What to do (and not do) when a client ghosts you
“I ain’t afraid of no ghost.”
— Ray Parker Jr., the Theme from Ghostbusters (1984)
We may need to set up some group counseling for agents who have suffered from a prospect or client ghosting them. The horror of fearing you’ve done something wrong — the gnawing guilt that you’ve somehow offended them — the obsessive gut-churning as you wait for a call or text that never comes — ghosts plague every agent from newbies to long-time leaders.
Ghosting; to ghost (v.) — to cut off communication with someone, seemingly without warning; to avoid confrontation by vanishing from the conversation.
HEY! Buck up, buttercup. You’re a strong, smart, savvy agent. If a ghost is giving you trouble, you get to be the ghostbuster. And if there’s something strange in your neighborhood — you’re the one to call.
So, when a client ghosts you, here’s what you gotta do so you don’t get spooked.
“Keep Calm and Carry On”
I love this phrase. I’m sure you’ve received some tchotchke with this phrase on it. It’ll catch your eye emblazoned across an Instagram post, printed on a cheap T-shirt at the gas station, or decked out with rhinestones at the state fair.
It’s time to take that advice to heart. So, you’ve encountered a ghost? Step one: don’t panic. You’re a busy person in a busy industry and your time is valuable. It is always best spent carrying on with the next opportunity — to keep calm and carry on.
Take a moment and check-in with your task list in your MoxiEngage CRM or your day-planner. What is the priority for today? Is it to freak out over a lead gone cold? I’m willing to bet that’s probably not at the top of your list.
Take a break from relationships and focus on building some awesome marketing materials like a neighborhood presentation in MoxiPresent, or custom door knockers in MoxiImpress. You could even set up some automated ads in MoxiPromote to generate new leads.
Look for clues
Once you’ve calmed down, put your Sherlockian deerstalker hat on and dig in to why your relationship has gone cold. Don’t stress about emotions, or what-ifs / should-haves. Think about the person, what do they need — not what do we want. Often, ghosting occurs when what a prospect wants isn’t what we, the expert, have assumed they needed.
Was it just not the right time for them to be considering a home? Did a personal situation arise that’s caused them to change priorities? Is it a busy time of year for them and they’ve just gotten distracted? Maybe their phone grew legs and wandered away?
Comb through your activity history in the My People section of your MoxiEngage CRM; or your dashboard in ActivePipe; to see if they took any recent actions that may paint a bigger picture. Perhaps they recently liked a new listing, requested a home valuation, or changed the area they were searching in — solid evidence that their needs may have adjusted.
Take the high road and don’t look back
Hopefully your sleuthing will reveal that your relationship just needed some fine-tuning: a new timeline, a different searching strategy, an updated phone number, or a new preferred method of communication. But if no clues turn up, cut your losses, and don’t let that weight hold you back from the next adventure.
Send a short note acknowledging their silence and simply remind them that there’s no pressure and you’ll be here to help them whenever they’re ready.
Keep checking in with them every now and again because your honesty may have been that special sign they needed. Sign them up for a valuable email campaign in ActivePipe or Neighborhood News. Set yourself a reminder to send them an annual property review from MoxiPresent — just proving you care.
Now, put on your ghostbusting jumpsuit and answer the call for others!
If a client or prospect ghosts you, take it as one of those life-lessons that becomes a parable for others. Sometimes, the best way to get over the fear of something is to share the experience with your peers.
In your next mentoring session, or over coffee with some fellow agents, listen and share your own “ghost stories.” We’re all in this industry together to help people, to turn a complex and sometimes scary process into smooth sailing. It’s important that we share our wins and losses so we can all grow. You may even learn some more neat tricks for building great relationships.