A few weeks ago at a local Women’s Council of Realtors® meeting, I was asked to give a little talk about How to Beat the Real Estate Bullies: Smart Strategies for Surviving in a Shark-Eat-Shark Industry. While the talk was extremely informal, the topic is actually a pretty serious one.
In an industry where there are now likely over 1.2M Realtors®, when you work on a transaction, it may not always be smooth as silk. Believe it or not, you may actually encounter a few bullies along the way.
If you already know me, you have probably heard the story I tell about how an agent in 2009 got so angry with me when I suggested that his buyer pay for an appraisal of the short sale property they wanted to purchase. He screamed into the phone, “Put your money where you mouth is!” (And, then he promptly hung up without giving me a chance to respond.)
In hindsight, I am so glad he hung up, because I am not sure what I would have said or how I would have held my composure. But, feeling beaten down and not sure what to do, I decided that since I didn’t know this agent from Adam, I would research this agent on this MLS. And, lo and behold, his production was not impressive. In fact, my team and I had closed more transactions that month than he had closed all year. This fact alone bolstered my confidence and I was able to hatch a plan.
4 Ways to Beat the Real Estate Bullies
In addition to researching production, here is a quick run down of the 4 simple strategies that I recommend for beating the bullies at their own game.
- Wait 24-48 hours. This too shall pass. Some agents (all people, actually) are very reactionary, and things usually die down or resolve themselves in just a matter of hours or days. If someone is aggressive on the phone or in email, be polite and professional and say you’ll get back to them in a bit, that you have to discuss with your client, or consider the options. This will not only give you time to find the best course of action, but the problem may naturally go away altogether.
- Discover the kryptonite. Generally, individuals are stronger in some areas than others. You may have noticed that some agents can be very nasty in email, but completely different in person. If your bully sends mean text messages but has no gumption face-to-face or on the phone, then by all means, make a phone call or schedule a meeting.
- Keep your mouth shut. Without being disrespectful, I think most of us will agree that the Republican nominee faces some challenges in this area. Remember that sometimes you absolutely must keep your mouth shut because it is not about YOU. You have a responsibility to your client, and you cannot risk blowing the deal because you lashed out. Best to just bite your tongue!
- Stay busy. One of my friends who is a coach for the Tom Ferry Organization states that when agents are overdramatic or too attached to a specific issue or transaction, it is because they are not busy enough. If you are very, very busy, you do not have time to sweat the small stuff. So, if you want to beat the bullies, just stay busy and don’t sweat the small stuff.
Got any other tips for beating the bullies at their own game? If so, feel free to share them in the comments section below.