Posts Tagged ‘Wasting Time’

posted by on Random (Un)Common Sense, Working with Buyers

I just realized I promised a to be continued on an earlier blog post and, well, never continued.

The blog in question was called “To Pop-Tart or Not to Pop-Tart” and was related to the disappearance of Beverly Carter, the Arkansas real estate agent who was later, sadly, found murdered, allegedly by a buyer she agreed to meet at a vacant property.

At the time (and since) I have publicly said that if I were still in real estate, I would probably still be willing to Pop-Tart. Here’s why:

Every day in our businesses and our personal lives, we take chances. Most of the time, either consciously or subconsciously, we weigh the potential risk of our activity against the potential gain and make our decisions accordingly. When we get in our car to drive to a listing appointment – not knowing if a drunk driver is heading the same way; when we walk into Walmart – not knowing if a psychopath is shopping there today; when we’re the first one to arrive at the office – not knowing if we might be interrupting a burglary in progress…

In my rescue work, I interact with shelter dogs I don’t know on a daily basis, not knowing if one of them might be so frightened or unstable as to take a bite out of my face.

Risk. Reward. We make those decisions every day.

Presumably, Ms. Carter made the decision on that fateful Thursday that doing her job (as she perceived it) was worth the statistically unlikely risk that she would be harmed. Real estate agents across the country do it every day and the vast majority of the time, nothing bad happens; in fact, very often something good happens!

So yes, even after the murder of Beverly Carter, I would still include Pop-Tarting in my business model, using Reasonable Caution.

Reasonable Caution? What might that look like?

Reasonable Caution Tip #1: Use common sense when scheduling appointments. Don’t show homes at night or, frankly, any time of day to anyone who gives you the creeps over the phone.

Reasonable Caution Tip #2: When talking with the potential buyer, casually mention you will be bringing your husband (for women) or partner with you. No need for explanation, just say it. Or, related to this Tip, casually mention the owner may be home for your showing.

Reasonable Caution Tip #3: Carry mace or another legal, easy-to-use self-defense product on your keychain. Ensure that the buyer sees it, but make sure you don’t set it down where they could grab it!

Reasonable Caution Tip #4: Don’t go into basements with strangers, or be the first one to enter a room. Always keep the exit available to you.

Reasonable Caution Tip #5: Make it your personal policy to take a picture of the buyer’s driver’s license and text it immediately to your office (or shoot, just to anywhere!). Tell the buyer ahead of time you will be doing this. Be sure to do this for ALL buyers so you won’t be accused of profiling.

And finally, Reasonable Caution Tip #6: Realize that 99.999% of the people you cross paths with as a real estate agent mean you no harm (other than your ego from time to time). Even if you gave them every opportunity to abduct you or otherwise hurt you, they wouldn’t dream of doing it. MOST PEOPLE ARE NOT MURDEROUS PSYCHOPATHS! Please don’t go out into the world thinking the worst of people; what you expect to see is what you WILL see.

I have a few more thoughts on this subject, but will save those for another day…

 

posted by on Working with Buyers

As I write this blog, the real estate world is in turmoil over the recent disappearance of Beverly Carter, a real estate agent in Arkansas who reportedly vanished after meeting a stranger at a listed property.

While attacks on real estate agents are thankfully rare, they do happen often enough to inspire much debate around the www. as to how agents can (and should) better protect themselves when showing property or, perhaps, even abandon the notion of showing property all together without a body guard, permitted weapon or other protective measure.

Hold that thought.

Last Thursday, coincidentally the same day Ms. Carter disappeared, I did a teleseminar in the SWS Virtual studio entitled “The Art of Strategically Wasting Your Time” where I suggested a variety of activities real estate agents might consider doing even though traditional wisdom considers them to be a “waste of time.”

One of the activities I recommended (I even called it my favorite one!) was the practice of what many in the business derisively refer to as “Pop-Tarting.” To Pop-Tart means that the agent responds to an inquiry from a buyer who wants to see a home Right Now; she pops up out of her chair, fires up the Realtormobile and races out to meet the buyer right away.

Well, in the wake of Ms. Carter’s disappearance, you might be asking if I have re-thunk my stance on Pop-Tarting.

Actually, no. No, I haven’t.

Seriously, Jennifer??? Seriously??? You would STILL race right out to meet a perfect stranger at a home and risk your life for a silly commission check?

