Yesterday, an agent from Ft. Lauderdale showed some of my listings here in Miami Beach. I must admit whenever I get a request from an out-of-area broker, I know I'm in trouble. I won't drone on about the specifics, but I will tell you that on a Saturday afternoon she was 30 minutes late, HAD NO IDEA what she was showing AND worse yet, had no idea what HER CLIENT was looking for.
It was clear from the moment that her client stepped into the condo, that this was not for him. The agent started to 'needle' me about the neighborhood specifics, because she didn't know herself. I decided to cut to the chase and ask HER what her client was looking for. Long story short, he was looking for something completely different and in a different location.
After looking around the condo, the client joined in on the conversation. He seemed to hang off every word I said. He was information starved! After 'using' me for a good 20 minutes, I didn't mind, they were both pleasant enough, we made a list of 10 or so buildings that would fit his needs.
During the conversation here is what I learned:
- She had no idea what her client was looking for
- She had no knowledge about the neighborhoods in Miami Beach
- She knew nothing about the buildings that she was showing
By the time she was finished with me, she was a good 1 hour late for ALL of her appointments. This is why I believe she should have referred this client out to another agent, so that the client wouldn't have to suffer for her lack of knowledge.
If you decide to work an area that you don't know well, here are some BASIC MINIMUMS for showing out of your area:
- 'Drive' the route/neighborhood prior to the appointment, so you don't get lost. If you have a number of appointments, one wrong turn could throw off every one of your showings.
- Preview, if possible, to get familiar with some of the buildings/properties.
- Talk to the listing agent about your client and his/her needs. I know I would rather spend 10 minutes on the phone, than waste my client's whole Saturday with random showings.
In this situation I would have definitely referred this client to an agent who 'works' the area, and here is why:
The client knew that his agent did not know the area well. He didn't seem comfortable with the amount of information he was getting from his agent. I don't think that the agent was bringing any value to her client.
He would have been better served by her, if she either became knowledgeable about the area or referred him to someone who did.
What say you?