real estate agent
How quickly should a real estate agent respond to a potential client was written by Elizabeth Weintraub for another website. The # 1 reason people complain about real estate agents is agents do not call people back in a timely manner. This is a great article on the subject. ENJOY.
— JaCi Wallace
“Years ago, when I was buying a home in Land Park, Sacramento, and in the process of moving from Minneapolis, I had hired a real estate agent who rarely communicated with me. I would email her and she would not respond. I would leave her voice mails and she would not return my phone calls. Being several thousand miles away and trying to close a real estate deal was stressful enough, but working with an agent whose communication skills were sorely lacking was even more frustrating. It’s not the way I choose to do business.
“You learn a lot when you’re on the other side of the fence, so to speak.
“In my own business, when I receive an email from a prospective client, I immediately respond, and this practice sometimes freaks out the recipients. I guess they aren’t used to it because they tell me how shocked they are that I called or emailed. But it’s easy to respond to people. When I get an email from my website, it generally contains a phone number, which on a cellphone makes it easy to dial. I just scroll to the phone number in the text and click the call button.
“My response time is generally 2 to 5 minutes. If I’m out showing property, I excuse myself to make a quick call to say I will call back at a certain time.
“I’d like to ask the agents who read my blog: how quickly do you respond to potential client inquiries? My email is set up to download every 2 minutes at my home office and immediately to my cell. That seems normal to me. And to the public, I’d like to ask: how quickly do you feel an agent should respond to your request?”
— Elizabeth Weintraub
Do you always do what you say you’re gonna do? Not everybody adheres to the principle of self responsibility. They find ways to rationalize. The California motto, believe it or not, is “Dude, I flaked.” Like it’s OK to break a promise. The Blues Brothers exemplified flakiness with Jake’s excuse, but my viewpoint is different. The way I look at the world seems to have more in common with a rebel, almost a radical renegade, sewn together by the threads of a Midwesterner who survived the ’60s and the Zen of it all.
At the core is my word. I try to do what’s right. I think through actions before reacting. Especially when I’ve got so much garbage coming at me at times from all directions because I happen to work in Sacramento real estate. Over the years, I’ve had to step over the rotting pears, dodge the slippery banana peels and hold my nose as I slip past the decay of what is sometimes presented as helpful real estate advice by others.
I’ll give you some examples. A real estate agent yesterday warned yesterday that I will never sell a property at the price the seller wants. I don’t understand why he said it except his buyer wants to pay less. He had no retort when I pointed out I had recently sold a model just like it for roughly the same amount. Eventually a buyer will pay cash and be thrilled, that’s what my experience says. His differs.
Another real estate agent wanted to argue over a short sale listing, in particular the seller’s insistence that the buyer be dedicated to the transaction. Like, who woulda thunk that we’d actually expect the buyer to commit to close escrow? He said his buyer and he should not be required to marry the property when they should be able to milk the cow at their convenience. This is probably the same guy who can’t be bothered to close the front door when he leaves the house.
He argued there is no inventory and the buyer is unlikely to find another home that mirrors the home she so desperately loves but doesn’t want to be engaged to. This doesn’t sound like the kind of buyer I would want to work with, but then I am not required.
When I drove out to Rio Linda last night to inspect a property that the contractor swore up and down 10 days ago would absolutely, positively, be ready for sale on July 30th. Imagine my horror when I discovered the windows were boarded up, covered in newspapers, ample warning signs of the condition inside. The kitchen had no counters, no flooring, no lights, no appliances except a dishwasher.
The contractor pointed to a 15-year-old stove sitting in the middle of the living room. It was stained by globby drips of dried food flings and partially rusted. He asked if should replace it or try to clean it up. It was a piece of shit. I used those words because they have strength. His hands immediately reached for his ears; then mopping his forehead, he mumbled about his Russian heritage and laughed, nervously. Not everybody resides in reality, and one can’t always count on performance simply because a promise was made.
The California motto of Dude, I flaked, does not exist in my world of real estate. But I can spot those who would appreciate the sentiment should the opportunity present itself.
Because I don’t preplan my Sacramento real estate blogs and write fresh every morning, yesterday was the first day in almost a decade that I did not write a blog, and you know what –no kickback about it, no consequences and nobody cared. That shows how significant my words in a daily blog are — nobody gives a crap. This real estate agent could have dropped dead, and someday will, and the first clue will be no blog that day.
The problem began when I slept in and therefore overslept. Then my phone started ringing at 7:30 AM and did not stop all day. I recharged it twice. I’m up late most nights reading Steve Jobs, the biography by Walter Isaacson. It’s such an enthralling book and not because Jobs was an asshole. I deal with enough of those types in real estate, and Jobs was a level above those guys because he’s also had charisma on top of being a genius. He got kicked out and rose again, like a Phoenix. Most real assholes I run into through my business are assholes to the core, simple guys, but Jobs seemed more complex. Like his asshole-ness was so completely integrated into his personality that it was more easily forgiven.
But I’m not reading the book because I’m fascinated by Steve Jobs; I’m reading it because I have been an Apple customer for more than 25 years, and it’s like reading my own history.
