The Reputation of Your Austin Realtor Matters

by Steve Crossland, REALTOR in Austin TX on August 22, 2008 · 3 comments

An Austin Realtor who works with buyers in south Austin has brought the buyers for three of our listings in the past 6 months. Sylvia commented to me yesterday that when the agent called to say she was bringing another offer, she told Sylvia “I was so happy to see that it was your listing because I knew it was going to show great and be priced right”.

The intangible value of this can’t be overstated. When you list your home for sale, you probably have no idea what reputation (good or bad) of your agent enjoys among peers, but it’s an important thing to consider. Next time you interview a Realtor, ask them straight up, “what is your reputation among other agents and how will it benefit me if I choose you?”

Likewise, when we ourselves are working with buyers, there are certain listing agents, many from our own Keller Williams office, whom we absolutely know will not place a listing on the market until it is ready to show and who always help their sellers price the home right. Does this matter? Yes, it matters a lot. Those listings get shown more.

In the case of our listings, when other agents know in advance of showing a property that it will be a good show, in most cases professionally staged, they are less likely to weed that listing out when trying to narrow down the 8 to 12 properties that they have time to show the buyer that day. Also, when driving to the listing, the agent is more likely to “prime the pump”, so to speak, by saying things such as “oh, I know this one will show well. This agent always has the home staged well and priced right”. I say such things to my buyers, so I’m sure other agents do the same. This creates, in advance of showing, a positive impression of the home before the buyer has even seen it, much as great curb appeal sets into motion a set of positive emotions about a listing before a buyer even steps inside. As a seller, you want you home to enjoy this ever so subtle but important edge against the competition.

On the other hand, sometimes I look at the listing agent name on the printout and mutter to myself “Oh for crying out loud, not this idiot again”, as memories of a prior nightmare transaction come rushing back. Some agents infect their transaction with their own personality flaws, control issues and generally combative personalities, which makes a transaction less likely to go smoothly as the other party is receiving bad advice. In the case of listings listed by lousy agents, unless the listing is a standout in some way on paper, it’s not likely to survive the cut if we have an over abundance of candidate homes to show our buyer and start weeding out the best ones. Reputation matters. We all want our clients to enjoy a smooth successful transaction. Agents with bad reputations make such transaction difficult to achieve and are thus avoided when all other factor are equal.

Back to our South Austin buyer agent who has brought us 3 deals in 6 months, that agent conversely has a good reputation with us. I overheard Sylvia telling our seller on the phone when presenting the last offer that “we’ve worked with this buyer’s agent and this same lender that her buyers use before, and they are both really good and run a clean deal on their side”.

Reputation matters. Being able to say that to our seller makes it more likely that the offer will be viewed in a positive way and lets our seller know that, with this buyer, the risk factor of the deal going sideways is lower because of our positive past experience with the agent and lender.

The top agent at our office often preaches “the most important relationship you have in this business is your relationship with other agents. Don’t let anyone tell you any different. Always be nice. Always be professional and cordial, even when the other agent is a complete jerk. It matters to your clients and it will determine your success.”

Sylvia and I have taken that advice to heart and try our best to practice that principle. And sometimes it is indeed very, very difficult, but it does pay dividends for our clients, and that matters most of all.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Dena Davis August 23, 2008 at 3:42 pm

I am so glad to hear somene blog about this. This is SOOOOO TRUE. I work the east austin market– There we have had a lot of appreciation. But there are some agents who consistently price their properties 10% to 20% over value. The condition of the property is bad. I wont show her properties. Its just ridiculous.

Agents have to find a way to make their sellers understand. There is so much pricing data available– there is no excuse for an overpriced house. I know its hard to tell a seller that even though their home is the same sq. footage as another similar home that it wont fetch that price due to lack of upgrades. Sometimes sellers refer to their “new kitchen” that is really vintage 1995. We want to keep in favor with the seller — but we must look for ways to make them understand.

It really is better to walk away then to let one property soil your reputation and waste the time of your peers. It’s kind of like being a doctor with the wrong diagnosis — but doctors records are private. Our records are out in the public for all to see.

2 Ashley August 24, 2008 at 4:04 pm

Is this an advertisement for you and Keller Williams? At least that is the message I continue to get.when reading many of your “integrity” posts Stick to your stats info.

3 Steve Crossland August 24, 2008 at 8:02 pm

> Is this an advertisement for you and Keller Williams?

Hi Ashley,

Yes. The entire website is an advertisement for us, as Keller Williams agents, including the blog.

It’s also an educational resource and a chance for readers to hear about some of the inner workings of the real estate business, what goes on in deals, how we view the business, how we do business, etc.

My intention is, through anecdotal stories among other things, to offer and share perspective about the business and how we see things. This particular blog article is meant to make a point that I don’t think a lot of real estate consumers are aware of, which is, it matters how your agent is viewed by others in the industry. Reputation matters. Yes, we have a good reputation and I don’t mind tooting our horn about it.

Take care,

Steve

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