Professionalism between real estate agents.
You probably hear a lot about the importance of conducting yourself professionally with clients, but professional behavior with other agents is equally important.
It can mean the difference between your listings being shown first or not until all other possibilities are exhausted. It can also mean the difference between your offers being carefully considered or shoved aside.
How does a true professional behave with regard to other real estate agents?
A true real estate professional:
- Answers the phone or returns calls, emails, and texts as quickly as possible.
- Cooperates with showing requests.
- Informs the listing agent immediately if a showing is cancelled.
- Is careful when showing – monitors clients while in the home; makes sure things are left as they were found; locks the doors; etc.
- Fills out his/her paperwork neatly, correctly, and completely.
- Provides all relevant property information to buyer agents.
- Presents all offers and counter-offers in a timely fashion.
- Keeps everyone informed of important information or developments.
- Keeps clients on track to meet deadlines.
- Pitches in to solve problems as they arise.
- Refrains from being snarky – even when the temptation is great.
A true professional extends similar courtesies to the other involved in a transaction.
He or she responds to lenders, title officers, appraisers, inspectors, etc. in a timely fashion, and acts quickly when information or action is needed.
OK – So YOU are a professional – but you’ll still have to work with those who are not.
What can you do?
#1 – be polite, no matter what. Beyond that, your response will depend upon your clients and the situation.
If you represent the seller and the market is hot, you can respond to incomplete or sloppy offers with a simple, polite rejection.
If you represent the seller and theirs is the only offer, you’ll have to tread more softly. When you contact them you can say your seller is interested, but until all the blanks are filled out, they can’t respond. If you can soft-pedal it, you’ll get better response than if you call up and berate them for their sloppy work.
If you’re working with a buyer and can’t get a listing appointment, you have two choices. You can try contacting the agent’s broker to get access, or you can cross the house off your list and move on.
What you must not do is resort to calling the sellers. It’s tempting, but it can land you in hot water. (Check the rules in your state – in some places it might be OK if you can document an inability to reach the agent over a specific period of time.)
If you’re in the middle of a transaction and the agent on the other side is not doing their share of the work, your only real choice is to take up the slack. If an issue requires contact with the other agent’s client, contact their broker or assistant and outline what needs to be done. If they aren’t cooperative, perhaps a lender or a title agent will agree to contact the clients.
My own sad story…
Do be careful. I once had a long-distance closing that had gone beyond the closing date with no sign of the buyer’s paperwork being returned. When their agent wouldn’t answer my calls after a week, I left a voice mail for the buyers, asking if they intended to complete the transaction. (My seller had graciously agreed to wait, even though there was a back-up offer in place.) That unanswered phone call cost me days of filling out forms and sitting in front of the ethics board.
Oh – and in case you wondered, that transaction did close. Darn it. The backup offer was better.
#2 – Refrain from venting in public – or gossiping.
Go home and yell to your family members, but don’t vent your frustrations to anyone else in the real estate industry – including the unprofessional agent.
Don’t go on Facebook and talk about that incompetent jerk. Don’t Tweet about it.
Remember that the high road puts you above the folks on the low road.
QUOTES OF THE WEEK
“Professionalism is knowing how to do it, when to do it, and doing it.”
“Professional is not a label you give to yourself –
it is a description you hope others will apply to you.”
What if that unprofessional agent yells at you over their own poor outcomes?
If that hasn’t happened to you yet, be patient. It will.
It will be your fault if their buyer’s (incomplete) offer was rejected or your fault that you didn’t bring an offer on their seller’s overpriced house. You might be at fault for wanting a showing on Sunday or during the dinner hour. You might be at fault because your buyer lost his or her job two weeks before the scheduled closing. You might be a really horrible person because you called their broker when they wouldn’t respond to you after six days.
And the list goes on…
Deranged people can always think of some reason to blame someone for something, even without a valid reason.
Again, respond politely. Stay calm and refuse to take the bait, even if they call you names.
The best thing to do is to politely say that you’ll be glad to discuss the issue after they’ve calmed down and can speak politely. Then hang up – or walk away, as the case may be.
If they go on Facebook, Twitter, etc. to vent about you – do NOT respond. At all. Not once.
And… Whatever you do, do NOT even consider engaging in an email or text battle. Everything you write can and will be saved, twisted, forwarded to 47 other people, and used against you.
Handshake Image courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
shouting man Image courtesy of imagerymajestic at FreeDigitalPhotos.net