• Does an agent's reputation impact the way you feel about a home?
  • Real estate transactions are influenced by the humans involved -- it can be tough to separate the two.
  • When we invest in peer-to-peer professional relationships, the client experience improves.

How many times has this happened to you as a real estate agent? Your clients call (or text or email) and want to go see the new listing that just popped up in their feed. You open up the MLS, look up the listing — and it is perfect for them — so you go to set the appointment.

You scroll down, notice the listing agent — and you cringe. You know it is going to be unnecessarily difficult.

Reputation matters

Be honest, does the fact that the listing agent is known for being difficult, non-communicative, condescending, combative, lazy, egotistical, dishonest or inept (or equal parts of all of the above) change your behavior? Does it impact how you feel about the house? And most importantly, should it?

Despite the fact that we wish our advice was completely unbiased and based solely on the location, design, sticks and bricks — the fact remains that real estate transactions are highly influenced by the human beings involved. And often times, it is difficult to separate the two.

When you represent your clients and offer them advice, how much of your own personal biases, beliefs and experiences enter into the equation — especially as it relates to the other agent in the transaction? Do you allow our prior negative transactional experience to subconsciously enter into the advice you give?

I’ll wager that it happens more than any agent wants to admit.

Transactions are hard enough

Listen, the average real estate transaction is comprised of buyers who think they are paying too much and sellers who think they sold too cheaply and are paying way too much in commission and getting raked over the coals on repairs.

Toss in an appraiser who didn’t see the other 10 houses that the buyer looked at (but gets to tell everyone what the home is worth) and a annoyed lender who had to cut his or her rate because some shady website promised a 2.1 percent “fixed-rate” mortgage — it’s a wonder that any deal ever gets done.

I am not sure that an agent’s reputation for being either “difficult” or “easy” to work with is quantifiable — thus it is difficult to prove or disprove that any agent’s demeanor impacts values.

But I do know this: given two contracts of equal value and equal terms, agent reputation can easily impact which contract is accepted.

Respect your peers

At the end of the day, it is critical to invest time in our peer-to-peer professional relationships.

We need to show ample respect to not only our peers, but also the systems, rules and regulations that make our jobs possible.

When we do, the client experience improves. And when we consistently leave collateral damage in our wake, we end up hurting both ourselves and our clients.

Rick Jarvis is a co-founder of the One South Realty Group in Richmond, Virginia.

Email Rick Jarvis.


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