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Listing Icons: Is Adopting Abandoned Buyers Stealing or Smart?

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Abandoned BuyerDoes Closing and Running = Abandonment

I decided it wasn’t worth the trouble.  We both know the truth.  I don’t need to share charts, survey percentages or statistical bona fides, do I?  The truth is plentifully self-evident.

The average and ordinary majority of selling agents, DO NOT stay in touch with buyer clients after closing.  The deal is done, it’s time to run.  Fresh leads needs chasing and an uncertain future needs feeding.

At first blush, closing and running seems logical, maybe even smart.  After all, gleefully settled buyers won’t be moving for years, why waste your finite attention on a years-distant possibility.  Bills need to be paid now.  Right?

Dead Wrong!  Closing and Running is abandonment and financially unwise.

Why?  Because of this – The Three People Principle.

The buyers who chose you and now know and trust you, they know three people at work, at worship, in Katie’s Girl Scout Troop, at BUNCO, or wherever, they know three people who are going to move in the next year.  Invest attention in these fans friends people and you’ll earn referrals, accompanied by recommendations.  These are the best leads, are they not. And they’re free. Well almost free, you have to invest some emotional labor to remain relevant and remarkable and therefore, recommendable, but that’s easy.  It’s what you do.

So, staying close and relevant is smart and profitable. Agreed?

But wait, there’s even a higher level of business cultivation.  Wise ones capitalize by monetizing the mistakes of  the average and ordinary majority.  Some might consider this business-getting tactic – stealing.  I call it smart.

Listing Agents, Listen Up – Are You Adopting Abandoned Buyers

Pretty straight forward.  The average and ordinary majority of selling agents abandon their buyers after closing. When you’re the listing agent, grow your success by cultivating a relationship of relevancy and trust with the abandoned buyer of your listing. Yes, you heard right.  I believe you should adopt the abandoned buyer and become their Go-To-Girl for all things home, community, lifestyle and real estate.

The How-To varies from person to person.  I wouldn’t presume to tell you what you should do or say.  But, I will share a few directionally-correct ideas.

  1. After closing, mail a handwritten note card.  Wish them well, welcome, etc.  Of course, include two business cards.
  2. Thirteen days after closing, between 2:37pm and 7:57pm, stop by in person and see how things are going.  Follow-up your visit by mailing a handwritten note card (nice talking to you, blah, blah, etc.). Use purple ink, a hot-pink envelope and a real postage stamp.  Just kidding.  Doesn’t matter what time you stop by or the ink and envelope color. I’m not kidding about the stopping by or sending the note.
  3. While you’re visiting (in person) ask for permission to stay in touch.  I’d say something like this, “Hey, would it be ok if I touched base from time to time to see if your need anything real estate related?” or “Hey, I send monthly market report updates to my friends, I’d like to include you, would you be offended if I shared my market report with you?”
  4. If you’re granted permission, include these fine folks in your thoughtfully created Top Of Mind Awareness campaign.

Smart or Stealing

I believe it’s smart for listing agents to adopt abandoned buyers.  Some might think it’s stealing.  I don’t.  If they’re abandoned, you’re not stealing.  If they aren’t abandoned, and you ask for permission to stay in touch and the say, “No-Thank You”, then don’t.   Some will, some won’t, so what, next.

Pretty simple, but uncommon.  Are your actions uncommon?

Thanks for reading. Cheers.

Ken Brand - Prudential Gary Greene, Realtors. I’ve proudly worn a Realtor tattoo for over 10,957+ days, practicing our craft in San Diego, Austin, Aspen and now, The Woodlands, TX. As a life long learner, I’ve studied, read, written, taught, observed and participated in spectacular face plant failures and giddy inducing triumphs. I invite you to read my blog posts here at Agent Genius and BrandCandid.com. On the lighter side, you can follow my folly on Twitter and Facebook. Of course, you’re always to welcome to take the shortcut and call: 832-797-1779.

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30 Comments

30 Comments

  1. Matt Stigliano

    March 15, 2010 at 9:22 am

    Ken – Someone once told me one of the “big guns” in town did this and I thought to myself, “Wait, that just makes good sense.” Although I haven’t been as focused as you suggest about it (I just learned some excellent points – thanks), I have adopted this as part of my practice. Buy my listing and you’re sure to hear from me.

    • Ken Brand

      March 15, 2010 at 9:32 am

      Amen Matt, it’s a simple add and will create new opportunities. Cheers.

  2. Ralph Bell

    March 15, 2010 at 9:27 am

    Brilliant! Will definitely make this part of my marketing plan from here on out. Like anything else in RE the worst they can say is No. Well some have said no in a worse way…but you get the point.

    • Ken Brand

      March 15, 2010 at 9:33 am

      Thanks Ralph, everyone wants to be loved. It the selling agent won’t, we should. Cheers.

  3. Michael Price

    March 15, 2010 at 12:44 pm

    Can you steal a relationship? Nope. Just like the seller is the only one that really owns any listing information, a buyer is the holder of the relationship. They will relinquish it to whomever they chose, typically it will be with the one that treats it with the most respect.

