What Arrowhead Towne Center Taught Me About Business Strategy

Jonathan Dalton, Phoenix Real Estate Agent“So, honey, will you go to the mall with me?”

The question came as I sat at a table at Peter Piper Pizza, a restaurant bereft of New Years’ Day bowl games but filled with screaming children spending dollar after dollar earning tokens to “earn” such delights as candy, little green Army men and with 2.5 million tickets an actual fake Ipod.

Being in such a place had sapped my will to live to such a degree (only 13 hours into the new year) that I agreed to go to the mall knowing full well we weren’t going to buy anything. For my wife and my teenage daughter, the mall is less about buying than walking into nearly every store and touching the merchandise (except for the sports memorabilia stores, naturally.)

Thus began an hour-long journey into the seventh circle of hell. And as I sat dazed in one of the conveniently located chairs (all occupied by other men trying to figure out what they had done wrong in life) it occurred to me this trip to the mall wasn’t too far different than what I do for a living.

And that’s when the light bulb went off.

It makes little to no sense spending hours on end with buyers who actually aren’t buying. So while I’ll never become the type of agent who requires a contract to be written after one or two homes or shown, I must become better at qualifying my buyers to determine actual motivation.

In some ways I already do this. The Internet is extremely useful for sending many, many listings and having buyers narrow down the selection. With that selection in hand, I can further refine the search and we’ll find the right house fairly quickly.

Of course, this doesn’t work if people are more interested in the looking than in the buying. It happens more often than it really should. And that’s something that needs to change.

For those seriously wanting to buy I’ll do whatever I can to help in the process. For those just looking, I’ll happily set up online searches and provide other information along the way.

Looking at homes now to buy in July, though, doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Not for you. Not for me. And not for my wife, who’d just as soon drag me around Arrowhead Towne Center.

What’s on the market now may not be on the market in months. So my advice? Browse as long as you want and when you are ready to make the purchase, call me over. I’ll be here.

[tags]real estate buyers, Phoenix real estate[/tags]

Jonathan Dalton

Jonathan Dalton is a 40-plus-year resident of the Valley and has been helping folks buy and sell homes since 2004. He can be reached at 602-502-9693 or info at allphoenixrealestate.com.


  • Thomas Johnson 10 years ago

    Same with overpriced listings, work with an unmotivated buyer or hang out in the mall-your choice-they both pay the same.

    Thank you Russell Shaw.

  • Francy 10 years ago

    Jay has asked me to write a blog post on a very similar topic. At this point I’m feeling good about the fact that I am no longer “lurking”.
    In years past Jay and I have not required our buyers to be pre-qualified before we began showing homes. We would determine how serious a potential client and work from there. Due to the current lending market we’ve changed our policy. We started requiring a lender signed LSR before we begin showing properties. As agents we know that not everyone with an LSR will actually be able to obtain the loan – but it does show that they are serious. Have we lost potential clients? Yes.
    Showing properties costs us both time and $$. It is more cost effective for us to sit on the couch and watch TV, than to show properties to a someone who isn’t serious about buying.

  • Athol Kay 10 years ago

    Also never work for a buyer that doesn’t have an email address. That is just 5x the effort for no good reason.