Photo courtesy of Flickr user Empirically Grounded

Some of you may recall the story of Joseph, who dreamed of seven skinny cows and seven fat cows and seven scrawny grain stalks and seven fill grain stalks and divined that Egypt would have seven years of plenty followed by seven years of famine.

For contractors, roofers, handymen and the like here in the Phoenix area, these are the days of plenty. In fact, so plentiful is the business courtesy of the hail storm that hit the Valley earlier this month that many roofers, contractors, window companies, etc. can’t keep up with the demand. Sadly, this demand ultimately will lead to the times of famine.

The last thing someone with boarded-up windows wants to hear is that no one is available for a week or more; a homeowner who looks like their roof was borrowed from a house in Perth when Skylab crashed back to Earth and incinerated probably isn’t going to be content to wait a month before getting the damage fixed. When your answering machine specifically says that if you haven’t heard from someone within 24 hours, call back because there have been too many messages to return, consumers will move on.

That’s not so much an issue when there are hellacious hail holes everywhere. But once the business tsunami recedes and these same businessmen are staring low tide in the face – really, how many people do you know re-roofing just for the fun of it? – they’re going to wish they’d had a better service solution in place during the boom times to survive the bust.

It’s no different in real estate. As I’ve written here previously and also on, the primary focus of any real estate professional has to be prospecting if they desire any kind of sustainability. There simply are too many agents and too many buyers and sellers who see no difference between you and their cousin’s brother’s son’s girlfriend managing a transaction to sit back and wait for the business to land in your lap.

Most agents realize that. Yet when we get busy what’s the first thing that goes out the window? Prospecting.

“I couldn’t make any calls today, I was showing homes.” “I couldn’t write any notes to past clients, I was on the road.” “My dog ate the napkin upon which I’d written my buyer’s phone number.”

Legitimate, some, yet excuses all. And all ultimately will lead you closer to the end of your real estate career.

No matter how busy you are, it matters not to the person inquiring about buying one home or selling their own. All that matters is that you’re available when they need you. Just like all that matters to a homeowner these days is that someone will be able to take down the plywood covering their windows and restore the glass as it was. And I assure you, the only people the owner will remember longer than the person who fixed the windows are the people who were too busy to simply return a call.

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