The Best Way to Destroy Your Reputation...

Real Estate Agent with | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 228209

The Best Way to Destroy Your Reputation...

Oh, I'm sure everyone has their opinion of real estate agents and particularly, those characteristics that bring our profession's reputation down to one of the least respected of all professions.  My biggest beef with my peers is poor communication. I used to believe that those of us who give 100% to our clients are eventually, "going to weed the wanna-be agents out of the business so, take a deep breath and just deal with it!
Well, the number of new agents continues to rise so, if you're a new agent (or one who needs a reminder), please read and take this issue very seriously

This evening, as I look at my 'to-do' list for tomorrow, guess how many of my calls are follow-up calls to agents who have not responded to me? Four of my calls will be to agents whom I've already sent texts, emails and left voice mails concerning a BUYER question for their sellers! FOUR!  Two are for the same client and since I had not heard back from either agent and let my buyer know that this evening, his answer was, "We'll work with the first one that calls us back!" 

How sad is that?




Recently I had an agent whom I basically had to STALK to get a response regarding an INTERESTED BUYER question for his seller before putting in our Offer.  FINALLY, I got a call back and he apologized saying that he tries to take care of his clients first, then, and ONLY then, if he has TIME, he'll phone agents back!  Get this--'as long as it's before 5:00!' He didn't laugh - he was serious!


If you're a listing agent and a buyer's agent phones you--you really NEED to respond!  When you don't, you're doing your seller an injustice. As well, I relayed to my buyers that I could not get ahold of the agent to find the answer to their question.  I don't want them to think that I'm the one falling down on the job so, I ALWAYS let them know when I've left messages for other agents and will get back to them, as soon as I hear back. With each attempt, I keep my clients informed so that they KNOW that I'm doing everything I can to get their answers for them.  


Communicate, communicate, communicateJust as these particular clients were almost ready to move on to choice #2 (which was really a 'tie' for #1), worried that this is how the entire transaction was going to be with this agent, we received the above described call back. Even if everything, moving forward in this transaction goes beautifully, these clients will NEVER have anything good to share about that agent because they already don't like him and think that he is a 'slacker!'  (their word, not mine!)  Their new neighbors and their current neighbors, friends and family will never use the agent because of my clients' experience with him and the frustration that nearly made them have to move to their second choice. 


Think about it--their experience with him was not even a DIRECT one but, because of poor communication, his reputation will suffer--the real kicker-- this agent is under the (false) impression that he's only ignoring agent calls!  


Isn't returning agent calls about one of our listings the same thing as returning a client call--after all, aren't we working for our SELLERS in this situation?  Remember: we, unimportant agents, are calling to try to help YOU sell your client's homes!  




A 2-minute phone call (or even a 30 second TEXT or email) is certainly NOT worth jeopardizing my reputation; I simply don't understand agents who ignore peer communication on a routine basis!  What can we do to help improve communication across the board in our profession? 


© Debe Maxwell | The Maxwell House Group | |  The Best Way to Destroy Your Reputation...


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Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

And expecially when we have so many forms of communication!  Crazy!

Oct 16, 2017 09:50 PM #113
Charles Vasels
Corona, CA

Ok, the post made me laugh because when I read the title I was already thinking of the reply I would write here--and it was the same as the article. The A#1  method of quick execution of your reputation is the simplest thing in the world and it only has to happen once to be effective, and thats to not return a call. You can be A+++ in absolutely everything but you miss that call or you dont return it, BAM! finished. No matter how ill you are, no matter how much you hate the transaction you are in, for gods sakes answer the phone each and every time. I KNOW that can be painful but its exactly what makes all the difference. The phone. The call. The person. Trust me.

Oct 17, 2017 03:42 AM #114
Terry McCarley
REMAX Realty Team - Cape Coral FL - Cape Coral, FL

I have experienced the same problem numerous times.  It is beyond frustrating to say the least!  I honestly don’t understand how agents that don’t return phone calls even stay in business

Oct 17, 2017 04:16 AM #115
Chris Lima
Atlantic Shores Realty Expertise - Port St Lucie, FL
Local or Global-Allow me to open doors for you.

