Real estate is a business of relationships. Real estate relationships, as in life, can be good and bad.
The majority of homebuyers are satisfied with their homebuying experience; 89 percent would use their agent again or recommend him or her to others. Relationships that sour may be few and far between, but they do happen.
These seven mistakes will send your buyers heading for the hills.
Buyers should expect to hear from their agents regularly throughout the course of their real estate transaction. Slow or near-extinct communication sends a message to your buyers that their transaction is not important to you.
As Cara Ameer writes in “What does a real estate agent do all day anyway?,” being available is a major part of a real estate agent’s job.
There are no official days off in real estate. You might have spans without any scheduled appointments, but there are always inquiries, emails and texts to respond to.
Agents are “on” no matter where they are. In our instant-response society, there really is no waiting until tomorrow.
Advocate for the wrong side
When buyers purchase a home, they put their financial livelihood in the hands of their agent. As that agent, you are expected to negotiate on their behalf and represent their interests throughout the transaction.
As Chris Dietz, global EVP of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World pointed out in an Inman Special report — “Do you have what it takes to be a top buyer’s agent?” — in the end, the buyer is the only one bringing money to the closing table. Their interests, which are innately at odds with those of the seller, matter too.
Many buyers probably appreciate that the U.S. real estate industry provides a space for them in the workforce — because many other countries don’t. Protecting the transaction from conflicts of interest is what buyers expect from their agent. Compromising your buyers’ financial livelihood for the sake of your own paycheck will get you fired — and possibly result in an ethics complaint.
Compromise their trust
Real estate is a business built on trust and relationships. Buyers want to work with an agent they trust. It doesn’t matter if you are a top producer or if you are endorsed by the town celebrity — if you aren’t trustworthy, your reputation is not worth the cost of the postcard boasting your accolades.
Ignore the relationship
As is the case with many business relationships, buyers want to do business with agents they have a connection with.
Not every buyer you come across during your real estate career is going to feel like you are a good fit to handle their business. There is plenty of business to go around. Dust yourself off, and move on.
Inman’s report revealed that the ability to listen is the no. 1 skill most important to a buyer’s agent’s success. As one agent commented in the research:
“Listen and empathize with [clients]. Provide them helpful/beneficial information so they can make confident decisions. Anticipate questions they may have and seek to answer or direct them where they can get good answers. Treat them like you would want to be treated. Don’t ‘sell them” truly care about them and their needs.”
It sounds simple, but every buyer has different motivations and needs when purchasing a home. When buyers don’t feel heard, the agent loses their trust. When you lose your buyers’ trust, you have lost the transaction.
Crumble when obstacles arise
A buyer’s agent needs to be able to solve problems that arise during the transaction. Some buyer transactions are harder than others.
Buying a home is like a puzzle. Every transaction is different, and each comes with its own unique set of pieces.
It’s the agent’s job to put all of the pieces of the puzzle together and solve problems that come along.
Showing up late for appointments, speaking poorly of other parties in the transaction or not being prepared are a few examples of lacking professionalism.
A buyer may see an agent who demonstrates lack of professionalism as inexperienced or unprepared.
With emotions running high, real estate transactions are susceptible to unhappy endings. But avoid these behaviors during your buyer’s transaction and you can have clients singing your praises.
Kellie Tinnin is a training administrator with the Greater Albuquerque Association of Realtors. Follow the GAAR on Twitter or Facebook.