Saturday, January 19, 2008

I m New! Don t Waste My Time!

I m New! Don t Waste My Time! We old fogies (those of us with more than a year of experience) like to advise the newbies in our lives on how to work efficiently and productively and Gawd Forbid - how not to WASTE TIME! What are some time wasters in our business? How about: 1. Working with an unqualified buyer? 2. Talking to renters? 3. Showing a listing to an already-represented buyer? (who calls off the yard sign) 4. Preparing a CMA for a seller who wants to move sometime next year? 5. Having lunch with friends who already know lots of real estate agents? 6. Helping an acquaintance appeal her tax assessment? Well, in this old fogie s humble opinion, there s NO SUCH THING as wasting time in your first year if you re doing something that: 1. Puts you in front of a warm body and/or 2. Teaches you something about your real estate market Let s take time-waster #3 above - showing an office listing to an already-represented buyer. Here s the scenario. You re sitting on floor time twiddling your thumbs, or maybe working up the nerve to call a few FSBO s. The phone rings. You find yourself talking with a buyer who is sitting out in front of one of your office s listing. He wants to see it right away. He tells you he already has a buyer agent, but he can t seem to track him down today. He s just so busy, y know. So... can YOU show it to him? Option I ~ Tell the buyer in no uncertain terms that you don t work for free and he needs to wait for his own agent! Option II ~ Cheerfully say Sure! Give me some time to notify the owner and I ll meet you there in 30 minutes! What s your phone number in case there s a problem? Let s say you select Option I . Here s what you accomplished: You re still sitting at your desk, twiddling your thumbs, but by gawd, you didn t waste your time. And, oh yeah, you probably confirmed the buyer s opinion that real estate agents are jerks. Conversely, with Option II , you: ~ Practiced showing homes and building rapport with strangers ~ Possibly learned just a little more about your market ~ Met someone who just might end up being your biggest referral source (you never know) ~ Met someone who just might be the love of your life (you never know!) ~ Got your backside off the chair and OUT INTO THE WORLD ~ Improved, just a little, the public s perception of real estate agents And maybe, just maybe... you ll get yourself a client if the buyer decides you re way cooler than his missing-in-action agent. Sounds like a no-brainer to me. Get off your butt and go waste some time! Jennifer Allan is the author of Sell with Soul: The New Agent s Guide to an Extraordinary Career in Real Estate . Jennifer preaches that agents should strive to be competent real estate advisors, rather than competent real estate prospectors. That agents should respect the intelligence of their clients, rather than attempt to insult that intelligence with aggressive closing techniques. She preaches that agents should appreciate the significant commissions paid by their clients, rather than complain that they, themselves, are not appreciated. To read more about Jennifer s books or her soulful philosophy, visit her website at

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