Building Trust with Clients and Colleagues
Greetings from beautiful Santa Barbara, CA, my first home away from home on this trip. I’ll be here for three weeks working and hanging out with my five nieces and nephews. (Follow along on Instagram). Today I want to talk about getting your clients and colleagues on board with the idea of running your real estate business from wherever you want.
Once I had given myself permission to take the step of working remotely, I started worrying about what my co-workers and clients would say. In the past I have spent time away from Denver to scout new investing areas and complete a rehab in Indianapolis. When people heard I was out of town they didn’t want to bother me, even when I explained that I was not on vacation. I thought long and hard about how to pitch the idea of working from Thailand, sure that everyone would wink at me and say “sure you’ll be working”.
I tested the waters by talking with my team and seeing how they felt, and aside from some reassurances about keeping them informed of time zone changes and virtual office hours they all thought it sounded like a great fit for me. I shouldn’t have been surprised, they’re such a great group of people. My clients are also awesome, so next I sent an email out to a small group who are friends or on my VIP list, since they’re the ones most likely to txt about grabbing brunch or expect me to respond within minutes to an investing question. Again, I made sure to explain that I’m working with an official remote work program, that they would still be able to call and txt me on the same number, and that my team was available for showings or other local needs. The responses they sent were supportive, curious, and occasionally jealous.
A few people wanted to meet up before I left and out of those conversations I signed up the first two clients who will be working on a purchase and sale while I’m overseas. My buyers are a young millennial couple who weren’t phased one bit. They just wanted to make sure they could Facetime me, and with that assurance were excited about telling people their real estate agent was working from Thailand. What I realized is that I had started laying the groundwork early. I’ve spent time away and have closed deals remotely (the photo above is of the antique store in Hawaii where I signed and faxed closing docs for a listing this spring). In fact it’s more common now that the buyers and sellers I work with are the ones out of town during the process.
The bottom line is my clients and co-workers have learned they can trust me to put their needs first no matter where they are or where I am. With technology we can do just about everything, in fact Team Zen will soon have a new 3D video camera so if you want be the one on the beach but need to shop for an investment property we can do a walk through for you and it’ll feel like you’re there with us.
If you want to learn more about running your business remotely follow my Bigger Pockets blog.