Are you the second agent?

Managing Real Estate Broker with Cornerstone Business Group Inc 0225086119

I've been a Spinning® instructor for fifteen years.  Just a year ago December 31, I decided to stop teaching regular classes and become a sub so I could concentrate on business, and it has really paid off.  I still like to be involved as much as possible, so I continue to maintain the bikes. 

I always did the maintenance on my own bikes when I had my studio, so it was a natural transition to maintain the center's bike as well.  This past week, I received an email from a staff member relaying a member's concern over the horrific condition of a group of bikes at the center. 

I went back to teaching this week, so I took time after the Friday class to check out broken bikes.  There were 6 that needed repair.  Most were very simple tune up type repairs.  The two in the email sounded like they were a danger to mankind.  I expected to find body parts lying all around them from the danger they presented to the membership, but there were none. 

As a matter of fact, of the 6 I repaired,they were the least of my repairs.  When I finished fixing all six bikes, I had to wonder what it was about the minor repair needs theses bikes needed the so captured a member's attention that he would pen a note to the management encouraging that the bikes be scrapped and news be purchased. 

Then I realized, it was perception.  His perception, and lack of knowledge, caused him to think the minor tune-up needs were really major defects that warranted a replacement rather than a repair.  Based upon his understanding, the bikes were trash.  The reality was the bikes were in great condition with a few minor tune-up needs.  In less than an hour, they were fine tuned and back on the floor.  At $1000 a piece, you don't just throw them out and get new ones.

How many times have you had a real estate client call you to be the second agent because his Argumentprevious agent was defective and needed to be thrown out and replaced?  To the trained eye, it might actually be the perception of the client, and not the agent.  Of course it could be the agent, but until you know the full circumstances of the relationship you couldn't say that with any authority and legitimate knowledge.

That brings up a note of caution for all of us in the real estate field.  Far to many clients have a "throw it away and get new" mindset when it comes to life, business and relationships.  Before you chime in with a potential client who is discussing a former agent, get the facts. 

Every story has two sides.  I would imagine if you talked to the "cast aside" agent, you'd probably hear a totally different story.  Remember, the client who is telling you about the poor performance of the previous agent will tell the next agent the same thing about you.  It might be his perception, but if he can get someone to listen to his story, and if he can get someone to agree with him, he gets a boost of confidence when it might not be valid.


Re-Blogged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Jordon Wheeler 12/01/2012 06:49 PM
  2. Cheryl Ritchie 12/02/2012 07:21 AM
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Liz Lockhart
Riverbend Realty, Cape Girardeau, MO - Cape Girardeau, MO
GRI, Cape Girardeau Real Estate

Dang, I see the star already! I was certainly going to hit Suggest. In another life, I was a traveling sales rep, and a wise trainer told us to pay very close attention to what was being said about the "former sales rep." because a variation of that same story would be told about us.

Dec 01, 2012 07:14 PM #15
Jill Sackler
Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. "Said and Done!" - Merrick, NY
Long Island's South Shore Real Estate Agent

I guess they need someone to blame if the house doesn't sell right away. Who better to badmouth than the first agent?

Dec 01, 2012 09:03 PM #16
Lynn B. Friedman
Atlanta Homes ODAT Realty Call/Text 404-939-2727 Buckhead - Midtown - Westside -- and more ... - Atlanta, GA
Concierge Service for Our Atlanta Sellers & Buyers

Dear Mike -

Somewhat like - "Don't hire someone who tells you how bad all his former employers behaved!"

Have a happy day -

Dec 01, 2012 09:17 PM #17
Fernando Herboso - Broker for Maxus Realty Group
Maxus Realty Group - Broker 301-246-0001 - Gaithersburg, MD
301-246-0001 Serving Maryland, DC and Northern VA

I know by experience what is like to get stuck with a bad bike in a full class and have to finish your routine in a bad mood. 

I can just imagine how this feels when you are working with the wrong real estate agent. .pick them right from  the  beginning. .

Dec 02, 2012 05:06 AM #18
Joel Weihe
Realty World Alliance - Wichita, KS
Helping you to use your VA home loan benefits

That happened within our office. I knew the other agent and she was "one of the good ones". I so told the customer and encouraged them to talk to the other agent about their concerns. They stayed together and everything turned out grand.

Dec 02, 2012 05:22 AM #19
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
Keller Williams 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce - Short Sale

Perception is sooo is taking is easiest to have agent no. 1 take the fall for whatever the issue....of course, if it is price...than having taking it at too high a price to begin with means that is just what should happen.

Dec 02, 2012 05:29 AM #20
Michael Setunsky
Woodbridge, VA
Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA

Mike, in most cases it is not the agent's fault the property did not sell especially when a sale hinges on everything from price, condition, location and number of other things. Sellers who don't take the advice of a real estate professional always seem to blame the agent. Being the second agent can have many advantages, but it can also mean more of the same.

Dec 02, 2012 06:18 AM #21
Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Mike, We work Expireds and it's often obvious the first agent didn't do anything wrong (except maybe not get the seller to understand the realities of the current market).  Marketing good, price good, just a seller perception issue.

