Hey, that's my client!

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Cornerstone Business Group Inc 0225086119

Before we start, I know the question of this blog is flawed. No one really owns a client, but you'll get the point as you read on. One of my client’s needs a rental. I rarely do rentals anymore, but this is a special client. She is a very tech savvy shopper. Like so many Americans, she started her search online. Lucky for me, she found me first. I dare not ask, but I was hoping she asked for a "Great Realtor in the Northern Virginia area who excels above all others and knows about rentals", and not something like, "Who is the biggest Goober Realtor in the Northern Shenandoah Valley?" Never mind that one.

Anyway, she found me and we've been looking at houses. I've really gotten to enjoy this client and her family and sadly, we haven't found that one right rental yet, but that's OK, because we will. She is very particular. That means no compromising, and no settling for something that isn't just right. I appreciate that attitude even though it doesn't pay Realtors well. She has discovered something I hadn't really thought much about in the past. 

I like to assume that all Realtors are warm, friendly and professional. Warm and friendly are good Realtor characteristics, but that "professional" thing may need a little fine tuning for some of my colleagues. I had my assistant call a few listing agents to inquire about possible properties for us to preview. One of the agents said that my client was his client.

My client is his client?  How could that be?  My client is my client!  OK, here's where my client's discovery gave me the idea for this blog. She found that if she called an agent or sent him/her an email he/she would respond immediately. But, if I called or sent an email, it might be two or three days. Some never respond.  

As professionals, we should feel comfortable asking a client, "Are you currently working with another agent?" That is required for all of my agents in the first contact with a new client.Every person that dials your number may not be looking for you as their Realtor. Sometime you might get a tech savvy client like mine that has figured Realtors out, and she is using it to her advantage. 

I know that a competitive market makes every potential lead valuable, but ethics, values, protocols and just plain old courtesy are still in vogue. I turned my nephew down on a showing when I found out he was working with another Realtor. Professional courtesy is still a big part of our industry, or at least it should be. If it's not, let's make it a part, one Realtor at a time. Can I get an Amen? Or at least a referral?



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John Wiley
Right Move Real Estate Group- EXP Realty - Fort Myers, FL
Lee County, FL Real Estate GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA

Mike, I totally agree that agent professionalism needs a real boost for some agents.

I do not change my professional standards based on what others do or do not do.

Thanks for a great reminder.

Nov 02, 2017 01:09 PM #18
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

"Are you currently working with another agent?"  That's always one of the first questions I ask a potential client.

Nov 02, 2017 05:29 PM #19
Anne Corbin
Fritz Realty LLC - Spotsylvania, VA
Serving Lake Anna & Central Virginia

Amen, sad indeed. I'm a realtor in Virginia and am looking to buy in South Carolina. I had responded to a builder ad, thinking it was the builder himself. He referred me to his agent. In the meantime, my realtor reached out to the agent. 

She called me immediately, but did not reply to the agent at all. When I told her I had an agent and gave her his name, she replied "Yes, I think I got an ee-mail from him". This was back around June 30. I still haven't been able to meet with the builder and I've been down there twice since then. My agent is going to try to set up a meeting after Christmas. We'll see if I actually get one.

I feel like calling the builder and saying --- we might buy from you BUT YOUR AGENT LACKS IN SALES ABILITY!!

Nov 03, 2017 08:43 AM #20
Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Sadly a lot of agents don't respond when it comes to rentals.  I hear you.  I have one listing, going on two that I answer promptly when agents call me.  They THANK ME for responding so quickly!  Yikes!

Nov 08, 2017 08:31 PM #21
Kimo Jarrett
WikiWiki Realty - Huntington Beach, CA
Pro Lifestyle Solutions

A client is a client when they have made a commitment and you've secured an agency contract after a meeting to determine if they meet your client profile and mutual expectations. 

Nov 18, 2017 11:17 PM #22
Debe Maxwell, CRS
www.AtHomesCharlotte.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

SPOT-ON, Mike! You're preaching to the choir here but, I could not have said it better myself! 