Well, when you put it that way it does sound kind of silly, doesn’t it? But let me back up a bit and explain my history with Pop-Tarting…

When I was an active real estate agent, I was happy to Pop-Tart and I did it often. And you know what? I got a LOT of great buyer clients as a result. Why? Because (the buyers told me) I was the only real estate agent who acted as if I welcomed their call. The only one who didn’t scold them for not being pre-approved or lecture them about signing a buyer agency agreement. The only one who didn’t require them to come in for a 2-hour buyer consultation prior to looking at houses.

They just wanted to see a house. And I was the only agent who seemed happy to do that for them.

And thus, they stuck with me and we made our way happily to the closing table more times than not.

“But, but, but… Jennifer, let me ask again, are you saying a commission is worth risking your LIFE for?”

To be continued…

 

 

SOI in Action

Jul
2011
28

posted by on Prospecting & SOI

Yesterday, I got a call from a former client of mine. She was one of my biggest investor clients during the Denver real estate boom in the late 1990’s, but has since left town and no longer invests in the Denver market. We stay in touch and she sends referrals my way when she can.

Anyway, she called asking for my help in appealing a low appraisal her brother received on his home he’s trying to refinance.

No problem, I tell her. I pull the comps, confirm that the appraisal is ridiculously low and email her the information, which she forwards to the lender handling the refinance. The lender calls me, asks for a little more information, including a copy of the tax assessor’s record, which I immediately fax to him. He emails me the low appraisal and asks for my input which I provide. I explain in detail why the comps the appraiser used are inappropriate.

He thanks me profusely and tells me I’m awesome. I smile.

From the time my client called me to the point I evaluated the appraisal for the lender, about 90 minutes passed. All in all, I spent maybe 25 minutes of my time. Piece o’ cake to do.

The moral of the story… this is pure SOI in action. Do you think I’ll need to constantly remind my former client that I LOVE Referrals? Uh, no. I’m her real estate resource in Denver, no question about it. Because I dropped everything and helped her out right away, she knows she’s a high priority for me. She knows she’s special. I don’t have to tell her, I showed her. And I won’t have to remind her.

This is pretty simple stuff. But what if I followed my buddy Dirk Zeller’s advice and put her off until later in the day (or even tomorrow) so I could finish up my prospecting or other more critical work? I mean, isn’t it way more effective to pester ten strangers than to take care of one person who has already proven to be a source of business for me?

What do you think?

 

www.sellwithsoul.com

copyright Jennifer Allan 2007

posted by on Random (Un)Common Sense

I love to Waste my Time in my real estate business; in fact, it’s one of my most productive prospecting activities! Of course, there are other things I COULD be doing instead (dialing for dollars, cruising FSBOs, creating a new farming campaign, etc.), but I’d really rather just Waste My Time. 

Here’s my latest effort to Waste my Time.

I just got a buyer referral from a current client. Cool.

So, I talk to the guy and he’s interested in a bank-owned house that is ridiculously underpriced – it’s a dump for sure, but still – it’s $89 psf in a market where you rarely see anything under $200psf.

The house is showing up as active in the MLS, which surprises me, so I call the listing agent and am told they have multiple offers on the table, but the bank simply isn’t responding. This has been going on for weeks.

My first response is to contact my new buyer and tell him it’s a Wasted cause and we should move onto other prospects. After all, I don’t want to Waste My Time writing and presenting an offer that will in all likelihood be rejected or totally ignored.

Whooooooaaaaa. Slow down there grasshopper.

I’ve never even met the guy and I’m already implying to him that I don’t want to Waste My Time writing up an offer with him… for a house that’s still technically available? That’s kinda snotty. And besides, how much time are we talking about? An hour? Two? During which time we can build rapport, establish trust, get to know each other better? I don’t know about YOUR world, but it’s not often a qualified buyer calls me up and says “Let’s Buy THIS house.”

Will we buy that house? Probably not. But I can certainly afford to spend an hour or two with someone talking about real estate and proving my competence and dedication.

Off I go to happily Waste My Time!

Related Blogs:

posted by on Working with Buyers

I have a handful of personal mantras that I’m pretty enamored with. In fact, my friend Kevin Miller at House of Magnets has immortalized some of them in magnet form – so if you order magnets from him, you might just find one of my mantra magnets in your shipment!

