This blog series is taken from an article I just wrote on the history and future for real estate. But, it’s not just a look from afar. It’s an actual history of how we agents operated and how companies encouraged how we practiced real estate. But, as real estate has changed, have agents (and companies) changed their approach to real estate sales? Here’s the second blog entry.
Get to Know and Stay In Contact with Former Clients? Why?
As you can see from my descriptions so far of how real estate was practiced when I started in the 70’s , the emphasis was not on client satisfaction. No one taught us to interview buyers prior to hauling them around to see homes (yes, we called it ‘hauls’) or form relationships with them! No one trained us to interview sellers for needs before we ‘sold’ the seller on our services (and we basically sold company features and benefits, not what an individual agent would do for the client). No one taught us that it was important or that we were to keep clients over time. In fact, it seemed to be a ‘next’ business (find a new buyer or seller). The company took the responsibility to keep track of the clients.(And, of course, the company’s attitude was that they ‘owned’ the client).
Time warp check: Do you know agents who still don’t start client relationships with and in-depth interview process, so the client needs are discovered and met?
Because the company was spending money on advertising, the agents assumed clients would remember the agent and perhaps come back of their own accord.
Problem: The clients remembered the company but didn’t remember the agent! Agents seemed interchangeable (and you know they’re not!).
Time warp check: Do you know agents who still don’t keep in close contact with their best source of business—those they just ‘sold’?
Dependent on the Company for Success—or our Own Efforts?
Stephen Covey, in his wonderful book, The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People, relates three phases of a person’s growth: Dependent, Independent, and Interdependent. As kids, we’re certainly reliant on our parents for everything—we’re dependent. Then, as teen-agers, we get to drive, and, voila….we become (or like to think we become) independent (and we think we know it all). Finally, as we mature, we find that going it alone is tougher than teaming with others—that we actually don’t know everything—and that others’ support, love, and consideration are supremely important to human beings. The same can be said of the evolution of companies—and, in fact, real estate companies.
The Dependent Company was Dominant
Above, I’ve described my early experience in a company as ‘dependent’. We relied on the company to create the brand, create the business, schedule our time, take care of the business side of things, and even track and re-communicate with the client.
Time warp check: Do you know agents that still operate without a business plan or a budget, relying on the company plan to suffice?
In the next blog, I’ll discuss the continuing evolution of real estate. And, I’ll relate to how many agents are still practicing–not stepping up their business to compete now. And, unwittingly, companies are encouraging these old practices through their branding and practices.
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