So, it appears that real estate agents have a bad wrap just as lawyers or even car salesmen do, and I just can't seem to wrap my head around WHY?
Well on second thought, I take that back, because when I used to work in retail I knew why most customers would throw the same type of shade (that 'don't-bother-me' attitude) when shopping around in the stores. It's similar to the negative perception customers have about agents or any sales professional.
I guess the idea behind the bad wrap is most people don't want you to "sell" them anything but instead, prefer an experience, to be serviced and well-taken care of with their best interest at heart - which makes sense.
Back when I was working in fashion retail, I understood that some customers who walked into the store weren't always intending to purchase something. However, it was my job by default to "sell" them something and for them not to walk out of the store empty handed.
Did I manage that every single time? No. But most of the time I did because of my particular approach to sales. The thing was I did not "sell" anything to them but instead delivered an experience. I knew they didn't want an eager sales associate jumping in their face as soon as they made it to the first rack.
So, I would just greet them to acknowledge their presence but allowed them to browse and feel out the merchandise on their own before I approached them about their needs. I too, detest a pushy salesman who won't give me the space needed to shop around.
With this understanding, I personally knew how to break the ice and make them feel comfortable before finding out their needs and showing them the goods whether it was something new we received or my favorite piece from the collection.
I say this to explain that not all real estate agents (or sales associates for that matter) are desperate, pushy, greedy and untrustworthy salesmen looking to trick you into anything you don't want. I'd like to dispel the negative and bring the positive attributes of a real estate agent to light and give you a better understanding of the work we do and why it just might be worth your while (of course when you are ready) to seek one out for your benefit.
Unlike the "pushy" salesperson we intend to service you, inform you, consult with you and guide you through a process that can be such an arduous task creating an experience that makes the process easy, less stressful and pleasant.
It's important to understand that real estate agents by the New York Real Property law are held accountable for their fiduciary responsibility to their clients or principle through a disclosure form that informs consumers of their rights and the agency relationship between them and the RE agent.
This means we are required to:
1) act with obedience and work in reasonable accordance to the legal instructions from our clients;
2) demonstrate loyalty and work diligently in the best interest of our clients based on the terms of the agency contract;
3) give full disclosure on all matters and communicate to our clients about anything and everything pertaining to the transaction;
4) provide our clients confidentiality, good faith and trust;
5) be held accountable to keep accurate records of our clients finance information and money; and 5) exercise reasonable skill and care which means we should possess the skill and training to perform the requested services asked of us.
With that being said, I think it's fair to say that by all means, agents that take their profession serious and work full-time (or part-time) at building their business do not intend to make customers feel like they can't trust us.
It's not only our duty to serve you with your best interest in mind but most of us take pride in truly helping others in making such big decisions like buying a home. Plus, this is a referral based business so our reputation is on the line as well.
I've also noticed that there are those customers that are apprehensive about paying us our fees avoiding us at all cost using "no fee" websites because they believe our commission rates are too high. But just like a freelance artist or entrepreneur who chooses to work as an independent contractor or provide a service; we too, consider our work a business and put a lot into it just like any other.
We invest in ourselves constantly (mandatory continuing education), spend out of pocket money on marketing and value our services. Why are we worth the 15% of the annual year of a rental or 6% of the closing price of a home? Well, lets go back to my fashion retail analogy
Customers would sometimes walk in the store as if they knew exactly where to go to find something they were looking for and would throw shade my way while I offered my assistance. I could always tell when someone came into the store on a mission.
I would laugh when they would just brush me off like I couldn't do one better and locate the item they were looking for on the spot instead of them going crazy looking for it and then walking out in disgust because they thought we didn't have it.
Most times, I would catch them on the way out and ask again what they were looking for and they would then reveal the item. Immediately, I would find it hiding behind a visual face-out or call for it from the stock room because I knew my inventory very well — the location and quantity. I think you know where I am going with this.
Yes. Real estate professionals are expected to know the inventory available in the neighborhoods they specialize in and are required to understand and speak to the business of the overall market.
With us you pay for our expertise in knowing the inventory; having access to the majority of properties out there; having the knowledge of the neighborhoods; knowing the specificity of what each landlord/owner needs for approvals and having those relationships with them to properly prepare you for that approval; being able to send you in the right direction without the run around; and to make sure you get what you want.
That's a lot of energy exhausted and just like any job where you are interacting with so many different types of people who can suck your energy; it can really wear you out!
Ultimately though, we are not your enemy but more like your possible guardian angel. I may sound a bit facetious but I am amazed at the negativity and even the disrespect for real estate agents. The disrespect I'm experiencing is even more surprising and is another topic for another time.
But believe it or not, we work our butts off for the work we do get and we are worth every penny we earn because we serve you!
So, no. We really aren't that bad.
Please feel free to contact me with any questions, suggestions on real estate topics that you want to know about, or comments on my commentary. I am also open to referrals and would love for you to check out my blog @ www.keepingrealestateblog.wordpress.com.
Your 'Home' Girl Sherice Yvette