All business is not good business (My biggest Real Estate Failure)

Real Estate Agent with Real Estate Brokers Services, Inc. DRE# 01909433







 Photo Credit:  Paul Lopez  (Twitter:  @ilegend_photo )


When I started in Real Estate, I made a conscious decision to remember how I felt when I purchased a home for the first time, and when I made the decision to sell my homes.  I love finding a home that matches the criteria that a client has provided me, and selling a home that is competitively priced for my home sellers.  I coupled my good intentions with technical knowledge, and later experience.  I was mentored by very experienced power agents.  One agent advised me that "if he is showing houses, he is writing offers", he added that if he takes clients out twice (seeing multiple homes) and the clients do not write offers, he does not take them out for additional showings.  This agent's belief is that if he shows clients the best properties on the market, that they can afford, and they don't write an offer...he presumes the client is not ready for home ownership.  The agent does not attempt to address objections, he just 'abandons his client'.  I've met clients who informed me that the agent doesn't return their calls, or isn't showing them houses, and wondered were these clients victims of client abandonment!

I made the mistake of not listening to this advise, it seemed so cold and not "customer service oriented".  I get that our business is commission based, but honestly want to be understanding to my clients comfort and timing.  Today, it is timing. If they aren't ready to write an offer, I let them know they can call me when they are ready.  But I give them the "closure" of knowing why I feel that they should take a break from our relationship, I mean home search. #1 Rookie Lesson:  I now know that when a client is ready to buy, they will.

The second hard knock learning is to 'qualify the client' by collecting their documentation.  Initially, if my client did not have a Lender, I would facilitate a meeting or at a minimum recommend a Lender, without collecting any documentation.  In this market, where many Listing Agents request that the buyer be "cross-qualified" with their "preferred lender", it is difficult and often uncomfortable trying to retrieve documentation from the client's lender.  Note:  I almost never obtain the cross qualification just to submit an offer.  Why? In my opinion, if the offer is accepted the client should pursue the cross qualification.  I recently had an experience where a clients father's bankruptcy showed on his credit report (he was a Junior, and resided at his parents home).  My clients lender did not detect this, and last minute we were scrambling to get his credit re-scored.  #2 Rookie Lesson:  Sometimes having more information (or documentation) is helpful.

My third and final learning ( I could go on, and on, and on...) is not taking an overpriced Listing, just for the sake of getting the Listing!  Standing by your comparable, and adjustments is crucial when you have analyzed the market.  If the seller is unwilling to accept the property values, when possible I take my sellers on 'showings' of the competition.  Although a picture is worth a thousand words, walking into a newly upgraded, larger home that is priced $15,000 is just what some stubborn sellers need to realize that their home is overpriced.  #3 Rookie Lesson:  If you take a listing, get it sold quickly! 


In summary, all business is not good business.  The clients, listings, and commissions will come if you are disciplined, have a strong work ethic and are professional.  Thank you for allowing to share some of the many failures! 


If you can dream it, then you can achieve it.

You will get all you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want.
Zig Ziglar






Posted by
Lanise Warrior is your local real estate consultant, providing you with solutions to your real esate needs. Call me today if you are interested in buying or selling.  Lanise Warrior is a Realtor who serves the Southeast communities within the city of Los Angeles including the neighborhoods of  Carson, Long Beach, Signal Hill, Lakewood, Cerritos, Bellflower, Paramount, Downey; and also the Southbay area which includes San Pedro, Gardena, Compton, Hawthorne, Lawndale, Los Angeles and Inglewood.  

Lanise Warrior, BA, MS
Realtor (DRE# 01909433)
mobile/text: 562.544.9491
Click here to go to my website!

"You deserve a real estate Warrior on your team"
Dream Catchers Real Estate
13536 Lakewood Blvd. Suite 204
Bellflower, CA 90706
...dreams do come true!

Comments (19)

Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good morning Lanise. You have learned the lessons and are making them work for you and your clients. I loved the title too. Suggested.

Jun 13, 2013 08:24 PM
Jenn Morson
Metro Referrals - Crofton, MD
Licensed Referral Agent and ASP - Team Woda

This was an interesting read, Lanise, thank you. As a newer agent, I am certainly less picky than some, but I do see your point. :)

Jun 13, 2013 09:24 PM
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

Yes, there are too many time wasters out there, and as the years have gone by, I've gotten better at identifying them.  It's often best to move on and minimize time wasted with them.

