I had an opportunity today to remind another REALTOR that we Real Estate Sales Professionals practice some seldom spoken but widely known rules of etiquette.
“Everyone Else Does It!” doesn’t fly as an excuse for a 10 year old any more than it does for we adults 🙂
Etiquette is not always the same as Laws, Rules, and Ethics . . . and is not necessarily a written code.
Laws, rules, and ethics are enforceable because they’re clearly defined and easily understood (mostly) . . . violate any of these 3, and you might find yourself facing a “jury of your peers” to ‘splain your behavior.
Etiquette is different – Less well-defined, but I’m not sure any less universally understaood . . . Most professionals know “Good Etiquette” from “Bad Etiquette” when they see it. I would also argue that most pros KNOW when they step on the dark side (Violate good etiquette standards)
Here’s the rub . . . Even though etiquette is not easily measured/quantified, it is still policed by the same “jury of Peers” as the others (albeit in a less formal manner).
Repeat offenders of bad etiquette deservedly earn a REPUTATION which could significant impact their effectiveness in the marketplace . . . which serves NO ONE well.
If only there could be a “Finishing School” for sales Professionals with bad etiquette . . .
Here’s a short list of “Good etiquette” Tips:
(Please note that for each of these an opposite behavior that has been witnessed to move the “Right Behavior” to be listed here :-))
when Showing Houses:
- ALWAYS arrange Showings with as much prior notice as possible and NEVER attempt to enter a house without having showing confirmation and ALWAYS knock before entering
- Leave the house just as you found it unless you have different showing instructions
- Leave evidence for the Seller that you actually showed up (In my area, this means leaving a business card)
- Be SURE to lock ALL exterior doors and arm alarms (if requested)
- If you’re going to be late, CALL the agent or showing center and request they contact the Seller to let them know.
- NEVER EVER enter a property unless you have been confirmed to show it . . . Don’t walk in the yard – Don’t peek in the windows – KEEP OUT unless you have a confirmed showing or preview appointment.
- If you encounter the Seller, DO NOT interrogate . . . BAD Karma!
- If something goes wrong (Set off an alarm, let a pet out, soil the carpet, break something), FESS UP! Call the listing agent and let her know what happened and do whatever it takes to make things right.
- CALL the listing agent and have a conversation to let her know you MAY be bringing an offer and ask her if there’s anything you need to know about the Seller’s scenario that could help you structure a cleaner offer.
- ASK if there are any other offers being considered NOW
- When you send the offer – ALSO CALL and TEXT the agent that you have sent the offer
- DEADLINES – Make them realistic and KNOW your consequence if they are not honored.
- SEND AS COMPLETE PAPERWORK AS POSSIBLE – Make is EASY for the Seller to accept your offer by sending the whole enchilada.
- BE AVAILABLE during the negotiation to Talk (This does not include only text and email)
- DO NOT talk about this deal on Facebook AT ALL until it is CLOSED (Might also be a legal concern)
- Be THANKFUL for the offer (No Matter WHAT it is)
- Connect with the seller IMMEDIATELY
- Update the Buyer’s agent whenever there’s any news whatsoever (Don’t make them initiate all of the calls for up-dates)
- Be truthful – It’s OK to negotiate in good faith, but you blow your cover when you embellish with little white lies like: “We’ve had a TON of showings the past couple days!” or “I think we have other offers coming in!”
- RESPOND IN WRITING! Don’t request: “to just negotiate verbally until we get closer together with terms/price.”
- KNOW and MEET the deadlines per the contract (or extend them in writing)
- Touch everyone associated with each deal at least once every week
- Take responsibility for driving the process on your end of the transaction.
- If the other side is having difficulties, HELP them . . . offer to generate paperwork or meet people at the house or shuttle documents
- RETURN CALLS, EMAILS, TEXT MESSAGES
- Speak well of (Compliment) the other agent in the presence of his client
- Be THANKFUL to everyone involved for their role
- Be PATIENT and COMPASSIONATE – If things are going weird with someone . . . instead of attacking, PAUSE! Ask if something is wrong and offer to help (This goes a LONG way)