What’s in a Recommendation?

THE VIEW FROM OAK PARK
The Official Krisztina Blogsite

I recently added a Client Listing to my roster that gave me a moment of pause. It was the method he used for selecting me as his Real Estate Agent that was a bit of a light bulb moment for me. I found myself saying “Of course – that makes so much sense!” Now you’ll have to read to the end to find out what that was!!

First, let me say that a recommendation is a Real Estate Agent’s best marketing tool, and I have been lucky enough to work with a number of clients who found me through a friend or work colleague. This is especially rewarding because buying or selling a home can be a very stressful process. The term “Real Estate transaction” is like an oxymoron to me, because it is so much more than just a transaction. Buying a home is a matter of a most personal nature and is typically one of the biggest purchases you make in your lifetime. And if you are selling, the decision can be even more monumental as you choose to put the past and the memories behind you (the good or the bad…or both!!). The Agent you choose must be (at various times) a friend, a confidante, a teacher, a whip-cracker, a researcher, an investigator, a reality checker, a dream-maker, a dream-breaker and a treasure hunter. And it has always been my enjoyment in this industry to work in all of these capacities.

We all network our way through life every day using recommendations. A friend’s opinion, a review, a news article, word-of-mouth, a blog, an advertisement. Most of us want to hear someone else’s opinion before we check it out for ourselves. Whether it be a movie (I’m planning on making a date to see The Proposal and The Ugly Truth), a book (I just finished Book of Negroes and The Time Traveler’s Wife), a hair dresser (I’m always looking!), a clothing store (my sources are top secret), a quick lunch (I think I could live on the chicken shawarmas at the Pita Nutsy), a restaurant (who doesn’t love to treat themselves to Ruth’s Cris Steakhouse?)…or a handyman, a lawyer, a mortgage broker, a plumber, a home renovator, a painter (I know lots of them!!)…we all use recommendations. This is why Real Estate Agents work so hard to please every client…because word gets out. That is why I was so intrigued by my recent client’s decision-making process. Instead of selecting 3 or 4 Agents via recommendations or ads or area signage to come to a Listing Appointment, he chose to attend some Open Houses hosted by the Agents he was interested in working with. He found out a lot at these Open Houses – how knowledgeable the Agent was about the home and the area, if the Agent actually attended the Open House themselves, and especially to the point, how he was treated when he told the Agent he wasn’t interested in the Open House home. There’s my light bulb moment. It made so much sense to want to see a potential Agent at work instead of putting their very best foot forward at a Listing Appointment. Now agreed, this method probably takes a little more time in the reconnaissance department and in the end both your head and your gut have to agree on the Agent you want to work with, but it’s a lesson I’ll take with me to every Open House I host!

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