Dec 02, 2012 07:21 AM #22
Cheryl Ritchie
RE/MAX Leading Edge - Huntingtown, MD
Southern Maryland 301-980-7566
Instant Reblog with this caption... I would hear Builders say this. Then you realize it is true about Realtors, too. There are two sides to a story. The problem may be somewhere between 50 to 100 percent with the person talking. When the facts are on the table, the story may not taste the same.
Dec 02, 2012 07:22 AM #23
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Real Estate Agent, Top 1% of Lyon Agents
Lyon Real Estate - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

You know what they say, right? You want to be the

  • first born
  • second wife
  • third agent

Sometimes the griping about the other agent is legitimate and sometimes it's not. I don't really care what they say as I look at a) whether the transaction is likely to close and b) am I capable of getting it there.

Dec 02, 2012 07:31 AM #24
Mike Cooper
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Sales Pro

So true, Andrea.  It's always good to go into every situation like this with a completely open mind and open ears. 

Jon, I try to help the seller understand that the agent may have given them good advice and instruction if that's the case.  If not, I stay quiet. 

Yes it does, Conrad, and it's often hard to change.

You are so right, James.

Kat, I'm amazed at how quickly buyers/sellers will change agents.  For some, it means nothing to jump ship in mid-stream.

Me too, Than.  If they can be defended, I will.  If they can't, I stay quiet.  8-)

It sure can be, Kristine.

Karen Ann, I've used that in couple's therapy before.  They normally laugh initially, and then they tend to realize how slanted their view is.

Definitelly best to stay neutral, Jordon.  Have a great week.

Thank you, Ginger.

I hear it with our contracting company too, Liz.  Same story, different players.

Sad, but true, Jill.

Absolutely, Lynn. 

That would be the best plan, Fernando.  I hear you about the bikes.  I've had that same experience.

Good for you, Joel.

Very true, S & D.  Have a great week.

All valid points, Michael. 

I've heard that a time or two, Bliz.  I've found that it's normally not 100% true, but it their perception.

Absolutely, Cheryl.  Thanks for the re-blog.

Elizabeth, that is a great list.  A bit funny too.  8-)


Dec 02, 2012 07:50 AM #25
Olga Simoncelli
Veritas Prime, LLC - New Fairfield, CT
Broker-Owner, RE Consultant, Licensed in CT & NY

Perception IS reality, at the end of the day. I think the key to hearing stories about other agents is to remain neutral and professional. Too many of us badmouth each other, in so many words, which only again creates perceptions about us.

Dec 02, 2012 08:23 AM #26
Mike Cooper
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Sales Pro

Well said, Olga.

Dec 02, 2012 08:28 AM #27
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Mike- this is an excellent post.  Often we're too eager to "jump" maintaining the notion that the customer is always right.  And yes, it is their perception that is unfortunately their reality.  Maybe it would help if we all took a deep breath and tried to see all sides of a situation before casting judgment. 

Dec 02, 2012 09:35 AM #28
Mike Cooper
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Sales Pro

Absolutely, Kathy.  They might be right, but you've got to hear all sides to know that.  Happy Sunday.

Dec 02, 2012 09:43 AM #29
Jon Karlen
Finish Line Realty - Shelbyville & Louisville Ky Real Estate - Shelbyville, KY
Louisville & Shelbyville Kentucky real estate

Great viewpoints about what we may encounter in the market place.  A lot of times customers can quickly become disgruntled over the slightest transgression that may have been a requirement of compliance with Federal Law.

Dec 02, 2012 12:40 PM #30
Carla Muss-Jacobs, Principal Broker (503) 810-7192 | Portland Metro Exclusive Buyers Agent | 100% Buyer Representation ~ 100% of the Time - Portland, OR
Buyer Focused ~ Buyer Results

It just happened to me this week.  Got a call from a buyer who was very upset with their agent. They felt he was forcing them into buying a home.  I don't doubt that at all.  Glad they called me.

On the other side of the coin, I have a friend who is being "two-timed" by her client.  My friend is doing one heck of a good job in representation.  Her client thinks the grass might be greener and so she wandered.  No fault of my friend.

Dec 02, 2012 01:09 PM #31
Evelyn Kennedy
Alain Pinel Realtors - Alameda, CA
Alameda, Real Estate, Alameda, CA


I think we have all had that experience.  The first time that happened, I was surprised, but not shocked.  The house had been on the market for almost 3 months with no nibbles.  My clients decided they needed a new perspective.  I understood their situation.


Dec 02, 2012 03:17 PM #32
Tammie White
(615) 495-0752 or - Franklin, TN
Franklin Homes Realty, Franklin TN

I see sellers who think all real estate agents are created equal. Obviously, we are not. And sometimes, it just may be that the sellers perception is correct.

Dec 03, 2012 05:43 PM #33
Charita Cadenhead
Keller Williams Realty - Birmingham, AL
Serving Jefferson and Shelby Counties (Alabama)

They tongue is also thy sword.  Not only that Mike, but just count the time we've heard it all before.  That should be the first clue that something else is amiss.  Furthermore, after working with this newfound client, you may discover why the previous relationship really went south.

Dec 04, 2012 07:57 AM #34
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