“You’re getting paid way too much for what you’re doing!”
“You real estate agents are always so pushy to do a deal!”
“You will just be the same as all those other real estate agents!”
Does any of that ring a bell?
It is rather unsettling to hear how many negative feelings people have towards real estate agents in general!
What I initially thought to be a temporary batch of bad experiences for a number of people I encountered during my beginning years as a real estate agent, turned out to be a constant:
People are not impressed at all with whatever real estate agents are doing (or rather, have done)!
Is some of that ‘unhappiness‘ justified? I’m sure it is!
Perhaps a complicated deal went sour due to the inexperience of the agent, or some debate surrounding agent commission got very (over)heated?
Was the client unfortunate to have dealt with a bad apple? Every industry has its portion of bad elements, which gives the rest of the industry a bad name.
And yes, most of us know how relatively easy it is to become a real estate agent. Should it therefore be a big surprise to see every Tom, Dick and Harry try their luck at making a quick buck in real estate?
Do you think their ‘entrepreneurial endeavours’ will make your life as a serious real estate agent any easier or much tougher?
This article will cover 5 major reasons why people don’t like real estate agents and provide suggestions how you can prove them wrong:
Reason #1 – Lack of communication
Would it be fair to state that in the world of real estate, an agent’s most important business tool is his smart phone?
Any agent is highly likely to have his phone on his person at any given moment of the day, no? (especially knowing that the average mobile phone user checks his phone up to 150 times a day, any decent agent is likely to see a multiple of that!)
Whereas any agent can be busy in back-to-back meetings, presentations or buyer showings, which might require his fully-devoted attention, there’s really no reason why any calls or text messages he may have received during that time remain unanswered once those meetings are over.
Yet, real estate agents are notoriously slow in responding to these forms of communication.
Did you know that the average response time for a real estate agent is 917 minutes? (yes, over 15 hours!)
Or worse, they’re not responding to them at all!
48% of real estate enquiries never gets responded to! Period!
Here you are as a home buyer (or seller) ready to take the next step in the real estate adventure, and understandably have quite a few unanswered questions.
You’ve been told to make sure to do your homework beforehand, and thus have done the necessary online research which real estate agent(s) to contact.
Can you now imagine how it must feel like to this home buyer (seller) to try to get a hold of you via the abovementioned channels, yet not to hear back from you?!
No wonder people don’t like real estate agents!
Let me ask you this: what’s the point of all your marketing endeavors, both online and offline, if you can’t be bothered to timeously get back to these clients?
Besides making sure that ever single one of those missed enquiries gets contacted as soon as you get out of your most recent meeting, maybe in the meanwhile, you ought to put together a “default auto-responding text message” to send those clients upon contacting you?
Some top real estate agents even update their voice message on a daily basis, where they indicate to be busy during such and such time, and when they’ll be ‘free again‘, so the clients aren’t (negatively) surprised when you’re not picking up your phone right again!
“Good Wednesday to you – unfortunately, I can’t answer your call right now. I’m in client meetings from 8:30 until 10:30, and again from 1:00 to 3:00. I will make sure to get back to you as soon as my meeting is concluded.”
Reason #2 – Lack of respect
Too many times, real estate agents try to match the property to the client, instead of vice versa!
Whether it’s because they only have a limited amount of inventory or don’t feel like doing much work that day and pick the closest house to show, either way it comes across that the agents isn’t listening (read: ignoring) what his clients are looking for.
Another big pet peeve of many real estate clients is the lack of punctuality on part of the real estate agent. Whilst one might understand letting the client know ahead of time that you’ll be a couple of minutes late, doing so at an already overdue time will only come across as being disrespectful!
This one might sound simpler than it actually is: try to listen to your clients before coming up with possible property matches!
Sometimes a simple “If I understand correctly what you’re saying, then…” will go a long way with your clients, as they’ll feel appreciated and listened to!
Just asking for your client’s opinion and feedback as you’re taking them from one house viewing to the next can already make such a difference in how they feel about/around you!
Reason #3 – Lack of transparency
How far would certain people go to close a deal? Would crossing into the unethical stop them from going all the way?
Real estate agents are known to exaggerate for marketing purposes: the Number One in the area, the Most Sales this year, the Best of the Team, you name it.
It might not be as straightforward for a client to really see beyond the smoke and mirrors, and realize that the real estate agent they’re working with is just someone who started in the real estate business only 10 months ago?!
Statistics indicate that almost 75% of all current agents don’t have enough experience to properly guide clients once real estate deals get a bit more complicated.
Unfortunately, due to the high turnover in the real estate business, the majority of those agents will actually never make it to become a fully-fledged real estate professionals!
If you think about it: of all the real estate agents you know in your immediate circles, how many purposely chose to become an agent from a relatively young age? The majority of agents come from all walks of life, having tried out different jobs for years (e.g. being waiters, teachers, corporate people, medical field, entrepreneurs, etc.) before deciding to become a real estate agent.
If the clients are knocking on the real estate agent’s door for help, yet to find out that he’s barely done a couple of real estate deals himself, what does that say about the trust they should instil in that particular agent when they’re about to make one of life’s most expensive purchases? (On a small side note, according to a Google Consumer Survey, some 67.5% of people already don’t trust real estate agents!)
One answer: data.
Let the numbers do the talking (and convincing) for you!
Whenever a situation arises where your opinion on the matter might be negatively perceived by your relatively inexperience as a real estate agent, yet you strongly feel you’re giving your clients the correct information, why not try to convert the problem into numbers?
Let the numbers back up your statements!
