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This post was updated Oct. 30, 2023.
Have you ever been ghosted? Perhaps you were working with a buyer, showing them several properties, and then suddenly, they stop returning communication? Or maybe you were working with a seller to prepare their home for sale, and one day, when you called, straight to voicemail, and every time after that?
When someone ghosts you, it’s not a reflection of who you are; rather, it shows what kind of a person they are. Being on the receiving end of ghosting can feel humiliating, but remember that if anyone should feel embarrassed, it should be them, not you.
Here is how to minimize ghosting in your real estate business
1. Send a video intro
Establish a face-to-face connection at the beginning of the relationship; once the client feels like they know you, they are less likely to ghost you.
2. Call clients
Don’t just email or text, pick up the phone. People do business with those they know like and trust, and it’s easier to build that relationship if you talk live on the phone or via video chat.
3. Ask the right questions and qualify your client
Find out what is motivating them to buy or sell and if they are serious enough about their “why” to do what it takes to move forward and the financial ability to do so. Sometimes it’s just a matter of finding the right “when.”
4. Talk with all decision-makers
If you talk with one owner and they haven’t talked with their spouse or partner yet, it’s easy not to pick up your call and avoid the subject. When making your appointment, be sure all decision-makers will be there so you can answer everyone’s questions.
5. Explain how you get paid
If a buyer or seller thinks they cannot afford your services, they may find it easier to avoid your call than to tell you that to your face. Once you explain you are only paid from proceeds after a successful transaction, you can take this off the table.
6. Address the elephant in the room in advance
This is a moment of awkwardness that can ease the situation later if it is not a fit. Simply request that they be transparent instead of ghosting if they decide the working relationship is not a match, and assure them you will do the same.
Ultimately, your priority is to make sure their needs are met in one of the largest transactions of their lives. Show them you care about them, and that increases the odds they will be fair with you.
7. Move on, and don’t take it personally
In The Greatest Salesperson in the World, author Og Mandino says, “I will persist until I succeed.” You can move on, but you don’t have to give up on that person.
You can move them to a less frequent contact list, send them newsletters or other information of value, and let them know you are ready to help them when the time is right.
You may also want to go door-knock them to see if they are OK. While you are there, you can knock on a few more doors in the neighborhood and focus your time on finding a new client who is motivated, ready and hopefully not afraid to communicate.