Mortal Sins of Real Estate


We all know some clients are more difficult to work with than others, but that doesn’t automatically put them at fault when things don’t work out. They might have moved on because you didn’t up your game enough.

There are mortal sins in real estate, offenses that could turn off any client. If you commit any of them, then you can blame yourself for the loss of a client. As real estate professionals, we can be amazing advocates for consumers, but there’s always room to improve. Start by familiarizing yourself with these transgressions.

No. 1: Abandonment

You work your butt off to earn clients’ trust and win their business. But after the sale, where do you go? Do you drop them? Cash the check and leave?

Don’t stop calling, texting, and e-mailing your clients after they bought a house. Check in every so often. Be a resource forever.

No. 2: Cherry-picking

Treat all price points well. It’s smart business. If you’re so busy, you can set up referral partners in your own amazing real estate community, and make sure that every potential client is cared for.

It sure is hard work to deal with a short sale or a foreclosure, and trailer houses aren’t the most glamorous side of real estate. But money spends too, regardless of market conditions. The folks you helped when no one else would often turn into the best referral bird dogs you can imagine.

No. 3: Not Asking Enough Questions

Ask enough questions to get them to tell you everything, and listen. If you don’t know why they want to move and what their goals are for buying or selling, then you don’t know what’s really important to them.

Clients will usually spill the truth after you’ve asked the third question. If they answer with things that make you feel nervous about fair housing, you should have the resources available to direct them to the research they’re seeking. Ask questions and offer professional advice and expertise that buyers and sellers can’t find on the web.

No. 4: Ego

Clients are coming to us with more knowledge and education than ever before, but they still crave professional guidance and advice in understanding the data sets surrounding local real estate. How does your trumpeted-up marketing hailing yourself as the king or queen of real estate provide that for them? Instead of talking about ourselves, let’s focus on the consumer. Figure out what you can offer that helps them reach their goals and start setting yourself apart.

No. 5: Reluctance to Call

Most often if we check an agent’s phone at any time, we’ll see more incoming than outgoing calls. How about actually dialling a number or answering the phone when it rings? Even the millennial generation wants to talk on the phone when it’s time. Vocal inflection makes a huge difference in the outcome of a conversation and can’t be replaced by text and e-mail.

No. 6: Fluff and Puff

We’ve taught the consumer not to trust us by using deceptive marketing. We keep going back to the same tired phrases that don’t realistically describe the properties, and we use photos that are so altered, they might as well be animations. If we want the general public to believe us, we need to use smart marketing words that are striking but also accurate. Photos should be as flattering as possible, but they should also accurately depict a property.

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