Rules for CORE Agents #17: Never Tell Anyone You’re ALWAYS Available For Them, Because You’re Not

So you’re sitting down with a client for the first time, and you’re trying to impress upon them your dedication to a great service experience. You take them through your value presentation, answer all their questions, and you can tell that you’re thisclose to locking them in.

It’s all going so well, so you decide to close them with the one thing you know they absolutely will love to hear:

“When you hire me, I will always be available for you anytime you need me.”

You see their eyes light up.  They’re sold.  Enjoy the moment, because it’s the very last time your clients will ever be happy with you. Why?  Because promising that you’re “always available” is the single dumbest thing you could ever say to a client.

First of all, it’s a lie.  You’re not always available.  In fact, as you sit there with that client, you’re almost certainly NOT available to all your other clients, since your phone is turned off during your client meeting. And next week, when you’re meeting with another new client, you’re not going to be available to the one you’re sitting with today.

Second, you’ve made the tragic mistake of setting unrealistic expectations that you will never, ever be able to meet. You’ve set yourself up to fail.

It’s like training a dog.  You need to establish boundaries: firm expectations for behavior that you want to encourage and discourage unless you want to spend your life picking up poop from your living room.

You have to do the same thing with your clients: set firm boundaries about what they can expect of you. Make sure they know when you’re available, when you’re going to regularly contact them, the kind of information you’ll be sending them.  Tell them what they can realistically expect from the sales experience – the amount of time it will take, what it will cost, what they should look out for.

If you fail to set boundaries and expectations, they will just keep demanding more and more of you until they exceed your ability to satisfy them.  Then they’ll complain that you let them down.  Most clients are reasonable people, and will respond well to reasonable expectations for your performance.

Your job is to establish and then manage those expectations.  Or else your clients will poop all over your living room, at least metaphorically…


This post is part of a series of what I call the “36-1/2 Rules for Client-Oriented Real Estate Agents,” a collection of short takes on the CORE concept that I’ve developed over the years of discussing and teaching the system.  We’ll count up to the 36th rule over the next few months, and then the 1/2 rule.  You can get the full list of rules by clicking on the “36-1/2 Rules for CORE Agents” category on the blog – scroll from the bottom if you want to read them in order.