“Steve Austin, astronaut, a man barely alive. Gentlemen, we can rebuild him, we have the technology. We have the capability to make the worlds first Bionic man. Steve Austin will be that man. Better than he was before. Better. Stronger. Faster.”
More than 30 years later, it seems that the human population continues to move closer and closer to becoming just what Steve Austin was in the Six Million Dollar Man … a machine.
With our Bluetooths, PDAs, mobile PCs, and constant
contact it becomes easy at times to forget that there are people on the other end of those messages. And while e-mail, texting, and instant messaging helps sell real estate – it can become a crutch to our field.
A crutch that allows us to stop treating people like people and start treating them like machines or any other commodity. I learned this the hard way recently.
An e-mail inquiry on a listing comes in, we share a couple e-mails, and set a showing on one my properties. Great, I’m stoked. Have a second showing at 5:15 with a client and this new client is set to be met at 6:30 with 15 minutes travel time between.
My client is 20 minutes late for the first appointment, so I bolt to meet my new clients. They are 10 minutes late and my first client is blowing up my cell phone wanting to know when I’ll be back to take care of his needs. And suddenly I’m faced with a dilemma:
- Do I give up on these new clients and get back to the second showing for this client that is going to write on this house, or
- do I hold out my usual 20 minutes for a late client.
Well I did the first and just missed a chance to show this home to a young couple that have an infant and could have yielded. And to set “karma” my first client didn’t write.
Why am I writing this today?
I made a couple of fundamental flaws in this process, and am hoping by sharing you’ll be reminded how easy it is to quit seeing people as people and only as commodities.
- Always Talk to Potential Customers: E-mails are great to begin communication but you need to make that personal contact to solidify the deal. Also, it is a major safety faux pas that I committed.
- Balancing The Birds: One of the things I’ve learned from working at Best Buy is “stacking customers”. What did I do last night? Failed at stacking customers, they don’t need to see you today – but they do need to know you care.
- Keep a Black Book: My grandfather always carries a little notebook with numbers and contacts in it. What was my biggest mistake yesterday? I didn’t have a cell phone number for my new clients. That one action would have made this embarrassing situation go away.
Hopefully, this little reminder will help you not make the same mistake I did last night.