Welcome back to Sweet 650 Homes! I had quite a busy summer, and haven’t been able to do as much blogging per usual (aside from your monthly market updates). For this episode, however, I wanted to speak from the heart about a topic that I believe only those within the real estate industry think, or even worry about, quite often: loyalty. More specifically, client loyalty.
It’s no secret that a real estate agent can get paid handsomely in the Bay Area, if they are dedicating significant time to learning their craft and are known contributors to their community. It is also no secret that many agents are NOT dedicating significant time to learning their craft, and also skip trying to build any rapport within their neighborhoods, cities, and communities. The classic trope about real estate agents is that they are simply looking for a quick path to their next commission check. I think many people assume this and, though it is not always the case, there are definitely a few in our industry who that applies to. Hey, who doesn’t need every dollar they can get in this part of the country? Making ends meet in the S.F. Bay Area is not exactly rocket science; it’s actually much harder than that.
On any given day around a real estate office, you might catch one of the aforementioned corner-cutting agents griping about client loyalty. So what is client loyalty in the real estate game? Client loyalty is the expectation that a customer will retain the services of their agent long enough to get the job done, be it on the seller’s side or the buyer’s side. In fact, client loyalty becomes more important when an agent fails in their mission. Why? Because the longer it takes for said agent to complete his or her task of helping their client purchase or sell a home, the more work they have to do for the same check they would have received had the job been done in a more timely manner. There’s no pay until the job is done, and the more work that is put towards completing the job, the more important that commission check becomes. If you are a client and you think it won’t work with your Realtor®, it’s better to fire your agent before any more work gets done. A good agent knows that loyalty in this business is an earned privilege and not an unalienable right.
The kicker is that agents often forget who it is they are representing. The client’s interests come before anyone else’s, including the agent’s own interest, and loyalty in our industry is a two-way street. Clients need an agent who pledges loyalty towards them, before expecting it from them. And in this case, loyalty goes hand in hand with patience. We in the industry often forget, in the competitive rat-race of home sales between agents, that people are buying or selling the most important possession in their lives. This is their home…their castle… their memory-factory. Selling homes goes beyond calling someone and asking if they want to sell their home or buy a home. Selling homes means following up, getting to know the client’s family, their work schedule, their life plans, and providing them the necessary assistance in a way that fits in with the rest of what they have going on. We must demonstrate our value, loyalty, knowledge, and most importantly, patience, before we can ever expect that back from our clients. It’s just the way it has to be if we are to be a respected industry.