I’m Not Stalking You . . . My Blackberry Is!By
As a Realtor it is your job to help people find new homes or to help them sell the one that they currently have, and in order to do that job properly you need to follow up with them on a regular basis, right? Emails, texts, phone calls, saying hi when you see them in the street and maybe even the occasional dropping by to say hello are completely normal, but at what point does just following up turn into stalking? Yep, that’s right, I used the big scary S word. Stalking. Let’s explore ways to keep you in contact with your clients, without them running for a restraining order.
With the huge leaps and bounds that technology makes in today’s environment, and the hyper-rapid rate at which it is employed by society, is it very easy to just fire off an email or text message without thinking twice about how the receiver might interpret it. The best way to avoid situations in which a client might become uncomfortable is to establish beforehand what level of contact they are most receptive to. Are they a once a week email type of person? Or more of a three texts a day sort? It is vital that you clarify these issues from the beginning of your professional relationship, otherwise you will end up with a very unhappy, harassed feeling client , or worse yet, a restraining order filed against you.
The best way to ascertain the clients comfort level of contact is to simply ask them. A quick “Is it alright with you for me to text message you about new homes I find for you?” will save you and your clients a lot of frustration later. Some clients have have no problems with this from of contact at all, and in fact prefer to be kept up to speed in this fashion, while others find it to be intrusive and bothersome. As I stated before, taking just a few minutes in the start of your relationship to ask about their preferences can make all the difference later.
A prime example of what a Realtor should NOT do happened to me a short while ago. When looking for a home I came in contact with a certain Realtor who did not know how to take no for an answer. I have to say that at the time I felt like I was being chased around by them, in fact it got so bad at one point that I almost stopped going to the grocery story just so that I would not have to see them. It seemed that without fail every time I went . . well, anywhere, there was that dratted realtor! And if I did not see them in person that day you could be sure that I had received a phone call or an email instead. I had told them that I was only interested in one particular piece of property and that since it was somewhat overpriced (and boy was it ever!) that I was not interested in anything else at the time. I honestly would not have minded an occasional phone call, email or even a visit, but daily contact concerning properties I was not even remotely interested in was beyond annoying. Not to mention the slightly scary way they kept popping up everywhere!
Most clients are very receptive to being contacted, especially about properties they are interested in, but just remember that while you have the ability to text message them thirty times a day, it does not mean that you should. And for those clients that are not actively looking to purchase a home or put theirs on the market a friendly little something once or twice a month is usually enough to keep them thinking of you, but still thinking of you fondly. Be sure to remember this and everything will be fine: No one likes a pest! And that goes double for a digitally enabled one.