Sourced from various real estate pros all over the country, this recurring column features stories of what agents are seeing on the front lines and what others can draw from those experiences.
“I know I should be calling my database, but it just doesn’t sit well with me. Calling my database gives me an icky feeling. I feel like I’m being disingenuous trying to discuss real estate when this is such a tragic and challenging time.” Can you relate?
Many of my coaching clients and workshop attendees have voiced the above sentiment. It’s not lost on me. Honestly, I believe there’s no time that we should call (warm-calling instead of cold-calling) those that we know — from family members to long-lost high school chums to a new networking connection — to “beat them over the head” with real estate.
This, at best, can be annoying, like children asking every mile of a cross-country road trip, “Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet?” (Doesn’t that make you want to scream?) But, at worse, this crass, self-centered calling technique to those you know (and perhaps like and love) can be the final push in a relationship that was already on the edge of failing.
Here’s the thing. Challenging times are the times that people need to hear from their trusted real estate professional the most. How so? Often, challenging times are tied to our finances, and wouldn’t it be great if someone could tell us how our home or real estate portfolio can be leveraged to get us out of “hot water”? You bet.
Case in point: I had a dear childhood friend lose his father, who was on a respirator for several weeks, in May this year. His mother was still hospitalized at the time. Simultaneously, the medical bills were literally piling up.
Since he was in my database, he got a warm call from me. My call helped him understand how selling his parents’ prime home (housing inventory was low in his area) could cover the debts and give his senior citizen mother an additional nest egg.
Additionally, he realized selling his home and purchasing something larger (since interest rates were still at historic lows) would take the stress away from his suddenly single mom. That ended up being three transactions for my team — all simply because I cared enough to check in and wasn’t afraid to connect with my database during this unconventional year.
Likewise, your call to your database could be just in the “nick of time.” Here’s my handy-dandy, four-step method to approaching database calls warmly without feeling like a sleazy, fly-by-night salesman.
C – Check in
The purpose of our call is not to harass anyone about real estate but rather to simply check in. This has been a hard year for so many people on various levels, so calling to simply check in goes a long way to show you care.
A – Ask
Unabashedly ask: “Really, how are things with you during this challenging season? How can I be of support to you during this season?” and other similar questions.
L – Listen
Their answer may have nothing to do with real estate, but I bet it will cement you top-of-mind for when they or those they know have real estate needs because you are not being insensitive during their time of need.
L – List
After you’ve been so generous as a listener, most will then ask you how things are going for you. I know our natural tendency is to discuss our family and life but I want you to list the positive things that you are experiencing in real estate first, particularly if there is something that pertains to what was just shared. Then, go into discussing other areas of your life, but be sure to lead your list with real estate.
Again, this is a powerful way to show you care while subtly establishing yourself as a trusted real estate professional. As the old adage goes, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”