There are certain times when it isn’t fun to be a real estate agent.  One of those times happens when you are “Ghosted” by one of your potential clients.  It happened to me over the course of the past month and I just wanted to know, as a real estate agent, have you ever been ghosted?

The beginning always starts well

I got a text on a Monday morning out of the blue.  It said, hey, I know one of your friends and he said you are a great agent.  I’d like to sell my house and move into a different one.  When you get a text on a Monday morning from a referral, you have reason to believe that this person is serious about actually buying a house.  I responded that I’d love to meet up to discuss.  The texter suggested Thursday evening.  Another clue about people who are actually going to buy houses is that they don’t wait to meet.  If the texter would have said sometime in the next month, I’d have known that there wasn’t a strong motivation to buy.

The Real Estate Meeting

We met up over coffee.  The meeting went very well.  I answered any and all questions presented, and I was working on getting to know this potential client better.  We went over how they planned on financing the home.  We also went over time frame and work schedules.  After about an hour and a half, we had discussed everything there was to discuss, and he said, “Thanks for meeting with me.  I have enjoyed talking about my potential move and I look forward to using you as my agent.”

Time Flies

I have not heard from this potential client since the meeting.  The meeting was over a month ago now.  I’ve texted, I’ve emailed, and I’ve called.  Nothing.  At this point I can safely say I’ve been ghosted.  What is ghosting?  It’s when you talk to someone and the communication lines are open and everything is fine and then they just disappear.

What next?

Well, I’d like to say this never happens to me as a real estate agent, but I have been ghosted many times before.  In talking to one of my lender friends, it happens to him too, so I’m pretty sure that this is one of the low points in sales.  Here are some things I’d like to point out if you’ve recently been ghosted.  I hope it helps.

  1. It Could Be You People try to help when they say, “It’s not about you”.  They lie!  Sales are about you and knowing your product.  Let’s be honest; if someone is a jerk, you move on.  It is 100% about that jerk.  I’d like to think I’m not a jerk and this isn’t about me.  One way I look at this is “If someone else did the exact steps you did, would the outcome be different?”  This is easy to know when you are trying to list a home for sale.  The house is listed by a different agent and you see it on the MLS.  It’s a lot harder to know if a buyer has decided to go with someone else though.  Since this is a friend of a friend, I will end up knowing what actually happened at some point.
  2. It Might Not Be You I think a lot of salespeople struggle with the idea that they aren’t in control of other people.  For example, I know this potential client is very busy, and I know that he wasn’t the only one making the decision.  He could be so busy that he may not have time to work on buying a home right now.  I know some people who get focused on something and work only on that task until they complete it.  It’s certainly possible that this is the case with this potential client.
  3. Whether it is about you or isn’t about you, don’t take ghosting personally. This may seem counter intuitive, because the person could literally be rejecting you.  But you don’t know for certain unless they say so.  I’m positive that people don’t go around looking to make major decisions in their lives such as buying a home only to enjoy ghosting someone.  That just isn’t the way this works.
  4. It isn’t your job to determine intent. Don’t let your mind write a narrative.  You can only go on what you know to be the case.  The facts in this case are that you had a very productive meeting and now something has changed.  You do not know what.  Assigning some sort of narrative about what will happen in the future is silly, but it can be tempting to do so.

The Story That Has No Clear Ending

At this point, many real estate agents would give up and move on.  I feel like that is a mistake.  It takes 2 seconds to write a text, maybe 5 minutes to make a phone call.  There’s no reason not to continue to follow up until you get some confirmation of what the potential client wants to do.  Some real estate agents will probably start stalking the person, and that is just weird.  Don’t do that!

When I started Deerwood Realty, it was a response to practices I’d seen in the real estate sales world that I didn’t like.  I didn’t like fake friendships.  I didn’t like agents telling clients they were in a good deal when it wasn’t.  I didn’t like to be “sold” anything.  I was looking for an agent that helped me to make an informed decision on buying a house and I didn’t want to be looked at as a dollar sign.  In the years since, we’ve had a lot of success, especially in referrals from others who have had awful experience with their previous real estate agents.  Our service only works with people who are like minded, however.  If you are looking for the things we are totally against, we aren’t a fit.  Perhaps the newest ghost just isn’t looking for the service we look to provide and that is OK too.