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Eleanor Sams…, Real Estate Pro in Valley Stream, NY

Do clients respect you as a professional if your first meeting is in Mc Donalds?

Asked by Eleanor Sams-Hurdle, Valley Stream, NY Sat Nov 24, 2012

Help the community by answering this question:


Hi Eleanor,

The image of being a true professional is the result of far more that where you initially meet your customer.

One of the best stories about an initial encounter is from an agent who was enjoying a cigar while taking his dog for an evening walk. Of course he was also carrying bag of "puppy doodle" and dressed casually when he met a buyer that turned into a customer and future friend.

It's important to realize that people can be both professional and real!

Best regards,

1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 24, 2012
Great story and great point of view. Thanks!
Flag Sat Nov 24, 2012
You may find that your office will be more beneficial place for a first meeting with a potential customer. A place where he/she can see you in a professional way.

Best of Luck,

Maria Cipollone

Century 21 Tenace
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 24, 2012
If you order the happy meal ........ I'm soooooooo moving on to the next agent. Although that is slightly negotiable if you offer me the surprise toy inside :)
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Dec 1, 2012
Flag Sat Dec 1, 2012
Thank you for the "best answer" Eleanor. It's trulia appreciated....

1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 29, 2012
YOU are what will determine if your clients see you as professional or not--the environment is secondary.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 24, 2012
My two cents...

If it works for your clients than it shouldn't matter. This is assuming your client asked to meet there, if not I would say that it is not the optimal choice but like my fellow poster below have stated, if you are a professional, you can seal the deal.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 3, 2012
I would think it depends on the client and reasons for meeting in a McDonalds. I personally have new customers come to my office as much as possible. It shouldn't matter where you meet or what type of car you drive. I do have fond memories of the toys that came in Happy Meals as a child. The quality has gone down over the years! bTW whatever happened to Hamburglar??????
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 3, 2012
The Realtor's office is the first choice or a seller's home to meet with new clients. First impressions are important. If you feel comfortable at McDonald's or Starbucks they are often a convenient place to meet your clients once you have established a business relationship.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 26, 2012
LOL! I have met buyers at a McDonald's before, but well after a relationship had been established. We have two offices, one in North Fort Wayne and one Southwest, so no more meetings at fast food chains.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Nov 25, 2012
It is knowledge & ability to communicate that will ultimately get you a new client rather than what restaurant you meet or eat in!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Nov 25, 2012
It’s all about the client and the type of transaction. If it’s a seller, meet them in their home for obvious reasons. If it’s a buyer, ask them where they want to meet. Many DO NOT want to meet in your office – they want to meet on neutral territory where they will not feel pressured in any way. Many buyers do not want to give away their hand when meeting for the first time, so I ensure that I meet them in a place THEY want to meet. Although it’s normally a Starbucks, some of my buyers don’t drink coffee – because we have such a cultural diversity here, even though we have a Starbucks on almost every corner, I have clients who’ve never been in one. I find out where they live and then I come to them – and meet them in a place in which they feel safe.

Since I am totally virtual, I can meet anywhere. As for being viewed as professional, we are dealing with people in the flow of their lives. Most people want to meet with me because they’ve already figured out I’m a professional – when I choose to step into the flow of their lives and meet them where they feel comfortable, it means a tremendous amount to them. And it actually INCREASES my business – I’m a high volume agent, and most of my clients have no idea where my office actually is.

As an aside, if they have young kids and they bring them with them – there is no better place to meet than a McDonalds – the kids can run around the play area instead of trying to sit still in your office. And they can make all the noise they want – their parents are totally used to it. The fact that you can also deal with it elevates you in their opinion – keep in mind, they may actually be bringing these kids with them when they start looking at houses …
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Nov 25, 2012
It's not the new McDonald's that is the problem, It's that "Happy Meal" in front of you that could create cause to reconsider.

Of greater importance is the comfort the client has with sharing what may be personal information in what can essentially be called the brick and mortar internet. There are just too many ears for many to engage in a meaningful consultation. This can be overcome, but requires planning.

You don't get a 'do over' on a first impression.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Nov 25, 2012
lol..cute post Annette
Flag Sun Nov 25, 2012
If you are an educated intelligent Realtor, it shouldn't matter where you meet your customers. Either you know real estate or you don't. It depends on your relations with your customers. I have over 23 years experiences in the real estate. If they don't show, it is their loss. I'm not begging customers to work with me.

I have met a mult-millionaire client at Apple Bees. You are not less than a Realtor because of the place you meet a person. They can show up for you to help them or not. They are hiring an experience Realtor. Everyone of my clients appreciate that I down to earth with them. I make them feel like family. If they don't like it, get another Realtor. There a lot of inexperience Realtorsin the market so they can pick one of them.
Gloria J. Young
AllPro Realty Specialists, Inc.
Certified Residential Specialists
(904) 739-9000
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Nov 25, 2012

I normally meet clients at my offices where there is the privacy, professional environment and amenities we need. I have on occasion, met a client for dinner (but it was not for burgers, I assure you.) I prefer an office environment if at all possible.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 24, 2012
Yes, I have always met my clients at McDonald and close the deals. Buyers are looking for professional that knows real estate.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 24, 2012
Hi Eleanor,

Why would you want to meet clients at a McDonalds? If an office or the clients'
home is not an option, try a Starbucks. You won't have to compete with the kids in the play area to be heard.

Good Luck,

Barbara Grandolfo
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 24, 2012
I would not suggest meeting at a McDonalds. At your first meeting your trying to establish yourself as a professional and McDonalds isn't likely to set the tone that you are an experienced successful professional.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 24, 2012
Thanks! This is an ongoing discussion that I have had with several agents. I hear people saying all the time that they have their first meeting with clients in Starbucks. Not every neighborhood has a Starbucks. In some neighborhoods Mc Donalds is the only hot spot. The concept of a virtual office does not work everywhere.
Flag Sat Nov 24, 2012
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