OK – I don’t mean that literally. But show them some love. If they’ve proved their worth, tell them you appreciate what they do. At the end of the day most estate agents are really good people doing the best they can for their clients.
It’s remarkable how the industry has changed over 20 years. I remember in the 1980’s and 1990’s – when estate agents had a really poor reputation. Ethical standards were low, and almost anyone with a pulse and a car could call themselves an estate agent.
Today it’s very different, and for good reason. The barrier to entry has been significantly raised, with all agents needing to be properly qualified. In addition to this, agents have to engage in “continued professional development” (CPD) – so that they remain fully informed of changing requirements and improve their skills.
It’s easier said than done though. Have some empathy for the thousands who are compliant, despite having to deal with the Estate Agency Affairs Board who often doesn’t know their left hand from their right…
Real estate is a very overtraded business – where the level of sales is not enough to sustain the number of estate agents that trade. To survive, successful agents have to live, eat, and sleep real estate – often sacrificing time with their families in order to service their clients and succeed.
It’s not unusual for an agent to work 6 days a week, from 8am to 8pm. The nature of the business is stressful, as professional agents appreciate how important your property is to you. Many lie awake at night stressing about how to get their clients the result they want.
Yes – we are well paid when we’re successful! So don’t feel sorry for us. But estate agents often bear the brunt of frustration from clients when the market doesn’t yield the result they want, or when there are delays in the registration process completely out of their control. It’s usually easier to reach your agent and vent than it is the attorney, the bank, or mortgage broker involved.
Not all estate agents are created equal. But at the end of the day estate agents are normal people, just like you. They are trying to provide for their families and to survive in a very competitive business world. They do the very best they can to fulfill your needs – so be specific in telling them what you expect and how they can serve you.
Don’t underestimate how much it means to an agent when you tell them how much you appreciate it when they deliver what you want from them. Commendation is a great motivator – so don’t hold back!
As an estate agent active in the industry for over 25 years I can confirm that most agents really value the privilege of being able to assist you with your property needs. We realize what a significant impact this has on your life and we want your experience to be a positive one that will make a difference to you and your family. So give us a hug and share the love! And give us the chance to serve you as you truly deserve.
Principal, Harcourts Platinum
Director, Harcourts South Africa