Being a real estate agent is a complex career with lots of moving parts. It’s easy to get caught up in all the little details and not realize how you may appear to those around you. The last thing you want, though, is for your clients to see you in a negative light.
We’ve put together a list of five things you are probably doing that your clients think are lazy and what you can do instead to make sure they see the value in what you’re doing for them.
Here Are Five Things Agents Do That Clients Think Are Lazy
1. Not Following Up After Your Open House
You finished up your open house and had several people come through. You have a sign-up sheet full of people who are actively looking for a new home. Sure, there will be a few nosy neighbors or lookie-loos, but there are bound to be some gems on that list. Most people who share their contact info are expecting to get a follow-up message from you. When you don’t follow up, you come across as inattentive to those guests’ needs.
What to do instead
Make sure you reach back out to everyone who visited your open house. Thank them for coming and ask them for feedback. That’s valuable information both for the seller and for you. You can share the feedback on the listing with the seller. You can also find out more about what your guest is looking for in a new home. Ask them if they’re working with a Realtor® and if they’re not already spoken for, this is your opportunity to build rapport and become their trusted professional.
It can be exhausting trying to keep up with everyone you meet at your open houses. You need a good system to keep up with your entire database, including prospects, clients, and beyond. Organize, manage, and nurture your people with a customer relationship management system (CRM) like IXACT Contact. They’re an all-in-one system that can help you stay on top of all your communications. It’s like having a personal assistant who knows your business as well as you do.
2. Not Putting Riders on Your Yard Sign
Driving through neighborhoods with homes for sale, you’ll most likely see some yard signs with riders that say things like “under contract” or “sold.” So when you don’t put one of those on your sign, your sellers might think it’s because you couldn’t be bothered to come to their home to add one.
What to do instead
The truth is, it’s better not to add one of those riders to your listing’s yard sign because it will discourage potential buyers from calling you. But your seller clients don’t know that. Sometimes, as busy real estate agents, we get wrapped up in all the tasks that we forget to sit down with our clients and explain to them why we do what we do.
Have a simple conversation with your clients and tell them why you don’t add riders to your signs. You want to encourage buyers to contact you about the listing, even if it’s already under contract. If something happens along the way and the contract doesn’t make it to the closing table, you have backups to contact to try and get it back under contract as quickly as possible. And if this house isn’t the one for those buyers, you can help them find the one that is.
3. Not Showing Up for Every Little Thing
Working with sellers is a delicate dance. You’ve worked hard to earn their trust and you certainly don’t want to disrupt that relationship. But when you schedule things like professional photography, a home inspection, or an appraisal and you don’t show up for it, that’s exactly what you are in danger of doing. Sure, we as agents totally understand not being present for these things—we really don’t need to be there and our time is better spent somewhere else. But our clients may see our presence as part of the job.
What to do instead
The key here is making sure your seller clients know that if you’re not present for the photo shoot or the home inspection, it’s not because you’re being lazy. You need to set their expectations before you get started. Let them know that you’ve hired a professional you trust to do the job. You’re doing other things that are needed, like working on digital ads for the listing, scheduling appointments, or drafting emails to send out to your sphere, to get your client’s home sold faster.
4. Not Sending a Carefully Curated List to Buyer Clients
Working with buyer clients is a lot of work. You need to comb through your Multiple Listing Service (MLS) feed each day looking for homes that fit your client’s criteria. Today’s technology has made that chore a lot easier, but when you let the automated system send homes that don’t fit your client’s needs, you come across as asleep at the wheel.
What to do instead
Don’t just put your clients on an automated drip of MLS listings. (Zillow can always do that better!) It takes an extra step, but don’t let the list go out to your clients without you checking it first. If there’s a listing that is outside your client’s price range or doesn’t quite fit their specifications, acknowledge that in the email you send along with the list. Explain that you know it’s not the perfect fit, but you thought they might want to take a look anyway. Tell them what makes this listing worthy of their consideration. That little extra step in this process makes you look like a rock star who cares about your clients’ needs.
5. Not Sharing Feedback From Showings
Sellers are counting on you to help them get their home sold in the shortest amount of time and for the most amount of money possible. You should understand that when you’re scheduling showings, your clients are eager to hear feedback from you on what potential buyers think of their home. They are desperate for validation. When you don’t get feedback from buyers agents after showings, your sellers can lose faith in your abilities fast.
What to do instead
Be sure to follow up with every single agent who brings buyers through your listing. Start a spreadsheet with agent’s names and contact information, scheduled showings, and any feedback you get from those agents about the home. Keep track of all feedback in your spreadsheet and be sure to discuss it with your sellers. If you have several showings, you should have some valuable feedback to share with your clients. If you don’t get a lot of showings, that too is valuable feedback.
These are only five things that our clients can misconstrue as apathetic or even careless when they don’t understand why we’re doing what we’re doing. But we can’t blame our clients. It’s up to us to not only demonstrate our value, but also explain the process in detail.
For example, when working with your sellers, don’t just tell them to de-clutter and de-personalize their home without explaining why they should do that. Share the reasons behind everything we do as an agent to help get their home sold.
Buyers are already anxious. Be sure to give your clients a buyer’s checklist that explains everything about the process so they know what to expect. Their biggest fear is being blindsided by something along the way. Don’t let that happen. Make sure they know exactly what to expect at each step in the process.
The biggest takeaway? You have to stay in constant communication with your clients to ensure they don’t interpret the things you’re doing, or not doing, as you being lazy. Being a real estate agent is a full-time career. And there are so many little details to focus on in your business that it can actually be overwhelming.
But your job, from the outside, can look easy to your clients. (How many of your clients have expressed an interest in getting their real estate license at the end of your transaction? Yeah, we’ve seen it too.)
Honestly, we try to make it look easy because we want our clients to be as calm as possible, never letting them see us sweat, cry, throw things when we’re frustrated, or stay up way past our bedtime working. But if they don’t know about all the things we do behind the scenes, they’ll never know how hard we’re working for them. We simply need to share in order for them to get it.
Have you had clients that thought you weren’t working hard enough for them? Have you had any clients say something along the lines of “your job is so easy?” Did you share all the things you do behind the scenes they don’t see? What other things can we add to this list? I would love to hear your stories and how you overcame these delicate situations. Share them in the comments.