Just Because We’re Both Available Doesn’t Make Us A Good Match

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with North Shore Suburbs & Chicago Real Estate

CoupleMany years ago, one of my girlfriends fixed me up on a blind date.  Without much coaxing, her 'inner cupid' emerged as she convinced herself of the following:  “Carie is single.  He is single.  Sounds Like A Perfect Match!”  Well, the blind date was a huge disappointment, primarily because we had absolutely nothing in common.  Yet, although my girlfriend had good intentions, she didn't pay much attention to our individual styles or interests and instead, hoped we would somehow be compatible.  Coincidentally, after a recent experience with my cousin and her real estate agent, I was quickly reminded that it takes more than a brief introduction – and a wish – to be the procuring cause of any successful relationship.

You're a Buyer's Agent and she's a Buyer:  You seemed like you would make such a great couple.  Recently, I visited a cousin who desires to relocate in an unfamiliar part of town.  She started working with a local agent and asked me if I would accompany her for moral support.  She and her agent had met previously to discuss the usual details including the following "non-negotiable" criteria:  no properties located next to a gas station, no properties located on an alley, no properties within a block of a fire department or hospital emergency room, and no properties located on a main thoroughfare.  My cousin also discussed some of her "semi-negotiable" criteria, which pertained to aesthetics and structural characteristics.  Otherwise, she realizes she won't find perfection, nor will she likely find a property that has each and every desired feature.  In other words, she knows what she wants, she knows what she doesn’t want, and she might be willing to compromise on certain things.  In return, she was told there were several properties from which to choose.
 
Spending the afternoon showing a buyer properties with mostly non-negotiable and semi-negotiable features will likely create mutual heartbreak for both the agent and the buyer.  From individual experience, my cousin's non-negotiables could easily have been verified ahead of time via phone call or a quick drive by.  It's also been my experience that semi-negotiables can be turned into negotiables – although that typically happens with knowledge of inventory and a meaningful discussion about acceptable alternatives.  Furthermore, there might also be times when a client’s current needs and desires are met with limited market availability.  It happens.  As with most relationships, you don’t want to encourage two incompatible parties to get together because as we know, buyer’s remorse does not just apply to real estate transactions.

I know your time is important ... but so is mine.  Nobody wants to waste anybody else’s time.  So, if I were a buyer, I would want to say to my agent:  Please talk to me – really listen to what I'm saying – be honest with me – and let’s discuss all of my viable options.  You are the expert.  That is why I am relying on you to be knowledgeable and up-to-speed on what is happening in your market.  If I were a buyer, I would also want to say to my agent:  I'm a qualified buyer – I’m willing to be open-minded and somewhat flexible -- and I will be extremely loyal to you.  Trust me ... I really want this to work out.  Sadly, I've also learned that some relationships were just not meant to be.

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carie shapiro

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Rainmaker
157,008
George Bennett
Inactive - Port Orford, OR
Inactive Principal Broker, GRI

Nice analogy. Agents definitely need to develop good listening skills. They also need to bring professional know-how to the effort of finding the right home; making a fair price offer, negotiating to an accepted deal; and ultimately closing the deal. Without good listening skills this becomes very difficult to do well.

Feb 27, 2012 08:01 PM #15
Rainer
147,871
Kimberly Tapscott
Keller Williams Prestige Properties - Stamford, CT
Giving you the service you deserve!

Carie - well congrats on the feature.  great post and I wish I had read it earlier to take part in the featuring.  So true...sometimes we're not a match and it makes sense to refer to another agent.....

Feb 27, 2012 08:40 PM #16
Rainmaker
1,412,427
Michael Setunsky
Woodbridge, VA
Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA

Carrie, very good analogy. Sometimes we just don't click with our clients. As George (#16) mentioned, we need to develop good listening skills and listen to what our clients are saying and not what we think we are hearing. Good Point.

Feb 27, 2012 09:20 PM #17
Rainer
208,817
Cheryl Thomson REALTOR Army Ret
United Real Estate (703.216.5635) cheryltee47@gmail.com - Prince William, VA
Associate Broker in Northern Virginia

Carie sitting down and getting to the root of what the client is looking for BEFORE we look at properties is necessary.  I mean who wants to be driving around wasting gas, its high enough as it is.  I show three properties at one time. We go out again three more. By then I'm usually done, unless their criteria changes.

Feb 27, 2012 09:24 PM #18
Rainmaker
1,238,249
Chuck Carstensen
RE/MAX Results - Elk River, MN
Minnesota Real Estate Expert

It really sounds like your cousin would be easy to help because they have pinpointed what they want.  

Feb 27, 2012 09:52 PM #19
Rainer
61,616
Ron Cooks
The Real Estate Marketplace - Killeen, TX
Texas Real Estate, Ft Hood/Killeen Homes for Sale

Carrie, you shared a very nice lesson with us all.  It first starts with the relationship, then the transaction.

By the way, I loved the graphic, it matched your lead-in perfectly.

Feb 27, 2012 10:01 PM #20
Rainer
135,586
Margie Kopp Sorrell
Coldwell Banker Lake Oconee Realty and Lake Country - Greensboro, GA
Lake Oconee Real Estate

We all love to make money or else we wouldn't be in this business. No commission, however, is worth it to me to be in a "relationship" with a Buyer or Seller if we don't really enjoy working with each other. We all know how important referrals are in this business and if they didn't enjoy working with you, regardless of whether you helped close the deal or not, they probably won't have the most positive things to say to others who you could potentially have a "relationship" with as well.

 

Feb 27, 2012 10:31 PM #21
Ambassador
878,330
Connie Harvey
Pilkerton Realtors - Brentwood, TN
Realtor - Nashville TN Real Estate

Carie, Listening is so important in any relationship but it's impossible to truly help a Buyer without giving them your full attention. It's amazing the things I learn by listening. They tell us things just in conversation that helps us understand them and their needs. They don't always know that they're giving more information!

