I hate it when I break my own rules… Do as I say, not as I do

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Respect Realty LLC 200311024

Do as I say, not as I do… Remember when your mom used to say that to you? I do, and now I have to say that to a mentoree, as I’ve been caught doing something I told her never to do.

One thing I tell my mentorees never to do is to go out and show a buyer a home unless you have the pre-approval letter in hand and never show the buyer a home unless you have a signed buyer’s agency agreement in hand. These two things are very simple rules, but last weekend I broke those rules and I was caught red handed doing it.

I was out and about shopping for my sisters’ birthdays and I got a call from a buyer. I’ve never met this buyer. I didn’t know them at all. They said they were interested in a home that is now a short sale, but I was originally part of the sales team that sold the project two years ago.

They asked me if I could show it to them tonight since they knew it was vacant and I said “YES”. Yes? What was I thinking? I even thought that as I said it, but it was too late to take it back. Now, here I was breaking my first rule, showing this home to a person that I hadn’t met with prior at my office and didn’t even know their last name.

Then I went and did it again, broke rule number two. I didn’t find out if they were pre-approved or not. So, there I was… meeting a buyer at 6:30 on a Thursday night, at a vacant condo, with no idea who they are, or if they are even pre-approved. What was I thinking?

At least I remembered to ask if they were working with another agent or not. Boy, I guess this is why I shouldn’t answer the phone unless I have my scripts in front of me so I can remember to ask all the questions that I need to ask prior to showing them a single home.

Sorry, to my mentoree that caught me when she saw me at the store afterward. Just remember do as I say, not as I do.


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i hate it when i break my own rules
do as i say
not as i do

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Robert May
Robert W May - Lethbridge Real Estate - Lethbridge, AB
Real estate consulting

I have some basic rules just like that which I strive to follow, however there are times when I just feel like working and will often skip the rules just to make busy.  Rules are good, but there are times when exceptions can turn out favorably.  Who knows, maybe that buyer will come back and buy it and surprize you.

Mar 15, 2009 06:14 PM #1
Kate Bourland
Marketing with Kate - Redding, CA
Onlilne Marketing Mobile Marketing

Well, do tell.  Were they pre-approved?  Sometimes rules are meant to be broken.

Mar 15, 2009 06:24 PM #2
Steve Shatsky
Dallas, TX

Hi Todd... Nothing frustrates me more than when my own actions are inconsistent with my words or rules.  Nobody is tougher on me than I am on myself!  Cut yourself a little slack, learn from it and don't make the same mistake twice.  :) 

Mar 15, 2009 06:32 PM #3
Respect Realty LLC
Respect Realty LLC - Milwaukie, OR
Brokers - Oregon / SW Washington Real Estate

Robert - I'm not big on breaking my own rules... Come on, that is why I have them in place.

Kate - OF COURSE NOT! Don't be silly

Steve - It wouldn't have been so bad if I hadn't got caught. (LOL)

Mar 15, 2009 09:49 PM #4
Barb Szabo, CRS
RE/MAX Trinity Brecksville Ohio - Cleveland, OH
E-pro Realtor, Cleveland Ohio Homes

Todd, Don't be too hard on yourself. It happens to all of us. I know you said they were not pre approved but can you work with them?

Mar 15, 2009 10:21 PM #5
Chip Jefferson
Gibbs Realty and Auction Company - Columbia, SC

Getting caught always makes it worse. I have done this as we all have.Sometimes you just gotta go for it and sometimes its worth it.

Mar 15, 2009 10:26 PM #6
Susan Mangigian
RE/MAX Preferred, West Chester, PA, RS152252A - West Chester, PA
Chester & Delaware County Homes, Delaware and Ches

Todd, The not asking about the pre-approval was maybe a time waster. But meeting a stranger at a vacant house should be a no-no for anyone these days.  We all have families and people who loves us and this kind of risky stuff should be top on the list of no-no's.  Too scary these days.  Be careful out there.  Now, I can admit to doing this without thinking at times too!

Mar 15, 2009 11:10 PM #7
Clark Cook
1st Choice Realty of Fayetteville, LLC - Fayetteville, NC
Marketing Homes For Sale In Fayetteville NC Area

Todd, I think anyone who's been in the business a few years has done this. That's not to say that the rules should be taken lightly, however sometimes our gut reaction rules the day. I for one, have lost out many times because I didn't go with my instinct. Hope it pays off for you.

