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2014-07-17 10:07:58
Working With A Real Estate Agent? Tell Me Now
Are You Working With An Agent? Dont keep it Secret.

This article published by Rich Jacobson on Active Rain, an information center for Real Estate agents across the country caught my attention. It was well written as most his articles are. More importantly though their are lessons here that are good not only for agents, but for home buyers that want to put together the best team possible to help get the home they want, at a price and terms that they can live with.

Here is what Rich had to say about being upfront when you call a REALTOR (not your agent) for advice or information.

After nearly 15 years in real estate, you'd think I'd learn by now!

What's one of the first questions you're supposed to ask potential clients?

'Are you currently working with a real estate agent?'

That simple question dispels any doubts and quickly establishes your role with the prospective client.

But let's face it, most consumers are clueless when it comes to the formalities of agency relationship. Many times, they don't understand its benefit or the value that a licensed real estate professional representing their interests provides.

So what's the fall-out from neglecting to pose this question? Well, that's actually the inspiration behind this post. My lesson learned,...again!

One of the many things I am enjoying about my move to Keller Williams is their lead management platform - eEdge. It's an effective system for capturing leads and seamlessly engrafting them into an efficient follow-up/touch process.

The other day I received the following lead through my website:

'Hi, Rich! I'm looking at MLS# 391138. My price point is around $144K using my VA eligibility. If I buy a house and get transferred a few years down the road, can I legally rent the property? Are there any monthly HOA dues?

Even after all the years in this business, I still get excited when someone contacts me and asks for my help. I guess that's one of the reasons why real estate is such a good fit for me. I love helping people! I derive great satisfaction from helping them achieve their home buying or selling goals. So my natural response to such inquiries is to immediately jump into the fray, full speed ahead!

A property search and a half-dozen emails later, the prospective client kindly informs me:

'I am working with an agent already, but just wanted to get an idea of what my options were for your area.'

Fortunately, I hadn't expended an inordinate amount of time assisting this client, but the well-needed reminder was made.

As licensed real estate professionals, we can't always assume that consumers appreciate our value proposition or understand that our time is money. We owe it to them and to ourselves to 'Ask the Question!'

What about you? Have you ever had any similar 'lesson learned' experiences?
 
(UPDATE: I neglected to address an equally obvious issue - where was this person's agent? Based on his email, one might assume that his agent was not located in my area, and therefore not familiar with my market. Regardless, this person obviously felt the need to seek information from someone other than his chosen agent. It makes me wonder, did the agent not establish himself/herself as an area expert? Did he/she not convey his/her expertise or value well enough as to cause their client to seek advice elsewhere? Or perhaps consumers are just fickle these days).
Posted: Tuesday, January 15, 2013 1:49 PM by Gordon Sloan

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