The Silent Scream, “I Am Not A Taxi” | October 2010

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by David Fletcher

Have you seen the television commercial featuring the first time home buyer who is bragging that their agent showed them more than 20 homes, and the agent is bragging that it was more like 30?

This is obviously not a recruiting commercial for buyer’s agents.

The commercial implies that this national franchise is an agent of change. I can’t help but think that the agent that sold this family a home will be changing careers right after this couple closes the sale and the agent gets her car repaired and the gas bill paid.

There are two messages in this commercial. The first is that agents with this franchise don’t put a limit on how hard they work to satisfy their clients. The second, they don’t have a clue how to take control of a buyer or how to qualify one.

But that’s not uncommon for any of us, is it?The silent scream- I am not a taxi. real estate agent advice

I know a top agent with another leading franchise who will not show a prospect more than three homes. If they want to see more than that he refers them to a new agent who is willing to “play taxi.”

In reality, you know who shows 30 homes? New agents who don’t know any better and they have not a clue how to qualify the buyer or select inventory to show.

Maybe it is a good time to reassess your showing habits by answering the following three questions:

1.    What percentage of your buyers do you actually sell?
Whatever that percentage is, set a goal to increase it by 20 percent in the next three months. If you are closing 30 percent, strive to start closing 36 percent. If you don’t know your prospect-to-closing ratio, think back over the past three months and be honest with yourself. You should be closing one out of ever three you put in your car.

2.    Are you comfortable and self confident with your buyer qualifying skills?
Don’t fall into the “buyers or liars” trap. That takes the responsibility off of you. I like “agents are poor qualifiers,” because if I truly believe that about myself I will start learning how to become a better qualifier — faster.

3.    Do you really know how to set a showing schedule?
If you were going to show three homes today, would you show the home you think they are going to buy first, second, or third?
Hint: If you show the best home last, the homes are getting better and better in the buyers mind, will they keep wanting to see more?

What do the top agents in your office do? What does your broker recommend?

When you think about it, maybe you don’t need more prospects. You just need to become a more professional selling agent. How would your income change if you started closing just one more prospect a month than you are closing now?

In your training and retraining, learn how to qualify your buyer, then show homes according to their needs.

Your expensive “taxi” service will be greatly reduced, and your income will substantially increase.


David Fletcher has been a Florida real estate condominium and new homes broker for 30 years with more than $3 billion in new construction sales. In 2008, Keller Williams Realty International named him a “Lifetime Achiever.”

Along the way he has chaired the Florida Homebuilders Association Sales and Marketing Council, trained thousands of general agents and on-site agents to work together, and was a featured speaker at the National Association of Realtors.

Recently he founded New Homes Niche, a builder-certified co-broker training system “to meet the growing trend we see in short sale buyers moving to new homes for a lot of reasons.”

For information about his up coming workshops in Central Florida, call David at 407 234 2349 or visit him on the web at


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