Have you ever seen “writing on the wall” that captured your attention and made you stop and ponder? That’s what happened to me this week.
It wasn’t quite written on the wall. It was written on a slice of wood that was hung on the wall. But still… It was there, above our table in a local cafe. It said:
“Just one shoe can change your life.”
What does that have to do with anything? Especially with real estate marketing?
Not much, but since (much to my husband’s dismay) my mind tends to find paths to wander, it did lead me to think about what a missing shoe meant. That reminded me of old poem, so I went looking for it. I found, by the way, that there are several versions of this. But this is the one I remember:
For Want of a Nail
For want of a nail the shoe was lost.
For want of a shoe the horse was lost.
For want of a horse the rider was lost.
For want of a rider the message was lost.
For want of a message the battle was lost.
For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.
And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.
For want of a nail – a small detail, but all was lost
Every horse shoe has several nails. But each of them is important. Each does its part to hold that shoe securely on the horse’s hoof, protecting its feet on hard or rough terrain.
Checking the shoes for rocks and loose nails before beginning a journey is just good practice.
What about the details in your real estate business?
Are any of them unimportant, or do you need to give care and attention to each?
What details am I talking about? Things like:
- Your attire
- Your punctuality
- Your timeliness in responding to both inquiries and client messages
- Your care in creating property valuations
- Your exactness in listing property details on your listing forms
- Your precision in writing detailed offers
- Your accuracy when relating information about zoning and other regulatory information
- Your precision when presenting financial calculations
And then, there are details that touch on your personal care and concern for your clients.
That would be things like taking time to really listen, and perhaps to notice when they need a little extra explanation – or a little support or encouragement. It would include being there at critical times, such as during the inspection and at the closing.
It would also include taking the extra care to write thank you notes – before they become clients, during the transaction, and after the closing.
How will these details make or break your career in real estate sales?
Over time, those details will become your habits, and they will shape your entire career. It’s easy to let something slide if you’ve let it slide before. It’s easy to pay less attention than needed if you give yourself an excuse today – then it is easier to do it again tomorrow.
Our lives are driven by habits, whether we admit it or not.
These actions – or inactions – will affect one client or potential client at a time. That, in turn, will shape your reputation. It will determine whether your customers come back to you again and whether they refer others to you.
Some of those details are just common sense – but does attire matter that much?
It sure does. And it brings me full circle back to Cinderella and her shoe.
Obviously, there are many kinds of real estate. In addition to condos, townhomes, single family homes, duplexes, etc. there are differences in location. Urban, suburban, and rural come to mind.
Then there’s the difference in your client base. There’s a difference between people in different income groups and what they might expect from their real estate professional.
An old “rule of thumb” says to dress “one notch” better than your prospects.
I’m not sure what that means, except that you definitely shouldn’t dress worse and you shouldn’t go overboard with trying to dress to impress. Very few of us are drawn to people who are trying to show that they’re better or more important than us.
Here’s the real key: Dress appropriately.
If you’re showing upscale condos, dress like someone who would live there. If you’re showing lakefront property, wear slacks and shoes that are safe to wear on a wet dock. And if you’re touring rural property, wear slacks and sturdy shoes.
About Cinderella and how one shoe can change your life.
Losing one listing hopefully will not change your life. But it will affect your income, and perhaps your reputation as an intelligent being.
A true story about shoes losing the listing:
A few years after I let my real estate license go, an acquaintance of mine decided to list her home. It was a beautiful, large home on 5 acres just a few miles out in the country.
Mistakenly thinking that an agency in a larger town would have more buyers, she contacted an agency about 60 miles away. (Why that is a goofy idea could be the topic of a whole new post…)
On the appointed day, a man and woman showed up to view her home. The man was wearing a suit and polished wing-tips. The woman had on a long skirt and 4” heels. She had a terrible time navigating the rock driveway just to get to the house. No way was she going to take a look at those five acres!
My acquaintance wondered if they had not bothered to look up anything about the property. Did they not realize there was acreage involved? She’d given them the address, so perhaps they thought that was all they needed? Perhaps they just didn’t think or prepare?
There was no “perhaps” about her conviction that these were NOT the agents who could or would sell her home. They made that 60 mile drive for nothing.
“Just one shoe can change your life.”
Change that to just one choice of shoes, make the mistake often enough, and the darn shoe really can change your life!
So always remember: Choose the right shoes (and attire) for the occasion.
Here’s one more detail that night need your attention:
Consumers want to know who people are before they choose to do business with them. That means that as an agent you should have a bio that lets prospects see who you are.
If you don’t already have such a bio, get in touch. Writing “Better Bios” is one of my specialties.