Professionalism Is On Us!
Being a real estate agent can be one of the most exhilarating, fulfilling, and financially rewarding careers. I mean, we get to help people find their HOMES. The place where they spend time with their families—birthdays, holidays, children, and grandparents all come together. A home is the main building where the memories of a person’s life transpire. What a blessing that can be.
Sometimes though, the opposite is true. Closing Day is always the best… but what about the 30+ days leading up to that? We have one of the few jobs where a lot of what we do depends on the other professionals we work with. This has been one of the hardest things for me to personally get used to—the waiting.
For example, take the lender—we need a preapproval to move forward with looking at homes, and of course, writing an offer. The title paperwork has to be done, and all of the money tracked down to the penny before closing so we know what a buyer needs to bring and how much a seller will receive or sometimes bring to sell their home. Sometimes we’re waiting on an offer from another agent or a counter. The countering process always seems to take double the time that it actually (remove actually) requires.
Though we may not realize it, one of our main partners is usually the agent on the other side of our transaction. And yes, I use the term “partner” because, without cooperation between these two agents, a deal can be a nightmare. That cooperation entails many things such as; responding reasonably and promptly to texts and phone calls, maintaining constant communication with your clients and the other agent on the financing, inspections, repairs, title issues, scheduling the closing, and exchanging required forms—which there are plenty of!! Unfortunately, this is the nature of the beast in our profession, and these documents are necessary to protect our clients as well as ourselves as REALTORS®. I’d like to encourage my fellow real estate partners to commit to doing a better job in this area.
The truth is, we have a lot to do.
And the busier we are, the worse the paperwork is, and the harder it is to keep track of things and communicate promptly. But guess what??
We signed up for this—warts and all.
Recently, I’ve seen a couple of transactions where I have vowed to try to never do business with a particular agent again. And please don’t assume that these were brand new agents who didn’t know any different. A couple of times the agent in question had many more years of experience than me. When you consider the tools at our disposal now, like electronic signature programs, this is pretty unacceptable. They should make our job easier, and it does. Still, it’s also increased our workload because we’re not running around getting signatures—we’re taking on more transactions, requiring more paperwork…and it becomes a vicious cycle.
“Article 3 REALTORS® shall cooperate with other brokers except when cooperation is not in the client’s best interest. The obligation to cooperate does not include the obligation to share commissions, fees, or to otherwise compensate another broker.” (NAR 2020 Code of Ethics, 2020)
If you’re reading this and thinking “ouch”….it’s ok!! There’s always time to improve moving forward, and I’m challenging us all to do so. It’s worth taking an extra half hour at the end of the day to finish up some required signatures, initials and emails. And if your brokerage doesn’t have a system or assistants to help you keep up with some of this, maybe you can ask your broker what could be done to help because you probably aren’t the only one struggling.
Ultimately, we are here for our clients but held accountable to each other and our brokers. We truly need to take our level of professionalism to the highest level, and we need to hold each other to a higher standard, whether it’s returning phone calls promptly, or even take some professionalism classes. Being a REALTOR® can be a noble profession, and it’s our duty to serve in this capacity in all aspects of our business.
2020 Code of Ethics & Standards of Practice. (2020). Retrieved June 25, 2020, from https://www.nar.realtor/about-nar/governing-documents/code-of-ethics/2020-code-of-ethics-standards-of-practice