Society Looks At Real Estate Agents Similarly To Used Car Salesmen

At first, I chose to refrain myself from writing this post. I felt that my message could potentially be misconstrued. However, I then realized, since when do I feel the need to filter myself due to the perception of others. So here it goes…

Society typically looks at many real estate agents similarly to the way they view the stereotypical used car salesman

We have a reputation that we are here to make money and that we do not necessarily care about anything or anyone else other than our commissions. That we are a dime a dozen. That we do do not bring real value to the client. That we do nothing other than show properties then ultimately collect a commission check at the closing. Unfortunately, there are way too many agents who do care more about themselves than they do about others. Hence the reason, our industry has been labeled in the manner expressed above.

However, on the flip side, there are so many extraordinary real estate agents. These same agents work extremely hard for their clients and help provide a better reputation for our industry as a whole. They are knowledgeable and honorable. They are dedicated to educating sellers and buyers, while guiding them through what may be one of life’s largest financial transactions. A major contributor to my success is an extremely simple one, it’s called the Golden Rule.

The Golden Rule; do to others what you want them to do to you…

I always try my best to put the needs of others before my own. The same goes for putting people before money. I am fortunate enough to have learned at a very young age (from my parents) that if I continue to treat people the way I wish to be treated, success will follow. When I entered into the wonderful world of real estate, I made a conscious decision to practice what my parents had always preached to me. That being to put people first and the money will someday follow. This way of doing business has reciprocated financial rewards to myself and to my family.

As an industry, we must work extremely hard to prove the value that we bring to the table. Most importantly, we must work together with our fellow real estate agents to provide one another with the same respect we wish for in return. I would like to take a moment to describe what my day was like today.

The day in the life of a real estate agent…

I had a showing scheduled for this morning at 11:00 AM. This showing was confirmed yesterday with the real estate agent to bring her client to my listing today at 11:00 AM and the owner of the property was going to open the door for them. At 11:47 AM my client texted me asking when the other agent was planning to arrive? Apparently they had yet to show up. In return, I immediately texted the other agent the following message. “######, you had a showing this morning confirmed for 11:00 AM and you are still not at the house, are you going to be there soon? They are waiting for you.” Her response was, “Yes – sorry meant for 12.” Later that day we had another showing scheduled for 3:00 PM to 3:15 PM. At 3:16 PM I received the following text message from yet another agent, “Sorry but need to cancel the showing, Last minute change.”

Later that day, I waited with another agent at one of my listings for almost 30 minutes as his buyer was running late. This agent was extremely apologetic and genuinely felt bad with regards to his clients’ tardiness. I expressed to him not to worry as it’s all part of the job and we need to work “together” as agents to help each other instead of making it even more difficult for one another. That’s when he told me a story about how he made a mistake when scheduling an appointment yesterday. Accidentally, he had scheduled a showing for the wrong day. He called and texted the other agent to apologize and instead of accepting his multiple and sincere apologies the other agent basically scolded him over the phone and told him that he was reporting him to his broker.

The day MUST go on…

Of course, my day had been thrown off quite a bit from this pervious showing. I texted the buyer’s agent for my next showing apologizing that unfortunately, I will be running about 10 minutes behind. This agent was extremely understanding and accommodating. Upon my arrival, I realized I did not have the key to the house with me. Not only was I now 10 minutes late but I had no access to the house. I actually decided to climb through a window in order to help get the other agent’s buyer into see my listing. Yes, we all make mistakes and yes, I climbed through a kitchen window to open the house up for her buyers. 🙂 This extra effort was taken because I wanted to ensure that other agent’s buyers would be able to view my listing today as I had originally promised to them.

Shortly thereafter, I was on my way to my confirmed 5:30 PM showing at one of my other listings when I texted the buyer’s agent that unfortunately, I would be arriving a few minutes late. Knowing earlier that I was running behind schedule, I had my amazing assistant (who was home sick in bed) drive to this property in order to turn on all of the 93 light switches, including 25 crystal chandeliers. Yes, that’s right, 25 crystal chandeliers! At 5:31 PM I received the following text message from the buyer’s agent, “Where are you? Sorry They can’t wait.” I arrived for the showing only 4 minutes late at 5:34 PM.
The agent and her buyers had already decided not to wait for me and left the property before I arrived.

Sometimes it just surprises me that many agents lack the professional courtesy to treat others the way they wish to be treated. How difficult would it have been for those two initial agents to have texted me prior to their scheduled showing to say they were running behind schedule? Instead they chose to make the owner of the property wait for them. This type of behavior is the perfect example as to why we are frowned upon as an industry. Instead of a text message saying, “Sorry they can’t wait,” how difficult would it have been to wait 2 minutes to personally tell me that the house did not work for them and that they decided to leave?

The subtle difference between having professional courtesy towards others versus completely having no respect for other people’s time is simply mind boggling. The way I reacted when the agent sincerely apologized for their buyers tardiness, or the way the other buyer’s agent reacted when I apologized for running 10 minutes behind schedule, or the way I climbed through a window in order to accommodate that very same agent, is simply having a mutual respect for others in our profession.

I truly appreciate anyone who has chosen to read this long winded post in its entirety. I wanted to take this opportunity to hopefully help open up the eyes for some of the newer agents who may wish to learn from my experiences. We must remember that we all real estate agents working together in a difficult industry. We are all able to control the most important part of our business, that being our reputation. Therefore, isn’t it easier to work together versus working against one another? Our lives can be so much easier if we remember the “Golden Rule” and live by it day in, and day out, in our industry and in our every day lives. Make it a great day!

Joshua M. Baris Bergen County Realtor

Welcome to NJLux your premiere resource for New Jersey Luxury Real Estate focusing on NJ Luxury Listings and Bergen County Luxury Homes For Sale. Joshua Baris Founder and Owner of NJLux utilizes cutting edge technologies, strategic on-line marketing techniques, key word optimization and social media platforms to Sell New Jersey Luxury Properties.

These marketing techniques continuously rank Joshua in the Top 1% of Licensed New Jersey Real Estate Agents and he was recently honored in THE THOUSAND – Real Trends & The Wall Street Journal as one of the Top 1000 Real Estate Professionals in the United States.

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