Rules for CORE Agents #20: If a Client Calls You With a Question, You’ve Probably Already Failed

Your phone rings.  It’s a seller whose home you’ve listed, and they want to know if that buyer over the weekend had any feedback. Or it’s a buyer you’re working with, wondering if anything new came on the market this week.

Guess what? You just failed.  Why?  Because they felt that they had to call you. They had a problem, or a concern, or a question, and they did not feel confident that you would be calling them. By definition, they had needs that you were not meeting.

That’s not the way it’s supposed to work. In the ideal agent-client relationship, they don’t have to call you, because they know you’re going to call them.

That’s the expectation you should always set with your clients: first, that you’re going to contact them on a consistent and regular basis; and second, that you’re going to contact them anytime you have something to report.  They don’t need to ever call you, because you’ve established a system that ensures that you’re contacting them with regularity.

For example, what if when you first met with your clients, you told them the following:

“I think my most important job is to make sure we communicate regularly, so I want you to know I’m going to call you every Monday with an update about what’s going on.  And if anything comes up during the week, I’m also going to call you whenever I have some news.”

Let’s say that after making that commitment, you keep it. You call them every Monday to update them, and call them during the week if you have anything important to tell them.  What does that do?  First, it establishes that you’re going to have a regular phone conversation with your client on Monday.  Thus, if they have any non-urgent issues during the week, they know that they can just bring them up to your on your weekly update call.  Second, they also know that if anything DOES come up during the week, you’re going to reach out to them, so they don’t have to worry about calling you.

This is better for everyone.  The biggest complaint most clients have is that they don’t hear from their agent, which really means that they don’t have a settled expectation on when their agent is going to call them. And from your perspective, this ensures that you’ll always be calling them on your terms, when you’re prepared.  You won’t be fielding (or ducking) random calls during the week when you’re with other clients, or taking time off, or in a meeting, or whatever.


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.