Wednesday, July 21, 2010

You never know who you could be talking to...

I recently spent 2 days at a great real estate conference and as I always do, I spent a good deal of time looking around the trade stands to see all the new and innovative ideas and products being offered to the real estate community.

There was one stand I was particularly interested in - so I headed over there late this afternoon and left with virtual smoke pouring from my ears.

Firstly - I had to wait a bit of time before anyone at the stall would talk to me. Not a huge concern IF the staff were busy with clients but they were talking amongst themselves.

When someone finally came over to talk to me (the inventor of the product and their managing director) he quickly informed me that this product was "for sales people" and that I was clearly "just in property management".

Now, I do have a property management business, BUT:

- I communicate with over 2,000 sales agents on a monthly basis through my various newsletters / twitter / facebook and I happily spread the word about new and innovative products I like

- Secondly - his product could easily be utilised by property managers, he just hadn't thought that far ahead

- Finally - how much business from sales people and business owners has he lost by simply assuming they're in property management (I dare say I looked even more like his definition of a stereotypical property manager when I owned a large real estate sales business!)

His initial assumptions were judgemental and annoying to me - but what's more, they've lost him potential business.

Not only could I have used his product, recommended it to sales agents and used it in my property management business, it's also a product that I could have recommended to the public at large as it's success or failure will be determined by consumer traffic.

When I pushed him further and asked questions about his product I was met with a condescending spiel about what it did.

To top off his beautiful sales pitch, despite asking what my name tag meant (I told him I'd previously spoken at the conference) he either didn't listen to me or didn't hear and ended our conversation by telling me that "If I ever get into the real estate business" I should go to his website!

My first week selling real estate my boss told me that it was extremely dangerous to judge a book by it’s cover. Over the years some of the wealthiest property owners I've come into contact with have driven up in a ute wearing stubby shorts and a bonds singlet. Some of the wealthiest business owners I've ever met are shy, unassuming and modest. Some of the people in the biggest debt and worst financial situations I've ever met drive Porsches and have all the flash labels on their clothes.

Whether it's showing the kitchen of a potential home more to the wife and the workshop to the husband without finding out more about their interests, assuming that someone can't afford your product, or even as my new "friend" did, making the completely egregious assumption that someone who is a lead has nothing to do with your industry - assume (as my corny Dad used to say) makes an "ass" out of "u" and "me".

And to end my night on a chuckle I've just gone to the website of this new product and on the top right hand corner is an option for me to "tell a friend". I think not.

By Kirsty Dunphey with 2 comments


I wish I got around to the Kirsty Dunphey blog more often, coz every time I do, there's just gold in here.
And Kirsty, through you being the fabulous you that you are, you influence the best trainers, speakers and real estate agents in the country and some .... silly person (it was going to be naughtier than that but I thought I'd keep it PG) goes and treats you like that.
Oh well, thank god for mediocrity, because when you and I teach agents the right way to do it, the bar for them to clear is so much lower.
A shame, and maybe a little cynical, but true enough for this guy's competition.
(and I would imagine those AREC booths aren't cheap??

Keep being fab Kirsty,


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