choosing real estate clients

Reasons to Ignore Price Points When Choosing Real Estate Clients

choose real estate clients

Criteria for choosing real estate clients should be based on the agent’s ability to perform.

An agent friend called to ask about a recent blog that she thought might apply to choosing real estate clients. I had discussed prioritizing and spending time on functions that lead to closing. She somehow misread or maybe I wasn’t clear enough. My point was to talk to people whose conversation could lead to acquiring or closing a transaction, and not to spend time talking with sales people, telemarketers, schmoozing mortgage brokers, pretty much ignoring anything that is not directly real estate related.

The question put to me was when is it OK to not work with a client whose price point is very low and requires a lot of work, without signs of immediate reward. Is it all right to tell buyers, for example, that an agent who spends time working with them is giving up valuable time that could be spent working with buyers whose offers won’t get rejected due to competing cash offers and whose price points are more plausible? That the agent prefers instead to target a more financially rewarding buyer?

I thought about the question and how I felt about it. It’s a foreign concept to me. Here’s what I believe. This is about ethics and integrity. If a real estate agent when choosing real estate clients uses ease of transaction and sales price as determining factors, where does one draw the line? And won’t that line change as time goes on? If you start with the assumption that, for example, you won’t work with buyers who are looking for a home under $100,000, how long does it take before you decide you won’t work with buyers looking for a home under $200,000? Under $300,000?

What kind of person does that make the real estate agent? Not a very nice person, I concluded. In fact, it makes the agent kind of an asshole, forgive my descriptive French, but it’s an accurate description. I think an attitude like that would fester and mushroom into a monster. One would be like Donald Trump. You can’t say some people are worth your services and some are not because they don’t have enough money to interest you. Well, you can, but you’d be an asshole.

That has never been my practice when choosing real estate clients. I never look at the sales price or the amount of work involved. I’m a Sacramento Realtor. I don’t discriminate. Selling Sacramento real estate is my job. Some transactions are more lucrative than others, and some are easier, but it doesn’t mean money or a slam dunk is my focus. My focus is to work with anybody who needs help. I never look at the bottom line sales price. Ever.

I put transactions into escrow. As long as I have transactions in escrow, I know I won’t starve to death, and my cats will enjoy heat over the winter. Some years I make more money than others, some years less, but I am always ranked in some form in the top 10 agents in Sacramento. Part of that way I accomplish that is by not choosing real estate clients based on how much money I will make. I’ve learned a long time ago to ignore that part of the business, odd as that might sound to some of you.

Working With Bad Home Sellers Is Not On My Agenda

Scary Horror Image of a Bleeding Psychotic Woman With KnifeWhen you get to be as old and cranky as this Sacramento real estate agent, one of the benefits of still working successfully in the field of real estate is the fact I get to choose my clients, which means I don’t have to work with bad home sellers. Newer agents sometimes have to work with sellers they would rather not be involved with and other agents have skins as thick as a crocodile, so these guys don’t care if they are treated badly as long as they get paid. These are the “laughing all the way to the bank” agents.

But I’m not one of those “laughing all the way to the bank” agents because I prefer to laugh during other times in my life. We’re all different. I am actually envious of agents who can work with just about anybody regardless of temper tantrums and abuse. You can run into obnoxious people anywhere you go: the grocery store, an elevator, a garden center, driving down the freeway, the bars and pool halls of Midtown Sacramento, and you can just ignore the occasional jerk.

It’s harder to do that in real estate because it’s not always obvious. There are bad home sellers all over the country. Agents from Oregon to Florida have shared their stories with me, and you can read about it in the above link to bad home sellers.

Basically, I treat people the way I would like to be treated. With courtesy, professionalism and tact. But every so often I run into a monster, some creep who is demanding and ugly. I just don’t work with those people. I might refer them to another agent outside of my office, or I might tell them I can’t work with them at all. I certainly don’t want my team members to work with an individual who would cause them misery.

People don’t like to be rejected though. So, I can’t just say get outta my face, even though I might want to, because there is no reason to stoop to that level. But I can say that the home sellers I work with are simply delightful and enjoyable. There are no bad home sellers in the bunch, and I’m often dismayed when a transaction closes because our intense interaction comes to a close. So, yes, I don’t make as much money as I probably could if I worked with everybody I met. And that’s perfectly OK. I make enough to rank in the top agents in Sacramento.

Working with People You Like in Real Estate

home buying sacramentoReal estate is one of the few professions in the world in which one can pretty much choose to work with people you like and ignore the ones you don’t. People who don’t work in the real industry and view it only from the outside have a completely different viewpoint of what’s going on and how it works — but that’s true for just about any industry. It always looks simpler and easier when you’re not the one doing the work. Clients try to be helpful and offer suggestions which, to them, may seem like wonderful ideas but are often unrelated to the real estate market at hand. Maybe they got these ideas from a book, somewhere online, or from a family member who sold a home 20 years ago, and it can be hard for these types of clients to let go and let a professional do her job.

There’s not a real estate agent working hard in Sacramento right now who doesn’t know exactly what I’m talking about.

Even when we lay out the principles of real estate in an ABC format, people still have their own ideas about what a real estate agent should do and how they want their property sold. It’s OK because they wouldn’t be human if they didn’t have preconceived notions. It’s tough for us agents to explain because we don’t want to come right out and say to a seller, for example, that the seller is wrong. Nobody wants to be wrong. But sellers can be less right than they may have a right to be.

It’s a delicate balance. To inform, educate, bring about an agreement, a mutual understanding, a mutual agreement and to overcome stubbornness that might be staring us in the face, but it’s all part of the job of a Sacramento real estate agent.

There are times in the real estate business when you can’t come to an agreement. There might be no compromise. A client could be working within the realm of a distorted reality. So, what do you do when that happens? Some agents will take the listing anyway and figure they can ignore the yelling and screaming later. Other agents will walk away and decide to work with only clients who are more reasonable.

I try to keep it simple. If I like the person, even if we don’t see eye-to-eye on every single aspect, I might still work with them. I don’t have to agree with their premise to do a job for them. If I don’t like them, there is nothing they could say to make me want to work with them. Not enough money in the world could make me do it. Money is not a motivator to me. I don’t sell out for money; I don’t compromise who I am.

There are agents who say they would have no clients whatsoever if they worked only with people they liked. I guess I’ve been more fortunate.

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