Graham Wood is senior editor for REALTOR® Magazine. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ask and You Shall Receive
The first piece of advice Kristin Joyner took as a rookie agent was to ask for the business. So she did — and ended up winning 13 years’ worth of regular business.
January 17, 2014
One thing is for sure in the real estate business: You make your own luck.
Kristin Joyner, associate broker with Designer Realty in Dacula, Ga., learned that when she was starting out as a new real estate pro with Coldwell Banker in 1994. Coming in with a short list of potential clients, it was difficult to know where to turn to drum up more business. Like most first-year rookies, she invested her time in a few seminars to get her feet wet, and that’s when she happened upon some advice that would change the course of her career.
“I went to a seminar put on by a high-producing agent in Nevada. He was a great public speaker, and that day he said, ‘Ask for the business,’” Joyner recalls. “He went on talking about how agents don’t close the deal if they don’t ask for the listing at the end of the listing presentation.”
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As “luck” would have it, she had the opportunity to test that advice the very next day. Joyner went for a relaxing drive with her mother and kids, and they ended up in a new-home community that was being built. She noticed the absence of marketing materials or signs in any of the homes’ yards.
“A man drove up in a truck and got out to use a phone on a post. I knew that was the builder,” Joyner says. “I introduced myself, gave him my card, and asked about the marketing on his homes. He explained that his agent of 20 years had just retired and he was interviewing new agents.”
Recognizing the opportunity that just fell in her lap, she followed the advice she had been given the day before. “I asked to do a listing presentation for him. I lived only five minutes from the development, and I thought I could do a good job,” Joyner says.
Because the homes in the development were in a first-time buyer price point, the builder wanted to know if she was familiar with FHA and VA loans. She wasn’t. So then, for Joyner, it was about being honest and turning on the charm.
“I told him I was inexperienced but was working for a brokerage that was very experienced in new-home sales. I also said that my learning curve was greater than the other two agents he was interviewing. My enthusiasm was great. I was already excited about marketing a new-home community,” Joyner says.
Her forthrightness and positive attitude — and the fact that she immediately consulted with a mortgagor about the FHA and VA loan processes following the interview — eventually won her the business. And here’s what happened next: Joyner spent the next 13 years selling homes in 8 communities that the builder developed. She says she wouldn’t have even gotten her foot in the door to begin with if she hadn’t asked for the business.
“To this day, when I walk into a listing that I am in love with, I tell the seller: ‘I love your home, and you have many choices, as there are 32,000 licensed, active agents in Metro Atlanta. I would love the opportunity to market your home. Please consider me,” Joyner says. “You can’t expect to get the business if you don’t ask for it.”