When I was growing up there was an advertising campaign aimed at getting kids to read more books. It was called, RIF or Reading is Fundamental. I find myself saying this phrase to myself, numerous times throughout the week. Why? Because people, and more specifically, real estate agents don’t read. Agents are in such a hurry to get to the next client or the next appointment or the next “thing,” that they fail to read. It’s as if reading takes up too much time so they call or text instead. But if they actually took the time to read, they would find that it would save them time and energy and not annoy the agent they may be working with.
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Showing PropertyTake showing property for instance. As a listing agent I am careful to input specific showing instructions into the multiple listing service. Whether it’s by appointment only, on electronic lockbox or call the showing contact, it’s all right there in the MLS. But what usually happens is that I get a phone call asking if the property is fully available or how do I show the property? I get that some listing agents aren’t as diligent about keeping their listings updated, so I can excuse the, “is it fully available” question. What’s annoying is the “how can I show it” question. If you would read the showing instructions, I’ve told you how to show it. Reading is fundamental. I had an agent last week send me an email stating that he was trying to schedule a showing online, but the “Schedule a Showing” icon was gray and wasn’t working. I bit my tongue and responded saying that it’s not available to schedule online because I have to check with the seller for every showing. If he had only read the showing instructions they said, “Call Lister”, not “Schedule Online.” Reading is fundamental.
What Does the Contract Say?Then there are agents who ask whether or not their client can do “x.” I believe agents know the answer to the majority of the questions they ask, but they’re hoping to get a different response from you. Unfortunately, my response is generally, “what does the contract say?” It doesn’t matter what you’d like to have happen or what you want me to say, it’s what’s in the contract that matters. Reading is fundamental.
The Listings Sent by the BuyerWhen clients send you listings they want to see, take the time to look them up and read the entire listing and remarks. Often times you’ll find there is a reason why you didn’t send this listing to them. Ask your client if their criteria has changed because the listings they sent you don’t match up to what they told you they wanted to purchase. You’ll find that many times they didn’t realize that the property they sent you only had one bathroom or didn’t have a basement or parking. Just because your client didn’t read the listing doesn’t mean you should follow suit. Reading is fundamental.
Know the ContractReading is a critical skill in life and as a real estate agent. We should know the entire real estate contract like the back of our hand. Not knowing it can cost our clients to lose a great deal of money or the house of their dreams. Before asking a question, slow down. Exhaust all of your resources. Do a little research. Read the fine print and see if you can find the answer on your own. Then ask the question and get clarification if you must. This is one of the most important aspects of your job. Take it seriously. Read. Are real estate agents getting a bit lazy or is it just me? Be prosperous!
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As an active Realtor licensed in three jurisdictions, I approach real estate training from a different perspective. With over 18 years in the real estate business, I teach agents what it’s really like to be a real estate agent.