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From we don’t want to commit to an agent to we want you to be our agent in 2 hours or less – It is possible, if you just listen

Sounds crazy, doesn't it, to go from a phone call that ends with the buyer telling you that they aren't committing to any one agent and are just gathering information, to two hours later getting a call that they would like to use you exclusively to help them find a home.

Well, I'm going to let you in on a secret. If you ask the right questions and can find that one little hot button, they could be your exclusive buyers or sellers in less than 2 hours also.

I discovered this method about 2 years ago and I try to use it with every person who calls. I know they are looking to buy or sell, but there is always more to a person than real estate, they key is to find out what that is!

I had a caller call and was asking me about information on one of my listings. He told me straight out that he wasn't looking for an agent and was just gathering information. Now he's made it a challenge and I wanted to change that mind. I can tell you I did and I'll do it again.

I started to ask questions that really have nothing to do with real estate, like what he did, what his hobbies were and mixed that with real estate questions. During that conversation, I found out he was a vet and was hoping to find a home that could be bought with a VA loan.


Here was his hot button, he was a veteran and he wanted to save money. I told him that I thought I had the perfect home for him and if I could get his e-mail address, later that day  I would send him some information on it.

That is when I went to work! I found out all I could about savings offered to veterans in my area and I wrote a blog post about it called, "Are you a veteran living in, or wanting to live in, Washington County?" Then I called him back and said, "I was thinking about you and I got some information that I just sent you via e-mail as a kind of a thank you for our service to our country."

He was so grateful that I had listened to him that he and his wife wanted to meet with me immediately and he made me his exclusive buyers' agent that day, within 2 hours of the initial contact. He had talked to 7 other Realtors that day and not one of them had caught the fact that he was a veteran and that he was looking for savings.

I ended up saving him over $5,000 that day because of my post and he said he wasn't going to forget that. It pays to ask questions and to listen, because if you do, you will truly find what they are looking for and it may not be real estate related.


Respect Realty LLC (Expect More)


At Respect Realty, LLC our agents believe in 100% dedication to client satisfaction.  We specialize in property and land acquisition around the Portland Metro and Vancouver, WA area. We delight in working with first time home buyers and sellers to guide them from start to finish. Our doors are always open and we are always happy to assist you with your real estate questions.


Reach out today, we look forward to talking with you!


Todd Clark and Seraina Aguayo (Owners of Respect Realty)

Respect Realty LLC (Expect More)



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Comment balloon 22 commentsRespect Realty LLC • January 20 2009 10:56AM


Todd - this is a perfect example of getting to know our clients first before trying to sell them anything.  I do the same with any prospect that calls and/or emails me.  Early in my career, someone once told me (can't remember who), "people don't care how much you know until they know how much you care".  That saying has always stuck with me.  I use the same practice when meeting a prospective professional partner (Realtor, inspector, appraiser, title/escrow reps or anyone for that matter).  I think it's a better way of establishing a relationship rather than trying to sell someone.

Posted by Donne Knudsen, CalState Realty Services (Los Angeles & Ventura Counties in CA) over 10 years ago

Hi Todd,  Great example of effective selling/listening.  I always feel that I learn a whole lot more while listening than while talking !

Posted by Bill Gillhespy, Fort Myers Beach Realtor, Fort Myers Beach Agent - Homes & Condos (16 Sunview Blvd) over 10 years ago

Todd - great message. I appreciate what you have learned in your experience and are willing to share. I am signing up for your blog by email. I don't want to miss one.


Posted by Joanne Mills (Exit Realty Premier) over 10 years ago


It's called being conversant and it's a skill everyone needs to develop!!! Thanks,   Fran

Posted by Fran Gaspari, "The Title Man" - Title Insurance - PA & NJ (Patriot Land Transfer, Inc.) over 10 years ago

He was so grateful that I had listened to him that he and his wife wanted to meet with me immediately and he made me his exclusive buyers' agent that day, within 2 hours of the initial contact.

Thanks Todd,

What a great reminder about the power of asking questions and then listening!

Posted by Bruce Brockmeier, Coached By Crouch (Internet Marketing Consultant to REALTORS®) over 10 years ago

Why to go Todd.  I think we could all stand to listen to our clients needs a little more.  Great Tip! 