Ah, with fond memories I recall the Macintosh, the PowerMac, and the G3. Some of them are sitting in my garage. I can’t bear to destroy or wipe the hard drives, so I can’t give them away. The will probably sit in my garage until they rust. They are relics already. They will never turn into an antique. Even now I smile thinking about the days of a smiley Mac face and how that image appearing on my computer monitor meant everything was all right with the world. No frowny faces. Plus, one can always depend on a Mac. You can’t say that about Windows.
Between house renovations and in the midst of my real estate endeavors in the 1990s, I worked on the side for a few years as a communications director at a nonprofit in Minnesota for the second largest industry in Minnesota: printing. I outfitted that nonprofit with Macs. Networked the computers myself. Signed up all of the employees for AOL. Even when the president who is now long dead subscribed to DSL (to track internet activity, among other reasons), I still kept a modem under my desk and used it with muted sound for personal activities.
Today, I own iPads, an iPod, iShuffle, iPhone, a desktop Power Mac, a PowerBook with state-of-the-hard drive drive, and I’m an iTunes customer. Do you know that Apple does not make its own product to transfer music between all of your devices and one has to pay a third-party vendor for that service? This is what happens when Steve Job dies.
There is nothing wrong with loving your job and not trying to balance every little aspect of your life. On the other hand, some people behave as though they’re living on a seesaw in their career, always in motion, afraid that if it stops moving for just one minute, the weight from their fat butt will force the wrong side to the ground, kersplatt, and then everybody will see them for the pitiful failure that they really are — that’s what people think.
Years ago people, OK, mainly men, loved their jobs, felt fulfilled by a career and enjoyed going to work. Today many men feel torn in two. Women in the 1970s were not always encouraged to feel deeply engrained in their careers lest they turn into an old maid. Today, women are told they can’t have it all so they better choose. Or, they better try harder to balance work and a personal life. Forget balance. It’s overrated. You’ll hear men and women alike swear that family comes first, and work comes second, like loving a job is evil or there is something fundamentally wrong with your makeup if you look forward to going to work.
Spittooey on crap. If you have to say that family comes first, maybe there is something out of whack that makes you feel the need to verbalize it in that manner? Because most people don’t talk about having to put family into their hearts because family already occupies a spot. And, so does work. I love my job, and I don’t apologize to anybody for it. It doesn’t mean I love anybody or anything else any less. It’s not either or. Love doesn’t get “used up.”
People feel almost guilty if they admit they love their job. Workaholic describes a person who finds pleasure in working. Why should that be wrong? Isn’t that what everybody should strive for? To find a job that they love to do to such an extent that it doesn’t become work? If I promise a real estate client I’ll be over to shoot photographs and sign listing paperwork, they can count on me to show up. I don’t use family as an excuse not to perform. I balance my temperament, it’s not necessary to try to balance work vs my personal life.
Common sense mixed with the truth must be a wild concept to some. I wish people would quit thanking me for being honest with them, because the message they’re really sending is they expected that I would lie. It’s not that I couldn’t lie if I wanted to because, let’s face it, I sell real estate in Sacramento and just to be successful in that profession there is a certain amount of enhancing the truth to push product; it’s the spin. Can’t be in marketing without the spin. But it’s that I don’t go out of my way to make up crap because a) it’s stupid and wrong, b) I’d have to remember it, and c) it’s easier just to tell the truth.
Years ago I had a girlfriend who was a pathological liar. You couldn’t believe a word that came out of her mouth. I don’t know if she lived in a fantasy world or just liked to fool people but she’d tell the most outrageous stories to complete strangers, and none of it was true. We’d meet cute guys at a party and she’d tell them we were flight attendants or we lived in Japan. There was no reason for it. Guys who are 22 don’t really care what you do for a living when they are seized by hormones.
Personally, I find being truthful rewarding. It’s second nature. It’s not that I don’t know when to keep my lips zipped, because I do, but the older I get, the more I enjoy telling people what I think. I say things at times that other people wish they could say but they haven’t yet given themselves permission to do so. This is one of the freeing benefits of aging. We give ourselves permission to speak our mind. They don’t tell you about this in Sunday school.
Not that I’m out there in my yard waving my fists at kids and yelling get offa my lawn you hoodlums, and that little pooping chihuahua with you, too. Reality and protocol are still embedded. But I will tell people what I believe.
Of the five senses, common is my favorite.
Like this guy yesterday from somewhere in the Northeast, maybe New Jersey. He wanted to know when he should do a price reduction on this home. It was listed with an agent. He poured out the entire listing history in his email, including suggestions made by his agent, which he had been ignoring. My-oh-my, whatever should he do?
He should listen to his real estate agent and stop asking for direction from strangers on the other side of the country.
Then, an elderly fellow called to talk about his friend whose husband had died, and he thought maybe his friend should do a short sale. I looked up the information in records that are not accessible to the public and easily sized up the situation. Yes, his friend was upside down but there was no reason for her to short sale. She wasn’t responsible for the mortgages. She should get out of title. I suggested he obtain legal advice. I was looking at it from his friend’s point of view, which was why go through the hassle and misery if you don’t have to?
See, common sense pertains to so many things. And it applies to Sacramento real estate as well. While it would be nice to lounge about and dispense sage advice all day while being fanned and fed seedless grapes, the fact is my job is to sell real estate.