What an interesting question to hear from a first-time buyer!
This afternoon, I was showing a handful of places to a couple who are looking to buy their first home. This was our first meeting, and things were going smoothly, although the homes themselves were in less-than-desirable condition because of the price range and the fact that all of them are either short sales or foreclosures.
He turned to me as we were leaving the third house, and asked,
"So, Jason, how long do you usually work with a client before giving up on them?"
I have had this question posed to me in the past, but usually it comes from folks who have been looking for weeks (or months). Coming from someone I met about an hour before, it struck me as funny, so I laughed in his face and blew it off. Actually, that is completely untrue. It was surprising, though, and it made me think.
What are my standards for this, anyway?
I responded, "Well, actually, a few years back, I had one client that looked at almost 100 homes before deciding on the right one." Then I gave them a brief synopsis of how/why that happened. I just re-assured them that I am very patient, and that it takes an awful lot for me to get irritated. I went on to explain that I don't really ever rush anyone, and that I want to help buyers to find the right place, even if it takes a bit longer sometimes. This seemed to make him really happy, even though I get the sense that they will probably act relatively quickly.
I thought about this a little more on the way home (clearly, since I am now writing about it), and it made me think that these buyers are probably going to be more respectful of my time and appreciative of the service that I am looking to provide for them in the upcoming weeks.
In January, I will have my 12-year anniversary in the real estate business. I have worked with (almost) every conceivable type of buyer during my career, including those that are "users", tire kickers, and the disloyal. So, it is always refreshing to have clients who genuinely care about me and my time.
It's a very positive sign if a buyer or seller says, "You have spent enough time on this for today. You need to get home to your family." or "Thank you SO MUCH for your time today. I learned a lot. This was great!" or (and this is the most frequent statement by far) "Jason, we have decided to name our next child after you."
But seriously, clients who genuinely respect you and your service are a blessing indeed, especially when they're pre-approved. :)