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What Is Considered Poor Communication In Real Estate?

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Compass 0524642

The biggest complaint in real estate is a lack of communication.  It doesn't surprise me. Throughout the course of a real estate transaction there are easily over 15 people associated with the file in one way or another. The Realtor representing the seller is communicating with the title company, the other agent, the inspector, the lender, the processor, their broker, repair professionals, the funding department, home warranty companies and much, much more. And this is just for one file. 

Even still, a home buyer or home seller are fully entitled to close to perfect service. Home sellers and buyers should recognize that Realtors do have a life, but at the same time, excellent communication is without question expected from their clients. 

So, what is considered "poor" or lousy communication by a Realtor? 

Lets assume Betty Bookmark is the Listing Agent and Daniel Doorknob is the seller. If Daniel calls Betty at 7:31 p.m. he should expect some kind of response by no later the following morning. Personally, Daniel would hear from me the same evening - depending. 

What does depending mean?

Some clients and customers are more "needy" than others. Needy can be defined as Daniel calling Betty 5 times a day EVERYday with repeated questions that have already been answered. Badgering can lead to Daniel being spoken to less than he would want, but certainly not need. If Daniel were to call me at 5:19 in the morning I would probably email him later in the day. 

I once had a buyer who texted, called and sent emails between 3-5 times per day - for 4 months. And weren't dating.  I was new in the business and responded lighting quick to every single thought she had. When I wasn't immediately responding she would grow concerned and say things like.. "Are you okay, usually your communication is where I need it to be." 

The fact of the matter is that sometimes you have to treat clients differently than you do others. If I have a client who rarely calls me but does so at 9:00 p.m. then you can bet I'm taking the call. But that's just me. To be honest, I fully understand the concerns, worry, and sometimes anxiety associated with the sale or purchase of a home. 

To expect your agent to respond very quickly after 5 or 6 p.m. may not be a universally acceptance by all agents, especially if they are part of a large team with "office hours." The best way to communicate with a lot of agents is going to be what works out for the two of you. I personally don't have a preference. I tailor my patterns to the client. I try to adapt to what works best for them and what's practical for me. That's fair.

I have to admit, if a client calls me at 5:00 in the morning there's a great chance they won't hear from me until probably 8:00. The same can be said if they're calling at 10:00  p.m. Like I mentioned before, if a client is being unreasonable and blowing the phone up every 10 minutes throughout the day then it's a matter that I'll handle differently then say another client who is good about lumping all their questions or thoughts into one conversation. 

BAD communication is not easy to point out in real estate. Not always. Sometimes the Realtors Home Inspector is in the attic or on a roof. He may not be able to "call back" for several hours, if not later in the day. Each player in the transaction has a lot going on. Everyone is doing their part to "close the transaction.

I know an agent who recently got yelled at by one of her home sellers because she took 4 hours to return his call. In fact, he threatened to terminate their business relationship if she "took that long again." 

Not all business is good business. And not all communication is necessarily bad. 

Posted by
Greg Nino
RE/MAX Compass 
Direct & Text 7 days a wk: 832-298-8555 
Realtor since 2004
Mediator & Arbitrator for the TX Assoc. of Realtors
Member of the Professional Standards Committee for the TX Assoc. of Realtors
Arbitrator for the Comptroller's office for the State of TX for Arbitration of Property Tax Values

 Member of the RE/MAX Hall of Fame & Platinum Club


The information contained in this blog is believed to be reliable and while every effort is made to assure that the information is as accurate as possible, the author of this blog, and its comments disclaim any implied warranty or representation about it's accuracy, completeness or appropriateness for any particular purpose. All information is copywritten and the property of Greg Nino.  

Comments (9)

Joe Jackson
Keller Williams Capital Partners Realty - Columbus, OH
Clintonville and Central Ohio Real Estate Expert

Bad communication Not returning calls texts or emails within 24 hours

Sep 10, 2015 02:18 AM
Stefan Winter
Real Estate in IL & NV | Owner of Real Estate Web Tech | Daily Vlogger - Las Vegas, NV
Owner - Winter Group & Real Estate Web Tech

The worst communication is no communication which seems to happen a lot sadly in this business.

Sep 10, 2015 02:55 AM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
Probate Real Estate Services

Greg, Our styles are all unique to us and how we design and run our business. We are not all created equal.  A client that threatens to terminate for taking 4 hours to return a call ... not my model client.  Life is too short.

Sep 10, 2015 04:28 AM
Sybil Campbell
Fernandina Beach, FL
Referral Agent Amelia Island Florida

Greg Nino,  When another agent doesn't return calls or respond to email, I think it is not only unprofessional but downright rude.

Sep 10, 2015 07:40 AM
Troy Erickson AZ Realtor (602) 295-6807
HomeSmart - Chandler, AZ
Your Chandler, Ahwatukee, and East Valley Realtor

Greg - I would agree that communication will be different between agent and each client, based on a lot of factors. However, responding promptly during normal business hours should always be a goal for agents.

Sep 10, 2015 08:17 AM
Doug Rogers
RE/MAX Coastal Properties - Destin, FL
Your Real Estate Resource!

On of the beauties of Fall is less daylight. In the Summer I have clients call up to 8:30. Hey the sun is still out, bet he is still working.

Sep 10, 2015 11:12 PM
Raymond Denton
Homesmart / Evergreen Realty - Irvine, CA
Irvine Realtor®

he threatened to terminate their business relationship if she "took that long again."


Treat me like that and the relationship is terminated immediately ... 2% of all clients aren't worth having.

Sep 11, 2015 01:51 AM
Tammie White, Broker
Franklin Homes Realty LLC - Franklin, TN
Franklin TN Homes for Sale

I just closed a rather difficult transaction--a client who contacted me multiple times a day for no reason. He would sit outside his house for every single showing and then text me his complaints about the length of time buyers were in his house. He was irritated about every aspect of the transaction and didn't hesitate to let me know. I am very good about contacting clients but there's no reason to be in contact that much unless we are in the process of negotiating an offer or a repair request.

Sep 12, 2015 01:50 PM
Ed Silva, 203-206-0754
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

My personal hours are between 8 am and 8 pm.  If it isn't done in that time, tomorrow is another day

Sep 15, 2015 11:42 AM