Your professionalism = your reputation = your success

By
Services for Real Estate Pros with Marte Cliff Copywriting

Professionalism between real estate agents.

You probably hear a lot about the importance of conducting yourself professionally with cooperating real estate agentsclients, but professional behavior with other agents is equally important.

It can mean the difference between your listings being shown first or not until all other possibilities are exhausted. It can also mean the difference between your offers being carefully considered or shoved aside.

How does a true professional behave with regard to other real estate agents?

A true real estate professional:

  • Answers the phone or returns calls, emails, and texts as quickly as possible.
  • Cooperates with showing requests.
  • Informs the listing agent immediately if a showing is cancelled.
  • Is careful when showing – monitors clients while in the home; makes sure things are left as they were found; locks the doors; etc.
  • Fills out his/her paperwork neatly, correctly, and completely.
  • Provides all relevant property information to buyer agents.
  • Presents all offers and counter-offers in a timely fashion.
  • Keeps everyone informed of important information or developments.
  • Keeps clients on track to meet deadlines.
  • Pitches in to solve problems as they arise.
  • Refrains from being snarky – even when the temptation is great.

A true professional extends similar courtesies to the other involved in a transaction.

He or she responds to lenders, title officers, appraisers, inspectors, etc. in a timely fashion, and acts quickly when information or action is needed.

OK – So YOU are a professional – but you’ll still have to work with those who are not.

What can you do?

#1 – be polite, no matter what. Beyond that, your response will depend upon your clients and the situation.

If you represent the seller and the market is hot, you can respond to incomplete or sloppy offers with a simple, polite rejection.

If you represent the seller and theirs is the only offer, you’ll have to tread more softly. When you contact them you can say your seller is interested, but until all the blanks are filled out, they can’t respond. If you can soft-pedal it, you’ll get better response than if you call up and berate them for their sloppy work.

If you’re working with a buyer and can’t get a listing appointment, you have two choices. You can try contacting the agent’s broker to get access, or you can cross the house off your list and move on.

What you must not do is resort to calling the sellers. It’s tempting, but it can land you in hot water. (Check the rules in your state – in some places it might be OK if you can document an inability to reach the agent over a specific period of time.)

If you’re in the middle of a transaction and the agent on the other side is not doing their share of the work, your only real choice is to take up the slack. If an issue requires contact with the other agent’s client, contact their broker or assistant and outline what needs to be done. If they aren’t cooperative, perhaps a lender or a title agent will agree to contact the clients.

My own sad story…

Do be careful. I once had a long-distance closing that had gone beyond the closing date with no sign of the buyer’s paperwork being returned. When their agent wouldn’t answer my calls after a week, I left a voice mail for the buyers, asking if they intended to complete the transaction. (My seller had graciously agreed to wait, even though there was a back-up offer in place.) That unanswered phone call cost me days of filling out forms and sitting in front of the ethics board.

Oh – and in case you wondered, that transaction did close. Darn it. The backup offer was better.

#2 – Refrain from venting in public – or gossiping.

Go home and yell to your family members, but don’t vent your frustrations to anyone else in the real estate industry – including the unprofessional agent.

Don’t go on Facebook and talk about that incompetent jerk. Don’t Tweet about it.

Remember that the high road puts you above the folks on the low road.

What if that unprofessional agent yells at you over his or her own poor outcomes?

angry agent shoutingIf that hasn’t happened to you yet, be patient. It will.

It will be your fault if their buyer’s (incomplete) offer was rejected or your fault that you didn’t bring an offer on their seller’s overpriced house. You might be at fault for wanting a showing on Sunday or during the dinner hour. You might be at fault because your buyer lost his or her job two weeks before the scheduled closing. You might be a really horrible person because you called their broker when they wouldn’t respond to you after six days.

And the list goes on…

Deranged people can always think of some reason to blame someone for something, even without a valid reason.

