Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Would you have caught this?

Yesterday I was taking a initial call for my client in NJ and after it was over I thought I would share the call with all of you and ask this question,

"Would you have caught this?"

Here is how the lead came in to me on Friday night via email:
   :                                    
  For: Coleen                       
  Name:: BETH Z.                 
  Msg: ESTIMATE ON ADDING 2ND FLOOR    

Sounds great right?  I jumped right on it, even though it was a bit out of the territory hey they are adding a 2nd Floor, I'd love to have this project!


I called and spoke with Beth on Saturday who said she was busy and couldn't talk , so I asked if I could call on Monday and would she have time, and she agreed.

Monday morning I called and Beth and I were having a nice opening conversation about the day and how nice it was out. While talking initially with her I gathered all the pertinent information concerning her address, what kind of home is was, phone numbers, etc. 

Then I began to ask her about what she was looking to get done, and she proceeded to let me know about the house, and how she would love to have a second story addition since the home was a ranch and they needed more room.  Beth told me how she would like to add a master bedroom and 2 other rooms in the new addition so she could have a view of the lake behind her from her bedroom. (I have to say this answer sent a red flag up for me, there is no real need, just a want) still intrigued I continued asking questions and listening to all her ideas for this addition. 

I was now about 15 minutes into our conversation and both of us were enjoying each other, laughing at times and getting comfortable with each other.  So the the next series of questions I began to ask were the financial questions, always fun I know!  I asked Beth if she had considered what a addition like this would add to the value of her home, and where she and her husband would feel comfortable financially investing in their home? 

Here comes the bomb!  Beth's answer was "Oh we don't own the home, we haven't even put a bid on it yet!" , well then my conversation started to steer in a different direction.  I asked her if she would mind letting me know the value of the home as it currently is, she told me 725,000...there was a brief silence on my part due to my shock!  I asked Beth, " Have you considered what a project like you are considering would add on to the loan you will need for the home? Do you know if the zoning in this area will allow an addition like you are considering? Well as you probably already know the answer to this was no. 

She then actually sighed and said "thank you Coleen, I've never remodeled or purchased a home before even at my age, and just didn't know!" I then gave her advise to contact the town zoning to get information on what they allow as far as what she was looking to do prior to her putting a bid on the home. Contact her bank to see what they will allow financially for them, and then when she has all of those in place I would be happy to come and for a fee to review the home and see what they could do prior to purchase of the home.  Beth was very appreciative and asked that I follow up with her in a few weeks so we could talk about what she found out!




This call took exactly 22 minutes and cost my client in NJ a total of $40.00! 
Not to mention the potential for a sale later, when she has all things in order.

I don't know where in the conversation you may have stopped but I know I used to stop probably after the 2nd paragraph because I was so hungry for work and at that point it sure sounded like a great project I didn't want to slide by me! 

Gas and Time alone would cost easily over 250.00 plus I would be heading to a client that isn't even remotely close to being ready to remodel any home.  I would have been angry and probably not have wanted to contact her again because I would have been so upset they wasted my time! 

Let me know your answers below....Would you have caught this?