Anyway, one of my pithy sayings is “I Sell Real Estate Every Day – Sometimes I even get paid for it!” I use this mantra on two general occasions…

The first (to myself) is when I’m feeling frustrated that my buyers aren’t buying or my listings aren’t selling – at least not fast enough to suit my impatient nature. It’s not that I’m mad at THEM – not at all, but that when something gets on my to-do list, I want it DONE so I get to enjoy that feeling of satisfaction upon accomplishing a task. Reminding myself that everything I do, every day, might be leading me to a paycheck eventually, keeps me sane.

But the more important “use” I have for my “every day” mantra is to put my buyers at ease when they start to feel that they’re being too picky or too indecisive. Contrary to what you might believe, that’s the LAST thing I want them to feel! I DO have all the time in the world for my buyers and as long as I think they’re reasonably serious about being a homeowner, I’m delighted to take my time with them – however much time that is. Every once in awhile, I’ll work with a buyer who seems almost embarrassed if he hasn’t selected a home within a few weeks and I’d really really really hate for him to STOP contacting me out of this embarrassment!

So, my dear buyers… take all the time you need to find The One. I’m not going anywhere. After all, I sell real estate every day!

posted by on Prospecting & SOI

Got a call today from a guy who found me from my blog. I’m not sure WHICH blog, but he mentioned that he liked the idea I’m an introvert, so I assume it was this one.

Anyway, he asked me to come over this weekend and talk to him about selling his $600,000 house. Well… maybe that’s not exactly what he said… in any event, he really doesn’t want to sell the house; he just wants my opinion of market value so he can decide whether or not he should sell or buy out his ex-girlfriend.  In other words, I’m pretty sure he’s just looking for a free CMA.

Fair enough.

I have two choices. I can…clock

1) Politely (or not so) tell him that I can’t afford to waste my time giving out free information, or

2) Show up on Saturday and cheerfully give him a CMA.

I choose #2.

Why? Because:

•      I have nothing else pressing to do on Saturday morning

•      He might decide to sell the house ($18,000 Ka-ching!) and if he’s met me and likes me, there’s a whole lot better chance I’ll get the listing than if I tell him to kiss off, doncha’ think?

•      He might decide not to sell the house… this year… but might next year or the year after that (and I’ll take an $18,000 paycheck pretty much any time of the year).

•      He might think I’m really cool and refer me to all (or even one of) his friends.

•      I haven’t been hanging out in $600,000 houses lately, so it won’t hurt me to catch up on the inventory and improve my market knowledge.

•      I’m always game for the opportunity to fine-tune my listing presentation, even after 12 years on the job.

In short, I’ll take the chance that I’m “wasting my time” with this guy. I think I can spare a few hours…

posted by on Working with Buyers

jump

Want to build a raving fan base that will support your business for years to come? It’s SO easy – way easier than cold-calling, door-knocking or farming and a heck of a lot cheaper. All you gotta do is look for opportunities to impress the heck out of those who have the potential to be your future past clients and stop worrying so much about whether you’re wasting your time!

On Friday morning, I got a referral from an agent on Active Rain (Thanks Miranda!). The buyers live in the mountains, want to buy a home in Denver… this week? Nah, they have a house to sell first, so maybe sometime in the summer. That’s cool – I like a full pipeline.

Around 2:00 on Friday afternoon, the buyer calls me and wants to know if I can show her and her husband houses on Saturday. Yep, with a little re-arranging, I can do that. So, we did. Went well. Nice, nice couple with two adorable little girls. Found a neighborhood they love, so I promised to keep them updated on the market activity in there. They headed back up the hill to their mountain home.

7:30 this morning, my cell phone rings. The buyers are so excited about what we saw yesterday that they want to make another road trip to Denver today to look at all the other houses for sale in the neighborhood, as well as the ones we saw yesterday. Well, I have an open house at 1pm, three offers to present at 4:30 and dinner plans tonight, so if I’m going to accommodate them, it will have to be this morning and I do have a lot of things to do between now and my 1pm Open House.

Did I rearrange my schedule for them? Oh, yeah. We’re meeting at 11:00. Are they going to buy a house today? Not a chance. Are they pre-approved? I’m not sure, I think so, but I haven’t asked.

So, why am I “wasting my time?”

1.        My past clients are an enormous source of business for me. Because I put them on a five-year drip campaign and hound them for referrals? Uh, no. I think it has more to do with working my backside off for them and making their needs a priority over my paycheck. Even if (egads!) I’m inconvenienced.

2.       The agent who referred them to me could also be a sweet source of future business for me – she works in a resort market just an hour away, so if I impress her clients, in turn I impress her.

