We Must Do Better. Individually and as an Industry.Sep 14, 2023
Last weekend was a tough one. Not emotionally or physically, but it was very frustrating on the business side of my life. While showing properties with my clients I was frankly embarrassed for our industry.
The first issue was at an existing home that has been on the market for some time. The home was vacant and dirty. It didn’t look like anyone had cleaned the home since before it was listed. The backyard was just a mess, no one had trimmed the shrubs or done any maintenance. Off to the next home.
This one was supposed to be an open house, but we pulled up and there were no open house signs. I went to the lockbox, no key. Hmm, go to the front door and the agent is standing there, said “Welcome.” So, it was an open house, but the poor kid, who I assume was a brand new agent, didn’t have any open house signs! We walk in and are hit with a major smell of marijuana. I mean I almost got a buzz from the smell! Now, in defense of the agent, I don’t think it was him, it was all over the house. Maybe he had the signs but was so buzzed he forgot to put them out? On to the next house.
This is a brand-new subdivision, I’m excited to show this one, it’s perfect for these clients. I previewed it the day before and told the sales associate that I was going to bring my clients by the next day. She was excited too!
We pulled up to the sales office and I didn’t see a car, I went to the door and there was a note saying that they would return in 4 hours! What? I told her I was going to be there! OMG, how embarrassing. I apologized to my client and said we would try again tomorrow since he couldn’t come back in 4 hours. On to the next house.
This one is also a new home subdivision. I hadn’t previewed this one, so hopefully it works out. I get to the sales office and there is a temp agent there. I asked a few questions, and she didn’t know the answers to any of them! She said to call the regular agent who was at a retreat or something. Okay, great. Let’s just look at the models. She said they’re not open, you need to register with the builder, and they will open the door remotely. Huh?
I go through the motions of registering, the door unlocks, and we walk into the model, and it’s empty. Instead of staging it, there were just big posterboard-size pictures of furniture placed throughout the home. That’s right, pictures of furniture instead of furniture! This is a national builder that sells hundreds of millions of dollars of homes a year! Embarrassed yet again. What a day!
The good news is that I did get my clients into contract on a new home, and they will be closing in a few weeks. The bad news is that our industry looked unprofessional, unorganized, and very much like the negative comments I see regularly online.
We as individuals need to do better. We need to take pride in our listings, clean them, maintain them, and prepare them to sell. We must offer real client service, answer our phones, be there when we say we will, and know what the hell we are talking about! In short, we need to be professionals!
Builders need to act like they actually want to sell a house. Stage them, have people who actually know something about the homes they are selling, and most of all, be happy about agents bringing clients to them. Not discouraging us and treating us like the scourge of industry!
Before I get off of my soapbox. I do want to say that there are a lot of agents, and builders, out there who do a great job. The problem is that the few bad apples drive the negative perception that our industry has. Now, of all times, we need to prove that we are professionals, prove that we aren’t just about getting a commission, prove that we actually care about our clients, and prove that we are an industry of intelligent, hard-working people, who actually deserve every penny of our commissions. Now is the time to do better. Each of us... individually and as an industry.
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