Getting fired is never a pleasant experience, for both sides of the relationship. And while we understand that there are some cases where clients may be unreasonable and set unrealistic expectations, there are also lots of situations where an agent neglects one or two vital aspects of the client-pro relationship — resulting in termination.
If you’re wondering how to prevent this from happening to you, keep reading. We list the 10 most frequent reasons agents get fired by their clients and how you can avoid them.
No. 1: Being unavailable
With all the technology we have available today, there are so many ways you can stay in touch with your clients. And because your job involves a lot of back and forth negotiating, being available is not only important, it’s imperative. One missed call can mean thousands of dollars for your client, no matter which side you’re representing.
That’s why whenever you’re in an active deal make sure your phone is always on, check your emails regularly and don’t leave town, especially not for a vacation unless you have someone you can partner up with and rely on to cover your deals, well.
No. 2: Not understanding your job
As an agent, you have to know what your clients’ expectations are and how much you’re required to do for them. There are some clients that don’t like it when their agent makes decisions without previously consulting them, which can lead to them finding another agent that does a better job of respecting their limits.
Additionally, there are cases when an agent doesn’t ask what the client want so they end up doing something completely wrong, which can really upset a client or, worse, prompt a client to ask for your removal from the contract.
To avoid this happening to you, make sure you ask everything you want to know on the initial meeting with the client. Ask them to let you know what they expect of you, how much authorization you have and things you’re not allowed to do. It will not only protect you from getting into conflicts with your clients but will also save you a lot of headaches.
No. 3: Lack of negotiation skills
The number one skill people look for in an agent is being able to negotiate effectively. A good agent knows when to call, what to say and how to convince the other party that they’ve had it their way when that’s not really the case. If a client feels you’re not doing your best to negotiate the best price for them, they will surely look for a better option than you.
This is why it’s crucial to always make maximum efforts to get the best price for your clients. It’s not all about sealing a deal as fast as possible. Sometimes waiting longer can prove better, for both you and your clients.
No. 4: Not actively following up with prospective buyers
There’s nothing worse for clients than not being able to seal a deal for a long period of time. Sitting, waiting for a home to sell (or waiting to put in an offer) is nerve-wracking and, quite often, can cause clients to miss out.
Since people keep track of how other listings are doing on the market, they'll soon start to question your commitment to the process if their house continues to sit on the market when others are being sold.
That means you not only need to be diligent about marketing and following up with prospective buyers (assuming you're the listing agent) but you need to provide regular updates to your client.
No. 5: Lack of paperwork knowledge (and explaining it)
Both parties need to have an understanding of what paperwork is required and what needs to be done in order to seal a real estate deal. As the real estate professional, it's up to you to make sure your client appreciates what needs to be done and signed, and why. You may even need to clarify this information for the other agent's client if that agent hasn't done their job well enough.
Remember, people outside of the real estate industry don’t necessarily know what a deed, lien, mortgage or easement is, so as the real estate professional you need to step in and educate them.
Fail to perform this role and your client might assume you don't know or care how a transaction should transpire and, as a result, may ask to remove you from the process.
No. 6: Lack of marketing skills
If the agent doesn’t use the marketing tools available to spread the word about the property, the clients will feel as if their agent is not motivated enough to sell their property. This will again, lead to the client being replaced by someone that won’t have a problem with doing as much marketing as needed to promote the property.
A good agent will use the internet and publish the property in an online advert, but a GREAT agent will publish it on multiple channels – MLS, websites, social media pages, newspapers, fliers, and brochures.
Not only that but part of the marketing strategy is choosing the right photo and right property description that will entice people to open the listing. This is also another skill the real estate agent should hone if they want to become a top tier agent with multiple recommendations.
No. 7: Being dishonest
Lying is never a good option, especially not when dealing with something as delicate as selling or buying someone’s home. But there is more to dishonesty that flat-out lies. Some agents allude to higher prices in order to win the listing contract, while others will assure buying agents how quickly they'll find a place.
No matter the situation, always maintain your integrity. Be realistic, positive and honest. If a problem does arise, be clear about the matter and, where possible, offer a solution. Clients appreciate a proactive, honest agent far more than an evasive agent with questionable integrity.
No. 8: Misconduct
There is never any room for misconduct and yet the Ethics' Review committees are filled with cases of alleged misconduct. These few bad apples then taint the bunch and, as a result, real estate professionals are rarely considered high on the list of reputable and honest professionals. As such, it's absolutely vital to avoid all forms of misconduct. From not handling escrow money appropriately, to rude or questionable behavior, there really isn't any room for misconduct if you plan to be a long-term, successful real estate agent.
No. 9: Putting your interests before your clients' needs
Do you start every potential client deal with the question “what will I get”? If so, stop.
Not only must your clients feel like you're working for their benefit, but you must also actually work for their benefit. Fail to do this and eventually your business will dry up. Remember, this is a competitive business and if you don't treat every client as your top priority, you will quickly lose referral or repeat business or, worse, have a client fill out an application to have their contract with you terminated.
No. 10: Lack of communication
Listen, just about any reason for termination could be boiled down to a lack of communication. So, to avoid potential bad blood and to maintain great relations, focus on how and when to communicate with your clients.
Discuss everything with your client up front so there will be no misunderstandings and both sides know what to expect from each other.
Additionally, take the time to update your clients on what’s going on with their property weekly, so they don’t start getting worried. Selling and buying property might take months, so if you don’t contact them frequently, they might believe you’re not invested enough in finding or selling a property.