The best example would be the discussion surrounding real estate commissions: before the agent even has a chance to proof his worth, clients will already start working on getting that commission lower from whatever level the agent suggested, seeing how negotiable his commission fee really is.
My personal favourite answer to give: “Mr Agent, is your commission fee negotiable? Sure it is – I’m more than happy to adjust it to 7%, 8% or even 9% if you like!”
(just make sure you know who you can do that with though, as not everyone will appreciate that cheeky comment!)
Whatever data or reasoning you end up using, make sure you don’t lie!
Besides the legal risks you’re taking by going that route, the clients will never believe you again and all your work up to that point is very likely going to be wasted.
More than that, do you think those clients will ever work with you again? Or, will they tell their friends about the experience they just had with the Number One Agent in the area?
Reason #4 – Lack of ‘hard work’ (aka ‘easy commission’)
Come on, be honest with me:
how many times have you signed a mandate in the morning and sold it in the afternoon as you had a lot of interested buyers in that type of property?
And, and, and, you then had the sellers on your back, arguing that you barely had to do any work, so why should you be entitled to full commission for just a few hours of work?
Déjà vu, anyone?
Signing some listing documents, taking pictures, make a few calls, welcome the invited buyers and voilà, shortly after a couple of contracts are signed! Sold in no time, without breaking a sweat!
How hard can it be, right?!
Well, at least, that’s how it might be perceived by home sellers!
One might easily overlook the fact that you have shown some of those invited buyers 10-20 homes over the past 6 months, in quest of finding their perfect home.
Or the handful of intense negotiations which went on for days and days, yet resulted in not a single deal!
Or the many problems that arose during bank appraisals, mortgage bond applications, home inspections, contingency deals, to name but a few.
Be open and upfront about what you as a real estate agent will bring to the table!
Why should those client go with you: what value will you add to the entire transaction?
Regardless how much experience you have, there are a number of ways to proof why you are worth what you say you are:
- be sure to show them your sales track record;
- there are plenty of great client testimonials to share;
- explain them your particular online marketing expertise;
- be proud to have a tailor-made marketing strategy for each client;
- of course, let’s not forget the ‘list-to-sale price’ ratio on your previous deals;
What can the client expect at mandate signing time? At negotiation time? At closing time? How will the entire timeline look like? Which actions need to be taken by whom and when?
Explain how the process of buying or selling a property works, and where there might be potential hiccups, which is exactly why you as the real estate agent are there to guide them along the way!
Reason #5 – Lack of empathy
Some real estate agents have 1 year of experience.
Other agents have 1 year of experience times 10.
If you close one deal per month for 10 years, you’re looking at 120 sales worth of experience. Plus, a potential 2-to-3 fold more of contracts which never made it to the finish line!
That’s 300-400 times intensely going over contracts, adjusting the buyer/seller criteria, negotiating them, fine-tuning them, making mistakes, learning from those mistakes!
It is exactly that experience which makes top real estate agent so great at relating to other people and making rapport!
Being in real estate is being a people person.
You have been approached by clients in the past who seek professional assistance with the marketing of their homes, and they are putting their trust in your expertise to help them through one of life’s most stressful times.
Does this mean this relationship will be a one-way street?
Not at all!
Being called into someone’s private living quarters, and over the course of days/weeks/months being exposed to the day-to-day activities of that particular family does make one understand how you perceive others, and likewise, how your (re)actions will be received by them.
Every new listing mandate will present new challenges, dramas, and specificities, which will be different from the next one.
In order for you to learn, you’ll need to check your ego at the door!
Some agents have a flair for it, and are able to build relationships in no time. Others find it that they don’t necessarily click as easily with people.
Without a doubt, there is value to be found in experience!
People don’t like real estate agents for a number of reasons.
Some of them are quite rightfully so justified, others less.
Through proper communication, where real estate agents are actively listening to their clients, many of the fears of the unknown will be overcome.
By demonstrating your value as a real estate agent throughout the entire transaction, you will not only have closed another deal, you will actually have gained the respect and trust of these buyers and sellers.
This rapport will eventually lead to the next level for your career as a real estate agent!
Do you still think that every Tom, Dick and Harry’s entrepreneurial endeavours will make your life as a serious real estate agent much tougher?
Bottom line: one deal at a time, you as a real estate agent are in complete control of how your home buyers (and home sellers) will experience their most recent real estate transaction!
Other Helpful Resources For Dealing With Real Estate Agents:
- 10 Signs That You’ve Hired The Wrong Real Estate Agent via Kyle Hiscock
- 8 Proven Tips On How to Choose the Best Real Estate Agent via Aman Singh
- Things Real Estate Agents Do That Professional Realtors Hate via Maximum Exposure
- Is Your Real Estate Agent A Trusted Adviser or Useful Idiot? via Karen Highland
If you think this article was an interesting read, please share it across your social media platforms!
— Xavier De Buck (@XavierDeBuck) April 6, 2016
If you think this article “5 Major Reasons Why People Don’t Like Real Estate Agents (And How You Can Prove Them Wrong!)” was an interesting read, please share it across your social media platforms!
About the author: The above article “5 Major Reasons Why People Don’t Like Real Estate Agents (And How You Can Prove Them Wrong!)” was written by Xavier De Buck, your top-producing Johannesburg real estate agent. Xavier has been nationally recognized and awarded for providing service excellence, exceptional property sales, whilst exhibiting the highest level of professionalism. With over 15 years combined experience as a real estate agent and real estate investor, if you’re thinking of buying or selling a home in Johannesburg, Xavier would love to share his property knowledge and expertise.
Make sure to connect!
© 2015-2018, Xavier De Buck. All Rights Reserved.