She's working with another Realtor - Not worth my time!

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Advantage

Yes, that is what I have heard a lot of Realtors tell me and it is the farthest thing from the truth! I have a large lead generating site I receive a lot of quality leads through. Since April of 2009 I have converted 4 buyer leads that originally logged on to my site and left a message they were working with another Realtor.

Just over a week ago I had my latest buyer lead do just that. She left a message she was working with another Realtor. I called her anyway and said; "I know you are working with another Realtor and I just wanted to know if there was anything I can do to help you with your home search?" In a surprised tone she said well why would you want to help me with my search when I am working with another Realtor?  I responded by saying it wasn't about me but about helping her find a home, whether or not I benefited financially or not. This buyer then opened up and told me what she was looking for. I immediately sent her 37 listings from our MLS system with a nice message that said: "I hope one of these homes is what you are looking for and I wish you well in your quest to find your dream home".

Three days later this lead called me and told me she was not getting what she needed from her Realtor. She said she really appreciated the way I treated her and wanted to know If I would represent her. I agreed and Wednesday of this week I wrote an offer for this lead. As I said above this is the 4th lead in less than a year I have converted by showering them with "Kindness and information".

So many real estate trainers tell us to always ask a lead if they are working with another Realtor and if they are we are told to "Run Forest Run"! We are told to politely tell them they need to contact the Realtor they are working with. This is some of the worst advice we as Realtors have ever been given! What if the lead is not getting what they want and need from their Realtor?

Every human being wants to be treated with kindness and respect. No one wants to be ignored or judged because of a decision we have made and many of us can change our minds if we are given options that appeal to us more. We are in an "Information and Communication" era. If we can give that information and communication better than anyone else and add a touch of "Kindness" you just may be amazed at how many buyer leads may decide you are the Realtor they want to work with!

After reading many comments that are concerned about "Buyer Representation" let me tell you that many are not looking at the "BIG PICTURE"! Of the 4 leads I converted in the past several months 3 had not signed a buyer rep agreement and one had. The one that had signed the rep agreement went to the brokers office and obtained a full release! Also, look beyond one lead. If you give great information and communication and add genuine kindness who do you think this lead is going to refer their family and friends to? Yes, I cannot tell you how many people have referred me their family and friends to me over the years that purchased their home from another Realtor! Think about this: Many leads will say they are working with another Realtor but really are not because they don't want to be bothered. If we use my approach our chance of converting them just increased ten fold! Look beyond one experience or one event and look at the endless possibilities!

Try this and see just how many new leads you convert this year!



Posted by

Native Idahoan and Boise Idaho Real Estate specialist serving Boise, Meridian Eagle, Nampa, Caldwell and the surrounding Treasure valley area of southwest Idaho. Specializing in residential, investment, land and commercial real estate. Search thousands of MLS listings at Boise Homes for sale and learn all about Idaho by visiting Search Idaho Homes

Comments (209)

Allison Jones
Kaufmann Realty - Bella Vista, AR

I had another thought on this subject. I read where some disagree with helping someone that is working with another agent and I get that. But as Real Estate professionals we provide a service to our community. We may not be their agent but at open houses or where ever we may meet buyers or sellers we need to be kind and helpful to preserve our Realtor reputation as being helpful members of the community that do provide a service that is needed.We need to stop the reputation of being rude and pushy. They may not buy or sell through us but we have integrity to uphold.

Feb 22, 2010 01:18 AM
Roger Howell
Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation NMLS #2289 - Boise, ID
We do business the Fair way!

Way to go!  This is a great example of helping others get what they want and in return, you get what you want.

Feb 22, 2010 08:32 AM
John Fiorelli
Premier Realty - Richmond, VA
REALTOR Richmond, VA aka

I agree, consumers often check that they are working with an agent. I think that will keep you from contacting them and that it will allow them to remain anonymous...


Feb 22, 2010 10:29 AM
Tamara Dorris
Master Your Market Real Estate Coaching - Carmichael, CA



It is so true to your nature to provide kindness and information. Clearly people can sense your sincerity. That's one of the many things I adore about you, my dear friend!

Love the post!

Feb 23, 2010 03:43 AM
George Tallabas
RE/MAX Advantage - Nampa, ID
Idaho Real Estate

Tamara - Coming from you my dear friend I consider it a HUGE honor! You are amazing!

Feb 23, 2010 11:48 AM
George Tallabas
RE/MAX Advantage - Nampa, ID
Idaho Real Estate

Tamara - Coming from you my dear friend I consider it a HUGE honor! You are amazing!

Feb 23, 2010 11:48 AM
Jim Paulson
Progressive Realty (Boise Idaho) - Boise, ID

George, I know the true message here was the offering top quality service and I know you do that.  However, I feel you crossed the line when you initiated contact with another Realtor's client.

Article 16 states that “REALTORS® shall not engage in any practice or take any action inconsistent with exclusive representation or exclusive brokerage relationship agreements that other REALTORS® have with clients”

Furthermore, SOP 16-5 states, “REALTORS® shall not solicit buyer/tenant agreements from buyers/tenants who are subject to exclusive buyer/tenant agreements.  However, if asked by a REALTOR®, the broker refuses to disclose the expiration date of the exclusive buyer/tenant agreement, the REALTOR® may contact the buyer/tenant to secure such information and may discuss the terms upon which the REALTOR® might enter into a future buyer/tenant agreement or, alternatively, may enter into a buyer/tenant agreement to become effective upon the expiration or any existing exclusive buyer/tenant agreement.”

