David Saks: One Client At A Time

David Saks - Real Estate Broker - The Real Estate Mart of Tennessee, Inc. - 4040 North Watkins-Suite #4 - Memphis, Tennessee 38127 - Phone (901) 357-4663

One Client At A Time

                                            one client at a time

Times are tough, jobs are scarce in the real estate business, investors are going broke, builders are filing for bankruptcy, sellers are selling because they can't afford to keep the homes they live in, banks don't have the money they need to loan because investors aren't buying mortgage backed securities, closng attorneys and appraisers are being hustled off to prison for mortgage fraud, more shysters are coming out of the woodwork to con gullible people into shelling out scarce money for seminars filled with public information about foreclosures and how to capitalize on the misfortunes of others, brokerages are firing and laying off their staffs and realtors are retiring or not renewing their licenses in large numbers.

Is it time to refine our way of thinking about how we deal with our clients ?

Here's an idea !

Become familiar with the desires, wishes, needs, reasons and hopes of one client at a time .

We not only need to become our client's real estate agent, but their friend as well, and listen to what they're saying by learning everything we possibly can about them, and then begin to focus on the kind of home that person, our client, our friend wants to spend their life in.

Isn't it only after we've done our due diligence that we, as real estate agents, are best equipped and best prepared to find the type of property that will satisfy the needs of our clients ?

When I see agents with 15, 20 , 30 or more listings I wonder sometimes if they have time to care about anyone's needs other than their own.

Maybe it's time for one dedicated agent to sell one home at a time. It demonstrates the skill the agent has to be a person helping another person, people helping people.

Why do some agents spread themselves so thin with pages of listings but nothing sold ? Are the listings just to create impressive looks on the company books ?

Listings equate to an economic state of growth with rising profits and full employment for many of us.

But could they also slow your progress ?

I know agents with fifty listings who've sold nothing in a year, and agents with one listing at the time of this entry that are happy serving the needs of those who bring the desires of homeownership to them.

Is it time to change our way of thinking about listings and the way we thank our clients for allowing us to represent them ?

I believe that it is. Don't you ?

David Saks

Time&Temp Memphis

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Comment balloon 17 commentsDavid Saks • September 01 2008 05:25AM


Agents with that many listings cannot possibly serve their clients to the best of their ability even if they have assistants. I have 3 listings at the moment and that is enough for now. As I sell these I will go for more. I think less is better.

Posted by Ray Henderson (Weichert Realtors' Northeast Group) about 12 years ago

I agree, Ray. Overload can wreck havoc. Many thanks.

Posted by David Saks ((retired)) about 12 years ago

I've had clients ask me how many listings I had and when I told them that I thought I gave better service if I kept the number below 10, they agreed and said they thought their previous agent had too many listings and didn't have time for them.  BTW, you've certainly been busy this morning :)

Posted by Retired Notworking about 12 years ago

David, I agree with you.  That is why I prefer to limit the number of clients I work with at one time.

Posted by Shirley Parks, Broker, 210-414-0966, San Antonio TX Real Estate (Sands Realty 210-414-0966) about 12 years ago

Great advice, overload leads to mistakes and poor customer service.

Posted by Donald Urschalitz, P.A. Realtor ABR RSPS North Palm Beach County (Lubeck Realty Group) about 12 years ago

Good blog.  Our broker once hired a new girl who had about 40 listings.  She promised the world to each of them....just add on our commission and we'll sell it type stuff.  She didn't get signatures half the time, operated outside the broker, and there was no way she was helping anyone.  He fired her!

Posted by Barbara S. Duncan, GRI, e-PRO, Executive Broker, Searcy AR (RE/MAX Advantage) about 12 years ago

Organization is key. I carry a ton of listings. Some are lots which are pretty much duplicates of each other and have the same owners. I believe in getting the  word out about all my listings. I have 5  mls databases I post to. 2 web sites, each listing has it's own brochure, depending on the listing and whether it's appropriate, there may be a virtual  tour. There are always many  pictures. E-mail blasts, agent caravans, open  houses, etc. you get the pic.

My question is... with only one listing, what do you do with the other 35 hours of the week? Maybe  I'm missing something here, but seriously, do you sit in the car and wait for a prospective buyer to walk by the property? Take brochures to the mall & hand them out at the door? What's the secret?

Happy  closings

Chris :)

Posted by Chris Oliver (Century 21, Preferred Properties) about 12 years ago

I think it's a bit presumptious to tell each other how to manage listings - just because one person can't handle a lot of listings doesn't mean that others can't. I've carried an average of 25 over the past several months - it just takes work and lots of phone calls. Some listings require a lot more attention than others.

In listing properties we are serving our clients - I've had tons where the client is on the bubble of losing the home through foreclosure - we must sharpen our skills and our pencils to make the deal happen. If my clients are taking a hit, I've got to be sensitive to that and help if I can. That's the kind of service my clients really need.  It's still all about the price/bottom line.  Service will help us survive this market correction. The realor who provide service instead of talking about it will have loyalty and the neighbors will be talking about it.

