For every client action, there is an equal and opposite real estate agent reaction.
Believe it or not, there are some fundamental similarities between Newton’s Law of Motion and being a real estate agent. At the heart of a successful real estate agent is great client service. No client concern, demand, or question should be left unanswered, because to not react to a client is to defy the laws of success in real estate.
Recently, I sold the home of one of my employees and it was a unique opportunity to see the evolution of the home selling process from a client’s perspective. Mind you, my clients are not typically shy and feel comfortable enough to share their thoughts, questions and concerns with me throughout the process. And that’s great – that’s what helps me help them sell their home.
But it’s another thing altogether to have someone sitting six feet away rapid-firing unfiltered questions across a range of topics from ‘how do I select a lender’ to ‘how are you going to keep the cat from getting out during the open house?’ to ‘Can you hear me now? How about now? Now?’ While my clients aren’t typically shy, I do think they sometimes hold back some of their concerns because they (shh – don’t want to bother the busy real estate agent). That’s hogwash. Which brings me to another of Newton’s Laws:
A real estate agent in motion tends to stay in motion.
The number one real estate agent in town doesn’t achieve – much less maintain – that status by resting on his or her laurels. It is a 24/7 job that requires you to be on call more than a surgeon at Mass General. According to CareerCast, being a real estate agent was ranked in the Top Ten Most Stressful Jobs of 2011. The study cited,
“Real Estate Agents are the intermediaries between buyers and sellers in real estate transactions. Agents work long, erratic hours including working most weekends, spending much of their time showing properties to clients. The field is highly competitive, which can cause high levels of stress.”
I’ll buy that. And it further shows that you have to love your job and your clients in order to do it well. You can’t fake success in this business – if you try and pretend that you love helping people buy and sell homes, you’re facade will eventually wear off like bad stucco, your sales will slow and you will certainly no longer be a real estate agent in motion.
Often people see being a real estate agent as a ‘fall back’ job. So, for example, your current position isn’t working out so you’ll sell real estate for a while until something better comes along. Or, you want to work part-time, how hard can it be? Not to show disrespect to any part-time real estate agents or those that took it up as a side-job, but you just can’t make it in this business unless you are fully committed to the job.
So how does a real estate agent answer the rapid-fire questions of not just his overly-vocal employee, but the 100+ other clients he or she helps over the course of a year? I’ll tell you how. With a great team.
"Teamwork divides the task and multiplies the success."
Success begets success if handled properly. Once a real estate agent reaches a certain critical mass of success, there is an opportunity to hire support and build a team that enables you to be even more effective, more responsive, and ultimately more successful.
Real estate agents are not superheros. We have to sleep, eat lunch, walk the dog and even take a break now and again just like everyone else. But that’s why it is so important to have support so we can operate like a duck – calm on the surface, but paddling like hell underneath. The client should see nothing but a smooth operation while the team is hard at work making sure, well, all their ducks are in a row.
If Yogi Berra were a real estate agent, he might have come up with something like this:
“Real estate is ninety percent customer service and the other half is experience.” (Not to mention you can observe a lot about your clients just by watching).
Whether you choose to take your inspiration from a physicist, a baseball great, or even a duck, just be sure great client service is your goal, and all of your other actions and reactions are moving in that direction.