The first reason I love Starbucks is because their Peppermint Mocha is to DIE FOR! The baristas know us at multiple locations and they amaze people in line by starting our drinks without our saying a word (people wonder if we’re famous- we’re not).
The second reason is that it seems to be a meeting spot for any person in any industry. Millions of dollars worth of transactions originate in Starbuck’s each year (I dare to blog about this as a commentary to why I personally love Starbucks, rather than a suggestion of where to fish for business- no one likes fishers). The vibe at Starbuck’s is very friendly and people let their guards down when drinking out of that trademark white cup. Here in Texas, it’s normal to butt into people’s conversations regarding ANYTHING, but at Starbucks, there is a comfortable vibe that even foreigners (that’s what we call people from out of state) enjoy.
Here are two case studies of Realtors in Starbucks about lessons learned when ears are perked:
SCENE ONE: Single Pointe Realty (SPR) agent is minding his own business drinking his Latte when he overhears a couple talking about how frustrated they were at home shopping. The SPR agent standing next to them asked who their Realtor was and they said they didn’t have one. A casual conversation began about why no Realtor was involved (thought they could do it on their own and save a buck) and where all they’d looked (of course nowhere economical for their investment). SPR agent gives him their card and briefly explained how he could save them money and to call if they need guidance. The soft sale led them to catch him on his way out and hire him on the spot. They also contracted that day after seeing the home of their dreams (he nailed it after 15 minutes of conversation).
SCENE TWO: (regurgitated from my comment on Bawldguy.com) Waiting for coffee, I see a greased-back hairdo with a full black suit on (not traditional for Austin’s residential market) holding a knock off Mont Blanc and brown shoes with a black belt (leave it to a Wife to notice). In the smarmiest voice ever, he leans over and says, “what if I told you that you could save $50 a month on your home when you use my services? Huh? Huh? Sounds good doesn’t it? Bet you can’t resist…” Seriously? This guy reeks of used-car-salesmanship… This is the phony (insert epithet for “crap” here) that comes out of agents' mouths that ruins it for the more genuine intellectual Realtors (like my husband of course). Despite this looking like a planned meeting (laptop open, couple not drinking coffee), the clients left that high pressure smarmy agent sitting at the table alone but kindly thanked him for his time. I wish I had a printout of PhoenixRealEstateGuy’s Karma report to hand that Realtor.
The two scenes offer very different tales of how keeping your ears perked at different locations can teach you (1) to hear what people are talking about and kindly offer your services without pressure (as if anyone needs more smarmy in this world) and (2) how NOT to practice Real Estate (greasy hair and high pressure tactics). The bottom line is, I love Starbucks for the coffee and accidental networking opportunities. ALL Realtors should have their ears open at ALL times- you never know when the next coffee drinker may be your next client!