The other day I had a lead but, unfortunately, I could not accommodate that particular buyer. They wanted to look in Washington state. Although a hop, skip and a jump from my Portland Metro real estate market base, I'm not licensed in Washington.
There's an agent that I've referred to before and I reached out to inquire if they were interested. They were, so I prepared the referral agreement with SPECIFICS on the potential buyer. They were relocating and going to be in town March, 7-11 and would be available to go on a few tours March 8, 9 and 10.
The dates were clearly indicated on the referral agreement, which was signed by the agent accepting the referral.
Referral as Marketing
Yesterday, the referred agent cc's me on an email to the buyer and lets them know that she's going to be out of town on those dates.
I was mortified!
Referral as marketing -- absoultely! This was more than "just" a referral. Think of it this way, when you can provide customer service to someone on any number of real estate services, that's marketing your services to someone . . . who, might turn around and recommend one of their friends or family members your way! The customer care should be flawless, IMHO.
Immediately upon reading how the agent was going to be "unavailable" during the time the buyer would be in town, I found another agent (also with whom I've referred). They ARE going to be in town!!
The buyer was pleased, and thanked me for providing another resource. They contacted the second agent right away.
It would have been one thing had I not been specific to the dates of arrival. But, dates were clear in the referral agreement under "Relevant Information/Notes". I can't imagine a buyer preparing to come in to town, with a $650K (up to) budget, and then being blown off.
Oh, well . . . I guess the old saying is:
Here today . . . gone to Maui!
Agents have no control on whom the buyers select to work with. I tossed out a referral, but it didn't sound as if it were going to stick. I wouldn't say it was a breach, just not very customer service for my taste.