Active Rain July 30, 2010

Buying or Selling A Home? Develop Good Agent-like Habits

One of the things we as licensees often take for granted is that people are like us when it comes to emails, voicemails, texts and cell phones. They aren’t. Most people, at the end of the day, don’t take work home. We are on call 24/7/365. Clients aren’t agents and don’t live in our world. However, if you are buying or selling a home, it would be wise to nudge over a smidge and take a few pages from our book for your own benefit

A house available right now may be gone tomorrow. A counter offer may be withdrawn if they don’t hear from you by 5pm. Anything can happen anytime, which is why agents live with a blue tooth in their ear and are always checking email on their phone. If we miss a call, counter offer or email, it could sink a deal. The same goes for clients, whom we are beholden to. If the client is on the same page with the agent, more can get done better.  

Here are a few things clients can do that agents should do when buying or selling a house to maximise opportunities in this industry where anything can happen anytime:

  • Check your email 3 times per day or more. I’ve gotten calls from clients asking where a lease or addendum is they needed 2 days prior when it was in their inbox for 2 days. They just never checked their email. You have hundreds of thousands of dollars on the line. You need to be on top of the information. 
  • Identify yourself on your voice mail greeting. I get between 30-50 phone calls a day. If I call you to update you on negotiations and get one of those impersonal “You have reached 914-555-1212” you force me to do forensics.  I may have to take time from other clients to make sure I don’t leave sensitive details on the wrong voice mail.
  • Unblock your phone number. Blocked numbers are the phone version of darkly tinted windows in driving. It helps no one, and gives the caller/driver anonymity. Caller ID can tell me if I need to put someone on hold and take a call, or ignore a telemarketer. 
  • Clear your voice mail often. It is all about communication and being on top of updates. What f I never got your message because I didn’t clear my voice mail? 
  • If you don’t own or have access to a fax machine, find a Kinko’s near you. When I started in real estate in 1996, faxes worked with long rolls of paper and were considered high tech. Now we scan and email documents. It shouldn’t be difficult to get a signature back from you for an addendum, price change or other time sensitive matter imperative to your file. 
  • Check your text messages. Same principle as email and voicemail. 

It is culture shock when you are in the real estate market when compared to regular life. I have often had clients ask me “how I do it,” because they are exhausted with their own deal, let alone 40-plus listings. You get used to it. The fact is that agents are held to a high standard of follow up, responsiveness and being on top of updates, but we need our clients’ right there with us to leverage such a frantic pace. It is all worth it in the end. Be like your agent in the communication department (translation: adhere to the same standards you have for me) and you’ll be in a better position to make a deal work.