Again, respond politely. Stay calm and refuse to take the bait, even if they call you names.

The best thing to do is to politely say that you’ll be glad to discuss the issue after they’ve calmed down and can speak politely. Then hang up – or walk away, as the case may be.

If they go on Facebook, Twitter, etc. to vent about you – do NOT respond. At all. Not once.

And… Whatever you do, do NOT even consider engaging in an email or text battle. Everything you write can and will be saved, twisted, forwarded to 47 other people, and used against you.

Handshake Image courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
shouting man Image courtesy of imagerymajestic at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

This post appeared first at https://copybymarte.com/your-professionalism-your-reputation-your-success/
 
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Re-Blogged 2 times:

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  1. Sally K. & David L. Hanson 08/21/2019 05:22 AM
  2. Ginger Harper 08/21/2019 10:28 AM
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Rainmaker
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Marte Cliff
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Michael Jacobs All of this nonsense - and so much of what is going on in the world right now - does all come back down to the Golden Rule. If everyone followed that, conflicts would be rare.

Sheri Sperry - MCNE® That's where maturity and experience come in. Real estate can keep coming up with new situations all the time - and some inexperienced agents get thrown for a loop.

Aug 21, 2019 10:06 AM #33
Rainmaker
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Lottie Kendall So true. But some people always need someone else to blame when things don't go smoothly.

Mike Frazier And there are so many of them! Back when I was an agent it seemed like that described the majority in this small town.

 

Aug 21, 2019 10:10 AM #34
Rainmaker
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Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi Yes, reputation matters in your business too. I'll never forget the LO who called her buyer and said "Tell your damn realtor to get the hell off my back!" because I had left messages asking her to let me know how the loan was progressing. Both the buyer and seller had been calling me to get that information - because both were out of state and I had an 800 number - and the lender did not.  Needless to say, we did not recommend that lender in the future.

Aug 21, 2019 10:13 AM #35
Rainmaker
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Marte Cliff
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John Henry Keeping cool under pressure goes a long way toward solving problems - or preventing them.

I agree Mike Cooper, GRI - if you haven't run into one of them yet, it means you haven't been in the business long enough.

Aug 21, 2019 10:15 AM #36
Rainmaker
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Marte Cliff
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Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543 You are so right. While most of us do try to leave "home problems" at home and "work problems" at work, sometimes they lap over and we lose our cool. We were just discussing that last night - Our grocery store has wonderful employees who are always friendly and cheerful, but the man who checked out my groceries on Monday was grumpy and distracted. I'm pretty sure there was something else going on in his life that was troubling him.

Aug 21, 2019 10:19 AM #37
Rainmaker
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Marte Cliff
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Jill Sackler Unfortunately, you are right. Those who need the reminder won't read posts like this - or won't recognize themselves.

Aug 21, 2019 10:20 AM #38
Rainmaker
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Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

Marte sharing her successes....

Aug 21, 2019 10:48 AM #39
Rainmaker
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Marte Cliff
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Richie Alan Naggar Some yes... some no

Aug 21, 2019 11:09 AM #40
Rainmaker
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Jane Peters
Home Jane Realty - Los Angeles, CA
Los Angeles real estate concierge services

As professional as we might be you do have to deal with those that are less than so. I do have to say thought that after everything has closed I tend to try and clean up the mess by documenting everything.

Aug 21, 2019 01:43 PM #41
Rainmaker
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Marte Cliff
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Jane Peters Thanks for mentioning that - I should have included it in the post. It's a "best practice" to document everything - and especially important when dealing with difficult people. My brokerage would have been involved in a nasty lawsuit once had it not been well documented that we told the buyer NOT to close on the purchase of a mountain cabin until after we had the signed easements that would allow her to bring power to that cabin.

In that case it was not an agent or a buyer or seller who was difficult - but the buyer became very difficult later when one of the people involved decided not to sign the easement after she had verbally agreed to it.

