I Will Meet Anyone Once

Eric Bramlett, Oct 15, 2021 | 0 Comments

There is a lot of bad advice & misinformation in our industry with regard to working leads. Facebook discussion groups are the worst. You will find Facebook real estate groups filled with inexperienced and/or unproductive agents discussing how they “deal with clients”. The funny thing is that most of these agents don’t deal with many clients either because they follow their own bad processes/policies or they have bad processes/policies because they’ve never dealt with many clients. The two worst pieces of advice that you’ll hear (over and over) are:

Bad Advice

  • I will only show a property after the buyer has been pre-approved.
  • I always get buyer’s representation agreements.

Years ago, a very successful mortgage broker commented to me, “Eric, I’ll meet anyone once.” I’d never verbalized it, but I have the exact same policy. It’s worth meeting someone face to face one time, almost every time. Examples of when you should almost always meet someone:

  • Someone contacts you or the office and wants to see a property.
  • Someone is coming to town to decide if they want to move to Austin.
  • Someone is visiting Austin to interview for a job and they’d like to see a few homes while they’re here.
  • Someone has accepted a job in Austin and wants to see homes that they might purchase.
  • Someone isn’t sure if they want to sell their home and would like to know what your opinion of value is.
  • Etc, etc, etc…

In each of these instances, you have the opportunity to meet someone who has a likelihood of becoming a client. The key is to invest the right amount of time with each person and to approach each person in the correct way. A few examples:

  • Bear in mind that greater than 90% of the people you talk to either through your SOI or through company lead generation will be able to be pre-approved. Those that can’t usually express concerns up front or give you other “red flags”. It’s not a waste of time to assume that the vast majority of folks that you talk to can buy.
  • When you meet someone at a property (or at a coffee shop in order to go to the property), they are now interviewing you as an agent. Ask the right questions with the goal of getting them set up on searches. Worry about pre-approval later. During your conversation, you found out where they worked and what they do, so you have a good idea if they can be qualified.
  • If someone is visiting Austin on a “scouting trip”, then you need to limit how much time you’ll spend with them. You can also ask more questions about employment over the phone, so you’ll have a good idea about qualifications. Recommend that you spend a half day with them physically viewing homes and suggest that they drive neighborhoods and visit restaurants on their own. If they do decide to move to Austin or accept a job, there will be a subsequent trip where you can really pound the pavement to view tons of homes.
  • If someone is definitely moving to Austin, then it makes sense to recommend pre-approval before they come. They can’t make an offer without a letter, and the goal is to make an offer on this trip, so they should agree that it makes sense. When someone comes to Austin with the stated goal of putting a house under contract, you will spend as much time as necessary with them. Generally, you can view 2-3 homes per hour. They will know a day or two prior to the visit how many homes they want to see. If they’re in town for 2+ days, then try to break it up into multiple half days so that they can spend time exploring areas.
  • Any time someone expresses any interest in selling a house, you want to meet them at the house whenever they would like. There is no reason not to go on that interview. I have personally met the same sellers at their late mother’s house 4x over 5 years and will continue to do so until they decide to sell.

Buyer Pre-Approval
It’s obviously important for your buyers to get pre-approved with a trusted mortgage lender. The point above is only that you need to focus on establishing a “trusted advisor” relationship with someone before you start giving them trusted advice. You need to be able to explain to a buyer why it’s in their best interest to get pre-approved. Here are some good scripts (that are great advice):

  • It’s super helpful for you to talk with a lender early. Your lender will be able to tell you how much you’ll need to put down and how much your monthly payments are. It’s one thing to know that a house is $XXX,XXX. It’s much more helpful to know “I need to put down $XX,XXX in order to have $XXXX per month in payments.”
  • The market moves pretty quickly, so it’s nice to have your pre-approval out of the way. That way, if you do luck out and find something you love early on, there isn’t an obstacle to making an offer.
  • There’s no obligation to work with the first lender you talk to. I always recommend that you get pre-approved with a local lender first and then shop later. If you start shopping now, the lender is just guessing on rates b/c they always change.

As in (almost) everything, there are exceptions to this. Your personal safety is obviously your #1 priority. Because we deal with the general public, you will sometimes run into truly insane people. You can determine that someone is insane by searching them online or by using your gut instinct or your “spidey sense”.

Personal Safety
Set your own personal safety guidelines. If you’ve never met someone before, it often makes sense to meet them at a coffee shop and then follow each other to the house. Many agents will ask for a copy of their driver’s license that they can text to a partner or friend. If you don’t have a policy, talk w/ other agents or me. Set your own policy and always follow it. Fair Housing will not allow us to set different policies for different people, and that’s a great fallback if anyone ever questions your policy.

