Perhaps moreso than other professions, there’s an etiquette that responsible real estate agents should follow to guide day-to-day interactions. And we’re not talking about the overwrought decorum of politics (thank god). This is an efficiency and courtesy in communication that makes the hectic world of paperwork and appointments easier to navigate and, in the end, saves everyone time and makes everyone money.
But we all know them – those fellow agents who just don’t get it. It’s not necessarily that they’re bad people, it’s just that dealing with them can become unpleasant, they simply annoy the heck out of us or – the cardinal sin – make our jobs more difficult. And if you don’t KNOW an agent who makes your job more difficult, you might take a look at your own habits – it could be you.
To help, we collected a few etiquette tips from the experts who make a living just like you. Because you’re smart, we’ll forego the appearance conversation – you know how to dress, right? You should also know the ins and out of being polite to homeowners when you’re conducting a showing or open house.
But there are other areas of the business where etiquette may not cross your mind.
Watch Your Talk
A little happy hour venting is fine, to a degree. We all do it. But when everyday grousing becomes trash-talk, it’s time to take a step back. Word gets around – especially in a business with as much talking as ours – and you never know when a snarky comment about that escrow professional will come back to bite you. At best it’ll embarrass you; at worst it could cost you a closing.
And, obviously, this applies to clients as well. Even vague social media comments can set off alarm bells in clients and potential clients. ( via Inman)
This doesn’t mean be a pest, it means follow-up when you’ve completed a task for a client – just a quick “your listing is updated!” text or e-mail will suffice. It exhibits follow-through and dedication, especially if you’re quick about it. With fellow agents, give them a heads-up when you’re sending them materials via e-mail or fax (if you still fax)? No one wants to lose out on a purchase because their offer went to a spam folder.
Better yet, eschew e-mail and texting for phone calls, especially when money is the topic of conversation (which it usually is). ( via Inman)
Realtor Magazine gets a little more technical with its advice, citing the Realtor’s Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice for a couple of all-too-plausible situations (the article is old but the scenarios are timeless). For example, running into old friends at an open house, who are in the market but haven’t hired an agent, and showing them a different property can probably be chalked up to serendipity, not poaching. On the other hand, don’t get irate because you didn’t respond to an offer in a timely manner and had it withdrawn, is not necessarily the other agent’s fault. ( via Realtormag.com)
Help new agents
No one wants to groom their own competition, but seriously… don’t be a jerk. There are a lot of things to learn about becoming and agent, and those with seniority and established reputations can easily come across as elitist if they don’t help those just learning the ropes. This doesn’t mean you have to give someone business or do their work for them – just a monthly lunch or happy hour to answer questions and share expertise can go a long, long way… for you and for them. ( via Inman)