It starts with those dirty words that get you going — that get any realtor's heart beating, "We got divorced." Or, "We need to get a larger space." Or my personal favourite, "We're downsizing." Now, that’s the stuff.
Yes, all of these words are like real estate dirty talk.
The prospective client is intent on selling in the upcoming spring market.
This is getting serious.
You agree on a time and place. In your mind, this prospect is already your client. And your client, Jennifer, invites you over to her place. Friday at 7 p.m. You're nervous. You spend two hours that day preparing yourself — ensuring you look your best.
You want to be ready with all the tools needed to ensure your client’s satisfaction. You show up 10 minutes early and wait in your car to exhibit your punctuality.
And then, it's time.
You ring the doorbell, everything in hand, and are greeted by your client. Your client takes you on a tour of the home, which you already know inside-out — because you did your lurking on the MLS and creeped the home's history.
“So when did you buy this place?" you ask.
"Sometime in the spring of 2009," your client responds.
But you know damn right, based on your archived search, it closed on May 18, 2009, to be exact.
You sit at the restored-wood dining table. Eye-to-eye. You review your findings and your professional opinion on pricing and the best time to list. You gladly display all of your services and make it clear you are willing to be submissive — do whatever it takes to appease them from start to finish.
“I’ll call you tomorrow,” says your client. The undeniable connection — and numbers — have you on a high. And you are more than sure you have this one in the bag.
You leave and get in your car with a smile on your face because you killed it.
Now you're wondering what more you can do to elevate the property. Make it more appealing to potential buyers. Perhaps a risqué photoshoot? Some sexy staging? All the 50 shades of a modern grey palette to give a more updated feel are rushing through your mind.
Tomorrow comes around. You still haven't received a call — or even a text from your client. You neurotically check your phone for any missed calls or texts. Your friends tell you to stop because you're obsessing. They don't understand. This one is different.
“Should I text?” you ask yourself. “Would it be appropriate? Does that make it look like I’m needy, or does it show I’m praiseworthy and hardworking?”
Well, now you start to mentally backpedal.
“What if I said something wrong? What if I said something they took differently than intended?”
It’s already two hours past your deadline.
Then, faithfully, your phone rings. Your client becomes your ex-client at the flick of a switch. Maybe because her cousin’s boyfriend got his real estate licence yesterday. Or another agent promised a thread of unrealistic expectations. Or even worse, they decided to go with the one-per-cent realtor.
In dismay, you sit back and think to yourself, “I didn't realize we were seeing different people. Was I not enough?” But, like the professional you are, you wish them well in the future and all the best. And if circumstances are to change, they know where to reach you.
The calls ends.
Now the thoughts rush in, "I can't believe I was vulnerable. I gave them everything. I meant it when I said 1.75 per cent is the lowest I could go versus the regular two per cent, Jennifer."
What does that other realtor have that I don't?
Sure, Jennifer's cousin's boyfriend will be able to list your property. But he will never be able to do it the way I do it.
And that’s okay because Jennifer, probably, didn't deserve me anyway.
The point of this isn't to bash anyone. Everyone has their reasons for choosing a realtor. And the truth of the matter is you win some, and you lose some.
There are so many misconceptions about this industry, so it’s important to let the other realtors — and people — know things aren't always what they seem. "The market is hot, you must be doing well." The reality is more so the opposite.
Easily, nine out of 10 leads will lead to a dead end. This is okay. Because for that one you get, it deserves your 120 per cent. Cherish, love, and appreciate the opportunities that come your way. They are the ones that are going to shape you into the best realtor — and best person.