5 Ways to Be a Terrible Agent

by Peter Thomas Ricci

Real estate is a demanding industry, and to truly succeed, you must be absolutely sure that all the facets of your business are as refined as possible.


Let’s start with the obvious – real estate is a difficult, demanding profession, one that requires big emotional and financial investments from those who work in the industry. From marketing, to client relationships, to negotiations with fellow professionals, real estate is not a career to be taken lightly.

But even with all that being said, there are still some bad apples out there, agents whose conduct is not always in line with the many talented agents we see on a day-to-day basis. To ensure that you don’t replicate any of those behaviors, we’ve put together a list of five of the more common mistakes agents make, so that you may avoid them:

5 Ways to Be a Terrible Agent

1. Don’t look presentable – “Looking the part” may seem like an obvious requirement of being a professional, but sadly, that’s not always the case with some agents; appearance plays a huge role in how people perceive you, and if you do not project the image of a top producer, chances are your prospective clients won’t see you as one.

2. Don’t answer your phone – Being a responsive agent, one who is in tune with the needs of your clients, is essential; don’t you think it would be hard to show those qualities if you’re either A) Not answering your phone, or B) Not returning your client’s calls in as prompt a manner as possible? This is particularly unforgivable in today’s day of text messaging; if your client calls you from his or her cell phone, and you’re showing a property or in a meeting, send them a text that you’ll call them right back!

3. Don’t answer your email – Similar to phone calls, if you want to show yourself to be a diligent, hardworking agent, you have to respond to your client’s emails promptly; and in the smartphone age, when email is accessible just about anywhere, client patience in this matter is razor-thin, so don’t take this lightly.

4. Don’t invest in your Internet presence – Home searches, as we’ve reported on constantly, begin almost exclusively on the Internet, with 9 out of 10 homebuyers beginning their home search on the World Wide Web; and though it may be hard to believe, given the preponderance of Internet use, those numbers will only go up in the coming years, as more millennials (the most tech-savvy generation) begin their home shopping.

5. Don’t know your market – This may be the biggest one of all, knowing everything there is to know about your market. Quick, what’s the best restaurant in the area? Are there any boutiques that sell vases and other interior decorating items? And what are the best clothing stores? Though the Internet has made us more interconnected than ever, homebuyers want an agent who knows local, and demonstrating your knowledge in that area will be essential.

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