Since I’ve gotten into real estate, I’ve been made painfully aware of how many people flat-out ignore other people. Being on the receiving end of this really kinda sucks. I completely understand if I, as an obnoxious Realtor trying to drum up business, send unsolicited emails or letters that go unanswered. In fact, when I send letters or postcards, I definitely don’t ever expect to hear back from anyone—I do it just on the HOPE, the slim CHANCE that someone will react. I don’t ever send mass marketing emails, but I do send emails to people who I have met and who have provided me with their email address. Sometimes I’ve met them at an open house. Sometimes they’ve registered on my website. I take time to craft emails, sometimes creating reports with information I think they may find useful. I send them and get no response. A week will go by. Maybe two weeks. I’ll send another follow-up email to see if they’ve looked at it or have any questions. If I have a phone number for them, I’ll call. If I have an address, I may even stop by. They don’t answer their phone. They don’t answer their door.
If someone doesn’t want to work with me, that’s fine. There are many, many Realtors. If a person tells me they’re thinking of selling their home though, or thinking of buying soon, they’re going to need real estate services. I offer real estate services. I want to help. I will not give up until told to do so. I will keep pestering until a potential client tells me to go away, and I am not offended by it. I get it—things happen. People change plans, meet new people, or have financial woes. Just tell me so I can stop wasting my time and bugging you!
It’s baffling, really, and it’s not limited to real estate. I do a lot of volunteer work at my kids’ school, and as such, I sometimes have lists of other people who have signed up to volunteer. I have been sending emails to these faceless lists lately, and out of 20 people, I got 2 replies. Two. That means 18 people thought it was appropriate to ignore me, as if I am not a human being giving up my time to do these things for our kids at their school. No “Sorry, I’m too busy to help.” No “I’ll do what I can but no guarantees.” No “I have had a lot of changes since I signed up, and will no longer be able to help.” Not even a “I’m on the list by mistake” or “Screw off.” Nothing.
So through all the time I have been ignored, I find myself wondering whether people don’t mind being rude, or whether they think they go unnoticed. Maybe they think I send out so many personalized, tailored reports (which I pay a lot to send) and emails, that it’s OK for them to delete it. Maybe they think I have so many volunteers to deal with that I won’t notice if just one person doesn’t respond. Maybe everyone else is ignored too, and they’re paying it forward.
Or, maybe they just forget.