I’m not complaining. That needs to be said up front. Not. Complaining. I love queries, I want queries, that’s not what this is about. Cool? Cool.
Now that we have that out of the way, let me just level with you: the number of queries coming in is rising every single day, and it’s kind of a mixed blessing. On the one hand, just by sheer numbers there are more good projects coming in than ever. This is great!
On the other hand, the “frivolous queries” that read like a Craigslist personal ad are also on the increase, and disproportionately so. For every one extra good query I receive a day I’m receiving two extra bad ones. This is bad! (and it seems it’s not just me)
As you probably know, query-answering time is in addition to day-in/day-out tasks that are very much a full-time job on their own. It’s not like I can divide my day between mornings dealing with clients and agent stuff, and afternoons devoted to queries. Every minute/hour/several hours I’m spending answering queries is a minute/hour/several hours extending my day. So far I have been able to manage everything and still maintain a roughly-twenty-four hour response time for queries, two weeks for partials, and a month for fulls, but that pace is getting more challenging by the week.
So. What would you do? How would you manage the unsoliciteds when they are forever threatening to overtake the ramparts? Would you only respond to the ones that follow guidelines? Still respond to everyone? Develop a more stringent incoming-query system?
As you answer, let’s say for the purposes of this discussion hiring an intern or assistant isn’t possible. What would you do if you were an agent?