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Real Estate Team No More—Think Personal Shoppers

I would love to have a personal shopper—someone at a department store or boutique keeping an eye out for me for a beautiful dress or blouse that might fit me perfectly and is in my budget. Occasionally I’d get a phone call like this: “Sarah, an amazing dress just came in and I think you should stop by and try it on. I think it would look great on you. There were a few others that came in that probably aren’t ‘you,’ but this one seems to check all your boxes. Do you think you could swing by on your way home from work to try it on? Ten minutes.”

Imagine if teams approached real estate in this same way. I’ll likely meet my personal shopper when I am out browsing the racks someday, and as real estate agents, we’ll meet someone when they’re browsing at an open house or surfing online and then they call us to ask about a home price. In any case, we don’t really know them—but by starting a non-salesy conversation and learning more about them, that lead becomes a prospect and eventually a customer. My dress shop manager may ask me if I’m shopping for a special occasion. Do I want a long or short dress? Sparkly or simple? Team members might ask a home shopper if they’re looking to make a move soon or in the future and what their dream house looks like.

While getting to know more about me and making sure that the clothes he or she selects for me are always exactly what fits my style (and occasionally a surprise “Just humor me” selection), we are building trust in our shopping relationship. With more home runs in the fitting room, I’m much more likely to answer when my personal shopper calls. As a real estate agent, knowing my buyer’s needs and previewing perfect selections for him or her, I’m building trust in that “lead to prospect to customer” relationship. Be a step ahead just like a personal shopper would be—be the first to preview the new models and be ready to call your prospect when something just might work.

At Workman Success Systems, we learn and teach a simple script that takes an anonymous lead to prospect to customer with just a few simple questions. From learning the motivation for a home search, a little about a lead’s desires in a new home, some initial thoughts about their budget and financing plans, a cold lead conversation turns into a chat with an old friend. Handled correctly, in the same phone call we’re booking an appointment, and with quite a bit of knowledge about the person on the other end of the phone. Plus, we’ll have a plan to not only show them one, but likely two or three homes that match their criteria. (You know that my personal shopper, when I show up to try on the dress, will always have a couple more hung up in the dressing room just to tempt me.)

From lead to prospect to customer, it’s about realizing that we are helping, assisting and saving our eventual customers so much time because we know what they want and are out on the hunt while they’re going about their busy work and family lives. We’re personal shoppers just for them—who could say no to that?

The next time you have a lead on the phone, just say you’re part of a team of personal shoppers for houses instead of clothes. Who wouldn’t love that?

By Sarah Bernard

Sarah Bernard came to real estate from a career in corporate marketing and property management. Licensed in 2014, Bernard sold $6 million in properties with 12 transactions in her first year and was Rookie of the Year. Five years later, she has grown a team that includes three buyer agents and support staff. She is committed to learning and improving her team management every day. For more information, please visit