For the record, I’m a real estate agent not a tour guide, capish?

 "Looky Loo" who is not ready to buy

I’m saying this respectfully, in response to the occasional request that I receive from people, that goes something like this:

“…Hi, I found your website and though we may not be buying for a year or more, we will be visiting Orange County next week and I was wondering if you were available to show us around a bit? We are considering moving to Orange County, but we really don’t know the area very well…”

– or –

“… I may be getting transferred to Orange County later this year, and if so, I will be in the market for a home for lease. To give me an idea of homes that are typically available, would you be willing to show me a few homes this weekend?”

While I realize that these requests are genuine and  sincere, I do have to wonder if people fully understand what real estate agents do and how we earn our keep.  Do people believe we are on salary? Do they think that our brokers provide us with a company car and a gas card? That we’re so hungry for business that we’ll just jump on any opportunity to show homes?  I think most people just do not know that we are independent contractors who have to pay for all of our own expenses.  When we’re asked to donate a whole afternoon of our time to someone who is just looking, it’s 100% on our nickel.

I know that the “lure” is that these people might buy or lease a home from you at some time in the future (at least, that’s their intention) so you may be tempted to think it’s worthwhile to run them around.  Well, I’ve done a few of these “good will” showings and I can tell you that in almost every case, nothing ever materializes– they just disappear afterward.

To those nice people who have made such a request, please know that when you are genuinely ready to buy, sell, or lease a home, my team will be there for you!  Until then, please understand that like you, it is hard for us to justify spending an entire day working for free (ah,uhm….did I ask you to do a day’s work for me at no pay?)  And while I do enjoy seeing homes, I generally do it for a purpose, that being, to close a deal.

To those in the real estate business, if you hope to thrive in it, I would advise you to make good use of your time.  Work only with clients that have actual potential and take a pass on “looky-loos” and “maybes”.   I hate to pass up potential business, but that’s only if there is any real potential to begin with.  In many cases, you just have to say “no” to those who would only waste your day. Say it diplomatically, but definitely learn to say “no”!

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