Posted by Leslie Stewart, Realtor, ABR, CRS, Oregon Licensed Broker (Oregon Licensed Broker with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Real Estate Professionals) over 10 years ago

Great Todd.  You gave him something of real value that no one else had thought of, or came up with.

Posted by John Walters, Licensed in Louisiana (Frank Rubi Real Estate) over 10 years ago

Good explanation of how being a human with excellent hearing and industriousness can win you clients, Todd.  No magic here - just going an extra mile for someone.

Posted by Jeff R. Geoghan, REALTOR, Marketing Manager (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) over 10 years ago

I went through this process today! What a quick evolution!  I also want to congratulate you on being the #1 AR Agent!  Outstanding!

Posted by Tracy Santrock, Raleigh - Cary Realtor/Broker In Charge (Fonville Morisey/Santrock Realty Group, Inc. ) over 10 years ago

I don't think you can teach this to people. Either they have the ability or don't. I listen to other agents in my office and they are so blunt on the phone with call-ins. I have gotten quite a few clients in this same process. I think it has more to do with Your personality.

Posted by Lisa Southern over 10 years ago

Great post.  The key to all higher intelligence is to ask the right questions.  You did a great job on the phone.  I'm using it for inspiration for future phone calls.

Posted by Mike Henderson, HUD Home Hub - 303-949-5848 (Your complete source for buying HUD homes) over 10 years ago

I quite agree that listening is key, throughout every aspect of our transactions to ensure the trust of our clients.

Posted by Samantha Nichols, Massachusetts Real Estate Specialist (ERA Belsito and Associates) over 10 years ago

Having just commented on another blog, where the "positivity" was running thin, I love reading a post like this!  Your approach will be remembered and passed on to friends and family and will serve you well!  You give Realtors a GOOD name! 

Posted by c m over 10 years ago

Todd, thanks for the post.  Great ideas for capturing buyers.  It opens up a world of opportunities.

Posted by Gabe Sanders, Stuart Florida Real Estate (Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales) over 10 years ago

Todd - listening and building rapport is the gateway to a great relationship. I also liked the blog for the Veteran. Great Job!

Posted by Petra Norris, Realtor, Lakeland FL Homes for Sale (Lakeland Real Estate Group, Inc.) over 10 years ago

Todd, that is a GREAT story.  You are so right - if we could just listen instead of trying to sell ourselves to people.

Posted by James Downing - Metro DC Houses Team REALTORS®, CRS, GRI, ABR,MRP, MilRes, When Looking to Buy or Sell - Make the Right Move (Real Living | At Home) over 10 years ago


You obviously are a very caring person.  Our business is PEOPELE-ORIENTED and I am a firm believer in "knowing our client's needs".  It means getting close and personal and alot of agents don't beleive in doing this.  Thank you for confirming my thoughts on the client-agent relationship and for sharing your methods for success. A real inspiration!!!


Posted by Anice Keenan Marietta, GA (Real Property Solutions, Inc.) over 10 years ago

Great post! We all need to discover that special wording that makes clients realize how we will work with and for them!

Posted by Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi, MA, PSA, TRC - Greater Clearwater Florida Residential Real Estate Professional, Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Clearwater, Safety Harbor (Charles Rutenberg Realty) over 10 years ago

Todd, exccellent example of why it's more effective to ask good questions and listen for the answers, then to just talk about how great you are...

Posted by Brian Schulman, Lancaster County PA RealEstate Expert 717-951-5552 (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Lancaster PA) over 10 years ago

Awesome job...and great listening!!!  I can tell you not only care about your job and your reputation but your client as well.  That is the key to your success I'm sure!

Posted by Sonya Loose, Selling Waterfront in Gladwin & Midland County (Modern Realty) over 10 years ago

Great idea, Todd, I'm goinig to try it the next time I get one of those calls, which happens quite often. Thanks.

Posted by Kelsey Barklow, 423/948-9154 (Hurd Realty) over 10 years ago

Listening to who are your clients really are is such a key element....

Posted by Sonja Adams (Samson Proprties) over 10 years ago

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