I was talking with a realtor friend the other day and she shared a story that has happened to all of us. She mentioned that one of her past clients and friends told her they bought a house! To say she was surprised is an understatement. She continued to tell me she has remained in contact with these clients over the years since selling them their house, socialized with them and included them in holiday gifts. She was so surprised and disappointed. Sound familiar?
The rest of the story was they saw a home they really liked at an open house and had a conversation with the hosting agent. The clients told the agent they have their own agent and were happy with their agent. The hosting agent didn’t bat an eye and kept “working “ the clients and convinced them to buy through them and their team and receive a better “deal” when listing their house. Well the bottom line is that they did receive a nominal reduction in fees on the sale of their home but certainly not a “deal” and ended up regretting the entire transaction.
The clients felt remorse for not sticking to their guns and using their “tried and true” agent but also felt taken advantage of by the Open House agent and their team. In hindsight, the clients feel badly about not sticking up for their agent, being manipulated by the Open House agent after informing them they had an agent and were happy with them and finally ending the two transactions with a sour taste in their mouth.
What are the takeaways?
Agents: Don’t ever take your clients for granted and expect they will always call you! We all have our core advocate clients that would never think to use anyone else and will always refer you as the expert. Cherish those clients. Other clients, friends and family members often will forget you are in real estate and unless you constantly remind them or bring value to their life, you may get overlooked. It is imperative to keep in contact with your clients and continue to educate and inform them on what’s going on in the market. Also, plant the seed, often, that if they are even remotely thinking of buying or selling to call you first! If you have someone that “mentions” open houses or checking out a couple of houses, it is a great idea to give them a stack of your business cards to present to an open house agent when entering. This will take the pressure off your clients, avoid the hard sell and let the other agent know to back off.
It is so refreshing to get a call from another agent letting me know that my clients have been through their open house and seem to have really liked it. Kudos to the open house agent for respecting the clients, our relationship with our clients and to them for doing the right thing. I love working with agents that operate with that level of integrity.
So remember, stay in contact with your clients, keep them informed about what's going on in the market, remind them you are in real estate and are always just a text or phone call away to answer any questions or help them or any family and friends. There are always going to be agents that will push the envelope for a sale AND there will be clients that will bail for a “better” deal but stay true to your values and continue to be the professional and treat everyone with kindness, respect and integrity.