Before we start, I know the question of this blog is flawed. No one really owns a client, but you'll get the point as you read on. One of my client’s needs a rental. I rarely do rentals anymore, but this is a special client. She is a very tech savvy shopper. Like so many Americans, she started her search online. Lucky for me, she found me first. I dare not ask, but I was hoping she asked for a "Great Realtor in the Northern Virginia area who excels above all others and knows about rentals", and not something like, "Who is the biggest Goober Realtor in the Northern Shenandoah Valley?" Never mind that one.
Anyway, she found me and we've been looking at houses. I've really gotten to enjoy this client and her family and sadly, we haven't found that one right rental yet, but that's OK, because we will. She is very particular. That means no compromising, and no settling for something that isn't just right. I appreciate that attitude even though it doesn't pay Realtors well. She has discovered something I hadn't really thought much about in the past.
I like to assume that all Realtors are warm, friendly and professional. Warm and friendly are good Realtor characteristics, but that "professional" thing may need a little fine tuning for some of my colleagues. I had my assistant call a few listing agents to inquire about possible properties for us to preview. One of the agents said that my client was his client.
My client is his client? How could that be? My client is my client! OK, here's where my client's discovery gave me the idea for this blog. She found that if she called an agent or sent him/her an email he/she would respond immediately. But, if I called or sent an email, it might be two or three days. Some never respond.
As professionals, we should feel comfortable asking a client, "Are you currently working with another agent?" That is required for all of my agents in the first contact with a new client.Every person that dials your number may not be looking for you as their Realtor. Sometime you might get a tech savvy client like mine that has figured Realtors out, and she is using it to her advantage.
I know that a competitive market makes every potential lead valuable, but ethics, values, protocols and just plain old courtesy are still in vogue. I turned my nephew down on a showing when I found out he was working with another Realtor. Professional courtesy is still a big part of our industry, or at least it should be. If it's not, let's make it a part, one Realtor at a time. Can I get an Amen? Or at least a referral?