up to the client to make the move.

Sep 04, 2008 03:51 AM #7
Team Honeycutt
Allen Tate - Concord, NC

Sometimes you just have to make sure you treat everyone equally! Why, because you never know!

Sep 04, 2008 05:01 AM #8
Lee Davenport
Sandy Springs, GA
Learn With Lee: Real Estate Coaching & Consulting

I definitely agree because I remember my experience as a first-time home buyer at 24 years old.  By my looks, I seemed like a teenager that would be a waste of time to many agents but the agent that closed with me (and 5 of my friends!!) was the one that should be care and respect despite my young look.  Because of that experience, despite what others advise me about not wasting time, I still have to give others the courtesy and respect that I wanted as a buyer.

Thanks for sharing this!

Sep 04, 2008 07:05 AM #9
Lynn Afton
Greenridge Realty Oakmont - Big Rapids, MI
REALTOR® Near Big Rapids, MI, Mecosta County

Thanks for the reminder, Jennifer.  It isn't always easy to treat everyone like they are your best customer! :)

Sep 04, 2008 10:51 AM #10
Susan Milner
Florida Future Realty, Inc. - Cape Coral, FL
Cape Coral Real Estate Broker, FloridaFutureAgents

So true. It is all about relationship building.

Sep 04, 2008 12:57 PM #11
Paddy (Patricia) Pizappi
Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty - Pine Bush, NY
Real Estate Associate Broker Hudson Valley NY

I could not agree more Jennifer.  There is gold in respecting each buyer for what they are doing.  It is amazing how many agents ignore someone that they feel they can't make a big sale on.  It's ok by me, it means more for me yeah!  Have a good one.  BTW good luck with the sale of you house.  Looks like you will need a buyer's agent too soon. 

Sep 05, 2008 12:29 AM #12
Michael Sahlman - Keller Williams Realty - Miami Beach, FL
e-PRO - Miami Beach Florida Luxury Homes

Like your approach and attitude. it is true that many potential buyers can be a pot of gold. we just have to learn how to sift through them effectively and find the nuggets.

Sep 05, 2008 12:58 AM #13
Kim Brown
Keller Williams Realty - Keene, NH
Keene, NH - New England at its Best!

You and I must read the same books!  ;-)

We mustn't ever forget that they are taking a chance on us, too!

Sep 05, 2008 01:01 AM #14
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

Oops - I'm very behind in my appreciate for all the comments!

KIm - FANTASTIC point. It's not as if it's a given that we Realtors are all exceptional (or even competent), although as we both know from recent discussions elsewhere that the definition of such is up for debate!

Michael - yep ... and it takes TIME to "sift" through. However, I try to give all buyers who cross my path the benefit of the doubt and I tell ya... most deserve that benefit - in other words, they ARE for real if you just give them to chance to warm up to you. Which takes more than 35 seconds.

Paddy - Exactly. Every time I read a blog about how an agent advises others to blow off buyers for one reason or another, I figure.... MORE FOR ME!

Susan - yes - and that takes TIME!

Lynn - I know, but it's SO OFTEN worth the effort.

Lee - Great story, thanks for sharing it. Perfect example of what I'm talking about.

Allen - sounds trite, but it's so true. YOU NEVER KNOW!

Mana - I'm with you - I"m willing to take the chance that it will go somewhere... and often it does.

Lisa - Yeah! Besides, even a small paycheck will pay a few of my bills nicely!

Ann - that's the attitude of someone who 1) will MAKE IT in this business and 2) will ENJOY making it!

Cindy - Why am I not surprised that YOU GET IT?!

Sue - DITTO Cindy's comment!

Patricia - That, my friend, is the secret to a full pipeline.

Rick - THANKS!!!

Sep 05, 2008 01:53 AM #15
Margaret Oscilia
Creative Concepts-Home Staging and Contracting, Salem Oregon - Salem, OR
Home Stager, Salem Oregon

Long ago I worked for a very wealthy man who enjoyed hiding the fact.  He drove a pick up, wore blue jeans and frequently was treated rather shabbily by professionals.  When he drove up in his vintage Corvette or his wealth was obvious, it was always a different story.  The people who received his trust and business were the ones who treated him fairly how he looked, and those were few.  I learned a lot about not judging others from this situation!

Sep 06, 2008 01:47 AM #16
Bob Cumiskey
A1 Connection Realty, Inc. - Sun City Center, FL
US Army Retired, Your Sun City Center, Florida ~ Realtor

Jennifer, Thank you for this post.  It's exactly how I feel when dealing with "walk ins" and any other people I deal with in this business.  Not for them only, but for the future they may just bring me.  I treat all my clients the same, like they are a gold mine, and hope that when they or someone they know need RE help, they remember me.  That's what it's all about.  Have a great day.

Sep 06, 2008 04:27 AM #17
Gail Wilson
Albany, OR

Just starting out, I welcome every opportunity to help someone out.  Very important to remember that you never know where your walk ins might lead.

Sep 06, 2008 07:26 AM #18
DeAndrea "Dee Dee" Jones
Home Buyers Marketing II, Inc. - Manassas Park, VA
The NorthernVARealEstateLady & DMVRealEstateChick

I always say I dont mind selling 10 100,000 to 1 1,000,000. Because those 10 people may bring me 10 more and that 1 can bring me 1 or maybe none.

Sep 06, 2008 08:22 AM #19
Tanya Venable
Orlando, FL
SEO, Mobile SEO, and Internet Marketing Consultant

Jennifer, good post! Every one should be treated equally, client or not. You never know who are talking to and it is always best to leave a great impression on everyone you meet.

Sep 06, 2008 08:58 AM #20
Terkel Sørensen
Real Estate Places - Temecula, CA
Realtor, 951.805.0773 , Bank owned and Short Sales

This is good stuff Jennifer. No wonder you have a book. I always wonder about the snobby attitude I run into at times. Most all my clients drop me a few new leads and it all turns into a lot of business over time.

All you have to do is go back to one of your first good clients and see what they delivered over a couple of years - if that doesn't show you anything, you better start calling those people back.

Sep 07, 2008 03:33 PM #21
Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

Jennifer, Thanks for the reminder about a walk in , a renter, on floor duty in the very beginning of my career. You have given me an idea for a future post.   

Oct 16, 2008 10:10 AM #22
Marie LaVoise, CENTURY 21 Platinum Properties
CENTURY 21 Platinum Properties - Clarksville, TN

Jennifer, you are so right and I could not have read this at a better time. I was just thinking about handing off a potential client who is thinking about a little piece of land. But, hey it will not hurt me to get off of my behind and do a little research. Thanks for the wake-up.

Oct 16, 2008 04:02 PM #23
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