Press on!

Dwayne Hicks



Posted by Dwayne Hicks, Metro West Realty (Metro West Realty) about 12 years ago

Sounds great, Colleen. We all know the old saying about too many irons in the fire. Nice to hear from you.

Posted by David Saks ((retired)) about 12 years ago

Thank you, Shirley. Glad it works for you.

Posted by David Saks ((retired)) about 12 years ago

I agree, Donald. Hope you have a fine week ahead.

Posted by David Saks ((retired)) about 12 years ago

Great story, Barbara. She was all talk and no process. Always happy to hear from you.

Posted by David Saks ((retired)) about 12 years ago

Good to hear from you, Chris. I understand full well that there are situations where an abundance of listings may be necessary in areas where limited brokerage services are applicable, or perhaps where a real estate agent works in solitary fashion with little competition. There's absolutely not a thing wrong with that, and it's encouraging for the healthy acquistion of resources for your company in addition to keeping your brokerage stockpiled and busy.

On the other hand, where competition is ferocious and agents are sprouting listings from every imaginable, conceivable resource, i.e., the banks, HUD, distressed sellers, the investment pool, I believe that it's more difficult to provide adequate service to our clients and focus directly on their needs in a trammeled, restrained, curtailed, restricted market atmosphere blinded by false positives and phony cheerleaders in a faultering econmic climate. Many are retiring their licenses because real estate agents, with their names on billboards in busy intersections, are racking up listings from the public. Some agents wear volumes of listings on their sleeves, and in the pages of the real estate tabloids at the supermarket exits, like the Luftwaffe pilots displayed the artwork of bombs on the sides of their aircraft for every allied kill they made, knowing full well that some of those homes will never sell while those listing agreements are in effect. Days, weeks, months lost, and the dreams of homeowners all over America, dead.

Perhaps I'm missing your inquiry, Chris. Why would I devote 5 hours to one listing? I'd be happy to spend forty hours on one listing in this market, or any market for that matter. I'm not hiding anything by suggesting that taking heed and giving close and thoughtful attention to the needs of one client at a time is anything more than taking the responsibility of the duty of loyalty a little further than the advancement of avarice, rapacity, or extreme greed for material wealth at the expense of one client.

I give referrals away every week, and I've never taken a dime for one, ever, by the way.

Happy trails.....and happy Labor Day

Posted by David Saks ((retired)) about 12 years ago

Dwayne, glad to hear from you.

There's a distinction between presumption, a calculated observation, and a statement that is assumed to be true and from which a conclusion may be drawn. There's a difference. If, in effect, your suggesting that I've been discourteous to the notion of undertaking volumes of listings, then perhaps your suggesting that I've demonstrated an inference of an audacious fact from other facts not proved or admitted to harm our cause. If, on the other hand, I've presented you with a collection of questions from the seat of the faculty of reason addressing the issue, and there's been no attempt to control, manage, direct or influence then, I submit for your consideration, I am, indeed, not being presumptuous.

Might I reiterate, taking the responsibility of the duty of loyalty a little further than the advancement of avarice, rapacity, or extreme greed for material wealth at the expense of one client is a good thing.

Thanks for your comment. I hope you have a fine week ahead.

Posted by David Saks ((retired)) about 12 years ago

I have to say I still find your alphabet soup entertaining..........and feel like a 3 year old playing with my mouse and your letters! lol

I can say this, I have 11 listings right now and its darn hard to keep up sometimes.......not so much with the listings but when 6 of those are also buying with you........and they have to write multiple offers and look at a dozen homes each time, because they keep getting invoked the 24 hr clause - it becomes a challenge. 

I guess thats why they have 'teams' and 'buyers agents' within the team.........because its very difficult for one person to be all things to all people.  Especially if you are conscientious.......and care about 'your' people.

I think in a perfect real estate world you could work with one client at a time, provided the listing sold, and you had another one right after that one........and then again..........but it doesn't seem tol work like that unfortunately...

Its a good thought though...:-)

Thank you for your comments on my blog - I sure hope your brother-in-law is ok.......it seems like a mircacle piggy backed the hurricane.........and i hope thats true for your family.

Cheshire grin - back...

Posted by Liz Moras Migic, Chilliwack, British Columbia - Realtor about 12 years ago

Actually, he's my brother, Liz. Thanks for your good thoughts about his safety. I feel that he'll be safe.

I'm all for having a listing in the queue once the last closing's been consummated. Being able to keep up with the load is the thing if your accustomed to volume merchandising. :-) Hats off if the tempo's right and you don't miss a beat.

Posted by David Saks ((retired)) about 12 years ago

oops.........misread the comment before........ re multiple listings....i don't know if its the perfect scenerio and there are times when we miss the beat..........but when only one out of 6 houses are selling it becomes challenging.......its tricky.........balance ........would be the hope and plan...:-)

Posted by Liz Moras Migic, Chilliwack, British Columbia - Realtor about 12 years ago

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