MOST REAL ESTATE PROFESSIONALS have their own ideas on how to go about being a good agent, they do what they think they need to do and they consider themselves to be among the good ones. But becoming a great agent who receives stellar reviews from former clients has much to do with what you don't do.
Following is a short list of a few of those things an agent shouldn't do. If you catch yourself committing one of the following "sins," well, don't do it anymore.
For starters, don't let clients assume you are going to be their "hands-on" agent if you routinely pass many duties on to others. It is fine to delegate responsibility to other professionals, but make it clear from the beginning to potential clients that an associate may be showing them potential homes or marketing their house. Tell them in advance that it is another who they will most often speak with over the telephone.
If you do that up front, most clients will appreciate the full disclosure at the front end and you will probably impress them with your honesty and efforts to keep them fully informed from the beginning of the process. Down the road, they might share with others just how straightforward you were with them.
On the other hand, if you don't inform them before a contract is signed that others may be doing much of the work, you run the risk of angering and potentially alienating clients. These clients may have a different opinion of your service to share with others.
Do not "buy a listing" by telling clients what you think they want to hear.
First, you can't read minds, don't think you can. And besides, to tell someone they can get $350,000 for a house you know won't sell for more than $300,000 is just setting yourself up for problems down the road. At some point, either they will have to accept the house is not going to sell or they are going to have to drop their price. Yes, by then they will already be under contract, but do you really want angry clients? How well has that worked out in the past?
Don't tell yourself you will never make a mistake and don't try to hide those mistakes from a client. Instead, when you get something wrong, offer a sincere apology that goes beyond just saying 'sorry.' Be specific when apologizing for an inconvenience or mistake. For example, instead of saying "I'm sorry," try "I'm sorry I left you waiting for 90 minutes to see that property. I somehow failed to note the appointment on to my calendar. I understand how frustrating and inconvenient it must have been for you while you were waiting for me."
Give an explanation for the inconvenience and a sincere apology.
A short one that doesn't need a lot of explanation: Always disclose to a seller any offer made for their house, even if it is far below their asking price. In the end, it is their decision and they should have the opportunity to respond to any and all serious offers.
Remember, lenders are to know all that transpires with a real estate transaction, so no under the table transactions of any sort. It is against the rules and in many cases it can constitute mortgage fraud.
Finally, if you insist upon using a website for clients to book appointments or make other arrangements, always give them an alternative that involves communication with a live person. Direct clients to a website if you must, but always make sure they also have a telephone number that can be called during business hours where they can find assistance from someone with your agency.
I'm sure many of you read the above and already knew all of what I wrote. Most of you can probably add to the list. But if any of you paused at one or another of them with a thought of "Yeah, I do that sometimes," you might want to modify how you do things.
After all, why be a good agent when you can be a great one.