Jun 13, 2013 09:49 PM
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
EXP Realty 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Real Estate Agents - Luxury - Divorce

Setting your own standards will avoid wasting time and help concentrate on the people who deserve and appreciate your services.

Jun 13, 2013 10:03 PM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

All excellent points and things we don't learn in "real estate school." Knowing how to walk-away from "bad" business and to stick with "good" business is something we learn over time (and only after making a mistake or two, or three).

Jun 13, 2013 10:11 PM
b m
Crofton, MD

Great post! As a newer agent myself, I find that I am learning more and more everyday as I work with different types of clients. I can relate to your #1 and #2 lessons as I have learned very quickly with similar situations. It doesn't take long to learn to tell yourself "from now on I will..."

Jun 13, 2013 10:51 PM
Michael Setunsky
Woodbridge, VA
Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA

Lanise, I don't look at these as failures, but as lessons learned. Experience usually dictates how we will work in the future. Good Post!

Jun 13, 2013 11:00 PM
Jill Winchel
Royal Shell Real Estate - The Koffman Group - Cape Coral, FL
We make it easy. You make it home.

Enjoyed reading your blog today. I have a few clients now who are in no hurry to buy and it does get frustrating. It seems as though I'm showing them what they've asked to see but they always find a problem with the homes. I have been sending them listings and suggesting we look at some just to keep them hooked, but maybe I should take your suggestion and let them call me when they are serious about buying.

Jun 13, 2013 11:33 PM
Michelle Francis
Tim Francis Realty LLC - Atlanta, GA
Realtor, Buckhead Atlanta Homes for Sale & Lease


Invaluable lessons we all learn.  Yes, we don't want all clients - only the right ones who will value us, our time and listen to our expertise.  The rest we can do without and enjoy life more!

All the best, Michelle

Jun 13, 2013 11:35 PM
Susan Haughton
Long and Foster REALTORS (703) 470-4545 - Alexandria, VA
Susan & Mindy Team...Honesty. Integrity. Results.

This is indeed a business where sometimes we learn our best lessons by doing, not listening to others.  We may not be the  best fit for every client, either - and vice versa. 

Jun 14, 2013 12:08 AM
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg Real Estate

I don't think those are failures but life lessons on how to build your business model for today. Good post.

Jun 14, 2013 12:09 AM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Lanise, there are very valuable lessons to learn as we accumulate years in the business, along with some great stories.  Thanks for sharing yours.

Jun 14, 2013 12:28 AM
Edward & Celia Maddox
The Celtic Connection Realty - Queen Creek, AZ

You are definitely right about not trying to get the listing by overpricing it.  Always turns into a problem later with client.

Jun 14, 2013 12:48 AM
Frank Harper
Idaho Family Real Estate - Boise, ID
Broker/Owner, Realtor, GRI, SFR.

Nothing worse then wasting time...Time is money! Good job!

Jun 14, 2013 12:57 AM
Suzanne Otto
Six Twenty Designs - Lansdale, PA
Your Montgomery County PA home stager

These are good lessons to take to heart. Especially number one. You have to find the balance of providing a service to your clients so they have all of the options and just showing them a couple homes that you think are going to be it. Sometimes they need to see a few other homes to know that this is the one.

Jun 14, 2013 01:43 AM
Anna Banana Kruchten CRS, CRB, Phoenix Broker
HomeSmart Real Estate BR030809000 - Phoenix, AZ

Laniese learning to ask all the 'right' questions upfront can avoid taking on clients who aren't ready, willing and able to buy.  Saves everyone a whole lot of headache and work.

Jun 14, 2013 01:51 AM
Harry F. D'Elia III
RentVest - Phoenix, AZ
Investor , Mentor, GRI, Radio, CIPS, REOs, ABR

Thanks for sharing the lessons you have learned in real estate. I do not take over priced listings.

Jun 14, 2013 02:49 AM
Dan Mincher, CCIM
The Vollman Company, Inc. - Sacramento, CA
Sacramento Commercial Real Estate

I'll have to think about lesson #1 a bit.  As a buyer, I've been ready to buy and none of the homes on the first go-round appealed to us.  We had great agents who didn't waste our time and we didn't waste theirs.  On rules 2 and 3?  I'm 'all-in'.  Best Regards

Jun 14, 2013 04:46 AM
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

We all learn these lessons in real estate the hard way.  It's the only way they stick.  Thanks for the entry.

Jun 25, 2013 05:10 AM