Aggravating mistakes end up costing you clients, time and money, with the largest expense being to your reputation. Find out what not to do — and how to keep your clients happy.

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This post was updated Aug. 1, 2023.

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To be successful in real estate, you must have trust and mutual respect to have a durable relationship with your clients. A lot of real estate is word of mouth, and keeping your clients satisfied will make your job more enjoyable. Plus, it opens the door for sending more referrals, helping you build your business along the way.

Aggravating mistakes end up costing you clients, time and money — with the largest expense being your reputation.

No matter your experience in real estate, there are many pet peeves to avoid with clients off the bat to ensure a long-lasting relationship and distinguish yourself from other agents in the game.

Steer clear of these five mistakes to avoid irritating your clients and hurting your business in the long run.

1. Being tardy

Nothing is more frustrating than having to wait around for someone when you made sure to be on time. Avoiding being tardy is crucial to maintaining your reputation as an agent. We all are busy in our day-to-day lives, but making sure you are being respectful of everyone’s time will keep your clients happy.

2. High-pressure sales tactics

Your clients rely on your expertise and negotiation skills, but you should never put pressure on a client to make a decision about buying or selling a home if they are not comfortable or ready. No matter what your opinion is, you are providing customer service for your clients, and you need to support their comfort level when they are making one of the biggest decisions of their lives.

If a client is not comfortable with a certain price point, time frame or any other factor, it’s your job to have your client’s back and not rush into making a decision for your own benefit.

3. Not responding promptly to communication

Buying or selling a home is an emotional and stressful time for a client. Texts and emails should always be responded to during business hours, and typically within two hours of receiving a message. No matter how busy you are, make sure your clients feel supported and know that you are reachable — it’s essential to having a strong relationship.

If you are unable to take a call from a client at the moment, make sure to send them a text or email to let them know you will call them back when you can rather than just not responding for a few hours.

Make sure to also always give your clients updates in a timely manner regarding any movement in the home buying or selling process.

4. Sloppy attire or presentation

In real estate, like any other business, our image is projected through our appearance. For new clients especially, first impressions really do matter.

Our clients trust us to represent them, and that means we should act professionally and look put together every day. Our appearance reflects our reputation, and we always want to ensure we are delivering ourselves in a way that aligns with what we are trying to sell.

5. Showing up unannounced

Clients all have busy lives, and nothing is more infuriating than a short-notice showing. Clients typically need time to make sure the house is tidy and that all pets and children are out of the home for a showing.

Showing up unannounced or asking for a showing on a quick turnaround adds even more stress to your clients during an already hectic time. A good rule of thumb is to give clients at least a day’s notice before bringing prospective buyers to the house.

Real estate is a people business, and agents are the glue that holds the transaction together. Regardless of what is going on in our daily lives, it’s important that we remain reliable and supportive of our clients who trust us. It’s essential to make sure our clients have the best experience possible and create a long-lasting impression that will differentiate us from competitors.

Santiago Arana is a managing partner at The Agency in Los Angeles. Connect with him on Instagram.

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