Oh, this is one of my pet peeves.  Thankfully, the majority of agents do a great job of balancing the teeter totter, but dealing with this type of agent can be exhausting.

Personally, I have lost a buyer due to this type of scenario and guess who I lost the buyers to?........The listing agent that was ignoring me was more than happy to take calls from buyers. It's one thing to be lackadaisical with your business, but to purposely ignore an agent to try and obtain both sides is inexcusable. 

Oct 17, 2017 06:09 AM #116
Carol Tunis
Florida Homes Realty & Mortgage - Saint Augustine, FL
Carol Tunis...a "HouseSold" name!

Thank you for this post!  Nothing more frustrating than lack of communication with another agent.  Total disrespect for their fellow agents and to whom they are work for.  Hopefully, this will turn the light bulb on to at least one agent that is in the dark!

Oct 17, 2017 06:16 AM #117
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Specializing in Brookside, Waldo, Prairie Village

I totally agree with you and this is probably my biggest pet peeve--agents who do not respond to calls or texts.  It's not just new agents either--some of the worst are the 'popular' agents who seem to work more on promoting themselves rather than paying attention to details!  That agent who doesn't respond after 5--I've had agents like that as well. I don't expect immediate response but like you, if it relates to a deal in the making--I want prompt communication!

Oct 17, 2017 07:17 AM #118
Richard Bazinet /MBA, CRS, ABR
AZuRE Team - Realty ONE Group - Scottsdale, AZ
Phoenix Scottsdale. Sellers, Buyers & Relocations

In my market Debe, if you have been around for quite some time (like yours truly) reputation goes a long way!

Oct 17, 2017 07:24 AM #119
Sharon Miller
RE/MAX Platinum - Crane Hill, AL


The reality of overwhelming majority of our population has become self-indulgent, to a point, where it adversely affects the efficiency of our society.

A growing number of realtors now consider themselves "card carrying" members of the "I am Important Club".....whereby their every movement centers around themselves. There are numerous motivations for individuals to enter the world of real estate. Some have more legitimacy than others. For many, they are simply looking for a little "egg money" or a medium to feel important, consequently expending time and effort to "go the extra mile" is not in their game plan. These are the same people who don't attempt to further their education, seek out mentors to help them expand their level of professional capabilities or build business relationships for the express purpose of improving their worth to customers and clients.

Sadly, as it relates to a large majority of those who dabble within our profession .....the old adage, "Even a blind squirrel finds an acorn now and again" seems apropos in their minds.

There has been an overall demise within our society as it relates to customer service. As a consequence, many of us must involuntarily interact with these type of individuals when dealing with mortgage loan originators,  closing attorney assistants, home inspectors, surveyors and the list goes on.

For me, I attempt to circumvent, where ever possible, the "non-producer" types. If on occasion, I step on the toes of one of these individual's, there's an almost one-hundred percent chance they "earned" it. 

Let's go make something happen!   

Oct 17, 2017 07:48 AM #120
Gloria Todor
Century 21 Absolute Realty - Media, PA
& Doug Durren (484) 431-3686 in SE PA

Debe, Yes a pet peeve of mine also since it is sooooo easy to communicate these days. I never know what form of communication works with a new agent, so I usually call first.  After some time of no response, I email and text.  That way the agent can choose which method is best for them.

We had a seller agent recently who finally responded to my call, email and text after 24 hours by texting that he was "busy at a listing appointment", then a follow up text that he was "busy at an inspection". He never answered my questions.....too concerned with looking busy....

Oct 17, 2017 08:33 AM #121
Shelley Kindya-Haglund
Destination Florida Realty, Inc. - Spring Hill, FL
Real Estate Broker/Owner Serving North Tampa Bay

Wow Debe.....You hit the nail on the head! I also get very frustrated with non-communication! Trying to set-up showings for buyers as well as being a list agent and buyer's agents do not communicate and give proper notice to show your listings or sometimes no notice at all! I truly believe that great communication is key to success in this business!

