Your real estate reputation is worth protecting

Services for Real Estate Pros with Marte Cliff Copywriting

Your real estate reputation is and will be one of your most valuable possessions. Therefore, it is worth building and protecting.

You actually have two reputations: one with past clients and one with people who are a part of the real estate business. That would include other agents, assistants, lenders, appraisers, inspectors, stagers, photographers, title officers, etc. In short, everyone associated with facilitating the transfer of real estate ownership.

Your real estate reputation with past clients may bring you new business.

If you did a wonderful job – and if you remember to stay in touch with them – your past clients will refer your real estate reputation will bring you new clientsothers to you. They’ll also come back to you when or if they want to buy or sell again.

Owning a business that grows almost entirely from referrals is a state that many aspire to and many have achieved. What some don’t realize is that most who have achieved that status have also maintained an excellent real estate reputation within the industry.

Your reputation within the industry is vital to your success.

Why? Because all of those people can either cooperate and make things easier for you – or not.

When it comes to other agents, they can be eager to show your listings – or they can put them at the bottom of the list to show when all other options have been exhausted.  When you present an offer on a home that has multiple offers, they can encourage the sellers to consider it first – or put it at the bottom of the stack.

As for all of the other people involved – they can make serving you a priority – or not.

How can you build a good reputation within the industry?

The answer boils down to three things:

  • Be professional
  • Be polite
  • Be considerate

Being professional could also include the other two, but for starters…

protecting your real estate reputation is a best practiceBeing professional means doing your work correctly. A professional real estate agent fills out every form clearly, completely, and correctly. There are no blanks left unfilled or questions left unanswered. If any of it is hand-written, it’s legible.

A professional is also careful to meet deadlines and to do his/her share of the work.

A professional treats others with dignity and respect, which bring us to the other two requirements for a good real estate reputation: being polite and considerate.

Judging from what I’m reading, some are using the current seller’s market as an excuse to abandon civility. They are not polite, nor are they considerate. Perhaps they can get away with it in an insane real estate market.

The thing to remember, however, is that this market will not last.

The pendulum swings. It always has and it always will. If you’re new to real estate, ask any agent who has been around for 20 years.

And people do have long memories. The reputation you build today is the reputation you’ll carry tomorrow. If you want consideration from other agents and cooperation from everyone else involved, being professional, polite, and considerate today will serve you well tomorrow.

Right now you may feel that you are “too busy” to be considerate of others in the industry. Make the time. And if you absolutely cannot do it all yourself, hire some help.

How to be polite and considerate if you’re a buyer’s agent:

  • Make appointments as far in advance as possible.
  • Read the MLS listing and remarks before calling the listing agent for information that you could have found there.
  • Be on time for those appointments; call if you must be late; and if you need to cancel, do it as soon as you have that information.
  • Treat homes and homeowners with respect. Don’t allow potential buyers to do things you wouldn’t want done in your own home.
  • Be sure to leave lights and door locks as you found them.
  • If you’re submitting an offer electronically, call to let the agent know it is on the way.
  • Give adequate time for a reply.
  • Acknowledge receipt of counter-offers. Reply within the deadline.

If you’re a listing agent:

  • Post good photos – ones that honestly depict the property.
  • Answer showing requests promptly.
  • Return phone calls, text messages, and emails promptly and politely.
  • Acknowledge receipt of offers.
  • Present offers to your sellers in a timely fashion.
  • Respond to every offer – even if it’s been rejected outright.
  • Refrain from insulting buyer agents who submit low offers. Remember that they are doing what their clients direct them to do. They don’t enjoy wasting their time any more than you do.
  • Send complete and legible counter-offers.
  • Respect deadlines.

Whether you represent the buyer or the seller:

When you’re dealing with others involved in your transaction, speak to everyone with respect. Make polite requests, not demands.

Try to be patient when service providers are slow. I know you’ll notice which lenders, appraisers, inspectors, etc. are doing their best to serve you, so remember to say thanks. Then remember them when things change and you make decisions about which to use in slower times – and which to recommend to others.

Resist the urge to rant about fellow agents, lenders, appraisers, etc. on social media. If you must blow off steam, tell it to your significant other, your parent, your child, or perhaps your best friend. Stay cool in public.

It follows that you should resist the urge to be snarky, snippy, or generally nasty to other agents or any of the other people involved. I know – there are times when it would feel good to blow up. But don’t.

Make “please” and “thank you” part of your every day vocabulary.

Back when I was a broker and handled bank-owned properties, I often needed the services of our local telephone company repair man. When I called, he always got back to me quickly. I appreciated that, and I told him so.

One day when he came to my own home to make a repair on our antiquated phone line, he told me that he came here first, even though he’d been “summoned” to a house up at the lake. He told me that when those people called, he always put them at the bottom of the list, simply because they demanded instant service instead of asking politely.

It may be an old saw, but it really is true that “You catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar.”


“Politeness [is] a sign of dignity, not subservience.”
― Theodore Roosevelt

“We must always try to be polite to the other person even if they have upset us. Politeness is the grease that keeps the gears of all relationships turning.”
― Zachariah Renfro

“A little consideration makes all the difference.”

This extreme seller’s market will end, but your real estate reputation will be with you forever…

Handle it with care.


Meeting new client Image courtesy of Flare at
Best practice courtesy of stuart miles at

This post first appeared at

Comments (21)

Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Hi Marte- all of what you said is true but one thing, in particular, caught my eye...

