Just One Call: Email, Text and Skype Are Fine, But Don’t Count Out Ma Bell
Jotham Sederstrom Oct. 17, 2012, 7:30 a.m.
“Are you selling your property?”
“How much do you want for your building?”
“I have an offer for you!”
“How fast do you want to close?”
“Make the deal!”
A broker’s most effective tool is a phone call. It’s how we reach out and touch someone. Emails and texts are effective too, but a call can make all the difference in whether a deal goes forward or dies on the vine. The tone, inflection, urgency, pitch and content are all synergistically intertwined to elicit an intended response. Sometimes these invisible catalysts are the reason deals get the response that a broker is looking for. A broker who can use these tools masterfully can make magic happen and bring deals to fruition that may not have had a chance without that call.
Understanding what goes into the call and how it can actually be the cause of procuring a deal should not be underrated. A great broker can make one call that will raise inquiries, while a different tone could raise a price. A truly great broker can make a difficult deal seem effortless through a carefully placed call, while a novice broker can kill a deal with improperly placed inflection.
Almost every salesperson and broker has heard it at one time or another. Investors use it when they encounter a broker who makes a deal “too quickly.” Owners sometime use it to negotiate a reduction in commission. Purchasers will use it when there is a dispute at the closing and they need to fill a shortfall in price. Anyone will use it when they want to attempt to weaken a broker’s position.
So when a buyer or seller looks back and says, “But you only made one call,” it leads one to ask, “What went into the one call that allowed the broker to make a successful transaction occur?”
What it took for a broker to make such a call is very significant.
What may seem an “easy” transaction to the untrained eye may have actually taken years of rejection and mistakes in order to develop the techniques needed to secure the intended response and allow the deal to be made. It takes years, sometimes decades, to build and nurture relationships in this business. The learning process is never-ending, and techniques get perfected with every call. Experience is created through trial and error. Knowledge is obtained through time and research. Expertise comes with falling and picking yourself back up again.
A world-renowned brain surgeon must study for years, and practice relentlessly, to be able to perform a miracle.
An Olympic gymnast must train tirelessly and rigorously to make that flip seem effortless.
It is the major league baseball player whose painstaking training sessions and years of disciplined precision makes the execution of a home run appear seamless whom we call a “natural.”
While the brokerage industry is not a showcase of Einstein-level genius, physical excellence or world-class athleticism, it can be just as challenging. A “miracle” comes from understanding how to execute complex negotiations and intricate financial placement. An effortless call that seals the deal and puts all the pieces together came from years of trial and error. A natural spends time and energy perfecting the necessary skills for efficient communication. The ability to respond with an effective solution must sometimes take place in nanoseconds, as a broker doesn’t always control the timing of a critical situation.
While some people call it luck, others will call it good old fashioned hard work—opportunity and timing striking simultaneously, while the seasoned professional picks up what is being thrown down and crafts it into the Perfect Deal. A “perfect” deal can take years of hard work to consummate.
So when someone says, “But you just made one call,” take it as a compliment! Remind the person that it can take years of calling and nurturing that particular buyer or seller to get a returned call. It can take years of pavement-pounding to find a real deal. It can take years of research and determination to find a real seller. It can take years of rejection to turn a “no” into a “yes.” It takes years of hard work and experience to be able to say, “I made that deal in just one call.”
Rocker Jon Bon Jovi said it best when he said that it took him decades of sweat-breaking practice, painful rejection and constant criticism to become an “overnight sensation.”
Adelaide Polsinelli is Senior Director at Eastern Consolidated, an investment services firm in New York. She is a veteran real estate professional with more than 25 years of real estate brokerage experience.