I can already hear many people saying, "What do you mean bad reputations, my reputation is great." Unfortunately when you ask the general public to use one adjective to describe a real estate agent, do you really think that adjective is going to be "awesome", "great", or "trustworthy?" It does not matter whether you are in Frisco, Texas, Seattle, Washington or Miami, Florida. The majority of people have a negative connotation of RE agents. Here are some possible reasons.
- Descriptions of Homes - you put immaculate home move-in ready this won't last. What the customer finds is a home empty and broom swept. Then you start seeing all the marks on the wall, the empty hole in the kitchen island where the cook-top and downdraft vent use to be, a green pool in the back and a master bedroom that you are almost afraid to walk on it is so dirty. You may be the buyer's agent but it was the seller's agent that OK'd the description. That reflects on all real estate agents.
- Communication - think of all the nightmares you have read on ActiveRain alone regarding agents that don't answer their phones, voice mail that tells them they only answer during certain hours of the day regardless of the hours a customer may keep, do not pass communications to their clients and don't respond to text or emails. As agents we have to explain this to our customers and clients. How do you explain that without leaving a negative connotation about a colleague?
- Buying a Listing - how many agents approach a listing and price it higher than they know or should know it will sell in a reasonable amount of time? They set an unrealistic expectation and fail to meet that. Then they go in and convince the client that they need to lower their price for any number of reasons. At this point they may have already caused a loss in value simply because the home has been on the market and is now slightly shop worn. How does that client feel about the RE agent now?
I know of many more but I am not here to bash RE agents. Everyone makes the best decisions for themselves based on the situation and their resources. Perhaps it is time to get better resources. Experience can help, education can help but if you simply are going through the motions realize that as a RE agent this is not about you. It is about the customer and the clients you work for, the other agents and brokers you interface with and how you represent yourself as a professional.
You Represent The Industry
Remember you do not just represent yourself, you represent every other real estate agent as well, Our industry is made up of the same old 80/20 rule that has been around for a long time. If we have 80% professional, ethical agents providing great value and 20% who don't, the broad brushstroke that we are labeled with comes from the 20% who do no apparently have the best interests of their clients, customers and even prospects at heart. Remember people were complain 3-4 times more than they will compliment.
As a friend of mine here in the rain stated recently, "Not a problem, I will take care of that." Then take care of it whether it is presenting an offer, answering your phone or simply picking up the crap in the front yard. It will take all of us to minimize the damage of the general public's view of our industry. For those people who are still leery of working with a real estate agent, give me a call and find out what my clients know - Your Success is My Focus.