Treat Clients The Way You Want to Be Treated

Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker Preferred Properties

My mother was taken to the hospital a week ago Saturday.  She lives in an assisted living facility in Florida (I live in Alabama).  The nurse at the assisted living called to say they were taking her, but after that I heard nothing.  After many calls I tracked her down and knew she was "safe" and being treated for her condition.  It was very hard to get ANY information and I had to make many calls to get small pieces of info.  In spite of messages left for the doctor, he didn't bother to call me until Thursday afternoon (I received his call as I was on my way from the Orlando airport to the hospital).  He had arranged for her to be moved to rehab......   I had to rearrange business and spend $500 on a trip because I just couldn't get any answers.  He said he didn't want to call me until he had a diagnosis.  I nearly hurled the toll money at the attendant as I paid another dollar at one of many toll booths.

As you can imagine this whole experience has been aggravating and exhausting. Now that I am back home and she is in rehab - which is another name for a nursing home, I still have to make daily calls to the nurse and hope to catch her when she is not with another patient.  Doctor's call - what doctor - it's been a week since she was moved from the hospital and nothing.

Now I know (or should I say hope) that they are working hard to make her medical condition better. I hope the doctor has a well conceived plan and the nurses are following it.  

As I try to make calls in between getting work done for my clients, it makes me reflect on how I treat them.

I know I am constantly marketing my listings, thinking of new ways to get those properties in front of buyers.  I'm looking at pictures and internet presence to make sure the property looks its best.  Getting feedback - talking to other agents.  With buyers, daily I'm searching for new properties.  They keep asking if there is other property that they can look at and sometimes I just want to scream "I know what you are looking for, it just isn't there - don't you believe me!"

But how often do I take the time to relate my findings (or lack thereof) to the client.  Do I share my concerns about their property in the current market with them - not just my colleagues? Are they sitting there frustrated wondering what I am doing to sell their house?  Am I afraid to call without the answers? Do I wait to call until I have a diagnosis?

I'd like to think I treat people better than I have been treated in the last week.  Especially in the current market it is critical to stay in touch, even when the news is "No News Yet".





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Terri Kincaid
ERA Brokers Consolidated - Mesquite, NV

I agree. It's all about how you treat someone. It all comes back.

Sep 25, 2008 03:40 PM #1
Brian Brumpton
Keller Williams Boise - Boise, ID
Boise Idaho Real Estate


Sorry for your experience, it sounds like a difficult one but you make a really good point here.

Sep 25, 2008 03:46 PM #2
Marchel Peterson
Results Realty - Spring, TX
Spring TX Real Estate E-Pro

Toni, how frustrating!  I have elderly parents and have worried about just the situation you are discussing.  I remember when we had to put my Grandmother in a home and we had much the same situation as what you described. 

Sep 25, 2008 03:50 PM #3
Mike Wong
Keller Williams Realty Southwest - Sugar Land, TX
Realtor: Commercial, Residential, Leasing, Invest

Sorry to hear about your experience, but glad you could see how it could be used to improve yourself and services. Sometimes we never realize something until it is done to us. Its one of the reasons why I became a Realtor because I believed I can do it better and more professional. Thankfully my clients agree and appreciate it as well.

Sep 25, 2008 04:27 PM #4
Lisa Gaiche
RE/MAX Real Estate Group - Olathe, KS

Excellent analogy. I make it a point to call clients once a week - even if there is no news. I also send them a weekly "market watch" of what has happened sales wise in their neighborhood. These days, more often than not, nothing is moving so they can see it isn't just their house that is sitting.

Best wishes with your Mom!

Sep 25, 2008 04:29 PM #5
494,722 ~ Dallas Real Estate Agent Top Team
Dallas Houses for Rent Dallas Apartment Rentals - Dallas, TX

Many dont get the concept be respectful on time, remember the little things in their lifes.

Sep 25, 2008 04:55 PM #6
Chip Jefferson
Gibbs Realty and Auction Company - Columbia, SC

I Hope your mom is better. I try and treat all with as much compassion and care as I can. I know what selling and buying was like for me when i was starting.

Sep 25, 2008 11:51 PM #7
Richard Byron Smith, NMLS #184479
Mortgage Loan Officer, Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation NMLS #2289 - Chattanooga, TN
Mortgage Loan Officer


Clients are people too.

They need to hear from us, and we need to appreciate that need, and be aware of their anxiety when we do not call.



Sep 30, 2008 01:07 PM #8
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