Is the customer always right?

Real Estate Agent with Marie Avery/RE/MAX Alliance Group
I know that today in a changed real estate market, for most of us, things are a little bit tough.  Buyers can sometimes be frustrating with what seems an increase in the lack of loyalty that we once enjoyed. Are we using the same tactics we always used and now are getting different results? It used to be, we would meet with clients, show them properties and if they didn't like what we showed them, we could meet with them and show them others until they bought a home. Now it seems that if they don't buy on that first contact, that they run off find another home, call that agent and by the time you call them the next day, they bought a home with some one else. Aagh! You want to tell them what is on your mind, but instead you say "Congratulations, if I may ever help you in the future, let me know." I ran into one of these people the other day. They were in the process of selling their home, they remembered me showing them homes and after meeting with them, I listed their home. Wouldn't the outcome have been different if I had responded any other way then "Congratulations?" Yes, I guess the customer is always right.
Posted by

Marie Avery

WCR, CDPE, CIPS, CLHMS, CRS, GRI, e-Pro, PMN, TRC                                                                                                                                     

Avery-Ayers & Associates RE/MAX Alliance Group Bradenton / Sarasota, Florida  941-725-0911                                                                                        Blog:                                                                                                        

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Comments (9)

William Moore
Innovative Realty - Londonderry, NH

Dont lets cloud the issue.  They are not right, but you did handle the situation correctly.  Using the concept that "the customer is always right" can generate resentment because we have to treat something they do as being "right" when we know it is not.

I prefer to say "The Customer is Always the Customer" until I behave or perform in a way that makes them Not the customer for me.  You did the right thing with your reaction and realized the results.

Aug 09, 2007 12:29 AM
Al Maxwell
Keller Williams - Marietta, GA
Real Estate Agent

Don't you have Buyer/Brokerage agreements in Florida? I have been in the same boat as you, and now I pretty much require the agreement before we jump in the car. Gas is too expensive and my time is too valuable to be bought around. Let me say that I have also lost business because of this. Some people feel I was too pushy, but in the long run, I'm glad that I've done it.

Also, I will occasionally take people out ONCE and discuss the brokerage agreement and explain that on the next trip they'll have to sign it. That way they feel liek they have time to review it.

Aug 09, 2007 12:31 AM
Brad Snyder
Sierra Vista Realty - Sierra Vista, AZ


We have a buyer broker agreement, however I think it is too pushy for the first day. I will show some homes on day one and before I show them more homes after our first meeting, I will ask them to sign a buyer broker agreement. I think the first day should be a chance to build a relationship. You will win some and lose some.

Good luck.

Aug 09, 2007 12:39 AM
Andrew Trevino
ADT Real Estate - Wilkes Barre, PA
Wilkes-Barre Homes For Sale


I can understand your sentiments about the customer always being right. I have to say that William hit it right on the head, though. What they did wasn't right, but the customer is always the customer...until you get the Buyer Agency Agreement signed and they become your client.

Aug 09, 2007 12:41 AM
Michael Almeida
Pillar To Post - Professional Home Inspection - North Arlington, NJ
Licensed New Jersey Home Inspector

Your time and your experience are two intangibles that YOU need to add value to.  I see no problem having someone sign an agreement.  As long as it is fair, it only adds to your professionalism.


Aug 09, 2007 12:46 AM
Shannon Lefevre
John R. Wood Properties - Naples, FL
Shannon Lefevre, PA Your Naples Smart Girl
What's weird for us is I've talked to a lot of people who have shown once and they decided not to purchase at all....The joys of living in a second home market!  At least if they buy through someone else you get the luxury of a closed sale in your market.  At least somebody wins even if it's not you. Sure makes you serious about being on your "A" game first day out.
Aug 09, 2007 12:47 AM
Brenda & David Wakeman
Russell Realty - Strongsville, OH
Using a Buyer Agency Agreement would have prevented this from happening.  You have to sell your prospects on the benefits of Buyer Agency.  Then and only then can you build loyalty.
Aug 09, 2007 12:58 AM
New Jersey Real Estate James Boyer Morris, Essex & Union County NJ Realtor
RE/MAX Properties Unlimited, Real Estate - Morristown, NJ
I think that you should have a conversation with them before they leave you that first day.  You need to explain to them that you can show them anything on the market, and that you have their best interests in mind.  You also need to tell them in a tactful way that it is not your paying job to show houses, it is a part of it but not the paying part.  So if they would be so kind as to allow you to continue to show them houses if that is what they are going to do, and if they decide to attempt to purchase one also allow you to put that purchase agreement together, you would be more than happy to do that, but always with their best interests in mind.
Aug 09, 2007 01:17 AM
DDR Realty
DDR Realty - Newburgh, NY
Orange County NY
To the title of the blog, I'd have to say no. The customer is not ALWAYS right. But for the example you are giving, it usually does pay off to remain professional and courteous.
Aug 09, 2007 01:41 AM