Subscribe to Answers
I have always preferred to meet clients at the office and take them in my car unless they have children. If children are involved, they can follow in their car.
Prospects should not be taken anywhere before they are pre-qualified.
Holleay Parcker - Spin...
Kitty Hawk, NC
I always offer to take clients in my truck. I carry the max on car insurance for this reason too. It allows us time to discuss each house as we motor on to the next one, and as an experience buyers agent I can talk about the area, schools, parks, groceries stores near by, etc. Plus it is polite and respectful to offer to drive them. I like to make it an educational and exciting experience for the buyers.
Holleay Parcker - Spin...
Kitty Hawk, NC
My market is predominantly second homes and investment properties. My buyers are almost always from out of state. Given that we are a resort destination, traffic during the season can be horrific. I know how to sidestep the majority of it, while my buyers are typically unfamiliar with the area and would get caught in bottlenecks.
I have always used this time to listen to them, connect with them, and build a rapport...Spirit is right! There is so much I can impart to them between showings about the area, attractions, and its history. I would never be able to mention all of this if we drove separately.
Roy is right as well; I would rather sit on the couch and watch Oprah and eat bonbons than to drive around an unqualified buyer...so I get them prequalified BEFORE THEY COME DOWN. I know exactly who is in the passenger seat, because my local lender has prequalified them. He is a master at gleaning character, (and I believe I have that skill as well), so I know a lot about who they are as people and whether they can pull the trigger before I ever turn the key in the ignition.
I live one mile from my office, so I typically work from home. I keep the office just to make a good impression on first time clients, so they can see that I have a professional space. Once I determine they are not axe murderers, (and that I genuinely like these people), as we go through the transaction at some point I usually bring them to the house and they meet the world's greatest real estate assistant, my puppy Zeke.
My market is small-town, laid-back, relaxed and it draws clients who are same. I realize my approach would never work in a big city, which is why I live on an island!
NEVER put a stranger in your car for safety and liability issues.
I meet my customers at the home, and if the home is vacant, I make sure someone else goes with me. They also need to be pre-qualified. There's nothing more time consuming than showing someone a home that they can not afford.
Both, depends on if they are coming from a different direction than myself.
Put them in the car with me. I hate having people follow me through Houston traffic. Having them with me helps me hear what they are thinking and shows me their decision making processes.
I do both. Often if clients are from out of town, they will prefer to ride with me because they don't know their way around (and I can provide information along the way). Local clients tend to prefer to drive themselves. Whatever is preferable to the client is fine with me.
Joke', around our area the vast majority of clients prefer to meet you at the showings in their own vehicle. On rare occassion if the buyer is from out of town I will then drive the client in my vehicle.
I meet them at the 1st house now but agree that when we used to drive them in our cars it was a great time to connect with them and to find out what they were really looking for. The conversation with me was great, but more importantly the conversation they had with each other allowed you to identify their wants and needs.
I usually meet my clients at the property. From there, they usually follow me. Since we all travel long distances it is much easier to meet at the showing.
It all depends on the situation. New client, existing client, time of day, comfort level, etc.
Admittedly for the first time it is more comfortable meeting them at the home rather than driving them.
Joké Durojaiye I rarely drive clients around any more. It was standard practice years ago (I've been in Real Estate since 1987) but, as you can see from the comments, it's not as common now. I've found that most people have access to GPS and are more comfortable driving themselves in my market but I would drive if they wanted me to (unless I felt unsafe for some reason, of course.)
Both, just depends. on their schedule
Very rarely I drive them in my car anymore. Even though I lose the opportunity to connect with them when they are in the same car, often its very difficult to coordinate the times. Picking them up somewhere and dropping them off is taxi service and I don't operate that service
I do both--depends on the situation. I have clients with a car full of kids who prefer to drive themselves. I have clients who will pop out of the office to see a particular home. Then again, I have clients who are in town for a house hunting trip and don't know their way around. I like having clients in my car, as that gives me a chance to get to know them better, analyse the houses we've seen, etc.
Very few agents drive their clients anymore around here. We always meet them and they follow in their car.
Joké Durojaiye - I don't drive them in my car! They meet me at the location - and we go in our own cars for all the showings.
Both, just depends. Usually husband w wife and kids prefer to do their own driving.
Depending on their schedule, I ask them to meet me at the office and then I would drive from there. A little less than half of the time, I meet them at a property.
I do drive clients around if we are seeing more than one property. Although there is some liability, the time we spend in the time together is very useful for discussion, getting feedback on properties, and building rapport.
I have not in years. I always tell them to follow or meet me at the property.
I very rarely drive a client anywhere.
Some of each.
I meet them at showings.