Your reputation with real estate clients is important, and your reputation with real estate colleagues is just as important.
Like any small business person, you can’t do it all alone. You must depend upon the good will of others in order to build a thriving business.
Think about all the people who help you succeed – and how they can help you NOT succeed if you treat them poorly or make their lives more difficult through sloppy work.
First, think of the agents you work with.
Whether you’re a listing agent or a buyer’s agent, you need cooperation from the other side. In order to ensure that you get it, you need to fully cooperate with them.
To cooperate with real estate colleagues means…
- You return every phone call, email, and text as soon as possible. (Within reason – not necessarily at midnight.)
- You cooperate with showings.
- You enter your MLS data correctly and completely.
- If you’re the buyer’s agent – you READ the agent remarks before calling to ask more questions.
- You show up on time for appointments – or call ahead if unavoidably delayed.
- You’re careful to leave homes the way you found them with regard to lights, door locks, etc.
- If you write an offer, you fill in ALL the blanks and get signatures/initials in the right places.
- Ditto for writing a counter-offer.
- You present offers and counter-offers promptly.
- You are polite and reasonable even if the other agent is not.
- You respect other agents’ time.
- You protect your own clients and their confidences.
- You honor the other agent’s relationship with their clients.
- You always pay referral fees due to other agents – promptly.
What happens to agents who don’t do those things?
Their real estate colleagues will do their best to avoid dealing with them.
Buyer agents who are searching for homes to show will put their listings at the bottom of the list. That means they’ll be shown only as a last resort. In fact, buyer agents may not consider showing one of their listings at all unless the buyer has specifically asked to see it.
Listing agents with multiple offers will put their offer at the bottom of the stack and encourage their sellers to look more closely at the others. If there are unfilled blanks on the form, the listing agent may send it back for completion before presenting it to the seller.
On top of that, when an agent makes life difficult for another agent, that other agent will talk about it. They might be careful not to mention it to clients, but they will tell other real estate colleagues who are their friends. Word will get around.
Clients will also talk, even if you don’t mention your real estate colleague’s name.
Of course, there are times when clients will also find out the name of an uncooperative real estate colleague.
For instance: When you’ve been trying unsuccessfully to show a specific home and have to keep telling the buyer that you can’t get a response from the listing agent. Even if you don’t mention names, the client can look on the computer to see who is being such a jerk.
The same would be true if you submit an offer and can’t get a response.
QUOTES OF THE WEEK
“The keystone of successful business is cooperation. Friction retards progress.”
James Cash Penney
“It is literally true that you can succeed best and quickest by helping others to succeed.”
Then there are your other real estate colleagues…
Think of all the people who help get your transactions from listing to offer and/or offer to closing. These are all valuable real estate colleagues.
- A home stager
- Your real estate photographer
- A real estate copywriter, if you get assistance with property descriptions
- Your assistant or virtual assistant
- A transaction coordinator
- The lender
- A home inspector
- An appraiser
- Title company personnel
- The closer
- Perhaps an attorney
- A broker or fellow agent who steps in when you’re on vacation or otherwise unavailable
Did I miss anyone? I know it’s a long list.
Every one of these real estate colleagues is in a position to help you or hurt you.
Like you, they can be cooperative, answer calls promptly, keep appointments on time, and do their work with care and efficiency. Some of them can and will go out of their way to do just a little extra for you.
They can also put you on a back burner, be slow in getting back to you, show up late for appointments, and make less than a best effort to help. And they will if you haven’t shown appreciation for their efforts. In the case of colleagues such as your photographer, copywriter, virtual assistant, etc., appreciation must also be in the form of prompt payment.
Your real estate colleagues can send you referrals – or not.
Some of the people you deal with won’t send you referrals because they work with too many agents and don’t want to play favorites. Others will at least recommend you to friends and family – and possibly to clients.
However, if you’ve treated them with less than due respect, they can shake their heads “No” when someone mentions your name.
One more thing… Remember to formally thank your real estate colleagues
Can you think of anything more welcome, especially after a difficult transaction, than for someone to say “Thank you” and genuinely mean it?
A short hand-written thank you note is one of the most valuable gifts you can give. Send one to the other agent and to any or all of the other people who helped bring your transaction to a successful closing. It will make you feel good and it will make your real estate colleagues feel good. It will also cause them to remember you as someone they want to work with again.
“Kind words can be short and easy to speak,
but their echoes are truly endless.”
“Appreciation can make a day, even change a life.
Your willingness to put it all into words is all that is necessary.”
Remember also to “Hold your tongue” when things don’t go well…
If you’ve been in real estate for any time at all, you’ve run into other agents who make you want to scream, throw things, or get on the phone and tell them off. And they’re not the only ones. In fact, over time you’ll probably run into “stinkers” in every category of helpers listed above.
While you can and should register your displeasure, do stay calm, reasonable, and polite. Don’t yell. Don’t call them the names you’re thinking. You may learn that there was a personal problem that put them off track. Or – you may learn that you don’t want to deal with them again. Either way, when you take the high road, you win.
If you’re still fuming and sputtering… Tell your mom or dad. Tell your significant other. Tell one of your children. Don’t tell your clients or any of your real estate colleagues. If you do, your words will somehow come back to bite you.
Real estate colleagues Image courtesy of photostock at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Photographer Image courtesy of tawatchai at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
REal estate colleagues gossiping Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net