Here’s the thing… meeting them as requested will take maybe two hours out of my day. Big deal. I think that’s a very good use of two hours that I’d otherwise probably be surfing Active Rain or even whining to myself that I wish I had a few buyers. To me, taking advantage of the opportunity to impress someone who has the power to bless me with a $10,000 + paycheck is an excellent way to spend a Sunday morning.

 

  www.sellwithsoul.com

 

posted by on Working with Buyers

Ooooh, I must respectfully disagree with my friend Jim Crawford’s featured blog today. But that’s no surprise, I think Jim and I almost always disagree on matters of real estate philosophy. No worries… there’s room on this planet for both of us.

Jim’s blog is entitled “Desperate Times Require Drastic Measures: A Survival Guide for Real Estate Professionals.” It’s a story of how real estate agents are so foolishly desperate for business that they’re willing to work with anyone – egads!

But here’s what I’m thinking…If I were going to write an article or blog entitled “Desperate Times Require Drastic Measures: A Survival Guide for Real Estate Professionals,” it would have a 180 degree different spin!

As in… “Agents! Go out of your way to RISK your time and your gas! Bend over backwards to spend time with not-yet-qualified or not-yet-committed buyers! If someone is evasive and elusive with you, take even more time to gain their trust!”

Folks, in my world, buyers are not growing on trees or beating down my door. Maybe I’m in the minority, but I could use a few more buyers in my pipeline and if they don’t buy til next spring, I’ll take a paycheck in April just as surely as I’ll take one next month. I’ll also happily accept their referrals for years to come.

Here’s the thing… in the Good Old Days, a little triage was expected and necessary. When you had ten qualified, signed-up buyers in your pipeline, yes, you may have had to shuttle off the not-yet-qualified or not-yet-committed ones, simply due to the realities of the 24-hour day. What Mr. Crawford proposes in his Desperate Times blog makes much more sense under those circumstances than under today’s… where most real estate agents, even successful ones, are not buried under a pile of pre-approval letters and Buyer Agency contracts.

If you are so busy with pre-approved, EBA’d buyers, then knock yourself out blowing off anyone who needs a little winning over. In fact, please send them my way. I might have a little repair work to do to get them to trust me, after they’ve been summarily dismissed by the first five agents they spoke with (or tried to speak with), but I’m up to the task. I have the time… and I can afford the gas… and…

I LOVE a full pipeline!

ja

 

www.SellwithSoul.com

posted by on Jennifer's Best, Working with Buyers

respect

Last night I participated in a lively discussion about whether or not to require buyer pre-approval and/or a buyer agency agreement prior to showing a home. The author of the blog and most of the commenters agreed that it’s a waste of time to work with a buyer who does not have a pre-approval stamped to his forehead and/or hesitates to sign a buyer agency agreement upfront.

Such discussions always rile me up and I couldn’t help myself from approaching rudeness on someone else’s blog (sorry). But I have to ask myself… are real estate agents in today’s market So Darn Busy with qualified buyers and motivated sellers that they need to actively turn away those who show up at their doors looking for help? Wow! As I always say in these situations – I LOVE a full pipeline! Send ‘em my way! I’ll take great care of them and probably sell them a house eventually… as well as to all their friends through the years. And I’ll be happy to pay you a referral fee.

I have used the services of many real estate agents in my lifetime and I promise you that if any of them had shown more interest upfront in my financial qualifications than in my housing needs, I’d have found someone else … who showed me the respect I think I deserve. And I certainly would not be interested in obligating myself to anyone I barely know. Oooooh, I get bristly just thinking about it.

I submit that many agents are chasing away perfectly good buyers who are 100% sincere in their desire to purchase a house — and are likely perfectly well qualified to do so. But with these disrespectful efforts to tie them down, all they’re accomplishing is sending them elsewhere… fulfilling the prophecy that buyers are liars and confirming the belief that stronger “rules” are needed in the future.

I disagree. I believe that this approach simply irritates buyers, so they look elsewhere for more respectful assistance. I have to wonder if spending time with a buyer without a hint of obligation or pressure might be a much better use of  time than fussing so much over whether or not they’re worthy of a little time?

Relationships take time. There’s no way you can know upfront if a buyer will buy, regardless of the pieces of paper they bring with them or are willing to sign. If an agent can’t afford the $20 in gas or the two hours of time it might take to create some trust and rapport, then by all means, he’ll probably do better referring his potential clients out. And please don’t forget – we get serious paychecks when someone buys. Our paychecks more than offset the risk of a little gas money and time.

