The real estate industry is interesting.
One way it is interesting is that each agent, with each company is actually competing with each other for the same business. If a home-buyer is looking to buy a home and meets three real estate agents from the same office of the same company, they are handled the same way as though they met three agents from three separate companies. Each agent wants that business and is competing for that business.
Realtors and real estate agents are independant contractors, so each have their own business and do things a bit differently than the others.
And although we are competing with each other, we have to cooperate with each other, and even pay each other, to facilitate transactions. So I might meet a young couple at an open house and walk them through the home and feel pretty good about them and think they feel pretty good about me. I might ask them if they would like to meet me tomorrow morning at my office to go over their needs so I can help them find a home and have them agree to meet me. I might then get a call later that evening from an agent in my office saying they have an offer for me on a home I have listed down the street from the one I held open and when I get the contract see that the buyers are the young couple I had met earlier at my open house. Now, not only do I not get the sale, but I now will be paying another agent to represent the buyers that I thought I would be representing. That’s interesting…
So while we, as Realtors, are in the business of competition and cooperation, or co-opetition, the way we do business can have a major impact on our client’s success.
“All things being equal, agents will choose to show or not show homes based on who has it listed.”
There are some agents in my market that I know are unscrupulous. There are agents that I know are liars and will say and do almost anything to get business and I know that working with them means a transaction full of deception and non-disclosed items and problems. There are agents that I know do not care about their clients at all, but instead care only about their own gain.
And there are many agents that I know who are very good people and care very much about their clients and also care about each transaction being a win for everyone. Some agents work very hard and make sure that everything goes smoothly. Dates are met and everything is disclosed and they are always a pleasure to work with.
There are agents who I know usually under-price their listings, so I know that it may be worth showing if for no other reason than because my buyers will probably get a good deal (even if that means their sellers lose money). There are some agents that I know their assistants more than them because that’s who I deal with when I sell one of their homes.
And I also have judgements about some companies because of the experiences I have had with their agents, or because I know they hire so many new people and often have complications in the deals, or because I know the broker is a jerk and can not be reached and if there is a problem it’s going to be fight because of the broker. That deosn’t mean I don’t ever show that companies listings, but it does effect which homes I may show first.
And I also know of some agents that put homes on the MLS and that’s all they do. So I know if my clients buy that house I’m going to end up doing the work on both sides. And that puts me in a horrible situation because I only represent my buyers, but if disclosures aren’t filled out properly and the other agent is not helping the sellers, what do I do? Do I allow my clients to buy a home without the necessary disclosures? No way! So I need to make sure the sellers fill the disclosures out properly, but I can’t advise them or imply agency. This is sticky and can potentially open me up to liability.
So, if I have a buyer who is looking for a four bedroom rambler in South Jordan with a three car garage and vaulted ceilings, along with some other details, and I do a search on the MLS and find that there are 47 homes that meet that criteria, which ones do I show first?Obviously I cannot show them 47 homes in one day. I can usually show about 10-12 homes in a day, depending on how much time my clients want to spend in each home, and how far apart the homes are and what time of day we are looking (rush hour traffic) and whether we are driving together or if they are following me because they have a car full of kids (which takes even longer). So, I’ll go through the list and pull out the top ten homes to show them. And I will base these top ten on if they have virtual tours where I can see that they are homes my buyers will like, whether the homes have some upgrades or features that may be appealing to my buyers, and sometimes I will choose because I know the agent and like the agent and I know the transaction will be a good experience if my clients buy that home.
Obviously if my clients don’t like any of the first ten, I’ll show them the next best ten, and then the next, and so on. Sometimes I need to show them every house on the market, including the homes listed by agents I don’t like. And sometimes the buyers still won’t find what they are looking for and so we just have to keep looking at every new home as they come on the market. But many times my clients find the right home in those first ten.
So the sellers of those homes benefited from listing with an agent who has a good reputation.
All things being equal, agents will choose to show or not show homes based on who has it listed. If it is an agent they know and like they will want to show that home. If the agent is someone they know is dishonest, or it is a “limited services” listing, where the buyers agent has to do a lot of the work for the sellers, many times agents will not want to show those listings first, or at all.
I don’t like showing homes that are “limited services”. I don’t like it at all. I would prefer to never have to show one of these listings again and I would prefer that none of the agens in my company ever have to show one of these listings again. I know that we eventually will, but it would be great if these listings were not around. And I know that sellers who list their homes with agents who offer “limited services” listings are losing out on many showings. I know that many agents won’t want to show those homes, or at least they won’t show them first, which sometimes is the same thing.
If I have a home listed and we receive multiple offers and I know one or more of the agents I’ll always tell my clients what I know about them or what my experience working with them has been, so my clients can use that information as part of their decision on which offers to respond to or accept.
Reputation within the real estate community is very important because reputation tells our story. It is important to work well with other agents and to care about getting things done efficiently. And it is important to make friends with agents at other companies and to care about them and their success also.
There is plenty of business to go around, and there are a lot of different business models and brokers and cultures and there is no one right or wrong place to work. But our reputation is important no matter which company we work with, and for the sake of our home buyers and sellers some of us make that a part of our business plan.