This, I suppose, will come under the category of group therapy. Inspired by Steve’s post on how he spent his Easter Sunday, I just had to relate a conversation I had with a Realtor last week. I got this call from an agent affiliated with a small independent brokerage who told me that he was going to be listing a home in the vicinity of an active listing we have. He was looking for someone to sit his open houses, he said. Apparently, while he is happy to sit open houses in areas in which he focuses his business (“to make contacts”), this was not one of his market areas. When I told him that we had our hands full with our own listings, he proceeded to ask if I knew any other agents that did a lot of business in this particular community and might be interested.
Now, I don’t even know where to begin with this, but let’s try the obvious. His clients have tens of thousands of licensed agents to chose from in San Diego County. Had they qualified their agent properly, they would have become aware early on that their agent did not, perhaps, have their best interests in mind. As listing agents, one of our duties is to enthusiastically and agressively market our clients’ homes. Yes, this takes a lot of time and money, but we are handsomely rewarded and, more importantly, our clients have a lot at stake. I will be honest, I do not love spending weekends away from my family to hold open houses, but I do it gladly. My children (who refer to themselves as The Real Estate Orphans) understand that this is what our business involves. For an agent to suggest he is unwilling to hold his listing open because there is nothing in it for him just makes me crazy!
A second, somewhat lesser beef I had about his comments was that he obviously did not have any idea what agents are active in this community. Who do you think is going to be more effective in promoting your home and negotiating the best price and terms: The agent who knows the other active Realtors in the area and is able to use this network to your advantage in promoting a sale and negotiating the best possible price and terms for your home, or the agent who doesn’t have a clue?
And while we are on the subject, what about the infamous agents who have a voice mail message saying something like “All calls received after 5:00 PM will be returned the next business day”? Those with more traditional careers can expect more traditional hours; Realtors should not. In my opinion, my clients are trusting me with perhaps one of the most significant and emotional undertakings of their life. I think I can tolerate a little inconvenience to serve their best interests.
My daughter wants me to take her shopping this Sunday for her upcoming 8th grade East Coast trip. I will, however, be holding an Open House.