How could you let this happen?
You clearly don't know what you're doing.
How come I'm just now hearing about this?
Needless to say, these are not what you want to hear when an issue arises with a real estate transaction. Unfortunately, as agents, this is often how we speak to one another when we are in the midst of a crisis.
Real Estate Agent to Real Estate Agent
Is it any wonder that real estate agents have such a bad reputation among consumers when we can't even speak calmly to one another?
What's important for all of us to remember is that we all want the same thing; for our client to be happy. Even when we work with a difficult client, we want them to be happy.
What happens, is that somewhere along the way, we start taking things too personally. We begin to interject our feelings and emotions into the transaction. The results are rarely good.
It's only natural that the emotions of our buyers and sellers will be on a roller coaster. But our job as real estate professionals is to remain calm and help the transaction move forward if that is the desire of our client.
Stuff Happens in a Real Estate Transaction
As real estate agents we know that "stuff" happens in every transaction. With the number of people and personalities involved in a real estate transaction, it's a wonder that more deals don't fall apart. To have a completely smooth transaction is rare.
With that knowledge, why do so many agents act like they've never had a glitch in a transaction.
- A lender requiring extra documentation before finalizing a loan
- Having a home inspection report that is filled with repairs
- A seller who doesn't want to make the repairs requested by the buyer or the lender
- A buyer who is unwilling to waiver on having the repairs done
- Finding a lien on the property that the seller didn't know about
- An appraisal coming in below the ratified price
- A delay in settlement
- A seller leaving stuff in the house when they should have removed everything
None of these examples are unusual. But too many times an agent will call the cooperating agent to vent. Yelling about what one party did or didn't do. This type of behavior is totally unproductive and if you are on the receiving end of that phone call; insulting.
[caption id="attachment_41676" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Photo by Max Newhall[/caption]
Focus on Your Response
Since you can't control the behavior of the agent on the other end of the phone, email or text you have to focus on how you respond to such behavior. Our natural response could be to start yelling back or send them a nasty email or text. But there is another option.
In the words of Michelle Obama, "When they go low, we go high."
Although tempting, don't stoop to their level. After they finish their rant, you can calmly ask:
- "How do your clients want to move forward?"
- "What are the next steps?"
- "Do you have any suggestions on how to...?"
It's About the Buyer and the Seller
The goal is to get to settlement, if that is what the buyer and seller want. Together you need to find a way to move forward. Real estate agentst are in the middle. We aren't buying or selling the house in question. There is absolutely no reason for one agent to yell or belittle a colleague. Never.
None of us is perfect and all of us were new to the business at some point. If nothing else, use these moments as an opportunity to learn something new or to teach an agent a new or better way of handling a situation.
You hear a lot of talk about children being bullied at school and online, but I've seen and heard agents bully one another. Supposedly all in the name of "working for their client." It's not a good look.
While you can't control someone else's behavior, you can control how you respond to it.
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