One of the sales techniques I’ve seen used in listing presentations is to ask the clients if they are using a “full time” real estate agent. The logic goes that the full time agent is more dedicated to their work and therefore more professional. As a real estate broker that works with agents all the time, I can tell you that working as a professional has no relationship between an agent who works part time and one that works in real estate as their primary career. As I see it, Realtors have a duty to be professional to their clients AND the other professionals within the industry. Let’s go over some of the basic tenets of professionalism and see how they can work for each group of people.
- A professional communicates clearly. In an age of instant communication, I’ve seen deterioration in communication both with clients and other professionals. I’m of the opinion that this is a serious issue. There’s a famous line that says punctuation is important. “Let’s eat Grandma! And Let’s eat, Grandma! Are very different in their meaning. I can’t tell you how many times I’ll get a text from someone and have no idea what the text is about. This isn’t good communication
- A professional adheres to real estate laws and board rules. As a real estate broker or agent, there are always going to be temptations to skirt the rules. Whenever you catch yourself thinking that it would be ok “just this once”. STOP! The damage done hurts everyone in the field. I’m positive that most rules and laws have been put in place for a reason. If you don’t agree with a rule or law, work to change the law, but don’t disregard them just because you don’t agree.
- A professional respects others’ time. One thing we try to do at Deerwood Realty is respond to showing requests as quickly as possible. I look at it like this; another agent has made the effort to show one of our listings, and the best thing we can do is make it as easy as possible to show the home. Waiting hours and hours for showing confirmations puts that agent in a bad spot with their buyers and does nothing to sell the house.
- A professional conveys their client’s wishes. When speaking with another agent, I will often say, “My buyer/seller would like x”. I say this because the negotiation isn’t about me. I’m not going to live in the house, and I didn’t pay the mortgage on the house. It doesn’t matter what I think. If you can put your clients first, it makes everything else much easier.
- A professional keeps their emotions in check. I’m convinced that real estate agents know exactly how to get under the skin of other agents. If we all know how to do it, why do we do it? To me, it’s too easy…there is no challenge in being a jerk. It’s been my experience that there are times in a sale where you are going to need to get a concession from the other side to make the deal happen. If you’ve been a jerk the whole time, the chances you will get a concession are between slim and none. We all get invested in our clients, but the key is to stay steady and focused on the outcome.
If you’re working with an agent, and they don’t strike you as professional, maybe it’s time to move on? It’s not great to be fired as an agent, but sometimes these are learning experiences. Also, you as the client deserve professionalism. The decisions you and your real estate agent make will have consequences during a sale or purchases.