Every week, we ask a real estate professional for their Short List, a collection of tips and recommendations on an essential topic in real estate. This week, we talked with Amber Rogers, a Realtor with Virtual Properties Realty, about how to play nice to win in real estate.
Feel like your colleagues just aren’t all that nice? You won’t be the first to feel that way. Its not just you; it’s all of us. I am guilty of being the not-so-nice girl myself. I have had to catch myself several times almost snapping a colleague’s head off who crossed me at the wrong time. Likewise, I have been the mutual recipient of such snappy harsh communications and at times downright rude treatment from my fellow professionals.
Ultimately, as Realtors, we are held to a Code of Ethics that is based upon the Golden Rule. So why, then, do so many real estate agents do the opposite? If you are left feeling frustrated and powerless, wondering what on earth you can do to elicit the cooperation of a fellow real estate agent or “co-op” agent, you are not alone. Take a deep breath, a step back, and put it into perspective.
Here are my play-nice tips for when you’re working with other agents to ensure the relationship doesn’t degenerate irretrievably in the heat of a high stress deal:
5. Pick up the Phone – I understand texting to see if a property is available, and that is not what I am referring to. I am referring to picking up the phone and calling to discuss offers or give feedback afterwards. We have all been victims of prospects blowing us off. So why then do we, as agents, do the same to each other? I can’t tell you how many times I have called agents to get information on a listing of theirs in hopes of then turning around to submit an impressive (often full price) offer for my client, but the agent neglects to ever call me back – or when they do, they’re rude and act like I have inconvenienced them.
Let’s all try a little harder to be more considerate of one another’s time. If you are already working with another agent on a deal (in hopes of both parties getting to their end goal of closing), perhaps you can set the right expectations up front by asking that they call you if “xyz happens,” or “if they forsee a problem xyz” that may throw off the entire deal. With a plan agreed upon in advance, there are clear expectations, and if those are not met, you can refer that coop agent back to your original conversation and or agreement with you.
4. Keep Your Communication Positive – If other agents you interact with are continuously left feeling neged out, or hang up the phone thinking “I never want to talk to that agent ever again”, that creates a reputation for you. Do not be an agent who treats younger colleagues or less tenured condescendingly. There is no greater pet peeve of mine. Other agents will be reluctatnt to pick up your call and answer your emails if this is the case. If however, your tone is encouraging, friendly and supportive, they will look forward to speaking to you, and they will be only too happy to help you, even if there is no immediate client of theirs in place on your listing, for example, or they don’t have any feedback, for ex. Communication between yourself and your peers becomes all the more important when your client’s needs are at stake.
3. Support One Another – If you see that another agent has a caravan or an open house in your farm, stop in. Take the time to really get to know people, and your relationships will grow tenfold. Therefore, the next time you have a caravan or open house, or maybe a tricky listing that doesn’t seem to want to sell, you’ll be amazed at the support you will receive. Your listings will be at the forefront of your peers’ mind when they next receive a suitable enquiry. There is plenty enough business to go around.
2. Ask for Advice – Plenty of agents seem to do this, especially via auto emails sent after their listing was visited. But then they either don’t listen to any suggestions, or worse, they argue with it. If you genuinely listen and show that you value any input received, that might improve the level of interest the other agent then takes in you and or your own listings or your buyer’s offer on their listing, for example.
You will find that people tend to care more if you show that you care first. Its a win win to be respondent and to ask others their take on situations. I have a wealth of information at my fingertips daily thanks to having asked candidly for other more tenured agents to provide advice to me on various topics. And these agents range in age, stature, specialties/niche areas of expertise, differing tenures in real estate, and all come from various walks of life.
1. Share Your Plans – If the other agent knows upfront how important it is that your buyer be moved in by Oct 1st, perhaps to be closer to their ill relative, they will be able to genuinely identify with your client’s need. By taking them into your confidence, you are showing that you trust them, and the resulting enhanced relationship will allow them to do the best possible job of helping you get your buyer the home of their dreams (their listing, for ex).