20 November 2009

How would you like to be treated?


Recently, I had two interesting experiences with prospects, both of which touch upon the relationship between client and Realtor. Here is one:

A prospective buyer contacted me by email, and as I always do with such inquiries, we first spoke on the phone. After our conversation, I verified the search criteria and then sent a market overview with several matching properties (which were not that easy to locate).

I also explained my commitment to clients, including that I may spend 25, 30 or even more hours on a transaction, but of course will not get paid if no closing takes place.

So that I can dedicate my time to serious, loyal clients I try to separate them from non-serious ones early on. To do that, I send all buyers – including this one – a non-circumvent form (mind you, not a Buyers Broker agreement obligating to work with me exclusively).

This agreement states that a client will not circumvent me on any property that I have sent or shown: if a listing is found through me, the clients agrees to buy it through me.

This client's reaction:
Wow, this is a first... This email signals some unfriendly red flags for me, I need this to be a nice and happy transaction and don't like to start relationships with a dark cloud overhead. I can appreciate your distrust in people here, but I am not one. Thanks but no thanks, this is too much of a red flag.
Joseph Harvill, publisher of GSM, recently described a professional as someone standing "for ideals and principles and virtues in practice".

That sounds like an excellent definition to me.

And my prospect obviously expected a professional to work for her – to dedicate his time, knowledge and effort to find the right modernist house.

But how can it be that a "happy transaction" is one where the client gets away with zero commitment to paying a real estate professional if he performs, while at the same the Realtor is supposed to work hard, find the right property and still may end up empty-handed? Something is fundamentally wrong with this picture.

How would you in your profession like to be treated? How would you react if someone requests your services, while declaring – right from the beginning – the possible intent not to pay you?

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