What I learned from my cats about customers and clients

We have three cats in our home and two dogs (but that's another post).  My cats are very individual and different as can be.  My husband snapped that photo because it's SO unusual for those to cats to be that close to each other.

We have Gabby, the black and white tuxedo cat.  If you came over you would meet Gabby.  Gabby would be head butting you and expecting attention all the time.  Pet me, Pet me, Pet me.  But I've learned that when I get home from work or up in the morning if I will take the time to play ball with Gabby for a just a few minutes and pet and scratch her behind the ears she will settle down somewhere near and just be a cat.

I have to handle some of my clients JUST like that... now I don't mean I have to scratch them behind the ears, but I do have to sense their need for attention and call and inform, keep updated by emails and phone calls.  Many first time home buyers have new questions every time they tell someone they are buying a home it triggers more questions.  I don't mind, I always get the MOST warm and fuzzy reward from first time home buyers.  And of my last 4 closings each had at least one buyer who was making their first home purchase.

Then there is my seal point snow shoe, Ittle Bitty.  She allows me to put her when she feels like it.  Otherwise she just does her own thing.  If you looked up "independence" in the dictionary you perhaps would find her photo.  She knows what she wants and how she wants it.  Ittle Bitty is  like my seasoned buyers and sellers.  Not their first rodeo and experience is a great teacher.  Sometimes buyers and sellers only want and need a little guidance to the current market from the data I have available as a broker.  They come to me and want my marketing skills, but are satisfied and head out to do their thing while I do mine.  We come together when we have to see property or negotiate an offer.

And then there is skitty.  I've been up for hours and I haven't seen her.  If I want to see her I have to go to her hiding place.  She's either under the bed or in the closet or in my bedroom window.  I have to call her and follow through again and again until she feels ready to come out and get the attention.  That's how I handle those cool prospects.  Those people you get an email from and then BAM they are gone.  Not another peep.  Did you know that if you follow through a couple of times a week with personal follow up emails.  Sending other homes that might come on the market that you could convert more of those prospects.  When someone peeps out their head and then goes to hide in the closet you sometimes have to visit again and again to let them see you are there to help and haven't moved on to others. 

Not all consumers are the same and we have to be able to understand their level of need and react to it appropriately.  We might plan to have a business model and do things "this way", but our business involves individual people and sometimes "this way" doesn't work for all of those people.  I think any business model has be a bit flexible when working with people. 

What do you think?

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Tammy Lankford, Broker/Owner


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Comment balloon 37 commentsTammy Lankford • September 29 2011 10:21AM
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