Between the end of my first marriage and the beginning of my second, I was divorced for about 15 years. I knew the right partner for me was out there somewhere, and I wanted to find him. And now I’m in the business of real estate, searching for clients who are out there somewhere and I want to find them. The other day I realized much of what real estate agents do is just like dating. And here’s why.
Finding potential dates…..
Apparently, there are something like 115 million adult males in the United States. How hard could it be to find just one? Being a very busy mother raising two children, working more than full time, taking care of a home, car and more, I had to try methods that weren’t available when I got out of high school. So I tried online dating. When one specific site didn’t appear to be working, I tried others, using several different sites to open up my opportunities. I talked to friendly looking people anywhere, and met some potential dates that way. And of course my friends knew I was interested, and would provide suggestions from time to time. I used multiple ways to find potential dates.
Finding potential clients…..
Approximately 2,200 buyers and sellers are looking for real estate each year in my county. So let’s say I wanted to help 30 of those clients. How hard could that be? Well, just like dating, finding potential clients requires a variety of methods. I am using many different online sites and methods, including ActiveRain, wordpress, facebook, twitter, and some of the syndicated sites. I talk to people every chance I get and meet potential clients that way. I ask friends and other contacts for referrals. I send out marketing materials, and work at open houses and floor time. I use multiple methods to contact potential clients.
Turning potential dates into actual dates…
So step one was finding guys that I might be interested in dating, “might” being the key word here. Once I did my preliminary screening on line (they didn’t drool in their pictures, they seemed to have all their teeth, their profile had something of interest in it) the potential dates needed to pass a few of my checkpoints before I actually agreed to meet. One was the writing test – could they put complete sentences together? Did they make me laugh with their words? If yes, then it was on to the phone call. Did we click in some way on the phone? Did he have a personality? Did he ask for a date? If yes, we have a date!
Turning potential clients into actual clients…
In the real estate world, we get a lot of “leads,” but those leads aren’t all really interested in a relationship with us. Once contacted by a lead, it’s important to have a conversation as soon as possible. We have checkpoints here also. Are they working with another agent? They come off the list. Are they pre-approved and ready to buy? If no, they stay on the list, but are still just a potential client. Are they ready to meet with us and come in to discuss their requirements and sign up as a client? If not, they come off the list. If yes, we have a client!
Turning dates into “the one”…
So in the dating world, you get the date, and the entire point of date number one is whether you’re going to get to date number two. Is he fun? Does conversation flow? Do you have things in common? If yes, then another date is set. Somewhere along the line of dates and getting to know each other comes the point where the inevitable “where is this going?” questions come up. Do you have similar goals? Can you meet each other’s needs? Are you attracted to each other? Do you love each other? Do you want a future together? If yes, you have a winner!
Turning clients into a closing….
As we work with our clients, funny things sometimes happen. After months of showings and discussions and building a relationship, the clients disappear, never to be heard from again. Sometimes clients decide they do not want to live in the area after all, and want to move to a neighboring state instead. Sometimes mortgages just aren’t approved, or life challenges get in the way of clients purchasing their home. But in the rest of the instances, as long as we can meet our clients’ needs, and can find a home they are attracted to and hopefully even love and want a future with, then we have a winner!
Success in both cases….
So you’ve found the one man (woman) who is right for you, and you decide to become a permanent couple. Perhaps you get married, and have a wonderful ceremony and drive off to enjoy the rest of your days in wedding bliss. Or perhaps you decide to cohabitate, and get rid of all the duplicate furniture and start the rest of your blissful life. You have started a relationship that will last forever.
And on the real estate side, we’ve found the client we were meant to find, and we have managed to get to the closing table. All the paperwork is signed, the keys are passed to the buyer, and everyone is smiling and happy. If we do it right, and keep in touch, we should have started a relationship that does not end at the closing table, but that lasts forever.
Isn’t real estate just like dating?