"Newb" confused about other real estate "professionals" being... well... unprofessional.

Asked by Halley Feaster, Ship Bottom, NJ Thu Jan 3, 2013

I don't mean to be rude here but it seems to me that a lot of other agents are very rude themselves. While it's true that I might be a "newb" (I've been in the Real Estate business for just under a year, there's a lot I don't know yet). It seems like every listing that every one of my clients is interested in has little or no information typed in to the MLS listing. Then when I call the listing agent, they are too busy to answer my questions about the listing. Then my clients and I go "Fine. We'll send in the lease application, maybe then they'll take us seriously". The listing agent then even makes THAT difficult for us. So I guess my questions are:
WHAT exactly is the reason for this?
HOW do these people continue to make money?
WHEN can people like me change this trend?

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Donna Diorio, Agent, Ship Bottom, NJ
Sun Jan 6, 2013
Hi Halley,
I can understand your frustration but let me clarify, if you are asking about the rentals in 08008 zip code maybe I can help you understand a bit better. If this is not related to the 08008 rentals then my answer would be different. I will also agree with Kenneth, this is not the catagory to post this type of question, it should be in the "agent to agent" posts.
The fact is as an agent you should call to pick up a key and preview the properties , then get your questions together for the listing agent. After all if you are selling/renting Real Estate, it is your job to know the inventory, not depend on the listing agents to fill you in.

Once Sandy hit LBI, we had a tough enough time finding rentals in homes that were undamaged. The people that needed to be placed here are those working to rebuild the Island and it has been very time consuming to help these contractors and owners who had many questions and concerns. . Another problem is since it is a summer resort, most owners are fearful of putting a tenant in a house that will be difficult for them to leave because their home is still damaged. These owners need to have their property available for the summer tenants, not extending a winter lease.
I think the mentality here is the less information in a listing, the more questions tenants and buyers will have and it prompts a call. I have never been too busy to answer questions for anyone calling on my listings, nor have I ever found another agent too busy for mine. Unless of course they are involved in a Short Sale and do not have the answers you are looking for. I wish you the best of luck in the business.
Donna Diorio
Realtor, Long Beach Island
1 vote
Kenneth Verb…, Agent, PRINCETON, NJ
Thu Jan 3, 2013
There are many agents who frankly are lousy lazy agents. Thankfully they are a small fraction. It could be that your questions are typical for new agents and less about the specific property. If you are new you should have a mentor or office manager to assist. I suggest running things by that person before asking listing agent. (especially if the information may be found somewhere you arent noticing in mls) Some questions I am often asked but prefer not to answer are for example what utilities will cost per month. This can vary greatly from one tenant to another yet agents still ask. As to how agents make money, rentals typically are not the preferred manner as the work is far greater for amount earned and time spent vs sales.
1 vote
Thank you so much for your advice, Kenneth. True, Weichert does have a Mentor Program, and I did have a mentor, but she ended up leaving my agency. I'm very grateful to the rest of my office colleagues who are so willing to answer all my questions.
I did cite a rental example but I've had the same trouble with homes for sale as well. You're right - things like utility costs I would not bother a listing agent with - those are things I can look up myself or if I'm needing that information for a home near where I live, I can estimate the costs on my own utility bills. I can get creative as far as those answers go. I realize that rentals for busy agents are sort of not even worth it for them anymore. I guess I come from more of a 'customer service' background than a 'sales' background.
Flag Thu Jan 3, 2013
Mary Petti, Agent, Edison, NJ
Thu Jan 3, 2013
AHH...just like any other business there's always going to be people who are not cooperative or polite to their peers. I am in the business since 2003 and altho the situations you describe are frustrating (especially when you have to tell your buyers/tenants the other agent is not being forthcoming or is just unresponsive), you gotta just keep plugging away and be the person to be nice, thoughtful, cooperative and thorough. You aren't going to change the agents out there who are not.
I have often "complained" that I end up doing the work of the other agent as well as my own, but it's worth it in the end when your clients realize how hard you worked for them !! Plus, sometimes there's an advantage, if you are like me, I like to be in control anyway, and often times I am when this happens :)
These agents continue to make money becaus they know how to schmooze their sellers/landlords to GET the listings, and rely on people like us to take up the slack once their listings have a contract or lease.
The more newbie agents you speak to about this and encourage to continue to be the kind of person and peer you think they should be, the better it will be for all involved. Hopefully many of the agents you describe will be retiring sooner rather than later :)
Don't give up just being who you are because of others. Frustrating yes, but there's so many other more important things to worry about than this.
1 vote
Thank you Mary! The bit about not giving up being who I am because of others REALLY helps. I strive to be communicative and easy to work with because that's how I would like others to be with me. I guess it doesn't always work the other way around.
You're right about these agents GETTING listings. While I would love to get lots of listings, I would really hope that I do not become one of these people who get the listing and then let all the other agents do all the work.
I do hope that my clients realize how hard I work for them. I'm sure sometimes some people won't, but so far some people really do and it's heartwarming. I should think of those clients more often when things like this happen!
Flag Thu Jan 3, 2013
Laura Gianno…, Agent, Manahawkin, NJ
Thu Jan 3, 2013
Halley, that is frustrating. It might be that listing agents don't give rentals (I assume it's rentals you're looking at because you mentioned a lease) the same dedication and time that's given to 'For Sale' listings.
1 vote
Thanks for the support, Laura!
I did mention a lease... there has been a specific incident with a rental, but I've had this same problem with listings for sale as well. I think you're right though, about agents not giving rentals the same dedication as sales. Sad but true.
Flag Thu Jan 3, 2013
Helene Jeane…, Agent, Metuchen, NJ
Thu Jan 3, 2013
Hi Halley,
Not only is it unprofessional, these agents are not representing their clients' best interests. Not to be rude myself, but I'd inquire (nicely) when they would have time to disucss the questions with me or whether I should contact the owner directly . And BTW, unless there is a signed agreement on file to say otherwise, you have the right to request to present your offer yourself,

