I know that every day I’m competing for business; but I also know the value of choosing the clients I serve.
I don’t get it.
I got a call recently – a blind call – from someone who wanted to see a house (not one of my listings as all Charlottesville houses for sale show up on my site). She’d been looking online, driving by a few houses, calling listing agents, wasn’t from the Charlottesville area, nor did she have familiarity with the area or the market – and she wanted to see if I could find a house that suited them and see it. Right now.
Driving around the Charlottesville area looking for homes you’ve seen on the inter webs with no reasonable context whatsoever is, politely, not the most efficient use of one’s time. Context matters.
This isn’t how professionals work; I have no doubt that many, many real estate agents do jump when someone calls and wants to see a house (and that’s just not a safe practice). I choose not to do that. Time is valuable; efficient use of time is more valuable. Dropping everything is not fair to those clients who have chosen to work with me who depend on me.
The best part was this question:
“Do you work with a contract with your buyers?”
Yes. Yes I do … here’s why.
And the speed with which she sought to end the call was impressive.
Translated: “Will you drop everything you’re doing to meet someone you don’t know to open several houses that probably don’t fit what we’re looking for and for which we may or may not be qualified – for free. With no obligation on my part whatsoever?”
Answer: No. No I won’t. But I would gladly meet with you to discuss whether we would be a good fit to work together, discuss your goals, your needs, your timelines and expectations so that we can mutually assess your needs and develop a plan to move forward.
Would you call an attorney Thursday morning asking her to defend you in court that afternoon? Probably not.
I’ll take risks with meeting potential new clients – but only if they’re at least open to the idea of representation. In fact, the newly-enacted Agency Law in Virginia requires buyers to sign something – even if it’s an acknowledgement of non-representation* – but if you’re not willing to be open to that conversation, I don’t see why any professional would want to spend three hours with
</ slight rant>
I usually don’t write about people who contact me; I never write about clients without their permission, but this was a conversation that really struck me as one that could hopefully be educational, and at the very least show a different perspective.
* more on this in a later post