From a new NAR (National Association of Realtors) training series, that’s what I gather. Buyers & sellers are just prospects to be chased, caught and eaten!
Before I give my take, here are the topics of the 6-part series:
Prospect Like a Pro, Convert Leads, Set Buyer Expectations, Overcome Challenges, Negotiate Effectively, Maintain Relationships. It’s those first two that I want to give commentary on here. And that last one, Maintain Relationships, is a joke when the best suggestion is to send fridge magnets and monthly recipe cards. How does that build a REAL relationship?
In Colorado recently, Channel 9 News reported on a woman who was harassed by 75 to 100 real estate agents, after her home failed to sell. Once agents saw this homeowner’s home had expired from the MLS, one after another began to pounce. They called and called and called. They left voice messages. They called back. Ring! Ring! Ring! “Hi, this is Steve with XYZ Realty.” Again and again and again. The woman said, “It’s like a bunch of vultures.” And that, “She’d never seen anything like it.”
The sad part? This is what’s taught to agents. This is common practice. This kind of “harassment” is what is meant by “Prospect Like a Pro.” The more aggressive you are, the more heralded you are. By brokers and sales trainers, you’re given awards. They tend to spotlight these agents. They recognize you. And in sales meetings, instead of being punished for annoying and harassing homeowners, like that woman mentioned, just the opposite happens. They put you on a pedestal as an example to be emulated by other agents.
“LOOK AT STEVE!!! EVERY ONE OF YOU NEEDS TO BE MORE LIKE STEVE!!!”
The end result, an industry overrun by telemarketers. All harassing homeowners. And because of it—good agents, honest agents, they’re often pigeonholed into that stereotype.
And what about buyers? What if someone just wants property information? First off, agents, because most are desperate for leads—something you’ve probably noticed—withold pertinent property information. On flyers, for example, they omit the price. Etc. This is how they force interested parties to contact them. Not because of the value they provide. Or because they are the best at what they do. But simply, they want to know the price. Yes, it’s petty. Yes, it’s juvenile. Yes, it telegraphs their insecurity. Nonetheless, if a buyer searches the internet for property information, and submits their phone number or email address, it’s almost guaranteed they’ll receive a call back in 5-minutes whether they requested to be called or not. It’s routinely taught in this industry that, the moment you generate a “lead,” you, as an agent, must call-back within 5 minutes. Talk about desperation.
And email, here comes the SPAM. As the article states, “…those who don’t respond to calls and texts, “get added to an email drip campaign.” Am I right or wrong? The last thing you want cluttering your inbox is some agents canned emails, driven by self-interest and ego, offering you nothing that interests you. Because of this, most have now learned, never give a real estate agent your phone number or email address.
It is too predictable. They will begin to hound you.
As I often describe to people, “A telephone # or email address to a real estate agent, is akin to a T-bone to a Rottweiler—they can’t resist.”
Folks, here is my REAL issue with this series of article. The focus of “agent training,” to become a better agent, is always on sales. Getting more clients. Teaching agents how to chase. Beg. How to hunt down homeowners more effectively. And never is it about getting the client—YOU—better results.
Analogously speaking. If you’re a money manager, the best way to secure ‘more assets under management’ is to make your current clients a greater return on their money. When you do this, become better at what you do for the client, word of mouth travels. You do not need to cold-call or behave as a telemarketer. You do not need to harass people, who do not want to be harassed.
Similarly, in the world of venture capital. If you’re the founder of a startup, seeking capital. The best way to get a VC to invest is to demonstrate that your product or service is superior, that the market wants it. And further, that by investing in it, he’ll be able to get a return on his money.
Said differently, it should be about the facts. The data. But too often, it’s the silver-tongued salesman taking pride in the fact that he sold someone, because of his sales skills, into an opportunity that is actually inferior, and likely, will be damaging to that person he sold. I personally, could never take part in such a sham. I personally, refuse to attach my good name to anything that is inferior. And I, personally—just so it’s clear—never cold-call, beg, chase or treat people like t-bones. I am not a rottweiler.
It disgusts me to see agents in my profession, behave that way.
I just want you to know that, yes, we are in agreement.
In a way, I feel like doing to them, like that Baltimore mother did to her son when she saw him on the news rioting. Grabbing them by the ear, ripping them aside, then setting them straight.
Maybe I’m old-school, and that’s fine. But I believe your service, approach, and what you stand for—should speak for itself. I have invested heavily, not only in mentors but hundreds if not thousands of hours, to learn how to get my clients a better return on their money. I’ve studied Warren Buffett. And many others. My peers have asked, “Why would you ever study Steve Jobs to learn how to better sell real estate?” My response, why not? The fact that they ask, telegraphs, they do not understand what innovation is, or what it means. Jobs took a company, Apple, on the verge of bankruptcy, and in a decade, made it the most valuable company in the world. Seriously? There’s nothing there to be learned, that could be applied to the sale of real estate? They don’t think so. But I see it different.
Time and time again, I’ve to dare to think outside the box. I’ve hired mentors to teach me how to best position a property. How to best tell that property’s story, through words and photos, and scientific staging. There is an art to this. Not to mention, how to execute a value-driven approach, for my clients, oppose to the inferior price-driven approach. All in all—I am not a rottweiler. You are not a t-bone. You are a not a “lead” to be converted. I am not interested in “Prospecting Like a Pro.” You are a person. You wanted to be treated with respect.
And for my clients, that’s the way they like it. So while NAR continues to train agents to be “more aggressive, more persistent”—how to prospect like a pro—I will continue to just serve my clients, continue to develop my approach, and continue to reap, for my clients, greater returns from their investment(s).
For a more in-depth discussion on these topics, go to www.OurFreeBook4Charity.com. There you can request a FREE copy of our book “The Value-Driven Approach To Sell Real Estate: How to protect yourself from Real Estate Greed & bank an extra $30K in profit.” Expect delivery in 1-3 business days via USPS Priority Mail.