Thank-you for giving proper attention to this critical subject!


Oct 17, 2017 08:43 AM #122
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
your real estate writer

My first thought about agents who don't return agent calls regarding their listings is that they don't want someone else to sell them. They want both sides.

I once worked for a broker with that mind-set. He'd get angry with me for giving information to competing agents, saying "When they can't find what they want over there, they'll come here." (This was back in the days when buyers went from office to office looking to see what was available. MLS hadn't yet arrived in our small town.)

My reply always was that I didn't care who sold my listings, I just wanted them sold.

Oct 17, 2017 10:04 AM #123
John Wiley
Right Move Real Estate Group- EXP Realty - Fort Myers, FL
Lee County, FL Real Estate GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA

Debe, you pushed the button that gets me most agitated.

I can not believe how many listing agents do not respond when I have place a call to show their listing. Do the sellers know their agent is not maximizing the opportunities to show their home?

I move in a fast market and waiting 24 hours to just get a response back from the agent means, Good bye, don't have time for this.

Oct 17, 2017 12:19 PM #124
James (Jim) Lawson, DBA LLC - Bonita Springs, FL
Broker Associate, RSPS, BPOR, HI & PE

Tme is of the essence calls get an immediate reply. The rest are answered that day during my return calls period. Listing agents who don't respond accordingly get on my naughty list  and lose potential business from me. This hard-line approach works because in SWFL we have plenty of listings spread over many brokerages and agents for the most popular market segments. Granted, in other markets this approach might not work as well as it works for me.

Oct 17, 2017 12:53 PM #125
Gary & Melynda Wolter (CRS) 480-269-1164
West USA Realty - Mesa, AZ
Relentless, Reliable, Premiere Personal Service

This is by far the biggest problem in the business currently. I think we need a leadership stance and awareness campaign really.

Oct 17, 2017 02:03 PM #126
Steven Beam
RE/MAX Alliance - Parker Colorado Real Estate. - Parker, CO
Parker Colorado Real Estate

Showing up is 90% of this business. By just answering my phone I get several deals per year. Follow up is crutial because we all know that the next broker is just one quick phone call away. We can all be replaced and that goes for homes too.


Hey would you like me to send you some Denver Broncos jerseys for your family/team photo above? I'm confident you all would look even better in ORANGE! Sorry I couldn't resist...Oh and I hope the snakes are gone for good! 

Oct 18, 2017 09:11 AM #127
M.C. Dwyer
Century 21 Showcase REALTORs - Felton, CA
Santa Cruz Mountains Property Specialist

OMG Debe Maxwell, CRS we have all experienced the frustration of  transactions where the agents are either non-communicative or forgetful.        I can't figure out if they're trying to play games or what!     Either way, I'm with you: it's a time waster and often doesn't serve their client nor their reputation. 

Oct 19, 2017 04:30 PM #128
Thomas J. Nelson, Realtor, ePRO, CRS, RCS-D
Big Block Realty 858.232.8722 - La Jolla, CA
& Host of Postcards From Success Podcast

Good communication with agents and clients alike is a priority in my business.
It all starts or ends with how you communicate.

Oct 24, 2017 08:22 PM #129
Debe Maxwell, CRS | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

Ha Steven Beam, you know that's not going to happen! LOL

And, yes, you know how I operate - communication is my bag!

Hope you're having a great week...

Oct 24, 2017 08:31 PM #130
Jeff Perlis Prime Properties
Prime Properties - Lake Arrowhead, CA
Experience Your Own Transformation!

Well, i'd say it is better for every agent or professional to guard your reputation by all means. It is the most important of what we have. 

May 12, 2018 12:44 AM #131
Jeff Perlis Prime Properties
Prime Properties - Lake Arrowhead, CA
Experience Your Own Transformation!

Wow, Debe, I just noticed how many comments you have in this blog post. Congratulations! 

May 12, 2018 12:45 AM #132
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Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods
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