Do You Really Want To Work With An Agent Who Is Available With No Notice?

Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker Residential

Sitting at the Updesk, taking calls from people who have seen a yard sign, it is common for people to say "Can you show me the house right now?"  For me, the answer is that as much as I would like to be accommodating, the answer is almost always "no".  Part of being self employed is that I plan out my business day the night before.  My day is booked up.  I live a calendar-driven life.  That is what it takes to be self-employed. My children, when they were small, would slip around and sneak a peak at my calendar to find out what we were going to be doing in the days or weeks to come.  If it is in my calendar, it happens.  Period.

When I get those calls, I can almost always get that buyer into the house in the next 24 to 48 hours, but instantly just isn't going to happen.  Most of the time, people will work with me.  Some people aren't willing to wait.  What I want to ask  them but don't because my good manners won't let me do it.....what I want to ask is "WHY would you want to work with someone who has so little business that they can drop everything and take care of what you want done THIS INSTANT????"

Let me tell you a story to illustrate this situation.  When I was younger, I had a way of falling into the hands of Bossy Beauticians.  At some point a decision was made that I needed to begin coloring my hair to cover the gray.  My thinking was that if I was going to pay to have a color, it should be a color I actually liked.  Blonde for example.  Or even better.....RED!!!!!  I wanted RED hair.  I was raised in a family of red-headed people.  I have had a secret case of red-hair envy for most of my life.

So I had a conversation about hair color with the person I paid to be in charge of my hair.  She told me "no", that I needed to have Warm Brown hair.  We did Warm Brown for a period of several years.  Let me tell you how much I hated that hair color.  I am not a Warm Brown kindda girl.

Fast forward a bit.  I was at a seminar in San Antonio, a 4-day seminar.  About Day 3, I began to get the conference equivalent of Cabin Fever.  I was back in my room in the hotel when a wave of Cabin Fever over came me.  I opened up the Yellow Pages and began looking for a Beauty Shop with a street address that I could find.  In case the Yellow Pages reference weren't enough to date this event, hair colors were done in places called Beauty Shops.  Not a Salon.  A Shop.  I phoned and asked if there was anyone available who could put a color on my hair.  The person who answered the phone put me on hold for a while.  When she came back, she said that they have found someone and how fast could I get there. 

I was there in 10 minutes.  When they handed me the color card I pointed at the reddest-red I could find, a red that rolled off the spectrum into magenta (we were all a whole lot younger then).  THAT is the one, sez I.  And that is what happened.  That little girl put that color on my hair.  She did such a bad job, they had to have a multi-operator conference behind the chair after the first go-round with the color.  A committee put a color on my hair the 2nd time.  After a 2nd pass, the color was pretty close to what was on the card, but by that point, the damage had been done to my hair.  It was f-r-i-e-d.

The take-away concept here?  People who are instantly available are not alway the most experienced people at that business.  There is a reason that the people with the experience and know-how are booked up.


Meanwhile, if you are interested in buying or selling a property in The Metroplex, phone me.  Let's talk about your real estate needs.  And, if you want to check out my website, click here.


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Re-Blogged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Cheryl Ritchie 05/26/2011 01:44 AM
  2. Joe Lane Richland 05/26/2011 02:38 AM
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Karen Walls
REMAX CLASSIC - Farmington Hills, MI

Love the way you referenced our time but so true! I, many years ago thought something was wrong with agents who had been in the business for years wouldn't run out and show a home at a moment's notice, but yet were top producers. So there I was, runnin back and forth being told that planning and scheduling not running willy nilly would  eventually pay off as my time and family was valuable and I was stressed out from non serious lookie lews soaking up my time. And simply put, times have changed and it  is not safe to do so any longer. I find that a serious buyer would want to sit down and interview you, just as well as you interview them to see if you fit what they want in an agent. You are purchasing a home, not a vacumn cleaner. It also amazes me when I say I can't come now, I have been asked in a shockingly fashion, well why not aren't you an agent, that's your job isn't it? Which I always reply yes, and full time to boot, thinking to myself, if I had that type of free time at a whim, I would be selling vacumn cleaners in a store where you come to me, not me to you! Not that there is anything wrong with selling vacumn cleaners, respect the sales craft all the same, but the buyer's remorse I think takes on new meaning. Summing it up, I so respect buyers who actually want to meet at my office, or talk a few times in depth and get a feel for a plan to move forward etc. than those who think my job is to drop whatever it is that makes me in their eyes a professional to drop run and roll to show a home and dare ask any pesky questions~! Point well taken with the hair dye analogy!

