Arm’s Length is about 3-Feet
I get tickled at salespeople sometimes and then at other times I can get frustrated with them just as quickly. It never fails that salespeople will drive past people that would buy their product, while the whole time they are in search for a prospective client to work with. Let me explain what I’m referring to as it relates to the real estate industry. Real estate agents are always looking for new listing opportunities while at the same time they’re searching for people that are interested in buying real estate. Let me set the stage for what I want to tell you by causing you to think outside the box for a moment. More times than not, we do not drive directly to our destination. For example; we may be on our way to work in the morning, but first plan to stop by the gas station. Our next stop may be at McDonald’s or some other fast food place to get a sausage and biscuit. If not there we might stop by Krispy Kreme Donuts. We may not be accustomed to eating breakfast but have to have that cup of coffee first thing every morning. Then we stop by Wal-Mart for a quick visit to pick up supplies we need at the office. It is not uncommon, when going somewhere, to make two or three extra stops on the way. My thought provoking question for you is “How many people did you come in contact with from the time you left until you arrived at your final destination?” My real question is “How many of those people are interested in buying or selling real estate?” You don’t know because you didn’t ask them!
Finding clients to represent is very simple unless you complicate it. If you come within three feet of an individual; which is about an arm’s length, we should introduce ourselves to them and ask two questions; “Are you interested in buying or selling real estate,” and the other is “Do you know of anyone who is?” If a real estate agent religiously practices this little technique, they will become very successful. The problem is most sales people fear talking to strangers. How can it be? Salespeople are supposed to have a bubbly, friendly personality and they can talk to anyone. Right? Wrong! Let me tell you that’s not the case at all. I have been training sales people for the past 30 years and by in large the greatest fear is talking to strangers. Fear doesn’t enter the picture if they’re asking a stranger for directions or something simple but if they are instructed to ask a total stranger if they are interested in buying or selling real estate, their knees get weak, their mouth dries up and they can hardly speak. Fear has raised its ugly head forced them out of their comfort zone.
To the best of my knowledge, all people are alike. We may dress differently, our appearances are different, and we all have differing personalities but most people have one head, two arms, two legs and etc. It might bother me if I met a stranger that had two heads, or four arms or something like that but even then I wouldn’t be afraid of them. I would just be careful not to stare at their extra body members. Even though all people are alike in so many ways, at the same time they are different in just as many ways so why fear speaking to anyone.
I truly understand because as a child I was a little timid around strangers. When I first got into real estate at 19 years of age, I too was afraid to knock a stranger’s door and ask if they were interested in selling their house. Common sense told me that I could never know if someone was interested in selling until I asked them. In reality I found myself ringing a door bell and then running to the car and driving off before anyone could get to the door. I did that numerous times. Sometimes it would take me a couple days to get my nerves up to knock on a stranger’s door. One day it seemed as though a trap was set especially for me. I started to ring a door bell and about that time the door opened. I’m standing there with my index finger pointed toward the door bell and my mind was totally blank as what to say or do. I immediately said, “Good morning mam, How are you today; while at the same time reaching into my coat pocket for a business card.” As soon as I handed her my card she began to look at it. As she looked I said, “Mam I’m looking for people that might be interested in buying or selling real estate.” She quickly replied, “You are a God send. We just learned that my husband is being transferred to another state and we need to sell our home as quickly as possible. Can you come back around 6:30 this evening to meet with my husband and I?” When I left them that night, I had listed their home and my sign was in their yard. That quickly made me realize that there were no bears behind those doors. There were real income opportunities behind those doors. All I have to do was separate the buyers from the sellers; separate those that are interested from those that aren’t interested right now. I have had no fear since that day.
I see real estate agents advertising in magazines, newspapers, on billboards and every conceivable way to cause prospective buyers and sellers to respond to their advertisements. Everyone of those methods cost money and even if they do respond to your advertisements, you still have to ask them if they are interested in buying or selling real estate. So why not save the advertising expense and go ahead and ask everyone you come in contact with those two questions I mentioned above. If you were to roam around public areas all day long, can you imagine how many people you would come within three feet of in a day’s time? Now ask each of them the two big questions and how many people do you think would answer positively to either being interested in buying or in selling real estate? Conservatively you will meet from 3-5 people that is interested. At the least you should sign up 3 agency agreements out of 5 presentations. Let’s just say that you only get one new client from that day’s work. Repeat the same process five days a week and at the end of the month you will have a minimum of 20 clients that you are working for. In reality it would be more like 40-50. Duplicate the process and at the year’s end, count your rewards from that great journey.
Finding clients to work with is easy but it does require work. You have to spend many successful years in the business before you have enough clientele that you can rely on them to call you instead of you having to seek them out. Don’t be afraid to talk to everyone you come into contact with. Shake hands, kiss babies, and hand out business cards like you are running for public office. You will be astonished as to how quickly you can establish a large client base with such little effort. I don’t even consider it work. I think of it as a fun time of meeting people. You put this technique into practice on a regular basis and I’ll guarantee you will become the top producing agent in your company.
Should you have specific questions concerning various issues, please let me know and I’ll research the answer for you. I also want to encourage you to subscribe to our “News & Updates” weekly report so you can stay abreast of issues that might affect you when buying or selling real estate. If you haven’t visited my website, please go to www.AlabamaRealEstateInstitute.com and view previous articles.