Without customers or clients, we’re done. No one to serve means no business so we better figure this part out.
Is the customer always right?
I don’t believe they are because if they were, they would not need us. Especially in real estate. There is so much bad information and just raw data out there now the typical consumer can’t possibly decipher it. Information is good but wisdom and experience is better.
The customer does always comes first. Their needs and wants outweigh ours even when they are wrong so we need to work from that perspective. It affects my schedule, my motivation and my time invested in a transaction when I am working directly for a buyer or seller. That part is pretty clear and most of us understand that.
As I work in the business I learn something every day. Over time some of the lessons sink in better and reveal things to me in a deeper way. One of the things I have marinated on the last few days is call reluctance and how it relates to the client or customer coming first.
I know, it’s not obvious but let me keep going.
One of the things we talk about as agents is the need for lead generation. Now in our case, I’m not talking about cold calling of any kind but instead it’s the need to stay in touch with our sphere, our database. Not to hammer them for referrals but simply to stay top of mind when something crosses their path that we can help with.
The problem I see arises as call reluctance and I think I know why.
If we are reluctant to call them it’s because it’s about us, not them. In our heads we are focused on our needs. We need to pay the mortgage, keep the cars running and see that we have food with our meals. It’s about us and our needs instead of theirs. When I make it about them and have fostered good relationships, I find I want to call them. To see how they are, to ask them what they need or what they are working on.
If you send real items of value (not cookie recipes) and check in with them once in a while to see how they are, it stands out. They begin to understand it’s about them and they relax. They begin to trust me even more. My past clients are surprised I’m calling them. They are pleased but some even ask why I’m calling. Their last agent didn’t do that so I stand out.
For my buyers, I put on my calendar to call after the closing by 1 day, 1 week, 30 days, 90 days, 180 days and the every year until they buy again. It’s about them. I’m checking to make sure they got moved in OK, the house is OK, the neighborhood is OK and just to stay in touch. Most of the time they answer the phone knowing it’s me (caller ID does that) and they are happy to tell me what’s up with them. I don’t bring up real estate or referrals but instead just make sure they are doing well.
Most times the folks I call ask me ‘how’s the market?’ and I get to share something with them. I get to talk about my listings or how values are or mortgage rates, etc. and at the end I might say something like ‘I’m never too busy for your referrals’ and leave it at that. No pressure, no script or tactics. Just a desire to help.
This works and I’m here to prove it does. I’ve been working this way since 2003 and don’t plan to stop now. I just am understanding some of it better. I hope that helps you too.
Thanks for listening,
PS: For more info now and to make sure you don’t miss anything in the future, sign up below for the free eBook I wrote. We’ll show you how to work by referral from day one. No cold calling. Ever and we’ll never spam you or sell your info. It’s just so we can stay in touch. You can unsubscribe anytime.