Does "The Public" Need An Attitude Adjustment?!

By
Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Elite

 I have recently become very frustrated with the general public's seeming lack of courtesy toward Realtors in general. From the sellers who have spent the listing agents time and money and arbitrarily decide to wait until next year to sell versus lowering the price $5-10,000, to the buyers who contact you, ask for hours of search time and results, then hours of showings and are unwilling to sign a buyer rep agreement and/or simply disappear not returning calls or emails.
My time is valuable and should be treated thus. At the minimum I deserve an email letting me know what is going on. If there is a problem, you don't like the way I work, what I send you, I smell bad..have the courtesy to tell me something instead of leaving it open ended. I do not expect to mesh with every person I meet, my feelings are not hurt by that. I am however, extremely irritated by being used and then discarded with no explanation(especially if I have already invested my time and money into you).
What would it cost a buyer to hire a tour guide, or a Taxi, or a  professional advisor? I have done all of those things and more. A simple phone call or email saying "hey, I have decided to go with agent XYZ" or "I have decided not to purchase now" but something. It is really a pet peeve of mine that the public in general seems to have the erroneous idea that my job is easy and my time free.This is my lively hood, my job, how I feed my family.
I am not independently wealthy and doing this to keep from becoming bored, I am supporting a household. I may spend hours on searches, looking at each property, before even meeting to show one, then of course there is the issue of gas being $3.50 a gallon and the time taken from my job, other clients or family.

What price would a buyer/seller put on their own time? Why is mine worth less? Why do people think that they could do my job  better than me with no training?
This frustrates the heck out of me!

What say you?

Vanessa Stalets

Brentwood TN Real Estate

RE/MAX Elite

615-957-6333/615-661-4400

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Ambassador
1,553,631
Karen Kruschka
RE/MAX Executives - Woodbridge, VA
- "My Experience Isn't Expensive - It's PRICELESS"
Vanessa,  There was atime (before Al Gore invented the internet) that people had to rely on us more than they do today - we were the keepers of the information.  Nowadays they have more information at their fingertips long before they contact us and they are exposed to the quick buck artists, 3rd party "aggravators" and rebate schemes.  Would you like to know how I really feel?  Karen
Mar 29, 2008 02:40 AM #80
Rainmaker
236,092
SEO Expert: Michael George
Phoenix, AZ
Real Estate and Law Firm SEO
What say I?  I say that people generally suck when it comes to treating any commissioned salesperson with respect.  I've been burned and treated disrespectfully so many times...  I just don't even know what to say.  I once read somewhere that said that people would rather deal with a prostitute than a car salesperson.  I once sold cars for about 6 months-- and, as a salesperson, all I would do is stand in the hot sun all day, be as nice as I could to everybody who came on the lot, and take abuse from hateful customers who-- no doubt-- thought that I was the human equivalent of a prostitute.  Nice, eh?  I think I'll post about this.
Mar 29, 2008 04:08 AM #81
Anonymous
Anonymous
I think it comes down to personal relationships, and making a connection with the client that makes you valuable to them.  Obviously some are immune to that approach, but I've found it does work more often than not.  It also helps to lay all the cards on the table right away, so they know where you're coming from.  And of course getting them to sign that exclusive buyer contract and exclusive right-to-sell agency agreement!
Mar 29, 2008 06:57 AM #83
Anonymous
Jason
get a different job, you obviously hate people
Mar 29, 2008 07:10 AM #84
Rainmaker
307,557
Vanessa Stalets
RE/MAX Elite - Brentwood, TN
REALTOR, Brentwood TN Homes, Real Estate

Thank you to all of the courteous people who left comments and their names(although some did not leave their link or profile), I truly appreciate them! As for those who have pointed out the issue with buyers/seller not getting the best treatment from agents, see my latest blog taking that issue on!

Jason- I am not sure if you are a consumer or a disgruntled real estate person, but let me ease your mind. I LOVE my job, there is nothing here that I wrote indicating anything else. But just as everyone gets aggravated at perceived rudeness, so do I. This is my  blog and thus I can speak to what I think. You are welcome to share your opinions, as are any others, but please be courteous about it.

Thank you all! This has sure generated some views, I love discussion posts!

Mar 29, 2008 07:50 AM #85
Anonymous
Dave
Great post. I am new to AR and I am enjoying reading many of the post and comments. Your is dead on. Many of the responses talked about educating the public. I have taken alot for granted that people understand our business and how we get paid. I am more upfront with people about that and it seems to help. I also tell my clients that I am interviewing them while they are interviewing me to determine if I feel they are a fit to work with me. It takes them back, but it ends up solidifying my relationship with them...assuming a choose to work with them. :)
Mar 29, 2008 09:48 AM #86
Rainer
218,548
Lisa Friedman
Alliance Realtors - Bedminster, NJ
Central New Jersey Real Estate
Vanessa, very well put post. There have been some thought provoking responses. Active Rain is such a great forum. Even old timers can get some great new ideas from it.
Mar 30, 2008 04:08 AM #87
Rainer
5,569
Kim Martinez
Advantage Homes - Santa Barbara, CA
Santa Barbara Real Estate Specialist

Yep, that can be frustrating...It's happened to all of us.  How do you feel about Buyer Broker Agreements? 

Many of the agents in Santa Barbara use them...Many don't...Once I have an offer from a buyer, I also have  BBE for a year...period.  That way, if they do actually buy a property and I have gone to that point on one home with them, I know they will buy from me.   I also have provision in the BBE that if they buy a home I have shown them...within 6 months of the expiration of the BBE, I get paid.  

