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Finding the Needle in the Haystack

17 Sep

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.

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11 Comments

Posted by on September 17, 2012 in career, job, life, personal, thoughts

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

11 responses to “Finding the Needle in the Haystack

  1. johncrupi

    January 27, 2013 at 7:14 pm

    I am in the software business. We created a really powerful real-time intelligence system. It’s a general purpose system. That means, it can be applied to any and everyone who has real-time problems. Our sales people don’t like that. They want to know the name and title of a person to call upon. Finding that person and the problem is what they also call “finding a needle in a haystack.” Or as I like to call it, “hunting.” You may call it cold-calling, but I call it hunting. The only way to not have to cold-call and hunt as much is to establish your brand and create a strong pipeline.

    In real-estate, what will be your brand? Your name? Or the neighborhoods you are an expert in where all your past buyers refer you because you know the neighborhood so well. Or are you an expert in finding homes for newly transferred employees who work for IMF or World Bank.

     
    • wendymc12

      January 27, 2013 at 7:16 pm

      Thanks for your thoughts.

       
  2. slightlyanonymous3

    September 20, 2012 at 4:17 am

    I couldn’t help but stumble upon this blog. Keep your head up, we have reps that took 8 months to over a year and a half to get their first, and personally I’m getting up there as well. I’m amazed so many expireds have disconnected numbers and turned up nothing, here in my part of Canada they prohibit us from contacting them and I’ve always wondered what I could have missed out on because of this.

     
    • wendymc12

      September 20, 2012 at 1:00 pm

      Honestly, I don’t think much. It takes many hours of work to find someone who even answers their phone. Then you have to hope it is the right person and that they are interested in talking with you. i personally think that if you spend the same amount of time getting out into the world and speaking with people in person, you have a better shot at some business.

       
  3. teresagorton

    September 17, 2012 at 5:04 pm

    Do shortfall days like these become a decision factor of whether you would continue to be on staff over a long haul of continued difficulties?

     
    • wendymc12

      September 17, 2012 at 10:41 pm

      Definitely. It tests everyone’s long term endurance and passion for the profession. A main reason people give up on the career is the combined stress of reaching for a nibble while no money is coming in. from my point of view, I would say the two qualities needed for success in this field is a wide strong circle of friends (being involved in many social activities that give you access to new individuals) and a savings account to get through the lean months.

       
      • teresagorton

        September 18, 2012 at 2:57 pm

        Passion and endurance certainly is understandable, but my wonder is more plainly- will the broker fire an agent or let her/him go for not succeeding even though you are seeking diligently business and coming up dry.

         
      • wendymc12

        September 18, 2012 at 4:45 pm

        I don’t think so if you are truly doing your best.

         
      • teresagorton

        September 18, 2012 at 5:22 pm

        Good to know.

         
  4. Glenda Cates

    September 17, 2012 at 12:23 pm

    I am a Paparazzi Representative and I have the same problems trying to find clients as you can only do so many parties. So my goal is to find some businesses that will allow me to set up a table I would prefer apartment buildings and I am not having any luck as of now. Even though I am my own boss I still have to let me know I failed as well. So I will Pray that this week is better for the both of us.

     
    • wendymc12

      September 17, 2012 at 4:32 pm

      I hope it is etter for us too. Thanks for the comment.

       

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