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What’s Your Back Up Plan?

Two things have happened here recently that drives home the importance of having a back up plan in case of a business hiccup.

The first was an excellent audio by my Mentor and Coach, Sandi Krakowski where she gave examples of how to make sure you can do business under crazy circumstances like bad weather, power outages and dead phone lines.

The other is something I'm going through right now in my own business. I have a very sweet, very nervous first-time home buyer who is days away from closing on his home and because the mortgage company doesn't have their back up plan in place, the possibility exists that we'll miss our closing deadline losing him both his home AND his earnest deposit.

Here's what's going on.

The mortgage company we went with is well respected and the Loan Officer is someone I've worked with many times before.

She's good.

And if you know the Real Estate business, you know that a good loan officer is worth their weight in gold.

The issue isn't with my Loan Officer, who by the way just went on leave for a surgery.

The issue is with the company itself and the fact that with my trusted mortgage gal down for the count, the loan is being handled by some one else and a processor who never answers her phone. Aaaaack!!

OK, so we're three days away from our closing deadline. No loan documents at the title company. I'm calling the processor and leaving messages ALL day. The Listing agent is sending me emails in all caps (and we know what THAT means) and my buyer, God bless him, waited all day to call me before freaking out on the phone.

Can't blame him…I've been there.

When I finally get someone at the lender's to answer the phone I'm told by the other loan officer that she doesn't know what's going on with the file (but she'd find out) and that the processor had gone home early that day. Oh, and she hoped she'd be in the next day to take care of this.

She HOPED, that MAYBE she'd be in. Wrong answer…aaaaaa…you lose.

These guys have absolutely no back up plan for something critical like what's happening with my buyer. So, if one person goes home sick that entire block of business stops and no work gets done until they feel better? Nope, sorry, not buyin' it.

Maybe I'm just being a little sensitive, but when my buyer stands to lose a couple thousand dollars AND the contract on the house AFTER we had to do a 7 day extension for something that wasn't his fault, I get more than just a little miffed. And now because of poor planning on the lender's part, everyone has to jump through hoops to get this home closed.

That's just plain looney…and unacceptable.

The morale of the story. Plan for the unexpected…anticipate that things could go sideways for no good reason. Always make sure that someone can step in to take over in case of an emergency.

You may never need your back up plan, but won't it be nice to be ready if you do. I'll keep you posted on my Buyer. I'll be getting him a nice bottle of wine for a house warming gift. Think I'll get one for me, too.

After this I think I'll need it…

Ever had something unexpected happen and you were totally unprepared…or maybe the unexpected happened and you were ready and sailed through it. Please share in the comments below. You never know who it might save from pulling their hair out in a crazy situation.

Until then…

Sonrisas (smiles),
Beth

Beth Heilman is a 20 year Real Estate veteran and Owner/CEO of Red Leopard Marketing, a company specializing in using Social Media Marketing (and some other nifty cool things, too) to help Real Estate Professionals attract, engage and keep their ideal customers. After experiencing the devastating effects the housing market crash had on her and her fellow Real Estate peeps, she has made it her mission to get businesses back on track using innovative marketing strategies with an emphasis on Social Media. Business as usual just doesn't work anymore. Beth has lived in fabulous Las Vegas for 30 years. She's a mom of four great kiddos and a "gramita" to 10 amazing grandmunchkins. Her philosophy in business and in life is "when you do the right things for the right reasons, things will turn out just fine". Know what? She's right…
 

23 Responses

  1. Lorii Abela says:

    Thank you Beth for reminding us about the importance of having a back-up plan. As the saying goes "Expect the unexpected".

  2. This is soooo true! Having a back up plan in your business whether online or offline is essential. Just this past year I heard of the passing of a fellow online friend and hubby who was left with an online business that he didn't have a clue how to run. Thankfully, she had a partner that knew all the passwords and login informations to pass along to him in the case of an emergency. Those are little things that we neglect but are so important in the case of unexpected emergencies.
    Thanks for sharing this post…I'm in the process of writing all my login information and teaching my hubby about my online business this week and preparing for anything and everything that may happen.

  3. Thank you Beth. very important tips. Si important to have back up plans!

  4. denny hagel says:

    Love this! I am married to a man who lives on the edge and is not comfortable planning for anything…me on the other hand have lived with a mindset of 'preventative maintenance"…translated to everyday life means to always have a plan b just in case. My husband lovingly teases that he is going to have "Just in Case" carved onto my headstone!!! Ha! Everything we I do I add "okay but just in case….!"

