Professionalism And Respect In Real Estate

26 Oct 2017

I have a question for you about door knocking other agents sign boards.

Do YOU think it is RIGHT?

The other night I got really angry. I was upset because some of my clients and friends had lost listings to other real estate agents who had door knocked their CURRENT listings. Properties that had For Sale signs out the front.

I was so angry that I wrote a post in a real estate group that said if agents door knock other agents listings, that it was ‘a low life dog act’. Maybe that was a bit harsh, but I was upset.

At that point I was looking at it from an agents perspective, it wasn’t even my vendor, it was not my sale, it was not my money.

But it made me really upset.

Why? Because as real estate agents we know what it’s like when we lose a listing. We know how hard we work on getting a property listed for sale – sometimes it can take years – literally it can take YEARS for a seller to come on to the market.

We can all relate to the work that goes into getting some listings.

The agents that lost the listings to the ‘sign jumpers’, are great hard working people with their hearts in the right place. They work for their vendors always! They always do their best.

Yes, they had SET THEIR SELLERS UP and told them that other agents may come door knocking. They had told them what may happen.

So what I like to call ‘a lazy agent’, door knocked and interfered with one of their sales – they talked the vendor out of a potential sale saying he could get them more etc. Well, you know the old story.

With regards to my post on Facebook, a lot of agents agreed with me, sending me LOADS of private messages – people who did not want to enter the debate.

And I got one or two that were extremely upset.

I found there are 4 different thoughts in regards to this practice:

  • Never under any circumstances door knock another agents for sale sign.
  • Diarise (approximately) when you believe the property will be out of exclusive agency agreement and door knock.
  • Wait a week or two after the For Sale sign goes up and door knock the seller to see if you can help them buy a house.
  • Go for your life and door knock – It’s totally OK – if you think you are better than the other agent then just walk right past the other agents For Sale sign and door knock the seller. Tell them how bad their current agent is and how much better you are.

After getting different perspectives online, I spoke to many more people. I spoke to loads of million dollar producers, I spoke to lots of different agents.

To quote two agents I spoke to who are both million dollar producers –
“If you’re good at what you do, you don’t need to door knock other agents listings”
“I’ve always been too busy looking after MY NETWORK OF PEOPLE to do that sort of thing”

Next we will look briefly at the legal side of things.

Every state in Australia has a different interpretation and in NSW the Property, Stock and Business Agents Act 2002 No 66 states ‘A licensee must not solicit or encourage a person to enter into an agency agreement with the licensee if the licensee is prohibited from entering into the agreement by this section’.

There are legal implications of sign jumping but then I think it also comes down to your own interpretation of what’s right.

I think you also need to consider how you want to be treated. If you do this to other agents, expect that others will do it to you.

Is this nice for the sellers to experience the back biting and carry on that agents go on with?

Can you imagine a doctor walking the floors at the hospital looking for patients that hadn’t been operated on yet, giving out their business card? Whilst giving out their card the Doctor said if they wanted to live, they’d better swap to their services.

So, if agents want to be treated with respect and professionalism, we need to act with respect to our competitors and act like professionals.

Ask yourself, why do real estate agents have a bad name? Isn’t it time we started to question why and fix it?

If another agent lists a property in your area.

Learn from it. Get better. Improve your marketing. Get known.

Improve your closing. Improve your follow-up.

If you didn’t get the listing, ask Why?

When another agent signs up a listing in your area there’s really only two reasons you didn’t get the business:

  1. The owners didn’t know you.
  2. The owners thought the other agent was better. (for whatever the reason – they were referred, they added more value, they were better on the day)

That’s the reality.

What do you think is appropriate behaviour?

You might not agree with me on this. I’ve found quite a few who haven’t and what I have said might make some people angry.
What do you think? Is this a nice way to do business?

There are loads of ways to find listings. If you don’t have systems in place to get listings, you’d better give me a call ASAP. I teach my coaching clients 28 ways to find listings.

Lisa B
EAC Industry Reporter
The Real Estate Hotline

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