Over the course of their real estate career, agents will work with many real estate professionals. Some will know what they are doing…and others may not. Encountering low-quality agents is a frustrating experience, but one that any agent can learn from. We asked two local agents how they’ve dealt with other agents’ screw-ups, and what advice they have for other agents in similar situations.
As discussed in the cover story, many new agents just do not have the knowledge or experience to handle transactions smoothly. Amy Kite, an agent with Keller Williams Infinity in Chicago, has encountered that type of agent more than once during the short sale process.
“If the agent does not understand, then we have to believe the buyer does not understand either,” she says.
When dealing with an uninformed agent, Kite jumps in to walk them through every step of the process. Kite has even created videos — available to the general public — on various real estate topics. They have come in handy for educating other agents (and consumers) when she encounters knowledge gaps.
The irresponsible agent
Consistent missteps add up to damaged business relationships and subpar service. Mark Koehler, a Realtor with d’aprile properties in Hinsdale, has seen plenty of agent gaffes, including basic scheduling failures. “I’ve had four occasions in one week where buyers’ agents show up to access one of my listings and show it to potential buyers, but they do not have a confirmed appointment,” he says.
More often than not, this happens when an agent or an assistant incorrectly notes the date or time for appointments.
“When this happens, the best offense is a strong defense,” Koehler says. In his case, that means always verbally confirming showings and — whenever possible — confirming them in writing, as well.
A real estate agent’s duty is to support clients’ best interests, but some agents lose sight of that fact. Kite remembers a time when an inspection issue arose with a client’s property. “It was not in the best interest of my client to continue with the purchase,” she says. But, she recalls, the seller’s agent screamed at her to make the sale work, as that agent “needed it to pay her mortgage.”
Kite reminded her that an agent’s obligation is “to protect the client first and foremost,” adding that her reputation was on the line — both with the general public and among other agents in the industry.