    • Ken Brand

      March 15, 2010 at 9:24 pm

      “You can’t steal a relationship”, exactly Mike. Cheers. I’m calling to set up a burger conference.

  4. Erica Ramus

    March 15, 2010 at 6:45 pm

    I’ve done it, especially with buyers who have out of town agents who don’t know our area. I am listing a house now where the seller moved in 2 years ago. Her agent is 2 hours away and since the sale I have indeed cultivated the relationship.

    • Ken Brand

      March 15, 2010 at 9:25 pm

      Good work! That’s exactly the sorta thing I’m talking about. Cheers.

  5. Missy Caulk

    March 15, 2010 at 10:30 pm

    I have heard of this Ken, but never done it.

    Every January I send out all the HUD reports and a thank you letter to my clients, someone else suggested I do this for the other folks on the other side of the transaction.

    What do you think?

    • Ken Brand

      March 15, 2010 at 10:51 pm

      I think that’s smart and helpful Missy. I also think that a more fruitful relationship can be nurtured by consistent contact. And there’s nothing more memorable that a personal visit. The keys to Top Of Mind Awareness is Relevance, Remarkability and Repetition.
      🙂

  6. Nashville Grant

    March 16, 2010 at 3:58 pm

    Sheer genius. It’s not stealing if no one else is in the picture. I call it my charitably adopt a buyer program.

    • Ken Brand

      March 16, 2010 at 7:27 pm

      I don’t know about genius, but I’m with you, it’s pretty dead-bang simple and obvious to me too. Thanks for your comments NG. Cheers.

  7. Elizabeth Cooper-Golden

    March 17, 2010 at 8:07 pm

    Ken, I think this is brilliant. I have really been keeping a close eye on tracking listings of one agent in particular. What I have found is that she was the original listing agent. Years later, her name is appearing again as the sellers list with her, NOT their buyers agent. It struck me then that she must have this idea in play. Genius if you ask me, and so simple to do! I am starting this practice tomorrow and will play catch up with past buyers 🙂 Great info you just shared!

    • Ken Brand

      March 17, 2010 at 8:11 pm

      Thanks Elizabeth. Turns out, it’s the little things that others don’t do, do them consistently, over time, they add up to a BIG difference. Sounds to me like you’re ON IT. Cheers.

  8. Shea Bunch

    March 18, 2010 at 4:42 pm

    I’ve heard these called orphaned clients. We all know that you have to find clients anywhere you can and frankly if the selling agent doesn’t care to follow up on past clients ( and probably 75% or more don’t ) there is nothing wrong with the listing agent doing so as long as the former client doesn’t object. As far as the agent goes, once the closing takes place, they are no longer clients.

  9. Ken Brand

    March 18, 2010 at 4:58 pm

    I’m with you Shea. Adopt the orphans, everyone deserves love and attention. Thanks for chiming in. Cheers.

  10. Ashley Drake Gephart

    March 18, 2010 at 7:22 pm

    I leave a listing book with all the info I had in it for the house while it was for sale. But I add in all the warranty stuff and manuals that the homeowners had. I then add my card. That is step one in my adopt a buyer program.

    • Ken Brand

      March 18, 2010 at 8:45 pm

      Ashley, that’s brilliant. Thanks for sharing gem. I’ll be sharing that with the team at our next team meeting. Go, go, go:-)

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Business Marketing

Pay employees for their time, not only their work

(MARKETING) Yes, you still must pay employees for their time even if they aren’t able to complete their work due to restrictions. Time = Money.

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pay employees for their time

The COVID-19 pandemic has inspired a lot of insightful questions about things like our healthcare system, worldwide containment procedures, and about a billion other things that all deserve well-thought answers.

Unfortunately, it has also led to some of the dumbest questions of all time.

One such question comes courtesy of Comstock Mag, with the inquiry asking whether or not employees who show up on time can be deducted an hour’s pay if the manager shows up an hour later.

From a legal standpoint, Comstock Mag points out that employees participating in such activities are “engaged to wait”, meaning that – while they aren’t necessarily “working” – they are still on the clock and waiting for work to appear; in this case, the aforementioned “work” comes in the form of the manager or supervisor showing up.

In short: if the reason your employees aren’t working is that the precursor to completing the work for which you pay them is inaccessible, you still have to pay them for their time.

Morally, of course, the answer is much simpler: pay your employees for their time, especially if the reason they are unable to complete work is because you (or a subordinate) didn’t make it to work at the right time.

Certainly, you might be able to justify sending all of your employees home early if you run into something like a technology snag or a hiccup in the processes which make it possible for them to do their jobs – that would mean your employees were no longer engaged to wait, thus removing your legal obligation to continue paying them.

Then again, the moral question of whether or not cutting your employees’ hours comes into play here. It’s understandable that funds would be tight for the time being, but docking employees an hour of their work here or there due to problems that no one can control may cause them to resent you down the line when you need their support in return.

