Thursday, January 14, 2010

Sorry We Couldn't Help You--A Closer Look

If you remember reading about Agnus from a recent post here, you might agree with us when we tell you that we collectively decided it was time to let her go from our 'current client list.' It is a rare thing to let a client go or even worse, fire a client, but there comes a time when you need to stay on target with the business and stop representing a client. In order to successfully represent a client, they should be ready, willing and able.

"Ready" is usually environmental or possibly a work related aspect of making the move. "Willing" is the drive behind it; the motivation and reason. "Able" is the feasibility; usually the money and/or other resources. These are my subjective definitions, but they seem true enough to get the point across.

Agnus showed all three, but later it was discovered that she had only two of the three. Due to her frustration with rental living in an area that did not suit her she was "ready" to move. She went out and looked at homes on a regular basis with me and one of my agents. She was "willing." We will get to that later. She had the funding, "able." So what went wrong?

After having a few mishaps (our offers being out bid, and having properties go pending before we could show, comp and write), true colors tend to come out. We discovered that it was fear. We would find a "perfect" home for her. There would follow a reason for not buying it. This happened a few times before we caught on. We would find a home that was not a good match for her--a fixer upper for a struggling senior?--you guessed it, she wanted it. Possibly knowing that she would never get it or never intending to go the distance in the contract assured her that it was safe to make such a claim. Resources thinning, we collectively decided that we cannot be in the business of counseling against fear of moving or fear of purchasing. She seemed willing, but there was a latent fear that came out later on.

We are frustrated and sad to see it happen, but we had to let her go. As a brokerage office, we must refocus out attention on the current "ready, willing and able" clients. A hard choice, but I think we made the right decision. We will have the "cordial cup of coffee" with her in a day or two explaining our decision.

I hope this helps agents and clients examine their roles and the necessary resources needed to make it all work.
By Jeff Pereyda

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