When we answer the phone at IPJ Real Estate, we are almost never fully prepared for who might be on the other end of the line. Lately it's been countless robo calls letting us know that our Google profile needs to be updated, that we have been pre-approved for a business line of credit, that we've got insurance options, or a "caller" warning us to "DO NOT HANG UP!..." Then we hang up, of course.
But on the lucky occasion when there's a live voice on the other end of the line, how happy we are! As I write this, we're currently handling over 30 pending transactions in our office so suffice it to say the phone rings a lot and we're constantly navigating from one to another topic. We take this all in good stride. They are mostly predictable calls with questions that we're well-versed in answering for our clients, customers, vendors, lenders and colleagues.
Sometimes we get calls from folks looking for general advice. Depending on the advice they seek we may respond with lots of questions. If it's a prospective seller-client they might ask us to evaluate their property for sale. They might ask us what other homes are selling for in their neighborhood or perhaps how they can best prepare their house for sale. All of these questions will undoubtedly lead to lots of probing questions in return from us. Many times, the caller will assume it's a simple answer, but the reality is that it's just never that simple. In fact, many of potential seller questions are best answered in the home after an agent has had a chance to walk through. Better yet, some answers should wait until the agent has done some preliminary analysis on the market value. We will ask LOTS of questions in any case, but we do so in an effort to give you the best advice, and the advice that we know best matches your needs and financial objectives.
The same is certainly true for potential buyer-clients - we'll ask lots of questions. Most will call us for a few basic details on a property for sale. Or they'll call to schedule a showing. Depending on our existing relationship with the caller (if there is one) the questions may vary greatly. If we've never met the potential buyer, we need to be extra diligent about asking an abundance of questions, including regarding pre-qualification, availability to purchase, timing, etc. In most cases and with new buyers, we will request that they meet us in the office for a consultation prior to showing a property. This is for two reasons: 1) as a safety precaution (it's just not a good business practice to meet a total stranger our in the field for the first time!); 2) as a measure of good faith on the part of the buyer (after all, if they're agreeable to sit down with us for 30-45 minutes and talk about the process, agency relationships, what to expect, and to fill us in on their needs and desires, - and answer all our questions! - then we know we're dealing with a ready, willing and able buyer). Buyers - our questions are to serve you as best we are able!
If you've been a client or customer of ours, you're probably well-versed in our questioning. We appreciate your patience with all our questions! We also hope that when you meet people interested in buying or selling real estate, that you'll share our phone number with them (8-0-2-3-8-8-4-2-4-2!). You can let them know in advance - our questions will do them good! And also put them at ease - we will be more than happy to take their phone calls over robo- and sales-calls any time or day, no matter the simplicity or complexity of their questions! Let's all ask more questions!