In my last post I talked about an agent who put out a public tweet on losing a sale due to perceived lack of follow-up on the part of a customer… My intention was never to slam this agent nor make her look bad. (hence I kept the name out of it) And for the record, this is an excellent agent with an amazing track record.
The point of my post, and if I missed the mark I apologize, was to exhibit that there is an inherent difference between agents and online sales consultants. The two parties are not competing for business, instead one complements the other. An OSC is not about closing the sale, they are about closing the appointment. An OSC often finds themselves “hand-holding” the buyer both before and after the appointment. In the extended buying cycle it’s often hard to get a buyer in to a new home site, or to meet with a resale agent because many are “Just Looking” they have not yet begun to narrow things down and that’s why they are online, or making phone calls. But even after the appointment many people do not buy in that 30-60 day window.
The agent and the OSC have two different skill sets that are meant to work together in achieving the sale. One, the Hunter (Agent), has more immediate needs, and is focused on the close. The other, the Farmer (OSC), has all the time in the world to keep touching base with someone until the prospect says, A) I’m ready to meet with the agent B) I’ve bought somewhere else C) I’m no longer interested, or D) Jump off a bridge you’re bothering me!
It is rare these days for a home buyer to walk through the door and buy a home, or call up a resale agent and know immediately what they want. If an OSC does their job well, and right, they can create rapport and trust with the buyer and then bridge that buyer over to the sales agent when the time is right (And sometimes it has to happen again and again because they won’t buy right away.) When the house hunter finally hits that critical window of being ready to write a contract in 30-60 days, they are ready for the agent who has a whole different set of skills. Sometimes bridging the buyer from “looking” to “buying” can take YEARS!
My point in my last post was that the tweets could have come from any number of agents who are frustrated with the extended buying cycle and losing a sale due to the need of extended and exhaustive follow-up. Many agents have told me they’ve let a buyer go cold, only to find out their competition had picked up the prospect and sold them a home. It can be difficult to understanding how, when, where, and really what the point of follow-up is. The process is never perfect. But when you can team up with someone who can help you with that follow-up process you are setting yourself up for a higher success rate. Who wouldn’t want one more sale a month? Two more sales a month?
I never meant to offend the agent who’s tweets I used, especially because I consider her to be a great agent. I just thought they were a timely example of why an OSC can be so important in an agent or a builder’s business.
I hope this post brings more clarity to the idea of an OSC, and what they can do when working hand-in-hand with an agent to use their strengths (follow-up, follow-up, follow-up) To keep a builder or an agent from losing a sale to their competition.
OSC’s pay attention, that’s their job.