Being in Real Estate for nearly 9 years, I've seen the ups and downs, the highs and lows, the good, the bad and the ugly! When the market is hot, EVERYONE wants to be a Real Estate agent; when it's down, everyone is jumping ship. When the market is good, you want to focus on marketing yourself as a Real Estate professional to remind the consumer that no, not every agent is the same. I, personally, get excited when the market isn't at it's best because it weeds out all the agents who get their license for fun and don't really take the industry seriously.
Here lately I've been reminded time and time again why agents have a bad reputation; they're lazy, they don't communicate, they expect everyone else to do everything for them, they don't stay on top of their education, they don't yearn to be a better agent; trust me, this list goes on!
I work on a team in which we have 2 lead agents - a listing agent and a buyer specialist (me), as well as an assistant. Vicki, the listing agent, is working a deal with an agent who has been in the business for 9 years. This came as a HUGE surprise after she:
1. sent the inspection report to her and in her amendment simply wrote: "all of page 7 and 8;"
2. called Vicki and asker her to schedule her closing for her; and
3. 2 days before the closing, she called Vicki and said, "do you think your clients would mind if we changed the buyer's name from her dad to her?"
WHAT!????? Part-time agent, maybe!?? I don't know! It's things like this that make us, Vicki and I, in our buyer/seller consultation put emphasis that we are both FULL TIME agents! This is not a hobby; we take what we do seriously and we market ourselves as professionals. Read our testimonials, you'll see our clients agree!
Here's another episode I experienced myself. I am working a deal with clients who are moving from Oklahoma to Dallas. Their home in OK is set to close and we had been negotiating back and forth, back and forth on the purchase of their new home for about 10 days at this point. My clients are in a panic because they HAVE to find something and when they think they have, the sellers are holding out for someone to pay top dollar in a declining market (yeah right!!), and the listing agent has a 2-3 day turn-a-round time in getting back to me on anything! No wonder my clients were starting to panic. We finally negotiated everything in which everyone had already agreed; my clients sign, I forward the contract to the listing agent and I hear nothing. She has an appointment with them on Friday morning, I call her around noon to check on the status - no answer and no call back; I send a follow-up email, and still nothing. Finally late that evening around 11:00 she emails me and says her clients had to check on the dates with their builder before they could move forward which is why it took all day but she should have it back to me first thing in the morning. If she doesn't get it to me in the morning it will have to be Sunday night.
I don't hear from her on Saturday nor Sunday. Finally Monday morning she forwards me the contract with 1 small change and apologizes for not getting back to me sooner but she was out of town. I understand being out of town, I forgot to mention, I had actually been out of town as well since Friday morning and got back Sunday evening, and Saturday was spent at the spa getting ready for a wedding. I still emailed and phoned my clients as well as the listing agent to make sure things were moving forward. I know in this business it's nice to get away and not worry about anything, but you do that after you make sure all your ducks are in a row; you don't leave people hanging.
Another something I found interesting is that a past client of mine called and said he has a friend who is really upset with her agent. She's been nothing but rude, non-communicative, doesn't explain anything to her, and doesn't feel she's looking out for her and her interest. She had a question about a contract and the agent simply said "read the Third-Party Financing Addendum;" that was it - no explanation. So he called and asked me the same question and I told him exactly what she needed to do. I also offered to look over the contract to make sure everything was accurate and then give her a timeline for due dates and deadlines. I'm not trying to steal this agent's client by any means! Honestly!! But agents forget purchasing a home is a huge milestone in a lot of people's lives and it isn't something that should be taken lightly. You don't want to purchase a home and instantly feel regret knowing you overpaid, your questions weren't answered, and you may or may not be in the area you truly wish to be in because your agent didn't take the time to explain anything to you.
These are only a few examples of a laundry list of bad examples of an agent. It honestly gets to the point in which you find it funny! So, here's a small remindeer (if you even get to this point in this blog, ha) that we as agents have a responsibility to be a professional. Communicate in a timely manner, answer the phone and/or return phone calls, always hold your client's best interest to heart, know the market and make sure the purchase or sell makes sense from a numbers standpoint, be courteous, be promt and on time, stay on top of your education to be as knowledgeable in your field as possible, have a desire to better yourself always, put your clients first and you and your wants and needs second, always be prepared, and always fully educate your clients and answer all their questions. You don't have to know everything, and trust me, your clients don't expect you to know everything; there's never anything wrong with sayind you don't have the answer but you will definitely look into it and get back to them. Under promise and over deliver! And always always always come from contribution! Do all these things and you, as a Real Estate PROFESSIONAL, will shine!
I guess you can take this long blog as a simple plea asking all agents to do their jobs and be good agents; it definitely will make negotiations and transactions a lot more enjoyable and maybe even a little more smooth which, in the end, truly benefits our clients!!