We’ve talked before about how real estate agents have to deal with unreasonable home buyers and sellers and even described some typical toilsome clients agents bump into when selling or buying a house. But although our name might lead one to think otherwise, at RealEstateAgent.com we don’t focus exclusively on real estate agents; we are a great tool to connect them with home buyers and sellers and make all their lives easier. So, it’s only fair that now we bring the payback, and shine a light on the most common real estate agent types that clients do not like. Hopefully, by the end of this article, if you’re a home buyer or home seller, you’ll be able to quickly notice what bill your agent fits, and if you’re a real estate agent, you’ll be able to take a look within yourself and figure out where you could improve.
The my way or the highway agent
This guy has no leeway for a client’s input. He has his winning system and is not willing to do anything that’s not conformed to it. Whatever you throw at him, he counters with: “that’s not the way I do it”, which is a (not that) polite way of saying “I don’t care”. The thing this real estate agent type needs to understand is that this is a dumb real estate agent characteristic. Sure, confidence is important and you can’t invent that much; you should repeat the paths and practices that lead you to success – everyone understands that. However, things are constantly changing in the world. A guy who still goes knocking door-to-door as his exclusive way of meeting clients because he was successful doing that in the 1980’s is definitely being put behind by people who embraced digital marketing and other tools that better connect people.
There’s also a little bit of laziness to this real estate agent type. He tries to confine people to a box so he doesn’t have to go any extra mile; he wants the deal, the commission and to move on to the next one. If you are it, we hope the mirror we raised up to you makes you realize the sole mission of this job is to “help” clients get what they want, not what you think is good for them. And if you’re a client, our advice is to try and call out this authoritarian real estate agent characteristic once or twice. If you’re not comfortable about something and he insists on it, remind him it’s you who’s going to be living in that house for the rest of your life and not him. Anticipate his actions and say “maybe we’re not the best fit” and see if he backs down a bit. If he continues acting the same way, just gladly take the highway and part ways. That’s why it’s important, for instance, to get referrals from former clients and trying to “read” the agent when you first meet him/her. Because, if you sign an Exclusive Right to Sell listing, for example, you’ll give the upper hand for one to act like a my way or the highway since, no matter what happens, even if another agent sells it, the my way or the highway gets his commission. An Exclusive Agency Listing is a better fit for this specific real estate agent type because if he’s too stubborn chances are he’ll take the highway with no money for the gas. And never, ever, ever hire this guy and give him universal agent privileges. He has to be a general agent or else, you’re in for a heartbreak. Discover what is a general agent and a universal agent and avoid this tragedy!
The unavailable agent
Oh, every client hates this one. He was there until you close the deal, but once that happened, he became really hard to reach. Never answers the phone, takes days to reply to e-mails, his schedule is always busy the days you want to go see a house. You feel you’re just one egg in his basket, you feel you’re a side project that will only get the leftovers from his actual important clients.… it’s tiresome. Well, let’s talk about the issues of this real estate agent type that in a way that bridges the agent and the client closer.
Client: understand that the life of a real estate agent is indeed very busy. He might actually have had you on his mind the whole week like he says, working and talking with several possible sellers or buyers but unable to reach you because of whatever, or even unwilling to reach you because he was screening the serious ones and, in the end, they all fell through. However, he *might* as well be just stalling you and all that things you’re thinking. Our general advice, not only when dealing with the unavailable agent but with any agent regardless of the real estate agent characteristics he has, is: be honest about what worries you. Say you’re feeling left behind and you don’t like that. That you wish to have more of his attention etc. But do also realize, dear client, that things take time in this business, ok? Agents are not your spouses nor your children; they don’t have to constantly report back to you about every single thing they are doing.
Agent: understand that this is a sensitive moment for your client. It’s a lot of money and thought that goes into the decision to buy or sell a house. They are trusting you with something very important to them. Touching bases whenever you can, even if just to say “no news”, will make them feel relaxed and make your life easier. What you really don’t want is to make them second guess your commitment – it’s all downhill from there – so try to be more available and anticipate that sort of situation to take action. You don’t even need to do it yourself; make your assistant call or e-mail a weekly report – see how important building a real estate team is?
The narcissist apologizer agent
At first, you think this is a nice real estate agent characteristic; the guy says he’s sorry about something he did not do perfect and that’s polite of him. However, he never stops. Everything is “oh, I’m sorry about that” and he never gets to show you anything worthy because he’s so deeply concerned about stepping on your toes. It might be that you’re the one who’s “my way or the highway” but most of the times this real estate agent type is actually trying to show himself as humble and caring in a narcissist way, even manipulating you to let him have his way down the road. That’s not cool. This game is all about having no games, guys. No manipulation. It’s about being honest: clients need agents to be brutally honest all the time. Sure, apologize when you make a relevant mistake, but stop using your humbleness and apologies as a victimizing shield for the client to cling to you. Be honest and hard-working and if he doesn’t recognize it, find a client who does.
This real estate agent type is very similar to the my way or the highway type in the sense that he looks for a “one size fits all” solution. But this real estate agent characteristic is even worse because he does only the bare minimum. Nothing above it. He’s not willing to ever go the extra mile. He sets apart one hour of the day for you, and that’s all you’ll have. Not a minute more. He tells you the ugly truth about open houses but the real reason he doesn’t want to do it is that it will cost him time and money. A last-minute showing for an awesome potential home buyer? Not if it messes his schedule. Weekend? Are you crazy?! Clients: run from this real estate agent type. There are several other more professional and committed real estate agents out there. Agents: do better. If you think this is normal; you’re in the wrong business. You have the gift of being allowed to play a part in one person’s very special moment in their lives; act accordingly and go the extra mile to make it even more special.
The perfect one
Well, there’s no such thing as perfect. But just for the sake of the name, let’s call it that.
RealEstateAgent.com’s perfect agent is one who actually has a healthy dose of some of the things we said is wrong; but in a very small healthy dose. See, the perfect one is, like the my way or the highway, confident and experienced to know the best practices to get their clients whatever they want (Buy a house? Sell a house? Rent a condo?). He doesn’t waste your time using you as a guinea pig for new methods; he’ll gladly play the crowd pleasers. But he’s not stubborn; if he notices that a client’s situation requires different methods, systems etc. he’ll do it.
The perfect one, is polite and honest to admit when wrong, just like the narcissist apologizer. However, he doesn’t want that to happen a lot. He doesn’t use the apologies as a tool. And he definitely is available and is an overachiever. In the end, the biggest defining feature of the perfect one is to have a true desire and will to put the client first and his real estate commission second. First: he knows the latter is a consequence of the former. But second, and most importantly, he understands that the whole idea of an agent is to serve on behalf of another person’s ideas and ideals, so he worries about understanding and relieving the client’s needs. The perfect real estate agent type is the one who puts his sweat, his brains and skills to task in order to award the client with whatever he wants - buy a house, sell a house or rent a condo.
We hope you have enjoyed our article about the real estate agent types. If there’s one real estate agent type we have not covered here and you wish we had, tell us in the comments!