Who am I? A door man or a Realtor?

By
Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Top Properties

Yesterday morning I was on the phone at the office when another line rang. Paul, our insurance guy answered it and had the lady hold for a Realtor after properly asking if she'd been working with one, TWICE. (Paul grew up in real estate as it was his father that opened our company over 30 years ago and he carries a broker's license though his time is spent running an insurance company.)

I get on the horn and answer a few questions for a gal who wants to see a couple of lower-end homes for a friend that lives out of state. Well, needless to say- one is under contract and the other is occupied by a renter that has a disconnected telephone, so setting an appointment is going to be a bit of a hassle. I figure, even if the friend never ended up calling me or using my service, I can do this and hopefully make a good impression on the lady actually going for her future business and referrals.

We were set to see the home Wednesday at 2:00 if we could get a confirmation. FINALLY we did, at about 12:30 that day. I pick up the phone to call her and she says, "Oh good. 2 o'clock still? Ohhh, can we move it to 1:30? I'm seeing another house down the block with another agent right around then!"

Though my response to her came a mere second after she proposed that I inconvenience myself; I had what seemed like an eternity to contemplate it.

"Well, why don't you just see if she'd like to take you through both houses." Can she get in the door? "Sure, just set up an appointment with the office."

Here's what I know that she doesn't: The agent showing her the home is so new to the business that she's had two listings. One: her father's lot that expired after being priced about double its market value and two: a home that she currently owns (of course the one they're going to see where she would be acting as a dual agent on it)....good luck. She might be a dynamite Realtor, just new to the business, only time will tell that and it's not the issue here.

After this I had time to self-refelct:

Is my time too important to help someone out? NO.

If I can fit it into a schedule somewhere, am I too important to open a door of a property and show a person around, even if that person is not the buyer? NO.

Is it a slap in the face to me and any other Realtor to be used as a door opener so you can peruse a home for an out-of-state friend that may, or may not, ever ring our phone? Yea- probably.

You see- As a professional, I'm not going to show up whenever I feel like it wearing my work-out pants and favorite band t-shirt, open the door- let you look and say "smell ya later" when you're done looking. I will, however, be dressed appropriately and on time. I will come with materials describing the property at length- if there are any questions that my materials do not cover, I will promptly find answer to them. I will have my phone off as you are my only focus during the time when I am serving YOU. I will point out the good, bad and ugly (when applicable) for any and every house I show to protect and inform YOU, the buyer, who I wish to be my client (if you aren't already). But I will not do that and watch you walk 6 houses down and do it all over again with another Realtor as I drive away. From the time we speak on the phone about a house, I prepare the information on said house for you, drive to it and show you the home (good, bad and/or ugly,) I spend roughly an hour of my time if it's an in-town listing. This time is uncompensated monetarily unless you allow me to represent you in a real estate transaction that closes.

Think it's my job and if I don't like doing it for free until something closes?? Go look in the mirror and ask yourself this: If my boss came up to me tomorrow at work and said, "You've been doing a fantastic job. You're dressed professionally, on-time and always prepared to help our clients with anything they may need. I'd like to reward you by allowing you to work unpaid from 4-5:00 today. Oh, and by the way, you see Tammy down there? She's going to be doing your job for me too this afternoon so I may not need you after today. Have a g'night!"

 ..........follow it !!!!!

Posted by

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Jim Ludes is a REALTOR with Century 21 Coleman-Hornsby in Grundy and Will County, IL. If you have a question about real estate that he might be able to help with, email him at Jim@JimLudes.com or call/text at 815-712-7786. If you'd rather observe from afar or become friends first, check him out at:

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Rainer
76,974
Chuck Christensen
Your Financial Coach - Bellingham, WA
That's a tough one...is it about the money or the client? Why didn't the other agent get a contract before showing houses....or did they like seeing the homes themselves so they would have an idea of what it looks like for other potential buyers, like scoping out the open houses so that you have a mental picture for a client that may call looking for something that isn't on the mls...like a walk in closet the size of a bedroom, or a extra large pantry.
Nov 07, 2007 07:08 AM #1
Rainer
212,227
Carol Smith
Casmi Photography - Mebane, NC

Jim - all I can say is AMEN!!!!  I have had several of these situations in the past year and it's way too frustrating to comprehend.  One man even said, "Well, you all (Realtors) share the pot anyway - what difference does it make?"

My answer, "It makes a difference in wasting time, gas and money.  I'm sure if the shoe were on the other foot you would be a tad annoyed, too."

People think we don't do anything except sit around eating bon-bons waiting for the phone to ring.  Makes me want to pull my hair out! 

Nov 07, 2007 07:11 AM #2
Rainmaker
1,317,551
Joan Whitebook
BHG The Masiello Group - Nashua, NH
Consumer Focused Real Estate Services
Yes, this is the AMEN AMEN chorus -- I don't know how we have done such a good job teaching the public that they can expect us to work for free!  I think it is time that we take a good look at how we do this business and reeducate the public.  We are professionals and should act as such!
Nov 07, 2007 07:19 AM #3
Rainer
69,596
Jim Ludes
RE/MAX Top Properties - Coal City, IL
Grundy/Will County, IL REALTOR

Chuck- If you read my blogs, you'll know I'm all about the client and loathe those who are not (many rants haven't even been put into blog form yet). But this woman a) was NOT the client, but an in-state friend [that, not even taking into consideration that she'd not be a client, but a customer anyway] and b) was dishonest about working with another Realtor twice with Paul- who answered the phone and again with me. 3 strikes- you're out!

Carol- You're right... some think we're making a fortune sitting around doing nada. It's our job to educate them!!!

Nov 07, 2007 07:21 AM #4
Rainer
69,596
Jim Ludes
RE/MAX Top Properties - Coal City, IL
Grundy/Will County, IL REALTOR
Joan- a woman after my own heart sneaking in the part about educating them!!
Nov 07, 2007 07:24 AM #5
Rainmaker
249,857
Mike Klijanowicz
Cummings & Co. Realtors - Perry Hall, MD
Associate Broker @ Cummings & Co. Realtors
AMEN!  You did the right thing cutting her loose.  Personally, I would have NEVER agreed to meet her in the first place until I spoke with her so-called friend to find out more specifics and if he/she was pre-approved or not.  Screen them the best you can and if they don't meet your set client standards, then learn how to SAY NO!
Nov 12, 2007 12:02 AM #6
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Rainer
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Jim Ludes

Grundy/Will County, IL REALTOR
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