• In real estate, we as agents are taught by many coaches and trainers to interview for the job of selling the customer's home. This is nonsense. A professional interviews the customer -- not the other way around.
  • Many times we chase customers out of fear. We beg, pester and downright annoy them. We fear the unknown. We fear not getting a commission check. We fear failure.
  • By saying no, more than you say yes, you will open the door to more opportunities. If a buyer or seller does not fit within your real estate business model and brand, it's perfectly alright to not accept them as a client.

Recently, I was reading an article by Gary Vaynerchuk that talked about trying to convert the unconvertible. When you spend your valuable time trying to convert or sell the wrong customer, you lose out on the valuable opportunities to help those that truly need your product and service.

Many real estate agents suffer from not knowing who their ideal customer is. I would rather work with 20 loyal clients who value my product and service than 100 clients who have no loyalty or do not understand my mission and cause.

5 ways to protect yourself from working with the wrong customer

1. Know thy customer.

Before you attempt to work with a buyer or seller customer, find out his or her needs and wants. Find out the story. Find out beliefs and thought process.

How can you achieve this? Today, people’s lives are spread over various social media channels. You can learn a lot about someone by just doing a Google search; you can subscribe to such services as Spokeo — or, better yet, just ask.

The point is not to stalk but to gain insight into their world to see if the client is a good fit for you.

2. Be the interviewer.

In real estate, we as agents are taught by many coaches and trainers to interview for the job of selling the customer’s home. This is nonsense.

A professional interviews the customer — not the other way around. Based on the responses from this customer, you should decide if they will become a client.

Too many agents fall into the trap of getting interviewed and being treated like every other agent. Be different and interview for your ideal client.

3. Stop being outcome-oriented.

Many times as real estate professionals, we look at the outcome, which in many cases is the commission check. If you look at the outcome, you will lose sight of the real reason you should have ventured into the real estate business: to solve problems by providing above-average solutions to help those in need.

When you focus on the outcome, you might attract the wrong customer. So start by asking yourself these questions:

  • Can I help this person?
  • Can I sell their home?
  • Do I want to work with them?
  • Do I really want to sell my soul to get a commission check?

4. Stop chasing and start attracting.

Many times we chase customers out of fear. We beg, pester and downright annoy them. We fear the unknown. We fear not getting a commission check. We fear failure.

Great thinker, the founder of the Agent Marketing Syndicate and the author of “Defeat Mega Agents,” Ryan Fletcher, copyrighted the phrase “You should never talk to anyone until they know you are a someone.”

I think his quote has so much truth and validity. When people know, like and trust you, they are more inclined to do business with you. If they understand your message and can resonate with that message, they will be your ideal customer.

The days of door-knocking and cold-calling are over. If you continue doing these $10 an hour activities, you will attract the wrong clients as they are outcome-driven.

5. It’s OK to say no.

By saying no more than you say yes, you will open the door to more opportunities. If a buyer or seller does not fit within your real estate business model and brand, it’s perfectly all right to not accept them as a client.

When you learn that you cannot make everyone happy, you will be happier. The wrong clients can be detrimental to your mind, body and spirit. Work only with those who respect and see value in your service.

The benefits of finding the right customer

When you spend valuable time trying to convert the wrong customer, you lose out on the opportunities to help the right customer.

Stop chasing the wrong customer and start attracting the right customer.

Remember, your time is your biggest asset. Wasting time on the wrong customer can affect you and your business. Focusing on working with the right customer will change your real estate business for the better.

You will want to talk with your clients. You will feel like you have a purpose. You will receive more referrals. You will have more control over your business.

Most importantly of all, you will be happier and enjoy having a real estate business again.

Robert McTague is the team leader of CNY Agent Team of RealtyUSA in Syracuse, New York.

Email Robert McTague.

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