Mar 15, 2009 11:28 PM #8
Tere Rottink
CoastalVa Realty Inc - Virginia Beach, VA

I recently met a buyer at a property for the first time.  She turned out to be the real thing, but when I got there, I thought the same thing.  What was I thinking.  More than the money, I was thinking about my safety.  Won't do it again. 

We all forget things.  Don't be so hard on your self.

Mar 16, 2009 12:25 AM #9
Gail Szeluga & JoAnna Siminerio
Weichert Realtors - Manalapan - Marlboro - Manalapan, NJ
Fostering Community Spirit Through Real Estate

The busier I've been the better my business.  Why?

Because I don't break the rules as often!

With a full schedule, I don't have time to take people out with out the preapproval and buyer agency agreement.  If they give me any resistance to either, I politely turn them away.

Sure, there may be 1 that gets away in there, but overall the quality and commitment of the people I am working with far outweighs the risk of what I am losing.

Good post!

Mar 16, 2009 12:39 AM #10
Deb Brooks
Brooks Prime Properties Wichita Falls Texas - Wichita Falls, TX

Todd, We've all caught ourselves in this mess once in a while. I use to run myself ragged. Not anymore! What were you thinking??? Hungry?  LOL

Later in the rain~Deb

Mar 16, 2009 01:25 AM #11
_ _

Todd - Tsk, Tsk hehe.  Hopefully that buyer works out for you anyway.  And I wanted to congradulate you on breaking the 600k barrier.  I'm not sure when you did it, but it's a big milestone and I figured I'd go ahead and pat you on the back!

Mar 16, 2009 01:31 AM #12
Marvin de la Vega
Realty Source Inc - Chula Vista, CA

Hey, we're all human right? I've done it and learned from my mistakes. It's good to be reminded, however. Thanks for being honest, I'm sure your clients appreciate it.

Have a great week!


Mar 16, 2009 01:35 AM #13
Don Rogers
Keller Williams Realty Chesterfield - O'Fallon, MO
Realtor, Broker, CDPE, GRI, OnullFallon MO & St Charles County MO homes

OK daddy, remember that our kids learn from watching what we do.  Shame, Shame, Shame!!

Mar 16, 2009 02:02 AM #14
Respect Realty LLC
Respect Realty LLC - Milwaukie, OR
Brokers - Oregon / SW Washington Real Estate

Barb - I'm certainly going to try. I've given them the number to three of my best mortgage brokers and have my fingers crossed.

Laura - Sometimes getting caught with your hand in the cookie jar isn't a bad thing as long as you come out with a hand full of cookies... NO COOKIE TODAY!

Susan - Family was in the car, so was a little less worried about that one. Plenty of witnesses.

Clark - The problem is I'm the one who teaches this stuff, then I broke the rules and got caught.

Mar 16, 2009 04:54 AM #15
Respect Realty LLC
Respect Realty LLC - Milwaukie, OR
Brokers - Oregon / SW Washington Real Estate

Tere - Thanks, I just wasn't thinking because I was so close to the house.

JoAnna - I haven't broken that rule in nearly 4 years, I don't know what made me do it this time.

Marvin - I had to be, I wasn't going to lie to my mentoree right to their face.

Don - SHHHH... They haven't figured it out yet that I'm not perfect.

Mar 16, 2009 10:21 AM #16
Chris Olsen
Olsen Ziegler Realty - Cleveland, OH
Broker Owner Cleveland Ohio Real Estate

Hi Todd -- I'm guilty as well, but the lucky thing is, I don't have mentors! :-)  If I did, I might self-police myself better.  I always try to do the right thing, but it's easy to not pay attention to details and consistency at the wrong moment.

Mar 17, 2009 01:20 AM #17
Respect Realty LLC
Respect Realty LLC - Milwaukie, OR
Brokers - Oregon / SW Washington Real Estate

Chris - I am the mentor that is the problem... They are looking up to me and here I am breaking my own rules... I had my meeting today and they all had a good laugh at my expense... I bought them lunch as a way to show them that even I'm human!

Mar 17, 2009 06:35 PM #18
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