Your Spidey Sense
When you talk with people, you will sometimes get a weird feeling. They make comments that don’t make sense. They brag about money and you can’t find them online. Over time, your spidey sense will get better and better. However, always trust your spidey sense. Early in your career, err on the side of always (safely) meeting anyone once. As your spidey sense matures, you can begin limiting the amount of time that you’ll spend with people who seem “off”, or not meeting them at all if the alarm bells are really going off.

Categories Company Guide

2100+ Client reviews!

Joe was recommended to us by a friend he assisted with buying a house, and he has been amazingly kind and helpful to us since our first meeting. Joe is patient and prompt, gives excellent advice, knowledgeable of the market, and does not hesitate when it comes to highlighting the pros/cons of an area. He researches and gathers an incredible amount of information on every property we see. Joe’s expertise in the market’s geographic area was instrumental in determining a competitive purchase price while also considering the future resale value for the area. In addition, Joe was ALWAYS available for home tours, his delivery of the information was straightforward, and he was involved in all aspects of the closing. I will definitely recommend Joe to everyone I know, and I look forward to working with him again in the near future!


The wife and I had a desire to move based on school districts. We explored 3 different scenarios and ultimately landed on a house in the Driftwood area. Tara was always there to support our questions (there were a lot), tour properties (there were even more) and provide a suggested list of vendors to assist with all of the nuances of buying a home. The last 6 weeks were a blur, but with the expert level service and knowledge from Tara we were prepared for every step! Thank you Tara McGuire for making this journey the best!

Words can’t express how amazing Kasey and Kim. From start to finish the process was seamless. Kasey was transparent from the beginning, knowledgeable and extremely responsive. This could have been a stressful process, but they made us feel well taken care of and informed at every step!

Kasey & Kim are simply the best.
My husband & I just closed on our very first home together & Kasey & her assistant Kim were there from the very beginning. Through the highs & lows that this Austin market brought us, they went above & beyond to educate us, encourage us, & even talk us off a ledge or two. Ultimately they found our dream home in a dream neighborhood! We were already so impressed by the team but then Kasey’s real talent shined through with negotiations, best practices, & help through the very complicated closing details that come with being a first-time home buyer. Kim spent countless hours making sure that our home was perfect & would come to meet us at the drop of a hat when we needed her.
Kasey & Kim are extremely prompt in responding to calls, emails, & texts – they both went above and beyond to help meet our expectations. We feel very fortunate to have found Kasey & Kim, and we would highly recommend them to anyone looking for their next home.

Tara McGuire of Bramlett did an excellent job marketing and selling our listing.  She was able to generate a phenomenal amount of showings and help us find just the right buyer for our our property.  Bramlett did a great job helping us stage the property and provided excellent guidance through the entire process including closing.  Highly recommended.

I recently contacted Eric Bramlett Realty to assist me in buying a house because I knew they had extensive experience in the Austin area. Linda Baddour was the agent assigned to me and I could not be more pleased with the outcome. Linda is very knowledgeable and proactive. She didn’t hesitate to ask questions and find answers for the homes that we were looking at. I never felt like I had to manage the situation myself, she was always one step ahead. This was my third home purchase in the area and I will definitely call Linda Baddour again if I ever decide to move. I can’t recommend her enough!

Becky was fantastic to work with!

“Mr. Engberg is an exceptional gentleman with very high morals and integrity. He conducted and handled the whole process with the skill of a true professional in every aspect. A definite credit to your company. It was the time and patience he took with someone that had no familiarity with the Texas housing market and broke it down in a manner that my inquisitive mind could understand, answered all my questions and helped me to make an informed decision at a critical juncture leading me to acquire my new home. My fiance and I consider ourselves very fortunate indeed to have been guided by this gentleman.”

Linda Baddour at Bramlett showed extraordinary professionalism. Patient, helpful, experience shows. Most important: outstanding negotiator. Linda represented our position firmly but fairly when negotiating a final price. Also, Linda is very knowledgeable about contract details, utility hookups, and has an assortment of contacts with inspectors and repair professionals. Highly recommend.

Philip Myers was great to work with. He was always available and always very open to answering my questions. He is very easy to work with and I highly recommend him

Simon Vand was amazing, so easy to work with and flexible. He made our house hunting experience seamless. I wish we knew him a few years ago when we were looking for our first property, I will be recommending him to everyone I know looking for / selling a property!

My wife and I spoke to several real estate firms before deciding to go with Tara McGuire with Bramlett Residential in selling our home. Boy was that a great decision! Tara was extremely experienced and knowledgeable about the market and helped us with many things we needed to do in order to sell our home quickly and for the most money. She was always available to us and kept us in the loop at all times. We sold our home in just 4 days! We highly recommend Tara. Tara’s professionalism is unmatched

Helpful Resources