A Red Face Moment - Lesson Learned

Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Realty

It started out in innocence.  A car full or Realtor friends taking a journey to a First Monday Trades show in another city.  Discussion turned from catch up on children to work issues.  This was just the perfect venue to get opinions so one of the friends tosses out a frustration.  It seems that she is working with a client who all in the car personally know as well.  The client has been so picky about the "perfect home" and some unrealistic expectations.  Comments like the client's current home is no masterpiece was made and you get the essence of frustration talking.  After all having input and sharing the personal moment the topic moved on and that was put to rest. 

Later that day the agent received a phone call from the client who was the source of discussion.  It seems that while the agents were tossing comments back and forth all was heard over her agent's cell phone.  Wouldn't you know it ... the agent had not locked her phone and when in her purse it dialed the client's number which was the last number the agent had called.  Hearing familiar voices and conversation about her and family she hung on to hear ever blessed word.  Not good.  She was livid that her private affairs were being discussed opening and some of the not so flattering comments. 

The red faced agent upon return to the real estate office came sullen face into my office.  I was the manager at the time and she wanted to spill the story before it possibly hit my desk.  It was a good moment to touch on improper conversations and now the opportunity to repair a relationship.  We discussed ways to gain confidence back and take ownership.  This does have a happy ending.  The agent apologized sincerely, took full ownership and did win back the relationship, a closing on the listing and a sale of that special home which they did find.  It is also a lesson on forgiving and moving on.

Moral - keep those cell phones locked!  Refrain from visitation regarding your clients, no matter how close your friends are!  Most importantly, take ownership of when you have done wrong and do the right thing to regain respect. 


Comments (12)

Karen Fiddler, Broker/Owner
Karen Parsons-Fiddler, Broker 949-510-2395 - Mission Viejo, CA
Orange County & Lake Arrowhead, CA (949)510-2395

Oh...sorry! That sounds like a "Want to get away" moment. I'm sure it will all be Ok.

Feb 06, 2009 01:02 AM
Heather the Realtor Orlando, Lake Mary
LemonTree Realty - Orlando, FL
First Time Home Buyers, Bank Owned Homes

ouch that is great that that agent was still able to save face and regain confidence with the seller/buyer. I would be mortified, but the old adage if you dont have something good to say dont say anything at all.

Feb 06, 2009 01:03 AM
Tina Allen
Exit Realty Tri-County - Mount Dora, FL

Omg!  That I bet was awful...thank goodness she was able to save that relationship.  Maybe the eavesdropper (sp) had an "aha" moment to some things she could change about her attitude and the way she was handling herself also.

Feb 06, 2009 01:42 AM
Chad Baird
Re/Max Spirit - Dayton, OH

I did that once when I was in tech support.  I was frustrated, my caller was not listening, we were getting nowhere.  I (for the life of me) thought I had her on hold and went into a rant, I cussed her, her family, called her everyname in the book except her given name.  Then I heard the CLICK! 

I then relized I put her on speaker, not hold.  I did call her back.  I told her she had every right to talk to my boss and likely have me fired or at the very least severly punished.  Luckily she was forgiving and admitted she wanted to say the same about me and my family, but could not.  She was even able to laugh about it once we got her issue solved. 

That redial thing and thinking you have a person on hold or mute (and they are on speaker) happens alot more than people relize (or will admit to).  Its embarassing. 

Feb 06, 2009 02:19 AM

Ouch!  I'm glad it turned out ok.  Thanks for sharing this story!




Logan, Utah

Feb 06, 2009 04:10 AM
Tony and Libby Kelly
Keller Williams Realty Portland Premiere - Lake Oswego, OR

Ownership is the most important part of the many lessons in that story.  Glad it worked out.

Feb 06, 2009 04:17 AM
Larry Riggs
Century 21 Redwood - Frederick, MD
GRI, SRS Your Frederick County Specialist


   My second reading of this. First time I just hit the back button while my mouth was still open. Actually I had a similar situation. I was managing an office and making recruiting calls. I had a headset on for the calls. I left a message for someone I was really interested in. I had a file in front of me with printouts for all my potential recruits. As I finished leaving the message I turned to the next page and saw a printout for someone who had been rather rude and I just hadn't thrown it out. I made a comment about that agent and then realized I was still leaving a message for the one I did want. Hmmm, didn't get either of them. Very embarrassing.

Feb 06, 2009 04:43 AM
Kim Dean
www.GoSimplyTexas.com - McKinney, TX
Simply Texas Real Estate - Broker/Owner

YUCK! I've heard of similar situations where the cell phone wasn't locked. Luckily, I haven't been on the recieving end of one, but it always makes me think. Great lesson to be learned!

Feb 06, 2009 07:58 AM
Karen Otto
Home Star Staging - Plano, TX
Plano Home Staging, Dallas Home Staging, www.homes

Oooh Connie, not good but all ended well. It's a good lesson for us all. This happened to me one night while with a friend who was venting about her dear hubby - he ended up hearing every word - thankfully it was forgivable and he was able to replace the snickers bars he ate that his wife was so upset he'd eaten ;-) a little less offensive than a client hearing how you really feel '-)

Feb 06, 2009 10:37 AM
Lara O'Keefe
North Texas Home Finders - McKinney, TX

Connie, that is so embarrassing! I'm impressed that she was able to apologize and earn back her client's trust. There is a good moral in this story :-)

Feb 07, 2009 04:51 AM
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

What a nightmare!  The whole situation was handled well by the agent, though, and I'm sure she learned a very valuable lesson.  Thanks for sharing with us so we can make a mental note and hopefully learn from this too.

Feb 08, 2009 04:17 AM
Not a real person
San Diego, CA

My very first cell phone had a propensity for dialing numbers when it was in my pocket. After it gave up the ghost, I switched to flip phones for better dialing control.

Glad there was a happy ending.

Feb 13, 2009 08:09 PM