29 January 2010

Client-Realtor-Relationship II: The Case for Monogamy

Please don’t roll your eyes. This is serious business.

Let’s talk about hair cuts.

You’re due for a cut and call to make an appointment. On the phone you tell the hair dresser (or stylist or receptionist – that would be in direct correlation to how much you pay per visit) what needs to be done. Suppose you’re a girl, so you book a wash, a cut, and perhaps highlights.

You appear on time, sit down, and then, right after washing the hair, in the middle of the cut, while sipping on your green tea and everything is humming along just fine, you casually say “by the way, don’t finish that cut. I’ll have the rest including the drying done in the salon one block over.”

Rather odd? And you say you’ve never ever done that?

My precious wife had her choppers cleaned yesterday. I wish I had been there: Can you imagine how baffled the hygienist looked when she instructed her to do only every second tooth, because the other ones would be cleaned by a different practice?

Now you’re really rolling your eyes, thinking these are rather unlikely scenarios. Or I’m just under-medicated today.

But no, that’s what’s happening frequently in real estate offices. I know because not only do I run a real estate office for 20 years, I also sat on a committee that had to decide on commission disputes when a buyer – and it’s nearly always a buyer – hired several Realtors at the same time. Without telling either one to boot.

The real estate market in a lot of countries – Germany is one example – works differently than in the US. Without the common property database “MLS”, buyers are forced to contact many different offices to see everything that is available. Manhattan (NY) has the same problem; several attempts to install an MLS there have failed. But that is atypical for the US.

In Southeast-Florida as an example, the MLS reaches from Homestead to Fort Pierce, connecting approximately 23,000 agents and 95,000 properties and businesses for sale. There is zero need to work with several Realtors at the same time
in the same area.

By now, you simply can’t wait any longer to learn what a well-educated, smart, good-looking and sophisticated buyer like yourself should do, right?

The advice: select your Realtor carefully, if applicable to your situation ask if he/she will work as your buyer’s agent, and if you are happy, remain monogamous.

If you’re unhappy, say your piece and give your business to someone else.

But please work with one agent at a time. You have nothing to gain by becoming a real-estate-.... (rhymes with “nut”). You waste your own time and the time of the people you hired. And that is disrespectful to any profession.

PS: my wife didn’t switch dentists halfway through treatment. But you knew that already.

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