Persevere. You'll probably not change these agents, so just concentrate on being yourself and providing the quality of service your client's deserve.
1 vote
Thank you, Leni, for your sound advice! You're right, I know I can't change others, but it helps to know that being myself is ok.
Good idea to ask when they would have time for me or if I should go right to the owner. That seems like a clever managing tactic.
Thanks again - I'm so relieved to have other agents answering my question so supportively!
Flag Thu Jan 3, 2013
Dena Schlutz, Agent, Boulder, CO
Thu Jan 3, 2013
I experienced the same thing 16 years ago when I moved from Hewlett Packard, where our self-directed teams held hands and sang Kumbaya, then I jumped into real estate where it's primitive warfare and cannibalism at every turn... 80% of the agents quit in the first 2 years. It's survival of the most determined :).

Always take the high road, be confident in your intelligence, don't take the bait to match wits, just stick with your questions and be persistent and over the top sweet and charming. Kill them with kindness and treat everyone like a client. You will eventually establish a reputation for being the nice, but persistent agent and others will eventually treat you with respect.

Don't let the industry change YOU. Before I let my blood pressure skyrocket, I ask myself if this will really matter when I'm 100 years old, and the answer is always no. Then I smile and continue getting the answers for my client, knowing that it goes with the territory. Start off a conversation with a compliment to the other agent. If you do this enough, even the worst agent will be embarrassed to continue their rude behavior. If you have to call 5 times to get an answer keep your professional face on. Take some negotiating classes -- they teach techniques to deal with these types. And BTW, you cannot change the world, just make it a better place :)
0 votes
Marsha Bowen…, Agent, Livingston, NJ
Thu Jan 3, 2013
What doesn't kill you will make you stronger and wiser. We were all once newbies and as you grow in this business, you might one day have an opportunity to do a deal with the same agent or agents that were rude to you in the pass. Bottom line is to stay focus on just the " business" and then look beyond the sourpuss agents as for every 2 or 3 you encounter, there will be 6 to 8 that are likely to be polite.

Good luck to you!
0 votes
Kenneth Verb…, Agent, PRINCETON, NJ
Thu Jan 3, 2013
I should have also added in earlier post your question is better suited in the agent to agent category vs general 08008. Trulia has that category to commiserate/ ask fellow agents. As a newbie you may not have known about this category.
0 votes
De Vonte Wil…, Agent, East Point, GA
Thu Jan 3, 2013
Hello Halley! I concur with the fact that you will find this in the profession. However, you will find this in every profession. I strongly believe, the quality of service an Agent provides to their clients and their fellow colleagues, strongly depends on whether or not an Agent is Full Time or not. I have gone weeks without getting a phone call back from Agents regarding their listings. No wonder why those same listings are the ones that fall off the radar.

It can be difficult at times, but we must not loose focus on what is truly important, which is servicing our clients, and assisting them throughout the process. That is what makes it all worth it in the end.

I hope this answered your question! If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact me by the ways below.

Wishing you all the best,

De Vonte Williamson , LSA
Proudly Serving Long Island
Coldwell Banker Residential
0 votes
Debra (Debbi…, Agent, Livingston, NJ
Thu Jan 3, 2013
Well..........It's not really a "trend", just a fact of life that there are good and bad in all professions - You can't change other people's performances, or lack thereof................

What you can do is make sure you never become like one of "them" !

Happy New Year (to you, and everyone here!)........ and I wish you much success in "our" indsutry!.
0 votes
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