Recently, I was at a REALTOR ® meeting and it was said that many brokers from different companies were interviewed to find out what their pet peeves were with real estate agents. In every work place you will find those certain actions that are just over bearing and maybe you don’t know how to address the “problems” with that agent or how to make them see the changes that need to take place in order for them to be successful.
Do you work in a market where you believe if agents would just do unto others as they would want done to them, it would produce a win-win environment? If you are willing to take the first step, maybe, just maybe, you will start a trend to improve the working relationships in your area.
Below I am going to share with you the top pet peeves for brokers in our market area and then give some tips on what we can do to improve our job performance, thus removing added stress and anger from those agents who seem to work as if they are being attacked or can’t stand their job.
Top Pet Peeves; Are you in the good stack?
1. Not putting pictures on the MLS.
If this is you, you must know how frustrating it is to other agents who are searching for their clients and come across the ones that don’t show any picture. Out of the agents in our meeting today, when asked, “What do you think when you come across this MLS property?” everyone chimed in and said they pass over it. They do not send your listing without a picture to their client. (On a personal note, I do. I let the client decide to pass over it themselves. 99% of the time, they do.) When agents see this, most will look and see how many days it has been on the market. If it has been a few days, the agent gives the other the benefit of the doubt and might come back to it. If you see that the property has been on the market for longer than 2 weeks, the gavel comes down, knocking three times and judges you: GUILTY OF LAZINESS. You are not doing your listing, your company or your client any justice for being their agent.
2. Having virtual tours or pictures with the owners, pets, dishes in the sink, trash can full, T.V. on, etc… showing on the MLS.
How do you measure the listing agent of this home? This lack in detail gives them a bad name. You are supposed to be marketing this listing to sell. You can always ask your seller to put the dishes in the dish washer, under the sink, in the pantry, just so you can take the shot and then put it back. Hopefully you will have sent your seller a letter before the appointment, letting them know that if they decide to hire your services that they will have the home ready for pictures that day and what you need the house looking like to make a great first impression. They should understand that it will be doing their listing an injustice if you put it on the MLS and there are no pictures.
3. Putting contact information in illegal fields on the MLS form.
Alright, when we have buyers, we send them the listing form for buyers. You know that the listing form has much more information that shouldn’t be disclosed to someone other than a REALTOR®. There are things that shouldn’t even be on the MLS. Of those things we were told to:
- Not put any security code, hiding place, access code, etc… in remarks
- Not write that the home-owner is deployed, so the home is vacant.
- Not tell agents in writing that the dog is huge but won’t bite or deaf or whatever the seller disclosed to you. This is something that should be done over the phone when you are confirming the showing appt.
Agents also tend to put information in the remarks, not the REALTOR® remarks, with their phone number or any of the above disclosures I mentioned above. When you do this, the Selling Agent cannot send the client a Buyers MLS sheet because disclosed information is being mentioned that they shouldn’t know about due to protection of the seller. So my question is, “Are you representing your seller to the best of your ability and protecting them?”
4. We are forgetting about the protected class.
Do you see remarks saying, “Great Christian, Jewish or any religious community” or “Great home for kids”? In doing so you are possibly offending others and you could be turned in. Be careful about the protected class.
5. Paperwork being received from agent to agent.
Are you not familiar with the forms for all areas of real estate? If you have not seen the new forms that came out January 1, 2009, I would suggest you take time and read through the many changes. When you are asking for earnest money to be returned to your buyer, you don’t send over an amendment. There is a form specifically for this request. So be sure to take time and not rush, trying to make it easier on you and get the correct form out.
6. Taking unsellable listings.
Now some companies say take whatever you can get but there is a down fall to that, I believe. When you take any listing, no matter what shape it is in or maybe what price the seller wants to list it at, you could be causing yourself a lot of hard work, wasting your money to market this property and be putting the company’s reputation, along with yours, on the line. Consumers are always watching the signs. When they see something sitting there for a long time and you know the reason is because the seller will not come down in their price, the consumer isn’t seeing what you see. They are seeing a sign that has been in a yard for 6 months and not selling. So, who are they going to call? Not you. Just be careful with the listings that you take and be sure to have an upfront talk with your potential seller. It will save everyone in the end.
