Monday Miscellany – Follow-up, Communication, Roller Coaster
Another Monday and various things are floating around in my mind. This week’s miscellaneous thoughts that are taking up my brain space include follow-up, communication and the real estate roller coaster.
A few months ago, I did some research and hired a company to install new flooring in my living room and dining room. The company sent the first batch of workers to my home to remove the existing flooring. So they came and pulled up the floors, carried everything out, and bid me a good day. Then a few days later, a different set of individuals came to lay the new floor down. They asked a few questions during the day, but in general just did their work, and went on their way.
A month or so after that, we hired a different company to install new granite countertops. A few days later, two workers came and measured our counter areas, making a template for the new counters. Then a week or so later, they came back with the new counters, installed them, let us know how to maintain them, and left.
Both jobs went fine. The people we dealt with were pleasant and professional. But the one thing I noticed was that there was no follow-up at all. The companies did not contact us afterwards to make sure we were satisfied with the products, or to see if we had any questions. I don’t remember any requests for feedback or reviews either. There were also no instructions as to what to do if we do have problems, or who to contact if we have questions. So both companies did great at the initial communication, followed through on the work they were supposed to do, and then disappeared.
So I immediately thought about the real estate business, specifically MY business. While I do contact buyers and sellers after closing and I do ask for feedback, I don’t do it nearly enough. And why is this important? Because I’m already having difficulty remembering the names of the two companies that did the work in my home, and that was only two months ago. If someone I know needs a referral for counters or flooring, I may not be able to provide one because those companies are no longer top of mind. This experience was a reminder to me that I need to do a better job at staying in contact with past clients. Lesson learned.
I had a wonderful lunch this weekend with a friend who was part of my life growing up. We went for many years without seeing each other. Luckily, we have been able to get together a few times in the last two months, but that’s not what this section is all about. It’s about something she shared with me about the sale of her home.
She indicated she had used two different real estate agents to sell her home, and the second one was much better than the first. When I asked how he was better, she told me that he was very responsive. When she texted him or called him, he responded immediately. When she email him, an email response was forthcoming. He also kept her in the loop in terms of what was going on with the sale. He communicated often and well.
That’s one of the most important things that clients want from real estate professionals. They want us to be responsive. And they need us to keep them informed as to what is going on, even when nothing is going on. There were other reasons she liked the second agent better, but the overall message was that he was a great communicator. That’s something we should all strive to be, no matter what line of business we are in.
The real estate roller coaster
Being a real estate professional often feels like we’re on a roller coaster. There are lots of sales and purchases going on sometimes and very few at other times. There are leads galore or none. Last week, I was working with buyers who found “the” home, made a strong offer and then basically disappeared for a week. When they returned, it was clear they got cold feet and subsequently canceled their deal and disappeared once again. I doubt they’ll be back.
I then took a look at my activity over the last year. I had three people who definitely wanted to sell their homes. I met with them, we talked about pricing and preparation. Two decided not to sell after all, and they are staying in place. One decided to sell on their own, and was successful at doing so. Then another seller wanted to sell four parcels of land, so I took a look at them and we discussed price points and marketing plans. Then she disappeared for a while but came back and said now she only wanted to sell three. Another month went by and she came back and indicated she only wanted to sell one. And then she disappeared, never to be heard from again.
So what’s the point of this? If you are considering entering the real estate market as an agent, please be aware you will definitely spend time working with clients on deals that will never get to the closing table. You need to have savings, a tough skin, and a business plan that focuses on how buyers and sellers will know to call you when they are ready. That real estate funnel needs to be full at all times!
Those are my thoughts of the moment. I wish you a wonderful week!