In my first training session as a newly licensed agent, I asked my mentor why she would teach me so much of what she knows. Isn’t real estate cut throat, every man for himself? Her response was this: If I teach you to bring value to a transaction, you’ll benefit your clients, and you’ll benefit other REALTORS® by being able to collaborate and problem solve issues as they come up. Once you can do that, you’ll create good experiences for everyone involved. Well, what do you know? Successful REALTORS® aren’t heckling other REALTORS®. Oh, I’m going to like it here quite well!
I think the first offer I wrote was a little bit of a mess. I don’t remember a lot about it, but I remember I was nervous about how to talk to my clients and set expectations, and I was really nervous about communicating with the listing agent. So before I sent the offer I called the other agent and laid it all out on the table: I’m new, it’s my first Purchase Agreement, and thank you in advance for your patience. I could almost visualize his head fall since working with an inexperienced agent can be challenging. But if he had any annoying thoughts he never expressed them. We negotiated back and forth a few times, but ultimately we were unable to reach an agreement. I don’t remember the terms that prevented an agreement, but I do remember the kindness and patience of the listing agent.
One of my first listing transactions was a roller coaster ride to say the least. My clients found their dream home. We quickly listed their home for sale, reached an agreement on their dream home, reached an agreement on their current home, posted happy pictures of everyone with Sold signs on social media, and then watched as much of it crumbled apart. We had a problematic inspection, a fall through, a new transaction, an appraisal with low value, a closing delay, another closing delay – you name it, we experienced it. After a lot of hard work by everyone, the transactions did close, and my clients left with smiles on their faces. The listing agent for the dream home was kind, professional, and patient, even when things went awry. The buyer’s agent who represented the part of the transaction that fell through was in attendance when I received an award a couple weeks ago, and even though we haven’t worked together since, he offered the kindest and most genuine congratulations.
Like other successful brokerages, my office is loaded with experienced REALTORS® willing to share their wisdom. Sometimes the sharing is about transactions. Sometimes it’s how they stay connected with their sphere of influence. Whether it’s in a formal training session, chatting at the copier, or just their willingness to answer questions or bounce ideas, for me, the most powerful takeaway has always been the importance of collaboration. Connecting with experienced REALTORS® who are willing to share their successes and failures is the most valuable tool in your toolbelt.
Most transactions go fairly smoothly if you’re prepared to handle what comes up. But every once in a while one comes along that’s just downright difficult. How successful the outcome is almost always determined by how we’re able to work with the REALTOR® on the other side. Some of my most cherished professional relationships began by working together to solve problems.
What would I share with newly licensed professionals: When one of us looks good we all look good; every successful relationship helps our future clients; and bringing value to a transaction starts with collaboration. I’m thankful every single day for the words of my mentor, but it’s the toughest days that it seems to mean the most.
Work hard. Be kind.
By Angie Garard, talktotucker.com/angie.garard