Dec 01, 2017 09:51 PM #23
Dorie Dillard
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.346.1799 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Good morning Mike,

AMEN to your post..what ever happened to professional courtesy? Some practice it and I so appreciate it..but way too many are not and that is disturbing.

Dec 02, 2017 05:05 AM #24
Scott Godzyk
Godzyk Real Estate Services - Manchester, NH
One of Manchester NH's Leading Agents

I find many buyers doing the same there here, 1 is too many and 2 or 3 is too many. I often wonder why other agents are not asking if the buyer is working with someone Mike Cooper 

Dec 02, 2017 05:33 AM #25
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker and Attorney Licensed in DC, MD, VA,

Such a simple question and yet some Buyers have trouble understanding what you are asking!

Dec 02, 2017 08:55 AM #26
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

It’s always good to have shared experiences that way; that’s when we can relate to one another and talk about it allamongst ourselves.

Dec 02, 2017 02:42 PM #27
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

Lise Howe I realize how valuable it is and I’m sure it’s not lost on anybody else really on this site. Very good stuff’ :)

Dec 02, 2017 02:44 PM #28
Corey Martin
Martin Presence Group - Ruston, LA
Real Estate and Management Solutions

I will give you an amen. Courtesy should be a part of every person's profession and is something that should be afforded to every other person. Thank you for sharing your story. 

Dec 02, 2017 05:17 PM #29
Lisa Von Domek
Lisa Von Domek Team - Dallas, TX
....Experience Isn't Expensive.... It's Priceless!

Mike Cooper Amen squared...

Dec 02, 2017 07:04 PM #30
Laura Filip
RE/MAX UTOPIA , Serving all of Texoma - Whitesboro, TX
What can we do for you today?

Thank you for sharing, you are correct only one Realtor at a time. I will ask are you currently working with a Realtor... when the response is yes the conversation is stopped.... Please contact your Realtor with all questions ... response I do not want to bother them. Oh really please bother them. I am sure that they want to hear from you. 

Dec 03, 2017 01:49 PM #31
Kathleen Daniels
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
San Jose Homes for Sale-Probate & Trust Specialist

Mike, Yes, you can get an Amen. 


I always ask if people are working with an agent. Sadly, some just lie about it. Not much we can do about that ... because it is not only other agents ... its buyers and sellers too that are more than okay using and abusing others. 

Dec 04, 2017 08:30 AM #32
Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi
NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656 - New Lenox, IL
708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience

What's the old saying?  "It's the little things?"  It's true.  A timely reponse time, courtesy, repectful behavior ... should any of them be that hard to do?  As your post (and so many of the comments prove), it must be.  You win the day (and the customer) via your actions, Mike Cooper ...


Dec 04, 2017 09:21 AM #33
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
your real estate writer

The truth your client learned is a sad commentary on your profession. Too bad you can't just pull those weeds.

Dec 04, 2017 07:57 PM #34
Melissa Spittel
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Westminster, MD
"Achieving Results Together "

Here is Maryland we have a buyer representation agreement (there is one that applies to rentals, also). Once it is signed, that client "belongs" to that agent. However, it can be difficult to get the client to commit to signing upfront. I always make sure they understand they can cancel the agreement with one day's notice. By that time, they are usually committed to me. 

Dec 05, 2017 10:21 AM #35
Tina D Saporito, Your Dedicated Palm Desert, CA Realtor Since 2005
Ronald Christopher & Associates. Proudly serving Palm Desert, La Quinta, Indio, Rancho Mirage, & Palm Springs. - Palm Desert, CA
Call (760)799-8460. www.JustListedinPalmDesert.com

Amen! Sadly I have had this happen in my area as well. Not only does it make us all look bad as Realtors but it's unethical when Realtors don't cooperate with each other. 

Dec 05, 2017 03:09 PM #36
Anthony Kirlew
Fiscally Sound - Gilbert, AZ
Helping You Make Fiscally Sound Choices

Yes, it;s a easy question to forget to ask if helping someone with a rental, but of course should be asked in every case. I also beleive it's best to set the stage to let buyers/renters know how you work, and that would be that unless you represent them under contract, you can't help them.

Dec 06, 2017 05:31 PM #37
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