May 25, 2011 07:26 PM #16
Mike Mayer
Mike Mayer, Broker/Owner - i List For Less Realty, LLC - Lafayette, LA

Ask the reverse question, does an Agent want to work with a Buyer who makes such last minute requests? Does an Agent want to invest time and expenses on a prospect who handles such matters of importance without laying the groundwork: pre-approval, understand needs and goals, etc.?

May 25, 2011 10:33 PM #17
David James
ReMax Real Estate Services Columbia South Carolina - Columbia, SC

I can move things around to accommodate someone who needs to see a house immediately.  Last Friday I got a call from someone who was in town for the weekend.  We'll be writing an offer on the house they picked tomorrow.  Any agents in Columbia who are not flexible enough to schedule an impromptu showing, please send them this way- you may as well get a referral, they'll probably end up calling me anyway.

May 25, 2011 10:56 PM #18
Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

If the buyer on the line lets you know they were all set to buy and the deal went south, this is a cash sale and they are in a bind, I will bag the schedule I have written up and make it work. If we get to rigid and have absolutes we find sometimes, not all the time, but sometimes other agents that do drop everything get the sale. Listen to see if it is worth while instead of settling back on the take a number, have a seat might take up to 48 hours to get you in. Try to think drive thru when the wallet size and situation says battle stations, run with it.

May 25, 2011 11:54 PM #19
Tony Baumer
Old Grey Tiger Moving Consulting - Lanoka Harbor, NJ
You need an Old Grey Tiger!

I agree, "available now" advertises you have no work. I can always accommodate my clients pretty quickly but 'now' is rarely going to happen

May 26, 2011 12:32 AM #20
Cheryl Ritchie
RE/MAX Leading Edge - Huntingtown, MD
Southern Maryland 301-980-7566

Lots of good reblogs is my addition....

It takes Prep time to properly prepare for an appointment! Also, agents have several calendar days booked in advance. There are safety issues. There are "everyone gets treated the same way" routines such as loan pre approval first. So, it's a few days out to schedule an appointment and lots of common sense reasons why.

May 26, 2011 01:45 AM #21
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Wow,  That makes so much sense.  More people should read this one.

May 26, 2011 01:51 AM #22
Joe Lane Richland
Kennewick Richland (and West) Pasco WA Homes For Sale - Richland, WA
WA Realtor, 509.438.9344

"People who are instantly available are not always the most experienced people at that business.  There is a reason that the people with the experience and know-how are booked up."

Agree 100%!  :)

May 26, 2011 02:04 AM #23
Yoana Toth
Toth Real Estate Group, Inc - Sunny Isles, FL

Judith Great Post!

Brings back memories ! I used to when I was a Rookie agent....

I have had calls from prospective buyers to book a whole weekend to view waterfront homes....Once I asked them for the proof of funds, pre-approval letter or name and number of their lender NEVER heard back from them. I have listings of over 3 Mil (although it really does not matter the price) and have prospectives call and ask first if the home is for rent, I say "No for sale only" and they ask to see it.... here I go again with the same questions.....

As a Listing agent we hope the buyer's agents are making sure their buyers are really ready to purchase. TIME IS MONEY!

May 26, 2011 03:11 AM #24
Dr. Stacey-Ann Baugh
Century 21 New Millennium - Upper Marlboro, MD
A doctor who makes house calls.

Though I think your story is funny I don't agree with your final statement.  Just because someone is flexible doesn't mean they are unqualified.  I have been known to juggle stuff to accommodate last minutes showings or buyer requests, etc.

