“If you want to catch something, running after it isn’t always the best way.” (Lois McMaster Bujold) – from the blog Jack's Winning Words. In his blog post Jack went on to say - I remember reading about a cat named, Happy. He would never come when called. Then, when least expected, he would suddenly be your lap. It’s often that way with happiness. It’s elusive…and, then, suddenly, it’s in your lap. Haven’t you found that some of the best things in your life have come unexpectedly? ;-) Jack
This is one of those sayings that probably evoke a lot of. “Yes, but” replies. Almost all of the management books and self-help books would likely have advice more along the lines of how to better prepare for the chase and how to best pursue what you want. I think what the author of the saying was going after is that sometimes you have to let what you’re trying to catch come to you. That’s how many of us get our clients – they come to us for various reasons. We’d like to assume that it’s because of something we did to promote ourselves and our services, but sometimes it’s for completely off-the-wall reasons.
The saying doesn’t say that running after something you’re trying to catch is always bad, just that it might not be the best way. I could probably sit here all day waiting for a FSBO or expired listing to crawl into my lap, but it ain’t gonna happen. Those are cases where running after what you’re trying to catch is almost required. It’s true that the “running after” part can just be effective advertising, but that too is a part of the chase.
I do a reasonable amount of what I would have to classify as “passive advertising” – running an informational web site on short sales, for instance, and running another web site that is focused upon local community events. Those forms of advertising allow people to discover me and my services without being pushy about them (not running after them). Even blogging can be a good passive way to advertise your expertise, with some bloggers even pushing beyond passive using a more provocative approach. I also post to three blogs; two of them overtly focused upon my real estate business. I combine those passive efforts with the more pro-active techniques of advertising – mailings, newsletters, email campaigns, etc. You really need some of both, because some clients need more encouragement than others to take action.
People who fish and hunt know that you don’t go out and drop a line in the water or climb up into your blind and immediately catch a fish or see a deer. It takes patience and perseverance to fish or hunt. The same traits are required for the real estate business. So, I’ll keep at it; even if I’m not running after clients. When you least expect it, someone will turn up in my lap wanting to sell their house – maybe you.