Here we are - the second-to-last installment of the Confident Rookie Series!
A lot of new agents worry about being taken advantage of by experienced agents, if the experienced agent were to find out that they're new. So the obvious solution is to pretend that they aren't new, right?
Unfortunately, no. The thing is - if you're new, it will almost certainly be obvious to the agent on the other side of the table, whether you own up to it or not. And the more you try to fake experience, the more obvious it will be. When I'm on the other side of a transaction from a rookie agent who is trying to pretend she knows what she's doing, she almost always embarrasses herself. However, if the rookie agent tells me upfront that she's in her first year and to bear with her if she goes overboard crossing her t's and dotting i's... I'm a lot more willing to make the experience pleasant for her.
And I think you'll find more agents with this mindset than not. Yes, there are some amazingly jerky people in our business and if you happen to run into one of them early in your career, they may very well make that transaction miserable for you... but the good news is that - think about it - you'll only have a handful of "first deals" so chances are good you'll have a decent agent on the other side. Just be upfront with them about your lack of experience, confidently, and they may even go out of their way to help you. The same goes for inspectors, appraisers, attorneys, closers and lenders.
However, what if you do run into a jerk on your first or second sale? I did - my third sale actually and 12 years later I still remember him vividly. He was abusive and condescending and said some pretty nasty things to me - you can read about him in Chapter Eleven of Sell with Soul. And he did intimidate me to the point of embarrassing myself in front of my client. Turned out that he later checked into a mental facility for "anger issues."
An abusive agent is going to abuse everyone he comes in contact with - it's not just you and it's not personal. He'd abuse me, he'd abuse Johnny and he probably abuses his mortgage brokers and title reps on a regular basis. Keep your cool, follow your instincts and you'll get thru it.
But this doesn't mean that your inexperience as a new agent won't be used against you, even by a nice-guy opposing agent. That other agent has a duty to represent his client's best interests, so don't believe for a second he's going to help you negotiate against him or his client. If you don't know how to help your buyer determine if a listing is overpriced, if you don't know how to get your buyer what he wants at the inspection, if you don't know how to appeal a low appraisal, the other agent will definitely take advantage of you. It's his job.
So if something sounds fishy to you - AT ALL - ask for help from someone in your office. Even if it doesn't sound fishy, have someone review what you've done... or better yet, what you're getting ready to do before you do it!
It's not too late to register for Saturday's
"Representing Your Buyer in a Short Sale" teleseminar with Janie Coffey.
Details and Registration here.
The Art of Commission Negotiation
Details and Registration here.
The Confident Rookie Series:
- Know Your Systems
- Practice with Your Printer (sounds silly, I know)
- Preview, Preview, Preview
- Drive Your Route Ahead of Time
- Cheerfully Waste Your Time
- Find a Handyman
- Let Your Seller Prospect Do Most of the Talking
- Get Comfy with Your Commission
- Admit that You're New
- What to say when you don't know the answer