My friends, most buyers are not liars… Most buyers have better things to do than waste our precious time. Their time is precious, too. They simply want to be treated kindly, and with RESPECT.

posted by on Jennifer's Best, Working with Buyers

I’m so sick of hearing how real estate agents can’t afford to work with buyers anymore – UNLESS that buyer has signed a buyer agency agreement AND has an iron-clad loan commitment in hand – because of the high cost of gas. What a crock.car

Okay, let’s do a little analysis.

Over the last several years, gas has hovered around the $3.00/gallon mark. Sometimes higher, sometimes lower, but I think that $3/gallon is a reasonable place to start.

In some parts of the country, gas is now around $4.00/gallon. That’s $1.00 per gallon difference.

If your car gets 20 mpg, you’re spending ONE EXTRA DOLLAR for every 20 miles you drive.

If you take a buyer out and drive sixty miles with him or her, that’s three extra dollars you spent on him (over and above what you would have spent on him last year and the year before).

Are you really saying that you can’t afford to spend an additional $3.00 in exchange for a shot at a $7,500 commission ($250,000 x 3%)?

Tell ya’ what. I’ll be happy to take your Denver buyers for a ride, whether they’ve signed a Buyer Agency agreement or not. Whether they’re pre-qualified or not. Because I know that being out in my market with a warm body in my car (and that warm body probably has lots of friends he can refer to me in the future) is a MUCH better use of my time than sitting back at the office congratulating myself on saving $3.00 in gas.

I’ll even pay you a referral fee. So, on top of the THREE BUCKS you saved, you’ll also get $1,875 just for giving me a call!

posted by on Working with Buyers

SWS RocksI just started working with my wonderful graphics gal on the cover design of my next book, Prospect with Soul. I have a wide variety of visions of how it’s gonna look; what elements I want to include, what message I want the cover to convey, what font I want to use for the title and subtitle, etc.

We’re in Phase One right now. I just sent over a whole mess of stock photos I grabbed online with explanations of why I like each and think it would be a nice concept to consider.

So, as it stands at this very moment, the cover of Prospect with Soul may include my SWS Zen rocks… an ecstatic woman throwing her hands in the air… a businesswoman in a yoga pose looking out over the ocean… a beautiful sunset… a glorious blue sky… some bamboo… my SWS Daisy… a starburst… some water ripples that wrap around the book and… and… and…

In other words, I’m all over the board. In the end, the cover of my book will likely be something completely, utterly different from what I have in my mind’s eye right now.

Is my graphics gal frustrated with me? I don’t think so. She knows it’s a necessary part of the process. To explore different concepts, try them on; see how they feel. I throw out an idea; she sends me back a mock-up of it. She’s perfectly aware that everything we’re tossing around today will likely be tossed right out the window tomorrow. But she’s not rushing me or pressuring me to commit to a concept just yet; she’s playing along, again, because she knows, yes, it’s part of the process.

It’s the same with home-buyers, of course. They come into the game with an idea of what they’re looking for, perhaps based on nothing but where a friend told them they should live or a fantasy of what they always imagined their dream house to be.

As you show them homes, their vision of that dream home may change and evolve. They may want to explore other neighborhoods or school districts. They may want to consider other property types or floor plans. They may want to raise or even lower their price range. They might even, <gasp> decide that they want to change their timeframe.

It’s all part of their process and we aren’t going to rush them through it. Or, at least, we shouldn’t; it’s not in their best interest, or, frankly, in ours. If the buyer feels uncomfortable pressure from his real estate agent to make a decision before he’s ready, he may very well find himself a new real estate agent. Or perhaps he’ll make an offer on a home he doesn’t really want, and later have an attack of buyer’s remorse (and we all know who gets blamed for that!).

Respect the process. And everyone wins!

posted by on Especially for Rookies

Regular readers of my blog know how I feel about wasting time. I’m all for it! Especially for rookies. This is one of the main reasons I’m opposed to rookies jumping into the biz only half-way (that is, part time) – when you have to carefully guard your time, you can’t risk wasting any of it… and that’s a shame.

Even as an almost-thirteen year agent, I still cheerfully “waste my time” every chance I get.

What do I mean by that?time

I mean that you should take every opportunity to be out there in the world talking about or looking at or learning more about real estate. If you are doing something that accomplishes one of these items, that’s  time well-spent, even if the activity is not leading you directly to a paycheck. Not only are you learning more about being a real estate agent, you’re also putting yourself in front of people who could end up being your biggest fans.