Feb 27, 2012 11:14 PM #22
Rainmaker
2,559,935
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

I had to refer a buyer out because their vision and mine didn't mesh. Worked out for all concerned too as my referral source wrote up an offer and everyone rode off into the sunset..I learned this over the span of my career...There are many ways to help and get things done...good one Carrie

Feb 28, 2012 12:05 AM #23
Rainer
240,155
Carie Shapiro
North Shore Suburbs & Chicago Real Estate - Evanston, IL

Didi:  Hi Didi!!  I am so happy to see you :)  Yes, buyers sometimes will (or must) compromise.  But as you said, it's important to always keep the conversation going.

Joy:  Right!  And, sometimes it's easy to forget that.

Bill:  I agree.  Listening to the buyer is just Real Estate Agent 101 :)

Sherry:  Thanks for pointing that out.  There are buyers who know what they want.  And, there are buyers who need more "hand holding."  So, keeping the lines of communication flowing definitely works in both cases.

Eric:  Listening is key.  And, as you said, asking questions and good communication keeps everything clearer.

Cheryl:  Yes, I think you're right about that :)

Ellie:  Agreed!  Google Earth and some good business sense.  Sounds like a great plan to me :)

Anna:  It was a lot of wasted time and could have been handled better, for sure!

Ed:  Having clear and comprehensive conversations, and a little bit of homework beforehand, will definitely go a long way, for sure!

George:  Thanks!  Our clients rely on us to be the experts and guide them through the process.  But, being a good listener is so important to any successful relationship!

Feb 28, 2012 12:08 AM #24
Rainer
240,155
Carie Shapiro
North Shore Suburbs & Chicago Real Estate - Evanston, IL

Kimberly:  Thanks so much!  Yes, sometimes that just makes more sense for all concerned.

Michael:  Thanks!  It's not always a "good match," that's true.  Yet, it's possible that sometimes being a better listener could help that situation, too.

Cheryl:  You're right!  Having a clear and inclusive conversation ahead of time is not just important ... it's imperative!

Chuck:  That's exactly what I would have thought, too!  Puzzling to me as well!

Ron:  Thanks!  And, I really like how you expressed it:  "It first starts with the relationship, then the transaction."  Great!

Margie:  So true!  Not just an unpleasant relationship during the transaction -- but could likely continue after the transaction with regards to referrals.  Thanks for pointing that out!

Connie:  With your keen listening skills, I bet your buyers enjoy working with you very much!  And, I'm sure it really makes those relationships so much more productive and enjoyable for both of you :)

Richie:  Great example of how to turn a situation into a "Win-Win" for everyone involved ... thanks for sharing that!

 

Feb 28, 2012 12:36 AM #25
Rainmaker
1,155,228
Paula McDonald, Ph.D.
Beam & Branch Realty - Granbury, TX
Granbury, TX 936-203-0279

Such a true statement that not every relationship is meant to be.  Always good to know that before getting in the biz with them.  Great post.

Feb 28, 2012 01:38 AM #26
Rainmaker
316,362
Sandy Acevedo
951-290-8588 - Chino Hills, CA
RE/MAX Masters, Inland Empire Homes for Sale

Hi Carie, so true about listening to what the client is saying, but I can't tell you the number of times they end up buying what the specifically said they did not want to see.

Feb 28, 2012 01:52 AM #27
Rainer
240,155
Carie Shapiro
North Shore Suburbs & Chicago Real Estate - Evanston, IL

Paula:  Thanks!  Yes ... sometimes it's just not a good fit.  And, that's okay.

Sandy:  I bet you've enjoyed much success working with buyers because you're a good listener :)  And, you're absolutely right ... buyers might change their minds and be willing to compromise -- usually when both parties communicate well with each other.

Feb 28, 2012 03:14 AM #28
Rainmaker
571,868
Bill Gillhespy
16 Sunview Blvd - Fort Myers Beach, FL
Fort Myers Beach Realtor, Fort Myers Beach Agent - Homes & Condos

Hi Carie,  The analogy between agents & clients and blind dates is really quite accurate.  Both want the experience to be positive and result in a dreamed for goal !

Feb 28, 2012 03:51 AM #29
Rainer
240,155
Carie Shapiro
North Shore Suburbs & Chicago Real Estate - Evanston, IL

Bill:  Thanks so much ... I appreciate that!  I thought the analogy worked well, too :)

Feb 28, 2012 04:51 AM #30
Ambassador
2,011,177
Christine Donovan
Donovan Blatt Realty - Costa Mesa, CA
Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M

Carrie - There are important lessons for both sides in this post. Qualified, loyal buyers shouldn't be squandered.

Feb 28, 2012 12:50 PM #31
Rainer
240,155
Carie Shapiro
North Shore Suburbs & Chicago Real Estate - Evanston, IL

Christine:  Very true!  Always lessons to be learned, for sure!

Feb 28, 2012 11:48 PM #32
Ambassador
490,466
Kristin Moran
Owner - RE/MAX Access - KristinMoran@Remax.net - San Antonio, TX
San Antonio,TX - Real Estate - 210-313-7397

Very good analogy, Carie! So true, there are a tremendous amount of things that need to come together to make a perfect match.  In relationships AND in Real Estate!

Feb 29, 2012 04:54 AM #33
Rainer
240,155
Carie Shapiro
North Shore Suburbs & Chicago Real Estate - Evanston, IL

Kristin:  Thanks!  Yes ... there are many variables involved to make any relationship work well.

Feb 29, 2012 10:12 AM #34
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