I have not been very successful about getting them up front, before showing any property at all...I know some agents that are...I have watched them work...I may have to start doing this more often (I don't even ask up front any more...why, I wonder?) 

Mar 30, 2008 04:38 AM #88
Rainmaker
299,208
Kathy McGraw
CELLing Realty - White Water, CA
Riverside County CA Real Estate
Hi Vanessa- I hear you....and that is why I changed some of our Policies.  We now have a cancellation fee, and a minimum fee.  We had to in order to cover the expenses of all the properties that weren't selling, or people took them off the market after we'd spent our money on Marketing.  None of us has an unlimited supply of funds to just keep throwing it down the drain.......without hopes of compensation.
Mar 30, 2008 04:26 PM #89
Rainmaker
78,480
Shannon Ziccardi
"A Quick Note" ...in Tennessee! - Clarksville, TN
"A Quick Note" Mobile Notary ...in Tennessee!

Vanessa,

 Rock  I thought that only Notaries were unappreciated... ;-)

"A Quick Note"

 

 

Mar 31, 2008 01:51 PM #90
Ambassador
1,491,799
Jim Crawford
Maximum One Executive REALTORS® - Atlanta, GA
Jim Crawford Atlanta Best Listing Agents & REALTOR
I'm all for the Attitude Adjustment fix!  Where can I find it?
Apr 03, 2008 12:13 AM #92
Rainmaker
59,739
Sandra Workman
Keller Williams Preferred Realty - Kankakee, IL
BBA, Broker, CRS, GRI, ABR, SFR, CNE, ePRO, CNHS
I recently ran into a woman at an open house that was amazed that we don't get paid by the hour.  She ws going to give up her nursing career because Real Estate sounded fun, she could have FUN and still get paid.  After I quit laughing I set her straight!  - Well the laughing was internal
Apr 03, 2008 01:15 AM #94
Rainmaker
307,557
Vanessa Stalets
RE/MAX Elite - Brentwood, TN
REALTOR, Brentwood TN Homes, Real Estate
Jason- I deleted your last 2 comments as they were inflammatory and I had asked you to be courteous previously and this is not a forum to attack agents or the public. I am so sorry you seem to feel so angry and hope that it resolves for you well.
Apr 03, 2008 01:25 AM #95
Rainmaker
67,466
Derek Bauer's, www.DoorToDreams.com Door to Dreams Home Selling Team
Real Estate One - South Lyon, MI
Hi, Vanessa!  I have not read all of the comments, but in short I obviously agree with you.  I think in sales this is going to happen to some degree, but I think our industry in-general needs to grab this one by the horns.  We need to explain our value better to the consumer, I believe.  I think we need to project self-worth, or we will not be respected.  I find this happening less and less to me as the years pass, but I think it will always happen to some degree.
Apr 03, 2008 03:15 PM #96
Ambassador
628,188
Roland Woodworth
Q Realty - Clarksville, TN
Q Realty - Power In Real Estate

Vanessa........I think you hit the nail on the head... The general public does not have no respect for out time or the cost of todays gas.

Great Post !

Apr 03, 2008 03:36 PM #97
Rainmaker
212,529
Terrylynn Fisher
Dudum Real Estate Group - BuyStageSell.com - Walnut Creek, CA
HAFA Certified, EcoBroker, CRS, CSP Realtor, Etc.
Jason, have you read any of this?  I think it's about valuing service.  When my daughter was a waitress in high school I became vividly aware of how hard a job that was and how little some people value it.  They look at them as servents or 2nd class citizens.  It totally changed how I tip and how I talk with people giving service, no matter how small a contribution.  It is their work and they will do their best to serve as they are working for you for that moment in time with the expectaion of a tip.  Well this is kind of similar.  We work our butts off for clients and do things they would NEVER do for anyone...take calls at all hours, on a birthday or whatever because it is the best day for them...we spend HOURS and DAYS preparing for appointments that some might cancel with little notice.  The reward is the client that appreicates and respects your time and value and believes you should be compensated.  Just asking for a "little respect", as the song goes.
Apr 03, 2008 06:24 PM #98
Rainmaker
307,557
Vanessa Stalets
RE/MAX Elite - Brentwood, TN
REALTOR, Brentwood TN Homes, Real Estate
I love the comments guys! Keep them coming! Thank you for the support and even for the differing views. I always learn when I can see more than my own points.
Apr 04, 2008 01:00 AM #99
Rainmaker
307,557
Vanessa Stalets
RE/MAX Elite - Brentwood, TN
REALTOR, Brentwood TN Homes, Real Estate
Allison- Thank you for featuring this post in REALTORS, I am flattered as the company is very elite. :.)
Apr 05, 2008 06:02 PM #100
Rainer
80,416
Latonia Parks
Top Bragg Realty, Fayetteville NC, Home of the 82d ABN DIV - Fayetteville, NC
Certified Military Relocation Expert
Vanessa, great job writing your feelings.  It seems that many of us are on the same sheet.  We just want to know our time is not being wasted as we do what we love. 
Apr 08, 2008 01:27 AM #101
Rainmaker
307,557
Vanessa Stalets
RE/MAX Elite - Brentwood, TN
REALTOR, Brentwood TN Homes, Real Estate

wow, I just re-read this and guess what??!! It still fits, imagine that? Sigh...

Dec 19, 2009 01:33 PM #102
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Vanessa Stalets

REALTOR, Brentwood TN Homes, Real Estate
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