"The thing to remember, however, is that this market will not last."


Apr 27, 2021 06:41 PM
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

No market lasts, does it Kathy? Everything goes in cycles.

Apr 27, 2021 08:20 PM
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Marte what wisdom in your post. Every transaction I am involved with I watch and get to know the buyer's agents and the buyer's agent teams and needless to say some I will not want to ever work with again. In a sellers market listing agents need to remember that as always there will be a buyer's market so kindness goes a long way... I have been on both sides of the market and do have Irish Alzheimer's:))Endre

Apr 27, 2021 11:01 PM
Marte Cliff

Thanks Endre. It does pay to keep track of how people behave - so you can avoid the stinkers whenever possible.

Apr 28, 2021 02:35 PM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning Marte. Your reputation with other agents can be the difference of whether you sink or swim in this business. Enjoy your day 

Apr 28, 2021 04:33 AM
Marte Cliff

I believe that Wayne.

Apr 28, 2021 02:35 PM
Ed Silva
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

So much common sense in this post. Maintaining a positive outlook and always being professional is important in any business but in real estate it is the priority. Our skills are what we offer but if it's tarnished by a bad attitude or questionable ethics, we have nothing to offer that others would want to accept. 

Apr 28, 2021 06:05 AM
Marte Cliff


Apr 28, 2021 02:36 PM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello Marte - everything matters.  We never what may "exactly"  matter to another.  Be genuine.  Be kind.  Be thoughtful.  Let it be. . .   

Apr 28, 2021 06:37 AM
Carla Freund
Keller Williams Preferred Realty - Raleigh, NC
Carolina Life RealEstate & Relocation 919-602-8489

This has never been truer! In this competitive market, you can bet listing agents will remember how a transaction went if they have worked with you before.

Apr 28, 2021 08:13 AM
Marte Cliff

Yes, Carla. And if you're prone to causing transactions to fail, other agents will try to run the other way.

Apr 28, 2021 02:37 PM
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Good Morning Marte and once again you are so right with your blog about we all need to think about in the business.  Can I reblog this some time.


Apr 28, 2021 08:30 AM
Ginger Harper
Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage~ Ginger Harper Real Estate Team - Southport, NC
Your Southport~Oak Island Agent~Brunswick County!

Great post. Good job and you are so right. Protect your reputation.  

Apr 28, 2021 09:48 AM
Marte Cliff

Ginger - it's one thing that is uniquely our own.

Apr 28, 2021 02:37 PM
Lyn Sims
Schaumburg, IL
Real Estate Broker Retired

Excellent post Marte & it's a battle getting your job done when others don't care. 

Apr 28, 2021 12:09 PM
Marte Cliff

That's ertainly true Lyn. It makes for an uphill battle.

Apr 28, 2021 02:38 PM
Dr. Paula McDonald
Beam & Branch Realty - Granbury, TX
Granbury, TX 936-203-0279

Being kind and using good manners are always the right way to conduct ourselves. Great post.

Apr 28, 2021 02:40 PM
Vickie Teel
RE/MAX PALM REALTY - Port Charlotte, FL
Sharing Florida sunshine one homeowner at a time!

Bravo Marte.  Loved all the great suggestions in your post for being professional and considerate.  When we stay in this business for any length of time we will have to do repeat business with agents and it's best to have a good reputation

Apr 28, 2021 06:46 PM
Cathy Criado
Criado Realty - San Antonio, TX
Making Real Estate Profitable

Marte thanks so much for sharing your words of wisdom. So much of this 9s true beyond just real estate. It's good to be in the rain again! 

Apr 28, 2021 08:08 PM
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667,, Broker/REALTOR® - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

I totally agree with everything you've said. There is an agent here who is already on my "bad" list. If we're not on our best behavior, we may wind up on someone else's naughty list.

Apr 29, 2021 05:43 AM
Sharon Kowitz
Cary, NC Relocation Specialist ~ Buying or Selling

Thank you for a great post in today's crazy market.

A wonderful reminder to older agents and a teaching lesson for newer agents. 

I do remember great agents I have worked with and ones that were not so easy to work with over the last 17 year. 


Apr 29, 2021 06:58 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude



There is so much wisdom, and common sense, in your post and I agree with you wholeheartedly. People DO have long memories - the many we work with in the business, and clients. Reputation is everything!



Apr 29, 2021 01:23 PM
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

We recently were asked if we can refer agents in other areas, when we said yes, the woman asked an interesting question regarding their motivation. " Does sharing the commission, create less motivation to work hard?" I explained that reputation is paramount to getting repeat business and referrals, so the answer is no. In fact, many agents work especially hard with a referral client as they want to live up to the honor. 

Apr 30, 2021 06:21 AM
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Marte Cliff - Reputation is the key that locks or unlocks ones future. Maintaining a good reputation should be on the top of everyone's goal. As always, I appreciate how you get to the heart of every topic that matters in business. 


Thank you, Marte. 

May 02, 2021 07:27 AM
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area

So much of this is common sense and..treat others as you want to be treated! There are some agents I never want to deal with again due to their work habits and very slopping paperwork, don't answer calls, etc

May 03, 2021 01:19 PM
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi Marte Cliff - I could not have added anything to your list. It is that good.  To me, there is nothing more important than my reputation and my clients. I believe strongly in the "Golden Rule".  I will not compromise my integrity for anything. 

May 28, 2021 07:28 AM