In this monthly column, a member of Miami’s Master Brokers Forum will examine and positively resolve potential differences which may arise between real estate professionals in the field.
This month’s edition is written by Master Broker Christopher Zoller from EWM Realty International. Christopher is also the 2017 Chairman of the Board for the 42,000 member MIAMI Association for Realtors.
The situation: A veteran Miami real estate agent with decades of experience needs to close a deal with a rookie agent representing the other side.
Working in this industry for many years, servicing most of the top communities and condominiums over that time, you tend to work with the same fellow agents over and over again.
This is a wonderful phenomenon, as familiarity in real estate usually breeds shorter listing windows, friendlier negotiations and smoother transactions. So much of the process is mutually understood that you often develop a “shorthand” with your longtime colleagues.
With so much fluidity in those transactions, it can be particularly jarring to find yourself working a sale with a very inexperienced or rookie agent on the other side. Suddenly, you may have to repeat, correct or explain things that literally used to “go without saying.”
While it can be somewhat challenging, I have had many “experienced agent/inexperienced agent” transactions over my career, and have learned the following lessons can be helpful.
Dealing with rookies come with the territory
Don’t like working with new agents? Too bad. Get over it!
This business requires flexibility and creativity, and the ability to work with a wide variety of people. Put your ego in check and focus on getting the deal done for your client.
You may be tempted to take over and just do the whole transaction yourself, but in reality you are doing the client and our business a disservice. I have to remind myself what I was like 30-plus years ago, and the mistakes I made that needed to be corrected by someone else are painful (and sometimes costly) lessons for me.
Gently advise the less experienced agent
Less experienced agents naturally lack a little confidence. They will usually respond in one of two ways – either by looking for you to take the lead, or by overcompensating and trying to dominate the action.
In both cases, I’ve found that the other agent will respond well when you simply remain calm and professional no matter what happens. Eventually, they will come to trust your judgment – and even learn a lesson or two, if they’re smart.
Be generous, this can be a learning experience for both of you.
Don’t assume that younger agents are less experienced
Here in Miami, we have many agents who entered the profession at very young ages and have already been through some dramatic market cycles in their early 20’s.
It can be easy to judge someone’s level of experience by their appearance. Big mistake!
If you are dealing with a new agent, take a moment to review their bio, website or LinkedIn profile, or see if anyone else has worked with them.
Many associations now have YPN Councils (Young Professional Network) whose members are, in fact, the next generation of the industry. They are our future leaders and believe me, they can teach an old dog some new tricks.
Remember that you were once the newbie
This is the best advice of all.
We all started from somewhere in this business, and can all trade some “war stories” of being treated roughly by more-experienced agents in those early years.
Take the approach of being a good teacher to the new agent, and you may find yourself rewarded with a much smoother experience – the next time you work with them.
Remain professional, patient, and kind when dealing with new agents and you will be rewarded. Eventually, you will probably find yourself in another transaction with that former rookie and it will go a lot smoother for both of you. You will make a friend, perhaps even a colleague, and have a successful closing.
The Master Brokers Forum is a home-grown, elite network of South Florida’s top-producing real estate professionals, built on a core foundation of ethical and professional behavior.