May 26, 2011 03:43 AM #25
Gina Chirico
Lattimer Realty - Fairfield, NJ
Real Estate Agent - Essex County, New Jersey

Judith what an excellent post!  Feature worthy for sure!   I had buyers fire me once because I wasn't available at their beckon call and I told them that they may find someone available all of the time but those agents won't nearly bring to the transaction what I do and I wasn't bragging about myself I was being truthful!

May 26, 2011 03:44 AM #26
Bryan Robertson
Los Altos, CA

Great post!  I completely agree with this as well.  It's funny how so many agents will write articles saying they're available 24/7 and do what they can instantly for any client.  How is that possible?  It takes time to get ready and you can't know all the inventory every.  If a home requires an appointment, it may take a day or two to set up.

When I run into unrealistic clients, I just send them on their way.  I'm too busy to be run ragged by someone who doesn't respect my time.

May 26, 2011 05:38 AM #27
J. Philip Faranda
J. Philip Faranda (J. Philip R.E. LLC) Westchester County NY - Briarcliff Manor, NY

I was asked by an attorney once if I were arrested on a serious charge if I wanted the first attorney to answer his phone to defend me. Thinking about it, I didn't want a guy with a client case load so light he was sitting at his desk waiting. 

The good ones in all fields are busy for one reason: they are good, and worth scheduling with. 

May 26, 2011 07:31 AM #28
Brian Madigan
RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage (Toronto) - Toronto, ON
LL.B., Broker

At first I tried to do everything at once, but people then don't respect your time.

Now, I am always available within a reasonable period of time.

May 26, 2011 07:38 AM #29
Evelyn Santiago, Managing Broker Heart Realty Group, Inc.
Heart Realty Group, Inc.. - Oswego, IL
Passionate About Real Estate & Our Clients!

It always amazes me that once I ask the buyer if they are pre-approved and if they can email me oir fax me the letter how their urgency disappears!  The days when you drop everything because a stranger tells you they want to see a house are long gone.  With today's tighter lending standards where even when they are pre-approved and have gone through DU they may not close does not allow for realtors to drop everything just because they say they are qualified to buy a home...if its a cash deal then fax me your Proof of Funds.

May 26, 2011 07:45 AM #30
Catherine Sinocruz
Coldwell Banker Select Real Estate - Reno, NV
Broker-Salesperson, ABR, GRI, CRS

This is a good analogy.

May 26, 2011 08:59 AM #31
Eric Michael
Remerica Integrity, Realtors®, Northville, MI - Livonia, MI
Metro Detroit Real Estate Professional 734.564.1519

I never drop everything to accommodate NEW clients. It sets the example that you'll ALWAYS do it. If there's a true emergency with an existing client, I do what I can. But for the most part, I agree with you!

May 26, 2011 12:43 PM #32
Kasey & John Boles
Jon Gosche Real Estate, LLC - - Boise, ID
Boise & Meridian, ID Ada/Canyon/Gem/Boise Counties

Absolutely true.  I actually got a great deal of business in the boom when I was a newbie realtor by being available at the drop of a hat.  But, I burned out, and I agree with your post.  Plus, if you start with a client that way that is how they will treat you the rest of the time, expecting your immediate attention and not making appointments..I can't do it like that anymore. 

May 27, 2011 09:38 AM #33
Sarasota & Manatee Counties FL
SaraMana Properties - - Bradenton, FL - Listings In Paradise

I think you would be a "hot" looking red-head Judith! ;-)

May 28, 2011 05:23 AM #34
Barbara "Barb" Bodnar, Licensed Associate RE Broker
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Yorktown, NY
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

Hi would be fun to share red stories.  It brings back some funny memories.  I think people respect you when you tell them how you work.  We have to set the tone and present in a professional manner.  There may be prospective clients who want something different, and, we can choose whether that will be acceptable.

May 28, 2011 07:53 PM #35
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Judith Abbott

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