The highs and lows of parenting and real estate.

If At First You Don’t Succeed…

So I’m still on the 10 year reunion committee for my high school (which you totally know if you have any regular contact with me because it’s practically all I talk about) and I’m really enjoying it. I love meeting new people and hearing gossip and it’s just all of that rolled into one.

I’m also learning things I can apply to my business.

We are currently in the process of attempting to find the 800+ people we graduated with/went to school with over the years. It’s a huge task. The committee literally started with a database of about 130 people a couple of months ago. We were all asked to first contact everyone we talk to on a regular basis and get as many addresses and email addresses as we could. Then, we divided up the remaining missing classmates in to chunks of 75 and each tackled a set, any way we knew how. We messaged people on Classmates, Googled them and even looked them up in the county assessor’s records to see if they’d purchased a house. One of the other committee members even found a website we can put peoples’ names into to find out if they have passed away. Morbid, but helpful in a search of such a large crowd (thankfully none of the people on my list were there).

Anyway, we’re still only about halfway there, but we have managed to find a ton of people. Something I’ve found totally frustrating about the experience is that often, even though I’ve found someone on My Space or Classmates or even just googled them and gotten their email address, when I’ve sent them a message, they don’t reply. Even worse, I can tell through the messaging systems that for the most part, they have actually read my message and still just not even responded.

Initially, this just infuriated me. Why on earth was I putting so much time and effort into finding these people when they couldn’t even be bothered to hit the reply button and type in their address? I didn’t try to contact them again, both out of some sort of ridiculously ineffective revenge desire, and because I felt rude sending another message. I’m not sure I could possibly be sillier. I’m trying to get back at them, but also I don’t want them to be mad at me for being pushy.

I have since taken a lesson from our fearless leader, Laura (who some of us lovingly call ‘Paris’ behind her back in reference to the ruthlessly A-type personalitied character from Gilmore Girls… Love you, Laura!). Laura told me she continues to email people several more times if they don’t respond, and many will actually send a reply back by the second or third ‘ping’. When she first told me this, I was amazed. “If they got the message and wanted us to have their info, how come they didn’t just send it back in the first place?” I wondered. But, whatever, apparently people are weird. I have gotten quite a few responses from people I have now contacted multiple times. And I’m getting much better at not holding it against them as well.

So my final point is, I’ve had a small epiphany in regards to this new discovery and my real estate business. I regularly have people give me leads of people they know looking to sell or buy a home, who I contact once and never hear back from. I’d been considering them dead and buried leads, but maybe this is a terrible waste of a client! Maybe these possible clients are actually going to those annoying Realtors who don’t succeed, but try try again!

(And now you’ve learned something new about me: If you want me to leave you alone, RETURN MY CALLS AND I WILL STOP BUGGING YOU!)

4 Responses to If At First You Don’t Succeed…

  1. I admit to being one of those people who is bad at returning phone calls, even if it is something that I know I’m interested in. I have a little bit of a phone phobia, which I am now SURE of after trying to find my stack of people for the reunion. (BTW, I think I had 120 or so on my list to find, and I got 55%! A huge accomplishment). Anyway, I’m sure its not personal is all I’m saying.

    And FYI, yesterday when I made my last ditch phone calls and emails the message was, “If I don’t hear from you by tomorrow you’re not getting a mailed invitation. Feel free to visit our evite though…”

  2. I SO hear you on this..I’m in the same boat although I didn’t go to school with 800..just 350. But about 250 of those are MIA despite using most of the same methods you used for finding people.. (I didn’t check about the real estate thing).

    Good call on that though.. can you send me the info on how to do that?

    Anyway, We also have had major problems with no one responding (and you know by now that on Classmates it tells you that someone has READ your email..so you know that they just aren’t responding).

    Also, do NOT be surprised that people may respond but are NO help in the actual planning. So if you send out questionnaires to find out what they want in a reunion..don’t be surprised if you get no response. Good luck on yours.. When is it going to be? I wish ours was going to be in the fall now.. July? What were we thinking?

  3. I agree — communication is important and returning an email — even if it is just with a “no thank you” is good manners. Alas, the world does not have good manners. Only a select few of us do.

  4. hello? Hello? Is this thing on? I miss your updates!

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