Real Estate Agents - Reading is Fundamental

Real Estate Agent with Online Real Estate Agent Training

real estate classesWhen I was growing up there was an advertising campaign aimed at getting kids to read more books.

It was called, RIF or Reading is Fundamental.

I find myself saying this phrase to myself, numerous times throughout the week.  Why?  Because people, and more specifically, real estate agents don't read.

Agents are in such a hurry to get to the next client or the next appointment or the next "thing," that they fail to read.  It's as if reading takes up too much time so they call or text instead.  But if they actually took the time to read, they would find that it would save them time and energy and not annoy the agent they may be working with.

Showing Property

Take showing property for instance.

As a listing agent I am careful to input specific showing instructions into the multiple listing service.  Whether it's by appointment only, on electronic lockbox or call the showing contact, it's all right there in the MLS.

But what usually happens is that I get a phone call asking if the property is fully available or how do I show the property?  I get that some listing agents aren't as diligent about keeping their listings updated, so I can excuse the, "is it fully available" question.  What's annoying is the "how can I show it" question.

If you would read the showing instructions, I've told you how to show it.

Reading is fundamental.

I had an agent last week send me an email stating that he was trying to schedule a showing online, but the "Schedule a Showing" icon was gray and wasn't working.  I bit my tongue and responded saying that it's not available to schedule online because I have to check with the seller for every showing.  If he had only read the showing instructions they said, "Call Lister", not "Schedule Online."

Reading is fundamental.

What Does the Contract Say?

Then there are agents who ask whether or not their client can do "x."

I believe agents know the answer to the majority of the questions they ask, but they're hoping to get a different response from you.  Unfortunately, my response is generally, "what does the contract say?"  It doesn't matter what you'd like to have happen or what you want me to say, it's what's in the contract that matters.

Reading is fundamental.

The Listings Sent by the Buyer

When clients send you listings they want to see, take the time to look them up and read the entire listing and remarks.  Often times you'll find there is a reason why you didn't send this listing to them.

Ask your client if their criteria has changed because the listings they sent you don't match up to what they told you they wanted to purchase.  You'll find that many times they didn't realize that the property they sent you only had one bathroom or didn't have a basement or parking.  Just because your client didn't read the listing doesn't mean you should follow suit.

Reading is fundamental.

Know the Contract

Reading is a critical skill in life and as a real estate agent.  We should know the entire real estate contract like the back of our hand.  Not knowing it can cost our clients to lose a great deal of money or the house of their dreams.

Before asking a question, slow down.  Exhaust all of your resources.  Do a little research.  Read the fine print and see if you can find the answer on your own.  Then ask the question and get clarification if you must.

This is one of the most important aspects of your job.  Take it seriously.  Read.

Are real estate agents getting a bit lazy or is it just me?

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In 2016, Inman News named Candy Miles-Crocker as one of the Top 25 Real Estate coaches in the United States.

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Posted by

Candy Miles-Crocker

Real-Life Real Estate Training

Comments (10)

Gwen Fowler-864-638-3599 SC Mountains Lakes Homes
Gwen Fowler Real Estate, Inc - Salem, SC
Gwen Fowler Real Estate, Inc.

I called an agent today to schedule a showing. The person answering the phone didn't know "why I would call and not just schedule it online". I had to explain that the listing said to. Yes, reading is fundamental, so is the education of the office staff. 

Aug 23, 2018 09:50 AM
Candy Miles-Crocker

I've had that happen to me too Gwen! It's funny when the office staff or the agent can't remember what showing instructions they input.

Aug 23, 2018 10:15 AM
Bruce Hicks
Best Homes Hawaii - Honolulu, HI
Your Best Hawaii Realtor!

That's the key Candy Miles-Crocker , reduce the stress.  Reading ACTIVE RAIN, does that count?  LOL-ROL!

Aug 23, 2018 10:05 AM
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667,, Broker, eXp Realty - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

I totally agree with everything you said. Reading IS critical - most information is already right in front of us. We just have to pay attention to it.

Feb 02, 2019 04:33 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello Candy - those same words are as true today as they were originally.  Whatever the reson "why" a lot can be solved by slowing down. It matters. A lot. 

Feb 02, 2019 05:07 AM
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi Candy Miles-Crocker - A lot of great points you make and these are my pet-peeves. I actually have to call brokers to explain they didn't fill out a contract properly. ....or did they?  Every time it could have cost my client if I did not catch the missing or poor wording. 

Feb 02, 2019 07:00 AM
John Henry, Florida Architect
John Henry Masterworks Design International, Inc. - Orlando, FL
Residential Architect, Luxury Custom Home Design

Absolutely a lot to real estate and related businesses that must be well understood by reading the print, fine or not. Thank you.

Feb 03, 2019 10:05 AM
Debe Maxwell, CRS | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
The right Charlotte REALTOR!

Well, I certainly missed a great post and am so thankful that Carol Williams featured your post in her weekly round-up of fabulous posts!

I'm like you, I am very specific in my instructions and always wonder why agents don't read. I am so obsessive - I read everything and even re-read instructions as I'm waiting on the Supra eKey to open the lockbox. YES, I'm over-kill but, can't agents be somewhere in the middle of not reading ANYthing and being over-kill?!! 

Great post, Candy! 

Feb 03, 2019 09:03 PM
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line

Love this post. So true. If only people read and not just the small print as well.

Feb 04, 2019 12:08 PM
Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome


Candy Miles-Crocker 

So glad Carol Williams featured this one. true. Just wrote a post about the importance of reading the MLS!

Feb 04, 2019 06:14 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Candy:

So glad Carol featured this important post! There are some great points here, but buyers and sellers ALSO need to be reminded about the importance of reading...the contract, the listing, their loan information, and more.


Feb 07, 2019 11:03 PM