When you’re new, take every opportunity to learn something, even if it takes time, even if it takes gas. Think about it – would you rather practice on someone who may NOT buy or sell right away, or someone who will? Sure, on the surface, you’d rather work with someone who is leading you to a paycheck, but there’s certainly a strong argument for perfecting your technique on non-clients first!

So, what might be some “time-wasters” to embrace?

  • Showing an office listing to an already-represented buyer who calls off the sign?
  • Helping a friend protest her tax assessment by providing sold data?
  • Helping a friend protest a low appraisal for a refinance?
  • Meeting with a potential seller when you know full well he isn’t going to hire you?
  • Showing homes to a buyer who can’t yet qualify to buy a home, but thinks he can in six months?
  • Helping a relocating renter identify the right neighborhood for him or her?

All of these activities teach you more about your market and give you practice communicating market data to potential clients. They also give you an opportunity to impress someone who might end up being your biggest client and/or referral source. Sounds like a good use of time to me…

Here’s a snippet on Wasting Time from a Real Estate Radio USA Interview I did last summer.

 The Confident Rookie Series: 

Stay tuned…

  1. Know Your Systems
  2. Practice with Your Printer (sounds silly, I know)
  3. Preview, Preview, Preview
  4. Drive Your Route Ahead of Time
  5. Cheerfully Waste Your Time
  6. Find Your Handyman
  7. Let Your Seller Prospect Do Most of the Talking
  8. Get Comfy with Your Commission
  9. Admit that You’re New
  10. What to say when you don’t know the answer

posted by on Working with Buyers

There’s a conversation going on at another forum about whether or not to work with an Internet buyer who wants to buy a home in June. The general consensus is that the agent shouldn’t waste his time on a buyer who is not ready, willing and able to buy today.

WHAT??????

This attitude completely befuddles me. Are real estate agents in today’s world so darn busy that they can’t spare a few hours to build a relationship with someone who showed up at their door – -LIKELY AS A RESULT OF THE AGENT’S ADVERTISING??? Are they so arrogant that they must actually belittle the buyer for contacting the agent TOO SOON???

Or, are they so damn dumb that they can’t see the value in having a nice full pipeline??

Hey, if someone is crazy busy and has a true need to triage his time; well, then sure! Refer to the buyer to a hungrier agent or, if he prefers, rudely blow him off. But somehow I don’t think that’s the case for most of us…

If you find yourself with a Denver buyer who isn’t up to your standards of readiness, send ’em my way. I’ll be delighted to work with them, build a relationship, and enjoy their business and referrals for years to come.

posted by on Jennifer's Best, Working with Buyers

Imagine this scenario… you’re sitting in your office and the receptionist forwards you a floor call from a potential buyer. The caller says something like this: “I’m lookin’ fer a little piece of land on the outskirts of town to move my double-wide to. Just a nice little place fer me and the missus to retire on. Kin you hep me?”phone

Okay, so you’re probably not overly excited about hep’ing this particular buyer, unless little pieces of land on the outskirts of town are your thing. You might be tempted to politely brush off this particular caller or, if you’re in a particularly generous frame of mind, find someone a little hungrier than you are to refer him to (and get that juicy 25% referral!).

But what if he followed up by saying, “Oh, ‘n my uncle will be movin’ up this-a-away in a few months and he’ll be looking fer a place to keep his collection of vintage Ferrari’s – mebbe something with a view and a pool, with a nice pasture fer his thoroughbreds.”

Hmmmmmm…. Suddenly you see Mr. Double-Wide in a whole new light, might you not?

Here’s the thing. Everyone you encounter during the course of doing business has friends, family and mebbe even a rich uncle or two. Whether or not Mr. DW ever buys his little piece of heaven outside of town really isn’t the point. Whether Rich Uncle DW ever shows up or even exists isn’t the point, either.

What IS the point? That it won’t hurt any of us to take that extra hour (maybe even two!) to make an effort to impress any warm body who voluntarily puts him or herself in our presence. Even if he’s not-yet-qualified. Even if she doesn’t plan to buy or sell til 2010. Even if they’re looking for a little piece of land in the flood plain.

Every person who crosses your path is a potential gold mine of business for you, if you treat them respectfully and competently. Treat every buyer like he has a rich uncle waiting in the wings and you may be surprised how many of them do!