This is an article that I have had in mind for quite some time now and a few incidents in the recent past have pushed me to finally write it. First of all I must say that I admire and respect what real estate agents do. After all I am one of you guys! I understand that MOST of us strive to help our clients, serve people, and make a good living while doing it. At the same time I would like to highlight some issues that to me are troubling.
Every week I get from 5–30 emails, calls, or messages from folks who have an agent already and in many instances are under contract. They call with questions, in many cases basic questions about their loans, their process, and the next step. Obviously when we get a call like this we have to be careful of what advice we give and we want to be respectful of their current agent. So most of the time we answer the basic questions but always advise them to speak to their agent for a more in depth answer. Here is where the problem lies.
We often learn that these folks are using their friend as an agent, or the agent that helped their parents, or worse yet their aunt. They either do not feel comfortable enough to ask questions or when they do they feel they do not get either a competent or an honest answer. Now I would never be as arrogant as to believe that this only happens to me and my team, nor do I believe that I have all of the answers. However, I believe that we do have most of the answers and a lot of these questions reflect a lack of knowledge or worse yet a lack of care by the agents.
What is a preliminary loan disclosure? Is my earnest money a part of my down payment? What is my interest rate? Why is my monthly payment so high? I did an inspection but I never got the report, what should I do? These are the kinds of questions we get on a regular basis. So my question to my agent friends is simple. Really???? Your client doesn’t know what an LE is? You didn’t tell them that their EM is a part of their DP? You have no idea what that last sentence means? Really???
We need to step up as agents and do a better job at taking care of our clients. Especially with these very basic pieces of information that your client HAS to know! Ask yourself why your client is messaging other agents on FB asking basic questions about their process? What does that say about you? Quite frankly it says you’re doing a (poop emoji) job! So there are just two quick suggestions that i’d like to give my fellow agent friends. Once again not wanting to be the agent guru, just lending a helping hand. Because as much as i’d like to keep educating some of your clients, it’s your job and you’re getting a check. Most likely a fat one so step up!
- If You Don’t Know, Ask- If there is something about the process that you honestly do not understand ask your broker. If your broker doesn’t know or doesn’t care to train you then find another broker. We have found that most agents do not under educate / under inform their clients out of malice. Most of the time it’s simply from a lack of training and a lack of asking the proper questions. You are the bridge between the loan officer, the title company, the inspectors and your buyer. You are the one who has the most contact with them and who should know them the best and educate them the most. There is more to being an agent then smiling at people, passing out business cards, buying leads and pressing the share button on a FB listing
- Don’t Be An (Donkey Emoji)!- There are rare cases where agents simply do not care! I can’t tell you how many times i’ve sent a text to an agent just to let them know that their client needs some help and has questions only to get a response that says, “Why are you talking to my client? I am going to report you to the Board!” Again, don’t be an (donkey emoji). If you are a smart agent then you know that if you have an agency contract with your client I couldn’t “steal” them even if I wanted to. They’d have to fire you, and if I instructed them to fire you so that they can hire me then I would actually go down to the board with you and turn myself in. Stop with the insecurity and do your job! Help people! Don’t just lease a fancy car, get a nice watch and call yourself an entrepreneur. Make a difference, be humble, and do something other than cash checks.
As agents we should be focused on serving our communities. Helping people navigate the buying or selling process especially in this (poop emoji) market. I know that 99%, wait that’s not accurate, 93% of agents are great people! So to the other 7%, you will lose.