Working in sales as a Real Estate Agent is different from the sales jobs I have encountered in my life. To say I am in a place where I am fighting to get through all sorts of uncomfortable feelings is an understatement. I used to sell wine and spirits to local restaurants, country clubs and bars around town. I loved my job and was rewarded for my hard work and honest nature with a good list of clients and productive days of selling my wares. Real Estate is the exact opposite of my old sales life. When I was selling wine and spirits, I would go into a restaurant and have an easy time getting to the decision maker. It was expected that I would be popping in to represent my company. I had items to offer that were in demand and needed at each place I went. Seriously it is the rare restaurant that won’t buy Absolute Vodka from you. It’s too popular and a needed item that most places will carry.
Even if I went to a restaurant that bought exclusively from another vendor, it wasn’t to hard to get a special red and white wine of the week placed in the establishment. I could make up some nice cards to insert in the menus recommending the wines and usually it was enough to establish the beginnings of a long-term relationship.
In Real Estate, I never realized that you would be chasing after a potential client. The main form of contact is cold-calling. I have never had to cold-call. Well, I’ll take that back, I would call a newly opened restaurant to set up an appointment to come in, introduce myself, and help the new business stock its shelves with our products. These places expected you to call, so I wouldn’t really label it a cold-call.
There are a few ways to get business through a cold-call. This last week I was tasked with calling on people who had expired listings. Basically, they had their home on the market, the contract with the Real Estate Agent ran out, and I was calling to see if they would like to relist their property with me.
Sure, it sounds simple enough, I mean if one Realtor couldn’t get the customers for the seller, maybe I could get some movement on their home. It should be easy enough, I mean the seller had already decided to list their home so it should be a no brainer. Well, it’s not quite that simple.
As I went down the list of potential clients, I found that the majority of phone numbers were disconnected, a fax machine (I’m not kidding), or an answering machine would come on saying that the messages were full and there was no way to leave a message. The remaining people had either decided not to sell after all, had sold their home (and it had been marked down incorrectly on my expired listings list) didn’t live there, or had not lived in that home for some time. There was not one positive call out of the bunch. Either I couldn’t get through to the person, or I got the quick explanation followed by the phone being hung up.
This week I will have a one on one meeting with my manager. I will have to tell her that I was unable to even get an appointment with a potential client. I feel horrible thinking of going in front of her and admitting that nothing of any significance happened in the last week. All I can do is get over it and keep pushing ahead.