7. Obligation to the Office.
With our company, we do not have desk fees, copy fees under a certain amount, office space fees or phone fees. All our company asks is for you to come to our weekly meeting to learn what is going on in our community and be educated and informed. There is an example I would like to mention. If you are out and someone comes up to you wanting to know how the market is, what are you going to say? One agent would say, “We are doing great right now, the market is picking up.” Then another agent would say, “We are doing better than Memphis, which happens to be the city highest in foreclosures in all of Tennessee,” and you proceed to tell them more information about Clarksville. Which agent would that person pick? The one who had more information is who. My point is we need to be educated in statistics and our local economy. Do you know where to go to get these statistics? You would if you came to our weekly meetings. They are not a waste of your time. They can save you time!
Now here are some tips to help improve our profession, one agent at a time.
How do we behave as a REALTOR®? Wouldn’t it be nice if we all:
1. Call the listing agent after we show the house, to offer feedback without the agent having to call us? Talk about surprise. What do you think that agent will think of you? I would want to work with you if you called me the same day you showed my listing to offer feedback. Feedback is the hardest thing to get from an agent. They either forgot which property was yours or they just don’t return your phone call if the buyer wasn’t interested. People remember your work ethics.
2. Make sure your Voice Mail is working! This is something you need to check on everyday or get a plan that expands your voice mail capabilities. There is nothing more upsetting to be trying to get a hold of your agent to ask a question or call the agent to ask about the property and get a message that their voice mail is full. That leaves a very bad impression of the way you manage your business and your listing will more than likely be passed over.
3. Send a thank you card for showing the home and reminding them to keep it at the top of their list. Think about it…how many times does your listing show? Are you getting 3 a day? We would all love that but if you have 1 to 5 a week, that is worth building a relationship with the agents you will one day work with.
4. Leave your business card when you are done showing a listing. It allows the sellers, who had to leave in order for you to conduct your showing, to know you were there and not have to guess or call their agent to see if it even showed.
5. Call the agent or the showing company if you are going to be late or your buyers have decided not to view the property.
What do we do when we have been called that our listing will be showing? We call the seller. They get everything ready, hopefully, and stage it just right. Sometimes they have to load the kids, the dogs, put cookies in the oven to make the home smell inviting, vacuum real quick, turn the lights on in every room and get in the car with everyone in less than 30 minutes. When they come home, there is no card, the lights are still on and they call their agent, who turns around and calls the showing agent, only to be told, “Oh, they decided not to view it. I’m sorry.” Well, that is very inconsiderate. You wouldn’t want someone to do that to you, would you? It’s all about doing unto others what you would want done to you.
6. If you are at the curb of the house and your buyers look at it and say, “Nope. I don’t like it.” Please get out of the car, go to the front door with your card and speak with the seller. Let them know that your clients have decided to view another home but that you might have some buyers who might be interested in their home and would they mind if you view it really quick. Yes, you are leaving your buyers in the car but don’t pass up the opportunity to show your buyers that you respect the home owners and what they did to prepare for them to view it. This can be a topic of discussion before you start your search, so that your buyers aren’t left wondering what you are doing. It’s all about communicating up-front.
7. If you call an agent to let them know that your buyers are going to be putting in an offer, what do you think that agent will do? They will call their seller and let them know an offer is coming in. How exciting. It’s something they have been waiting for. Then your buyers don’t show up to sign the paperwork or decide they don’t want the home. Please call the listing agent right away and let them know that an offer will not be coming in. I have had this happen to me too many times where the agent doesn’t even call and I wind up calling only to be told, “Oh, I’m sorry. They changed their mind and I forgot to call you.” It causes me to not trust this agent and to be leery next time they call.
8. If anything is wrong with the house, call the agent immediately. You don’t want to assume that the listing agent already knows what is going on. You might be getting a call asking why you left the home in that state or probably worse. The agent needs to know it isn’t you or your clients that caused the mishap.
9. Restroom breaks. Please, not in the master bathroom. If you are going to be out with your clients more than 2 hours, plan on rest breaks. Stop at a gas station or fast food. Get a coffee, allow your buyers to be able to use the restroom. Think about it. The master bath is something private to the homeowner. You wouldn’t want someone you didn’t know going into your bathroom and doing who knows what. So be considerate of the home-owners restroom. If you have to use the restroom, use the guest bathroom or powder room.
If you are a REALTOR® and you have some ideas to help better the community and communication between agents, please let us hear from you by commenting below.
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