A few weeks ago, I needed to refer one of my clients to a real estate agent. My client was looking to move to South Florida, which is a very competitive market. I didn’t personally know any agents down there, but as a real estate broker, I have resources available to me that allow me to find a real estate agent pretty much anywhere in the United States. Since we are an independent real estate brokerage, I can focus on who will be a best fit for my clients versus worry about brand loyalty.
I made an open inquiry on a real estate board that is private to the public. Within about a day, I had 20 responses from real estate agents in South Florida. This led to some interesting observations about how we should start off with our clients.
Of the 20 responses, about 15 of them answered my inquiry with a question. Have you ever heard the phrase, never answer a question with a question? Well, I guess not everyone has. The thing is, I know why they were asking questions because it’s natural in sales. When you are asking a potential client questions, you are hoping that they respond and talk about themselves. The more people that talk about themselves, the better they feel the other person is listening to them. Cognizant of this, and knowing what I wanted, it allowed me to eliminate all 15 agents. There’s no point in trying to sell yourself to a seasoned real estate broker. We know what you’re doing.
There were 2 real estate agents that didn’t work the area of South Florida that my client was interested in, so they were removed from the list. I’m not sure if they just didn’t bother to read my inquiry or what, but agents working 100 miles away from the desired home purchase isn’t going to work.
That left me with three agents. Let me give you my question and then see how they answered it.
Question: I’m looking for a real estate agent in South Florida.
Agent 1: I work in South Florida and am familiar with the area you are interested in. My contact information is …..
Agent 2: We work on a team in South Florida. Our office is in x, and we have a good understanding of the market. Here is our contact information
Agent 3: My name is X. I live and work in South Florida. I am a real estate broker and we hold properties as investments. My contact information is
Can you see some of the similarities in the responses? They answered what it was I was looking for and DIDN’T try to sell me by asking a bunch of opening questions. They also sent their contact information.
The contact information inclusion was really interesting. Can you believe these three were the only ones out of 20 to leave a way for me to get back in touch with them? I don’t want to knock any real estate agents, but it seems like real estate sales 101 to leave your contact information so that the person can get back in touch with you.
A Real Estate Agent Goes Above And Beyond
I gave my name and information to everyone but can you believe that out of 20 agents, only one agent bothered to call and leave a voicemail on my phone? This kind of shows how much the business has changed. While I have no problem with the idea of contacting people in their desired medium, I was surprised that only one real estate agent bothered to call. Of course, that agent stood out. It is important to note that none of the agents on the list were overly aggressive. I’d put some things in place that I knew would stop a lot of the silliness some real estate agents do with multiple phone calls, not leaving voicemails, etc.
Because I believe that the most important thing to do is getting to know your clients, I communicated with all three agents that I was going to let my client decide who they were going to use. I had no doubt any of the three were going to work out perfectly because they were all professionals in the way they communicated and responded to my inquiry. Also, the follow up was very good. When I emailed or called or texted, every communication was returned in a timely manner.
Let’s go over why these agents stood out from the pack and see if we can benefit from a real life story as real estate agents.
- Responsive communication The agents all responded in a quick manner. Days didn’t pass between inquiries.
- Direct communication None of the agents wasted time with cheesy sales gimmicks. Each agent was direct in their response
- Agent introduction Each agent introduced themselves and explained where they worked and what they knew. Basically, they had a short elevator pitch. This worked very well for them. Why should your potential client guess what it is you do?
- Gave Contact information All three agents left their phone numbers, email addresses, and links to their websites. More than half of the 20 agents didn’t leave me a way to get back in touch with them or only left one way to contact them. I think this was an easily correctable mistake.
I’m not sure these four things works as well on the general public. I know it worked for me because I knew exactly what I was looking for out of the group of real estate agents I was looking to recommend. One of the overall things that worked well for each of the 3 real estate agents who got a chance for my business is that they made it easy to communicate with them. Shouldn’t that be a priority in your business too?