Paul and Judy Anderson were looking to buy their first home in St. Louis.  They wanted to do it right.  When they started looking for agents, it seemed like everyone they talked to had a brother, cousin, or uncle in real estate.  “How can we possibly choose the best real estate agent for our needs?”  Judy asked.  She was on to something.  If everyone really only uses a family member to buy or sell their home in St. Louis, how could you know that the real estate agent was actually good at their job?  The Andersons decided that they would pick three agents that their friends had recommended.  They would interview these agents from a list of questions they read on the internet.  They reasoned that this interview process would help them figure out who might best assist with the search.  Three real estate agents in St. Louis started on the list, and within a week it was down to one.

First Contact

Judy sent an email to three agents, real estate agent Mike, real estate agent Steve, and real estate agent Larry.  The email asked if the agents had an opening to work and a number of questions.  The email also made each real estate agent aware that the Andersons were looking at other agents.   The Andersons both worked during the day so they left open the possibility of meeting with the real estate agents the next weekend.

The Response

Real estate agent Mike answered the email in a timely fashion.  He said that he would be happy to discuss the questions at any time.  He offered that the questions were reasonable and that he was happy to be on the list of three.

Real estate agent Steve answered the email in a timely fashion.  He also called the Andersons that evening.  The next day, he called again and left a text.  The following day he found where Paul and Judy Anderson lived and went to introduce himself unannounced.  Steve also sent another 4 texts and made 2 other phone calls before the week was over.

Real estate agent Larry didn’t answer the email for 4 days after Judy sent it out.  When the email came back, there were a lot of misspellings and the sentences didn’t seem to make any sense.  Links to Facebook and Larry’s website that appeared at the bottom of the email were broken.

The Front Runner

Before the Andersons ever met any of the three real estate agents in person, the list had shrunk to two.  The Andersons were very put off by real estate agent Steve.  Way too aggressive, his tactics appeared to be to bully his way into the lead.  As a real estate agent myself, I don’t fault Steve so much.  He’s been trained to act like that by his real estate office.  They put tremendous pressure on Steve to get the buyers signed to an agency agreement.  In the office, they have what is called a “close rate”  If Steve’s close rate is lower than any of the other real estate agents in the office, he won’t get any leads and he will end up leaving real estate broke.  This is where other agents go when they can’t sell real estate for a living.

Real estate agent Larry was second on their list.  How can an agent not be bothered to write an email for four days?  If Larry is that busy with real estate in St. Louis, how would he ever be able to help The Andersons find the home of their dreams?  Larry’s email was also troublesome.  Why would you send an email with broken links and common spelling errors to potential clients?  Isn’t buying a new home one of the largest decisions people make?  When writing an offer to purchase a home in St. Louis, will Larry be making errors that will cost The Andersons money they could use to make their house a home?

Real estate agent Mike was in the lead.  He did it by being totally respectful of The Andersons time and acting normal.  Is the bar for real estate agents so low that when an agent acts like a decent human being it immediately moves them to the front of the line?

Two Real Estate Agents Enter

The Andersons decided to meet the two remaining real estate agents for coffee.  Agent Larry would meet with them on a Saturday, Agent Mike would meet with them on Sunday.

Real estate agent Larry was supposed to meet with The Andersons at 1 p.m. on Saturday.  He texted them at 1:25 that he was running late, and finally made it to the coffee shop at 2:15, a full hour and twenty five minutes late!  The Andersons were notified of Larry’s arrival as he flew into the parking lot, honked the horn at a car pulling out, and then gave the driver of the car the number 1 sign before parking.  During coffee, Larry kept looking at other tables and never seemed to focus on The Andersons.  Finally, everything Larry said seemed to have a negative connotation.  The sun was shining; it was a beautiful day.  Larry said that it was too hot.  The Cardinals won the game last night; Larry said that they should have won by more.  When it came to talking about other real estate agents, Larry trashed each of them.  By the time the coffee meeting came to an end, The Andersons just wanted to get away from Larry.

Real estate agent Mike was to meet with the Andersons at 1 p.m. on Sunday.  Mike and The Andersons both pulled up to the coffee shop about 10 minutes before 1.  Mike offered to buy the couple a coffee, and they made small talk.  Mike said that he was happy to meet with The Andersons and that he had been looking forward to getting to know them a little better.  He asked them what their questions and concerns were, and then he explained everything they had questions about, stopping at times to answer any new questions as a result of their original questions.  Mike talked about his love for the city and its people, and how grateful he was to be a real estate agent and get the opportunity to be a part of people’s lives during such an important decision.

Buyer Agent Decision

Guess who The Andersons chose to be their buyer’s agent?  It really isn’t that hard to figure out, is it?  The Andersons chose Mike.  It’s hard to believe, but two of the three agents made errors that easily allowed The Andersons to move on.  If they would have just been professional, they would have had a far better chance of getting the job.

As the founder and managing broker of Deerwood Realty, I know this happens in St. Louis all of the time!   I’ve seen this with real estate agents, and I don’t know why they do it, but it’s one of the main reasons I started Deerwood Realty.  Why wouldn’t you act like a professional when dealing with potential buyers?  Why would you try to harass potential clients at all?  It makes no sense.  To all of my real estate agent friends, be like Mike.  Mike makes our industry a better place.  To all of the potential clients out there looking for a good buyer’s agent, do yourself a favor and look for a Mike.