By Anand Patel
With all the methods of communication today — from e-mail, to social media, to text messaging — it almost seems like the ancient art of having a conversation on the telephone is dead.
As a broker, inevitably part of our jobs is putting out fires (or stopping them before they can start) with agents and their transactions. I find MANY of the problems that arise can be avoided in the first place if either agent involved in the transaction would just pick up the telephone and call the other party rather than texting or e-mailing.
Yes, texting is very convenient. And yes, you can send an e-mail at 3 a.m. without bothering the other person. But there is so much that can get lost in the interpretation of written text that could have been clearly explained over the phone with your vocal tone, the style of your conversation, and your word choice.
I am as much in tune with technology and the use of social media as the next guy, but there comes a point in a transaction when one must step back and think to themselves, “Would I be better serving my customer by communicating with the other party over the phone in this particular situation?” If the answer is “yes,” then pick up the telephone! I still recommend following up the conversation with an e-mail, but sometimes it’s just better to start the dialogue with a phone call.
What are your thoughts? Have you been in a transaction that could have been saved if someone just picked up the phone and called?
Anand Patel is broker and president of Pangea Realty Group based in Tampa, Fla. You can connect with Anand on Twitter: @anand_tampa; Facebook: www.facebook.com/prgtampa; LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/anandpatel1; or on the Web at www.anandsblog.com.
By Laura Rubinchuk Schwartz
I met with a very nice couple looking to retire and relocate out of the area, which means selling their home of 20+ years. It had been many, many years since they needed the services of a REALTOR® or learned of the new way things are being done to sell a home, prepare for listing, and the paperwork involved in the process. After a brief tour of the home and some chit chat about their situation and goals for selling their home, we got down to the nitty gritty details, like commission.
After discussing commission rates and such, they asked my favorite question of every listing appointment: “Well, what would your commission be if you sold the house?”
My answer: “I never do dual agency. I think it’s a conflict of interest. I represent you and your interests in this transaction, and at the end of the day, I want to make sure you’re happy and you feel like you got the best deal possible. If I am representing both parties, I don’t think that’s possible.”
With total blank stares, and then a smile, the wife said, “You’re too honest.” My response? “I’m honest, but I also think agents have a bad reputation and we’ve earned it. It’s not about the paycheck in front of them, it’s about the long term happiness of both parties.”
I am sure this is bound to stir up some strong opinions on both sides of the argument, but I wanted to lay out my thoughts on dual agency:
- Agency relationships mean I sign a paper that says I represent the interests of the seller. I am trying to get them to meet their goals with this transaction. I always keep that in mind when reviewing offers and be sure to point out specifics that may be issues for them.
- I always show the property when asked, regardless of representation. Continue reading »
By Chris Nichols
About a week ago, I had a young couple looking to buy their very first home come interview me. I was quite impressed they were actually doing an in-depth interview to find the right agent to represent them in such an important transaction. It was a welcome surprise, and brought back memories of my experience with a consumer focus group that NAR had me observe. Those buyers had realized they hadn’t interviewed potential representation and had simply gone with the first agent they met.
I was really impressed with the preparation that this couple had put in to asking the right questions. We spent almost an hour together and I enjoyed every minute of it. One of their questions was of particular interest to me. They asked me if I was willing to give up some of my commission if they found the home they wanted to buy on their own and I just handled negotiations and contracts. I explained to them that I was not willing to do that. I told them that where I earn every penny of my commission is in the negotiations, the contracts and in protecting them throughout the process.
I continued by explaining that very rarely do I even get involved in the home searching process, that buyers know what they want better than I do and that using the various online tools allow the consumer to do that quickly and easily. I also made the point that someone who didn’t feel their services were worth every penny and would give up some of their commission for the most important aspects of the transaction, probably wouldn’t be the best negotiator on their behalf.
Fast forward a week… Continue reading »