For an experienced perspective on common rookie mistakes, we turned to Mike McCatty, a broker with Century 21. McCatty has closed more than 1,300 transactions totaling a half billion in sales since 1999, and was named “Office Broker of the Year” by the Commercial Alliance Mainstreet Organization of Realtors.
“When I started back in 1999, I didn’t fully understand the importance of building relationships with my co-workers and the other agents and brokers in the community,” he says, emphasizing the importance of working with colleagues and managing brokers instead of competing with them. “What I did not realize is once you get the listing or client, you need your co-workers and co-op brokers to help get that deal closed, whether that’s representing the buyer-side or the seller-side. It’s easy to treat them as your competition. In reality, though, you need to treat them as collaborators.” Relationships outside an agent’s brokerage are just as important, he stresses, considering that agents do not work in a vacuum – agents must be able to work with professionals from other brokerages in the community.
McCatty says a common issue he sees among new agents today is a lack of professionalism. “Among new agents entering the business, I have noticed they do not always treat the real estate business like a real job,” he says. “You need to have a true focus on your client. Do not answer your cell phone or text when you’re with a client. You can return phone calls later. When you’re with a client, they need to be your priority. Do not act like it’s a second job where you’re doing it on the side, separate from your ‘real’ job.”
Ultimately, McCatty says it’s all about the clients. For rookies and agents alike, clients are the lifeblood of a real estate agent’s business. New agents in particular should strive to provide them with unforgettable service.
“When you’re working with your client, your ‘real’ job is to ensure they have the best experience possible,” he says.