Aug 21, 2019 02:31 PM #42
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Debe Maxwell, CRS
www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

I had a member of the Rain phone me to ask me about another agent in my city - I said absolutely nothing, in fact, gave a compliment. My sense was that they weren't phoning me to ask about the other agent to send a referral; they were just asking out of curiosity. I kept my mouth shut and took the high road.

Who would it have benefited for me to share how I personally feel? Again, taking the high road saved me a lot of negativity in my life, I feel! 

As for having to go before the ethics Board, Marte, I'm so sorry you had to deal with that. I have often been tempted to phone the other party as well but, haven't done so yet. I'll heed your advice though!

Aug 21, 2019 09:44 PM #43
Rainmaker
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Marte Cliff
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Debe Maxwell, CRS The ethics board wasn't fun - it took a lot of time. In the end, we were both reprimanded. Me for calling the client and him for refusing to return my calls and let me know why the client hadn't returned the closing documents. It's a lot of  years ago now, so I don't remember what went on with that agent's broker - if he also refused to return calls or if he brushed me off. There was some reason I called the customer as a last resort.

Aug 21, 2019 09:51 PM #44
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Debe Maxwell, CRS
www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

Oh, as I mentioned, I've gotten to that point and evidently, something snapped that kept me from having to phone the other side. You've definitely made me thankful I never did, Marte!

I did get called before the Board for 'copying' someone's url (domain name)! No kidding. Elizabeth Golden's hubby created a website for me, using their trademarked, 'At Homes,' branding that they use for each city - AtHomesHuntsville, AtHomesNewOrleans and they gave me AtHomesCharlotte.com. 

A local agent has the domain AtHome... (singular) and took me before the ethics Board for copying her domain! Of course I won (you can't mandate the name of any other agent's domain/url) but, boy, what a lot of documentation I had to provide to the Board.  It was a total waste of time - for both of us!

Aug 21, 2019 10:08 PM #45
Rainmaker
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Marte Cliff
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Debe Maxwell, CRS How awful. That agent must not have had anything better to do with her time than cause trouble. I think the hassle involved with an ethics violation is the reason why busy agents don't report dishonest/unethical agents who really should be reported.

Aug 22, 2019 07:49 AM #46
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Debe Maxwell, CRS
www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

That's so true, Marte! I don't want to spend that amount of time, for sure. The problem is, if they make it easier, more folks will do what that agent did to me! It's a lose-lose situations, sadly.

Aug 22, 2019 07:56 AM #47
Rainmaker
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Marte Cliff
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Debe Maxwell, CRS I agree. About the best thing you can do is try to avoid doing business with agents you know to be unprofessional - or worse.

Aug 22, 2019 09:14 AM #48
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Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

So much of this should just be fundamental 101, but it's not.  I value when I work with another agent that understands the importance of communication, keeping to timelines, and not taking things personally when we are acting in our client's best interest.  Fortunately I don't have issues with many, but there are some I hope to never cross paths with again.  Bill

Aug 22, 2019 01:30 PM #49
Rainmaker
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Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg IL Real Estate

As Bill said, isn't this fundamental? If so, you wouldn't have to write about it. It boggles my mind that other agents can't figure out they have to lock the front door or the seller is going to get mad.

Aug 22, 2019 03:04 PM #50
Rainmaker
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Marte Cliff
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Liz and Bill Spear That issue of taking things personally came up far too often in this little town - and even in our little office. Agents would be at each other's throats with "Your buyer..." and "Well your seller..." Ugh.

Aug 22, 2019 03:23 PM #51
Rainmaker
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Marte Cliff
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Lyn Sims And why can't they figure out that lying doesn't change facts?

I remember one listing agent yelling at me because my prospective buyers mentioned the lack of padding under the living room carpet. He said there was not only padding, but it was the best, thickest padding money could buy. How stupid - anyone walking on the floor knew better.

Aug 22, 2019 03:26 PM #52
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