Service Providers and What We Learned Working With Several Real Estate Agents
By Bernadette A. Moyer
My husband just retired after serving 34 years as a Civil Servant for the City of Baltimore. I have been in the service business my entire life. First I worked as a waitress then a Realtor before working in nonprofit. In nonprofit work I learned the importance of service above self and in selfless giving.
Since both my husband and I have been “service providers” we really appreciate when we are on the receiving end of good service. We also have a really hard time with people that are in a service position and just don’t deliver.
Have you ever been in a store standing in front of the salesperson ready to make a purchase and they take a phone call? Not only do they take the call, ask you to wait and then spend minutes helping someone that isn’t even able to make a purchase? Yet there you stand with cash in hand? Or you go to a restaurant and are waiting and waiting and just can’t get any service?
We used to have gas station attendants that pumped your gas and bank tellers instead of ATM’s. Today you can self-serve rather than have a checker at the grocery store. But what about the people in the service business and what as a consumer do we have the right to expect from them?
During the past few years we have worked with several real estate agents in several states and some were really great and others clearly should take a good hard look at themselves and why they are in a service business when it seems they have very little interest in serving.
Before we listed our primary property we met with a few agents. Having been a Realtor I knew many well established agents and what I would call “heavy hitters” they are consistently doing multi-millions worth of business each and every year. They are go getters.
One agent I planned to use but after meeting with her decided against it. I knew her well and liked her and knew what she was capable of; she was a successful agent for decades. So why didn’t we go with her? During the meeting in our home she took 4-phone calls even though she stated it was just a “renter” and what a pain the woman was? It turned me off. I couldn’t even get her undivided attention during our first meeting in our home. This was a potential listing for her.
Just a few signs that you shouldn’t hire “that” Realtor –
1) When they are consistently late in meeting with you or getting the job done. Being late is never acceptable and is disrespectful to the person waiting. It lacks professionalism.
2) When you tell them you will be on vacation and ask them to meet any showings and the response is “No I can’t I might be on the road.” A proper response is, “Yes! If I am available I will be there and if not I will get another agent to cover for me.”
3) When they receive an offer on your home and they wait for days before presenting it to you. Sellers have the right to know there is an offer immediately and ASAP.
4) When you visit their open house and they now believe that you are their buyer and if you purchase that home that they were in during the open house you gave up your rights to have another agent represent you. The want a commission because you walked through the door.
An agent doesn’t have the right to demand that you work with them just because you attended their open house, yet in some areas this is common practice. Be careful and make sure you understand the practices in the area where you are buying or selling.
5) When they take phone calls on your time while in your home. Isn’t this just plain rude?
6) When they have little business and have been in the business for decades. If an agent has been in the business for decades and has very little business they may be on their way out. You probably won’t receive the service you deserve and should expect.
7) When they don’t respect you or your time and the fact that you are the buyer or the seller and without you they would have no business.
8) When they are condescending and treat you like they know it all. A good agent commands respect by being hard working and knowledgeable. And buyers and sellers should be respected just for giving an agent the opportunity to serve them.
I have heard it said, “Real estate agents come a dime a dozen.” Although that may be true there are agents that work really hard for their customers and clients. Real Estate is a service business and if you can’t get service from them you shouldn’t do business with them.
My husband and I believe that we “vote” with our dollar. We support and we spend our money where we are treated well and where the job is done. We don’t believe in giving our business to anyone that doesn’t deserve it or appreciate it or work hard for it.
As a former Realtor I had a really loyal following, my people came back to me time and time again. I always worked in the best interest of my customers and clients. I knew that my job might have been to advise them but the bottom line was, it was their decision to purchase or to sell.
I could never have been so successful in nonprofit work if I didn’t get along with everyone. As a highly successful development director I knew that I needed to raise friends before I could raise funds. I knew that I needed to respect people and their generosity. There are so many great causes to support. You have to give people a reason to want to support you and the cause that you represent.
My husband would never have lasted 34 years as a Civil Servant if he didn’t do a good job serving the public. He always knew that it wasn’t about him; it was about what he could do to make the people that he served happy.
Most of the people that we know and have as friends are really hard working people that made their money doing whatever it took to make the public and their customers and clients happy.
There are many service providers that need your business, appreciate your business and as a result deserve your business. Don’t support the ones that don’t do a good job, it sends the wrong message. There are many people out there who are hungry for your business and they will want to serve you and to serve you well. They will want you to be happy. Never settle for less, you don’t have too.
Brian and I are really loyal customers, we shop at the same places, eat at the same restaurants and have rewards cards as a result. My husband has supported the same hair stylists for over 25 year and not out of habit. The guy is really good and understands the importance of always providing good service.
If you enter into a relationship with a service provider and it isn't working for whatever reasons, you have to be willing to terminate that business relationship. Even if it is a relative or a friend. Business is business.
Find service providers who do the job that you need and want and that have a desire not only to make you happy but that take great pride in working hard for you. The ones who deliver the desired results. This way everyone is happy!