When a Professional agrees to work with a client, that professional owes the client a whole passel of “Duties” over and above the prevailing Legal Requirements of lesser levels of service.
In Tennessee, a Real Estate Sales licensee does not “Represent” a home Buyer or seller unless there is a WRITTEN Buyer Representation (Agency) Agreement.
Until that agreement is fully understood and executed, the person being served is a “CUSTOMER” . . . NOT a “CLIENT” . . . and when the Professional : Client relationship is created, BOTH parties have obligations.
The professional has “Fiduciary Duties” which include negotiating in the best interest of the client (as long as it’s lawful), serving and protecting from harm relating to the transaction, and holding personal information and matters relating to the transaction in confidence (Confidentiality) – among other duties.
The Client pledges to be loyal to the Professional, cooperative, and forthcoming with information pertaining to the transaction.
Sometimes things can uncomfortable for the Professional . . .
Sometimes Professionals might “forget whom they represent.”
Some of the “ways” a professional may go awry:
- When the Professional feels the Client is being “Unreasonable” or unfair in a negotiation and takes the side of the opposing party.
- When the Professional sees a deal going South and has a fit of “Commission Breath” resulting in ill-advising the client to continue to move forward because of a need for the commission $$$$
- The Professional loses control of the mouth during a negotiation and gives away confidential information to the other agent.
- The professional speaks on the client’s behalf “out of turn” . . . makes a commitment without the client’s approval.
- The Professional speaks poorly of the client
While negotiating, we Sometimes have to say and do things which make us cringe . . . we’ve got to know how to keep our poker faces and BELIEVE in our clients.
Where most go wrong has almost everything to do with allowing EMOTIONS into the mix. Compassion is a good thing but not at the cost of violating fiduciary responsibility.
Often, two “Opposing Professionals” might be good friends who just happen to have opposing client relationships – She has the Buyer and He has the Seller. These can be the toughest deals because of the friendship relationship and the possibility of not wanting to taint that . . . and a higher possibility of loose lips.
These are tough lessons to learn, and they are WELL worth your attention as a professional.
ALL Things to think about when you decide to take on clients . . .
and we ALL have plenty of learning to do relating to our negotiating skills and strategies.
How do we do it?
How do we represent EVERY client EVERY time and stay true to our fiduciary duties?
I think it takes PRACTICE – LOTS of PRACTICE!
and it can’t hurt for us professionals to gather occasionally to discuss war stories (without breaching confidentiality) and talk about strategies and pitfalls.
September 11 @ 10 AM, I’ll be facilitating a lively Mastermind with anyone who dares show up.
We’ll talk about things like handling Multiple Offer Scenarios, dealing with difficult clients (and difficult REALTORS), negotiating with builders and vendors.
Will you show up?
Hope you have a GREAT Labor Day Weekend.