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Buyers: Do Not Judge a Book by its Cover!

Most buyers in this day and age start online when searching for a home. When buyers do start their home search I always suggest to them, “Do not discount a property because of the photos you see online”. With many of the properties listed on the MLS (Multiple Listing Service), the photos are sub-par. I have shown homes that the photos were absolutely awful and when we arrived to view the property………what a gem!

The same can also be said for photos that are enhanced and tend to not show a very accurate portrait of the home that is listed for sale. I have shown houses that the buyers may have high expectations prior to entering the property, then upon viewing the home……. what a dump!

So you see the moral of the story is please, please, please, tour the home with your Realtor if it checks off all the boxes within your criteria list.

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Customer Service Should Be Top Priority for Real Estate Agents and Brokerages

Real estatimagese agents are, at times, not given a fair shake. People place us right up there with used car salesmen(no offence to the honest ones out there). Do you ever wonder why? Customer service ring a bell? On a daily basis we build relationships with many people; buyers, sellers, mortgage loan officers, home inspectors, appraisers, contractors, Attorneys, title company closers & processers, and  handymen to name a few. How many hats do we wear in any given day? In my opinion…many! We must be there for the people who trusted us with one of the most important purchases or sales of their lifetime, the buyers and sellers in which we serve. Do we not owe it to them to be honest, communicate often and with clarity and assurance that we have the knowledge, stamina, fortitude, and ability to bring their home purchase or sale to closing? Oh yea and MOST of us adhere strictly to the Realtor code of Ethics while doing the many tasks it takes to bring a real estate transaction to a smooth and stress free close .

Ever call a listing agent to set-up a home showing and not get a call back for a day or two….or not at all??? Come on people you signed up to do the best job possible for that seller. Are you really serving their needs by not communicating with your Realtor colleagues? If you don’t want the calls…..really??? You are a Real Estate agent and do not want calls?… That always perplexed me; Well if that’s the case hire a showing service to set-up the appointments or at the very least an assistant. Some agents direct you to set-up showings- call list office. Well one thing’s for sure you better be an agent that works 9 to 5 and make sure you get that call in before the close of business. Ok the point I am trying to stress; communication is a huge part of great customer service.  We all need to be mindful of this and strive to perfect our ability to communicate with not only our clients, but everyone we come in contact with during a typical real estate transaction.

The latest technology can certainly help Realtors with customer service. Many MLS’s have a SHOWING button and this will in turn text or e-mail you depending on how you set it up. Check out the many apps for phones and tablets, many of them very user friendly for those of us who are technologically challenged. Most of the time your local board offers classes to help with these programs and the newest technologies out there.

On my way home from listing a condo one day I stopped at a local establishment to meet up with friends. I heard a gentleman griping beside me about a Realtor he had previously spoke to that he was trying to get in touch with to show him some houses. He was about to head back to his home state in a few days, but was planning on retiring, getting a job here in this state in two or three months. This Realtor would not respond to his calls. I politely asked him if he had signed a buyer brokerage agreement with her or had some type of agent/client relationship with her. I do not and will not step on another Realtor’s toes!  He told me he only spoke to her a couple of times and never met her, but he was desperate because he was going back to Michigan in a couple of days and wanted to look at what the area had to offer for housing opportunities. Long story short I took him to look at properties the next day and the rest as they say is history. Closed on a home for him….and he referred me to his mother and I listed and sold her house.

Communication is key to great customer service but we also must listen to what is important to our clients/customers. What are they truly looking for in a home or for a seller, what is their motivation and what is their time line? Just think how you would like to be treated if you were a buyer or seller. When in doubt the Golden Rule, truly, always works best!