Also, SOP 16-13 “All dealings concerning property exclusively listed, or with buyer/tenants who are subject to an exclusive agreement shall be carried on with the client’s representative or broker, and not with the client, except with the consent of the client’s representative or broker or except where such dealings are initiated by the client.  Before providing substantive services (such as writing a purchase offer or presenting a CMA) to prospects, REALTORS® shall ask prospects whether they are a party to any exclusive representation agreement.  REALTORS® shall not knowingly provide substantive services concerning a prospective transaction to prospects who are parties to exclusive representation agreements, except with the consent of the prospects’ exclusive representatives or at the direction of prospects.


I am currently dealing with a different agent that even though I have told her point blank via email and on phone messages and in person to quit contacting my clients directly and yet she still continues to do so.  After closing, her complaint to our association will read very close to what is cut and pasted above from our Code of Ethics!

Feb 25, 2010 02:01 AM
Mirela Monte
Buyers' Choice Realty - North Myrtle Beach, SC
Myrtle Beach Real Estate

As I have repeatedly advised all my agents: "It's not about you, it's about the Client!"

Great post, George!

Now featured on the Optimist Group.

Feb 27, 2010 03:19 AM
George Tallabas
RE/MAX Advantage - Nampa, ID
Idaho Real Estate

Mirela - "Munchas gracias mi amiga"!

Feb 27, 2010 03:35 AM
Matt Robinson
Professional Investors Guild - Pensacola, FL

I'm with you George.  There is nothing that says we have to ignore a potential client if they say they're working with an agent.  If that agent is not providing good service, why should that buyer be required to stick with them, and be treated like they have the plague by every other agent.  When someone tells me that they're working with another agent, I simply say, "Great, are they taking good care of you?"  Just last year I had a lady on the phone say, "No, actually she's not.  I've called and left her three messages about showing me this house and she won't call me back".  Long story short, I sold that lady a house, simply by providing exemplary servce when the other agent was unwilling to timely return her calls.

Mar 01, 2010 12:00 PM
George Tallabas
RE/MAX Advantage - Nampa, ID
Idaho Real Estate

Matt - Thanks dude! Amazing how many are against me and how many are with me on this issue! Take good care and continued success!

Mar 01, 2010 01:57 PM
Tina Maraj
RE/MAX One - Fullerton, CA
Celebrating 30 Years of Real Estate Sales

George, As you know it is much easier to "let go" of a weak lead when you have so many others coming in!

Mar 14, 2010 05:36 AM
Tara Wolfe Salas
Exit Realty NE Houston - Kingwood, TX

I am glad we have higher standards and ethics in Texas. Unfortunately, not all Realtors follow them and there are some very disturbing comments here.

Some Key Points to consider:

Many Buyers expect an immediate answer to every phone call and 30 second vm and email reply. They hit end on their phone and start dialing another Realtor or the listing agent. ( We don't shower, eat, or have families!)

I know, I am a Listing agent! Many times I have had to steer buyers back to their agent. I also get the calls from buyers trying to pump me for info for the offer that their agent is going to submit.

I have also had the buyers who want to bounce from agent to agent. It is just not worth your time. If they will do it to them, they will do it to you. I have actually had a buyer tell me they were unhappy with their agent- sign a buyer rep with me- then go out to look at homes with the other agent again that she also had a rep agreement with! She had been through about seven or eight Realtors and still didn't have a house. I fired her within a week.

I only work with qualified buyers who will sign a rep agreement. I explain the commitment in time and money that I am making to them and that I expect the same in return.

I have a TON of GREAT buyers to work with, so I don't need anyone else's!

Happy Easter, Everyone! Remember do unto others....

Apr 03, 2010 09:37 AM
Pippa Mac
Chevaux Group Realtor, The Woodlands and Spring - The Woodlands, TX
The Woodlands TX Real Estate

George ... that is great how with kindness you had a win/win situation!  pippa

Apr 14, 2010 06:08 AM
George Tallabas
RE/MAX Advantage - Nampa, ID
Idaho Real Estate

Pipp - Thank you! It's nice to hear from you. I hope you are having an awesome year!

Apr 14, 2010 07:56 AM
Lori Cofer
Beasley Realty - Moscow, ID
REALTOR, Moscow Idaho Real Estate

George, I absolutely agree.  We should always do our best to be helpful and give great information!


May 15, 2010 06:32 AM
Vince Brennan
RE/MAX New Trend - Farmington Hills, MI
Single family, condominium homes Metro Detroit

George, I am of the firm opinion that what you are suggesting and endorsing is a clear violation of our code of ethics as was pointed out by Jim Paulson in post 205. Your justifications, for the most part is rationalization.


Vince Brennan

Oct 07, 2010 08:36 AM
Vince Brennan
RE/MAX New Trend - Farmington Hills, MI
Single family, condominium homes Metro Detroit

George, I am of the firm opinion that what you are suggesting and endorsing is a clear violation of our code of ethics as was pointed out by Jim Paulson in post 205. Your justifications, for the most part is rationalization.


Vince Brennan

Oct 07, 2010 08:36 AM
Not a real person
San Diego, CA

I’m not a real estate agent, but I was thinking the same thing that Jim said in his comment #205.

Oct 20, 2010 02:32 PM
Anne Corbin
Long and Foster - Lake Anna - Spotsylvania, VA
Serving Lake Anna & Central Virginia

I kind of did that today. A lead thanked me for calling but said he already had an appointment with another agent. He said if the guy didn't work out, he would call me. I e-mailed my contact info and invited him to give me an interview so he could choose between both agents. Maybe he'll call!


Oct 22, 2020 07:04 PM