"We don't care about the time you are giving your partner, we are paying you, he isn't" is probably something you should never text your real estate agent at 10:30pm on a Friday night. Well, it's probably something you should just never text anyone, period. But alas, these things happen. If you're a buyer or a seller in this market, you know that while inventory is low, emotions are running high for all of us. The goal of this blog post is not to chastise anyone for their past actions, but instead to help both Realtors and consumers alike ensure that their expectations are fully understood before entering into a contractual relationship.
It's normal to expect a lot from your Realtor, and any good real estate agent knows what they've signed up for once you're in the business for a few years. Being a Realtor isn't a 9-5 job, nor should it be. Sending texts, emails, and the occasional phone call after most people head home for the day is something we've all done and are accustomed to. However, with everything, there are limitations and expectations that have to be set. I try to tell all of my clients that I will do my best to respond to them as quickly as I possibly can, and during the day I rarely take more than half an hour to an hour to get back to a missed call or text message. I also make sure to tell my clients that after dark, when I'm at home cooking dinner or enjoying the night with my partner, I may not get back to them until the morning, unless it's an emergency. 99% of my clients (many of whom are probably reading this right now, hello!) completely understand this and never have an issue.
I recently had to, for the first time ever, release a client from the relationship that we had together and dissolve the exclusive right to represent contract between us. This was not an easy decision, but I knew that I was not going to be able to meet the expectations that this particular client was looking for from their real estate agent. As mentioned in the last paragraph, I do my best to make myself available at all times during the day, and at night my response time may be longer than typical, and this client was not respecting the expectations that I had tried to set, in addition to ignoring the advice that I was trying to give regarding offers on properties. It was around 10:30pm on a Friday night, and this client was demanding a response from the sellers by the end of the night on an offer that we had earlier submitted on a property. After trying to explain that I may not be able to get a response to them that night, I also apologized for not answering their texts immediately because I was trying to give equal time to both them and my partner. That is when they responded with "we don't care about the time you're giving your partner, we are paying you, he isn't." There had previously been issues of the similar sort with this client that I tried to push to the side. However, the line had been crossed, and I immediately terminated the contract, to which they were not happy about and continued to call me 26 times in a row, leaving me voicemails and texts messages calling me disgusting expletives.
This is not a sob story, and I am not looking for sympathy by any means, what I would like for people to take away from this post is that Realtors are humans, too. We have lives, families, partners, children, elderly parents or grandparents to care for, pets and all the other things that come with being a living breathing meat sack. We do our best to balance that as well as help our clients make the largest financial decision of their lifetimes. Realtors who have been in the business for a while know the gravity of the situation that our clients are in when buying or selling a home. I remember one time a few years ago I went out in the middle of winter to paint the side of a client's house so that it would pass an FHA appraisal. My clients become my friends after we close on a home together, because of the great relationships we are able to build throughout the process thanks to great communication.
The happiest moments of our careers are the your happiest days as well, and real estate offers some of the strongest symbiotic relationships in the world. We succeed when you succeed. We fail when you fail.
Thanks for listening,
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson
J Philip Real Estate, LLC.