We all get scared to prospect; to make cold calls on the phone, make cold calls in person, call people we haven’t talked to in a while, or call an expired listing.
I just did the math on it, and I think I have made over 50,000 prospecting calls while selling real estate (while I worked in the NBA I had to make at least 100 phone calls per day that were recorded by a computer, my bosses, and a phone system).
What is the worst thing that can happen on a call? Here are mine, in ascending order:
5. CUSTOMER PULLS GUN. I walked into an investment property with it’s owner. It was in a rough neighborhood, and, we were to negotiate the showing terms with the tenant prior to signing a listing. The customer did not tell me the tenant was his step son, with whom he routinely fought. They started fighting in front of me, and my future customer pulled a gun. I convinced him to put it away. We never got this house listed.
4. YOU HAVE KIDS? Hoarder house. I talk with the potential customer for about forty-five minutes on her deck. She is clearly beyond her child rearing years, and, makes no mention of anyone else living in the home. It’s the middle of the day, a weekday, and we go into a dark, dank basement. I open a door to a random room and a little child, probably about three, immediately pops up out of a crib and another starts screaming. I truly, for about four seconds, wondered if I was in a horror movie. “You didn’t tell me you had children!”
3. HAZMAT(T) – Admittedly this listing was signed and under contract, but it was a terrible call to make – the entire home had sat for some time, in the winter, with a hot water pipe having burst. It was literally growing 6″ mushrooms on the floor, and there was a real cloud in the home.
2. BOA CONSTRICTOR LOOSE – Two of us were looking at a hoarder’s home to discern what to do with it. There was trash stacked three feet high in every room, years old food rotting everywhere, and, a boa constrictor that had escaped and not been found. “Snakes, why does it have to be snakes?!” – Indiana Jones
1. OWNER’S SON CHASES ME WITH GRAVEL RAKE. These are the heavy metal ones. I had approached their home, on foot, to ask whether they were willing to sell, or not. Once I got to the end of the long wooded driveway, the owner’s son came to the front porch and said: “What do you want, boy?” I said, nothing and started walking away. He picked up the rake, chased me on foot (he had no chance), subsequently abandoned that idea, and then tried to run me over with his truck on a main street. I lept into a wooded gully, and lost my cell phone.
That’s as bad as it’s gotten for me (knock on wood!). What about you?