  5. Gina Parris says:

    Yes! This is great advice to always have a plan B. My husband is better at this than I am. Even when we were barely married and he was just 21 years old, he was always thinking of what might go wrong and how to be prepared for it. The best was when we took a bunch of teenagers across Washington state and LOST the keys to the Van. He managed to bring a spare set. Holy Moly. I never would have thought of that.

  6. Beth, not too familiar with the way real estate works, but found your post very informative. Learned quite a few things here!  Keep up the great work!
    The LEARNED Preneur @ NormaDoiron.NET

  7. Important points here…so essential to be prepared.  Also to learn to roll with it when life throws us an UNFAIR yet uncontrollable situation.  Thanks for such an insightful article!

  8. Hope the sale goes through for your buyer. What a stressful situation!

  9. Susan Myers says:

    It's wishful thinking that you don't need a back up plan!  Great article!

  10. Carol Giambri says:

    Beth, in life and/or in business things sometimes happen beyond control. However your point of having a back up plan is well valued.  Don't you think sometimes the wrong person is in the wrong slot and doing a bad job because they are in the wrong "slot" robbing someone of their right slot. Thanks for great post.

  11. Beth Heilman says:

    You’re welcome Lorii. It’s always good to have one (and hope you never need it ;-) )

  12. Beth Heilman says:

    Thanks Dr. Daisy! It’s funny you say that about the log in info. I’ve been writing all mine down too “just in case”. That point was brought home to me in a huge way when my brother-in-law died unexpectedly a few years ago. He had done all the financial stuff both online and off. My sister didn’t know the passwords for any of the accounts. After his funeral we got down to the business of getting the finances and insurance info organized not knowing how on earth we were going to get access to anything on the computer. God bless him, Eric (my BIL) had written everything down and had it laying on top of the desk in his office. It’s like he knew and left it there for us to find. He was always prepared…

  13. Beth Heilman says:

    You’re welcome Carele!! You’re so right…it’s super important.

  14. Beth Heilman says:

    Thanks Norma…much appreciated :-)

  15. Beth Heilman says:

    Thanks Sue!! Yes, it did go through. There were a few more hairy moments, but I happily gave him the keys to his new home a few days later. It was a good day!!

  16. Beth Heilman says:

    Wow Gina!! Your husband is good! I wouldn’t have thought to bring a spare set of keys either. Advance planning saved the day…and the trip :-)

  17. Beth Heilman says:

    I hear you Denny. My first husband wasn’t a good planner either. When something unexpected would happen, then came the mad scramble to figure out how to “fix it”. His favorite saying was “we’re fine for now” Eeeeeek!! My take? Having a plan b is a huge stress reliever. It’s just easier to move forward when you know your bases are covered “just in case” ;-)

  18. Beth Heilman says:

    Totally agree Elise. Some things can’t be foreseen and we have absolutely no control. That’s when taking a deep breath, implementing a back-up plan the best you can and stepping out in faith is all anyone can ask.

  19. You Must have a plan B! Very Nice job Beth! No matter what we are doing we need a back up plan. 

  20. Beth Heilman says:

    Thanks Susan!! Yep, I’ve done my share of wishful thinking and definitely liked the outcome better when I had a back up plan. :-)

  21. Beth Heilman says:

    You’re right Carol and thanks. Some things DO happen beyond our control, like what happened here. But still no business should come to a screeching halt because people are out sick. Luckily, another loan officer stepped up and took over after a day. The result was a happy ending for my buyer and a few more gray hairs for me ;-). It CAN be the wrong person in the wrong slot at times, but not in this case. Everyone was an experienced professional, they just hadn’t shifted the workload around properly. For my Buyer, a back-up plan on their part would have saved a lot of stress and aggravation for everybody involved.

  22. I agree with your post and your concerns 100%. However in my opinion I think there are times when these things happen for a bigger reason. If the buyer doesn't get the house after all the shananigans, I would suspect either this is not the house for him, he will be re located, (and the list could go on).
    The buyer himself is doing everything right. When the opposite side has all the troubles, to me this means more than inconvenience. Like it's a sign. The other possibility is during this nonsense the buyer may decide it isn't worth it and this is the distraction he needed to reconsider. Or the distraction made his decision crystal clear whereas maybe deep down he was a little hesitant.
    There are so many options as to why.

  23. Back up plans are certainly valuable and often forgotten in the enthusiastic expectation that all will go according to plan. I think I always have soemthing of a plan in mind though never really anything mapped out.

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