The real problem with this question is that, despite most people knowing that the answer should always be “pay them”, the sheer number of people working from home in the wake of worldwide closures and social distancing could muddy the water in terms of what constitutes the difference between being engaged to wait and simply burning time.

For example, an employee who is waiting for a meeting to start still fits the bill of “engaged to wait” even if the meeting software takes an extra half hour to kick in (or, worse yet, the meeting never happens), and docking them pay for timecard issues or other extenuating factors that keep them from their work is similarly disingenuous – and illegal.

There are a lot of unknowns these days, but basic human decency should never be up for debate – especially now.

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Business Marketing

Cooler temps mean restaurants have to get creative to survive

(MARKETING) With winter approaching, restaurants are starting to find creative and sustainable ways to keep customers coming in… and warm.

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Outdoor eating at restaurants grows in popularity.

Over the last decade we have seen a change in the approach to clientele experiences in the restaurant business. It’s no longer just about how good your food is, although that is still key. Now you have to give your customers an experience to remember. There are now restaurants that feed you in the dark, and others who require you to check all your clothes at the door. Each of these provides an experience to remember alongside food that ranges from good to exquisite, depending on your taste.

Now, however, the global pandemic has rearranged how we think about dining. We can no longer just shove people into a building and create a delectable meal. If you’ve relied mostly on people coming into your restaurant, you may struggle to survive now.

The new rules of keeping clients safe means setting things up outside is the easiest means of keeping large numbers of them from crowding inside. Because of this, weather has become a key influence in a company’s daily income. Tents that were a gimmick before, only needed by presumptuous millennials, are now a requirement to keep afloat. People are rushing to make their yards into lawns that bring some in some fancy feeling.

The ties to the sun in some areas are so strong that cloudy days have been shown to drop attendance as much as 14% for the day. This will become the more apparent the colder it gets. For me, I always mention hibernation weight in the winter, when all I want to do is curl up and eat at home. Down here in Texas we are already finding cooler weather, drops into the 70s even in August and September. We are all assuming a cold winter ahead. So, a bit of foresight is finding a means of keeping your guests warm for the winter ahead.

San Francisco restaurants have started with heat lamps during their cooler evenings. Fiberglass igloos have also been added to outdoor seating as a means of temperature control. A few places down in the Lonestar state keep roaring fires going for their outdoor activities. While others actually keep you running in between beverages by encouraging volleyball matches. This is the new future ahead of us, and being memorable is the way to go.

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Business Marketing

Canva is catching on to content trends, launches in-app video editor

(MARKETING) Canva launches an in-platform video editor, allowing access to their extensive library of assets and animations to create high-quality videos

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African American woman working on Canva Video Editor Desktop in office setting.

Video content consumption is on the rise, and the graphic design platform, Canva, took note of it. The $40 billion Australian startup has entered the video business and announced the launch of its video editor, Canva Video Suite.

The end-to-end video editor is an easy-to-use platform that anyone, no matter the skill level, can create, edit, and record high-quality videos. Best of all, it’s free, and it’s available on both desktop and mobile platforms.

The tool has hundreds of editable templates that you can use to create videos for several online platforms like TikTok, YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook. Some templates can be used to create workplace and business videos, while other templates are perfect for personal videos. There are playful themes you can use to create that spooky video just in time for Halloween or make a laugh-out-loud video to send to your best friend! With a wide range of selections, in no time you’ll start creating your very own video masterpiece with Canva.

Caucasian man holding iPhone showing Canva video editor on mobile.

What else does the video software offer and what can you do with it? Well, let me tell you:

Collaborate in real-time

Having everyone on the same page is important and Canva’s video suite takes that into account. To collaborate with others, you simply send them an invite, and together you can edit videos, manage assets, and leave comments to give your input.

Video timeline editing and in-app recording

Similar to building presentation slides, Canva’s scene-based editor simplifies video editing by using a timeline approach. With it, you can quickly reorder, crop, trim, and splice your videos. Also, users don’t need to leave the platform to record that last-minute shot; within the app, you can shoot and record yourself from a camera or a screen.

Library of assets

The video editor is filled with an array of watermark-free stock footage, icons, images, illustrations, and even audio tracks that you can choose from – but if you really need something that is not on their platform – you can upload your own image, video, or audio track.

Animate with ease

Although still in the process of being released, soon you will be able to add animations of both text and visual elements in just a few simple clicks. Among others, animation presets that fade, pan, and tumble will help you transform your video and take it to a whole other level.

Overall, Canva Video Suite is very intuitive and has all the essential things you need to create a video. And by streamlining the video creation process, Canva is ensuring it enters the video marketplace with a bang.

“One of Canva’s guiding principles is to make complex things simple, and our new Video Suite will allow everyone to unlock the power of video, whether that’s to market their business, make engaging social posts, or express their creativity,” said Rob Kawalsky, Head of Product at Canva.

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