Buffini & Company Blog

Harnessing Happenstance

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For the past 20 years I have had countless conversations with real estate professionals, and one of the most common topics that comes up is how they got a certain lead or prospect just by talking to someone. Most people give happenstance the credit for obtaining this client. They just happened to be talking to someone, who happened to need a Realtor® or knew someone who was thinking of buying or selling at that very moment. What we encourage our clients to do at Buffini & Company is to harness happenstance and make it an intentional part of your lead generation strategy. It’s what I like to call, The Law of Happenstance, meaning that you create your own happenstance on purpose by intentionally engaging in conversations about what you do for a living and let people know you’re there to help them if the need should arise.

Here’s the great news – you’re probably doing the first part of this all the time without even thinking about it! 96% of Buffini & Company clients have a Relational Ability in their Heritage Profile. For those of you who don’t have a Heritage Profile, this simply means you’re a people-person and/or you have the gift-of-gab. Being relational really helps when you’re a salesperson because you genuinely enjoy engaging in conversations and can find common interests to chit-chat about with almost everyone. You talk to people all day long so make it work for you!


When you ask someone, “How’ve you been,” “What’s new,” or “What’s going on,” they will likely respond with the subjects that are top-of-mind for them at that moment. Maybe they just got a new puppy or recently were promoted at their job. You naturally respond to those topics by asking more questions and relating with your own experiences. This is the basic conversation part that most of us in this business have naturally. Now, here’s the part we have to master to harness happenstance. What happens when they ask you, “How’ve you been,” “What’s new,” or “What’s going on?”

This is where we need to be intentional about how we talk about our business and leverage our relational ability. I’ve heard many reasons as to why asking for referrals and intentionally working business into a casual conversation won’t be effective. We don’t want to seem “pushy,” or we might have a fear of rejection, thinking that people don’t want to hear about our work or wouldn’t want to work with us anyway.  Most of us feel scripted or awkward trying to ask for referrals when we’re just engaging in chit-chat, but think about those deals that happen to fall into our laps. They may feel like a lucky coincidence because we didn’t mean to steer the conversation in that direction but we managed to find a way to offer our services and get a new client as a result of simply talking to someone. The key is to find a way to naturally and intentionally work your business into a quick chat with almost anyone and you’ll begin building a pipeline full of people who become your clients simply through having a conversation. Let me give you a couple of quick tips:

Be enthusiastic when talking about your business. You don’t want to give the impression that you’re too busy to take on new clients by saying something like, “I’m so busy I can barely stand it. It’s driving me crazy!” You also don’t want to give the impression that it’s a bad time to buy or sell by giving a negative impression of the market, “There’s no inventory! None of my buyers’ offers are getting accepted and it’s so frustrating.” I don’t mean for you to give an unrealistic account of your business or the market, but remember that enthusiasm ends with I Am Sold Myself. Share your enthusiasm and you’ll have an easier time drawing out a natural conversation about real estate.

Use open-ended language when having a conversation that could lead to a referral or a new client. If someone asks you how work is going, don’t just say “good” and leave it at that. This will kill the conversation before you ever have a chance to generate a referral. Instead, show your enthusiasm by talking about how much you enjoy the work you do and always offer to be of assistance.

Harnessing happenstance will give you the opportunity to truly Work by Referral as opposed to working by word-of-mouth. The difference between the two is that when you’re Working by Referral, you’re being intentional about leaning into your relational abilities to have easy and fun conversations about what you do for a living with the purpose of offering your services. I encourage each of you to pay attention to the conversations you have, and I guarantee you’ll see just how many opportunities are right in front of you to grow your business.



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