To Pop-Tart or Not to Pop-Tart?


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…