Austin Texas Team Real Estate Blog

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Real Estate Isn't Rocket Science, But It Requires Finesse

This last month, I celebrated 17 years of selling homes full-time in Austin. Well, I didn't really celebrate offiically, but I passed a milestone nonetheless. During my career, I have worked directly with hundreds of clients, and I've trained and counseled agents on their transactions as well. 

I'm thankful to report that our company has never been involved in a lawsuit or mediation. We've had a few situations go awry, but I've found that with the right combination of honesty, communication, and being proactive, almost every problem can be solved. 

My last three clients came to me (one by referral) after firing their last agent. I don't know if this is a sign that there are a lot of new agents flooding the industry, or if it's a larger, more sweeping issue. I know that I've had to deal with my share of ineptitude and bad training from time to time.

Whenever I hear that someone has parted ways with their previous agent, I always want to hear the details, not because I'm interested in gossip, but because I want to make sure that their rationale is reasonable, so that I'm not next on the chopping block, so to speak.

In the most recent cases, it seems as though good communication skills would have gone a long way toward retaining the sales. As the eventual beneficiary, I'm not complaining, of course, but it's instructive to me.

One client mentioned that they were 5 days away from closing when they found out that the house didn't quite appraise (I think it was off by around $3,000). They weren't able to get it worked out, and it resulted in walking away from the deal and the agent as well.

Another client found a couple of homes that interested them, and their agent told them that he had placed offers on both of them. They were very clear with me that they had not signed ANY paperwork of any kind. Despite the fact that the agent obviously didn't present any real offers, that wasn't the reason that they decided to go in a different direction. Instead, they were upset that he had shown them a good number of properties, then when it was time to write an offer, he "demanded" a pre-approval from them. 

Needless to say, this could have been avoided early in the process, by sending them to a good lender and getting them pre-qualified. Instead, he somehow managed to present this as a hurdle rather than a necessary part of the process before they found the home of their dreams.  

Both cases were strong reminders that it really doesn't take much to lose a sale. I've always tried to communicate clearly with my own clients, although I've certainly made mistakes in this department. I can't remember the last time I lost a client, thankfully, which is a blessing. 

Quick lessons: Be honest. Communicate openly. Be proactive about admitting your mistakes. Apologize if needed. Keep your clients.

Thanks for reading!

 

If you're looking for a home in the Austin area, you can also visit my primary website at www.austintexashomes.com.  Thanks!

Comment balloon 17 commentsJason Crouch • February 01 2014 07:34PM

Comments

Great tips, and it all comes under the heading of professionalism. Why some agents are not like this is a mystery to me? They should go and do something else. Great post.

Posted by Gary Woltal, Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth (Keller Williams Realty) over 4 years ago

Jason - Most of these issues would never come up if the agent just put themselves in the shoes of their client.  By always putting the client first, concerns can be anticipated and addressed.  The agent can also stop for a minute and think about how to communicate in a way that is helpful, rather than upsetting to their client.  Some of this is experience, but much more of it is attitude.  Your attitude is in the right place and your skill in communicates comes from your caring.

Posted by Gail Robinson, CRS, GRI, e-PRO Fairfield County, CT (William Raveis Real Estate) over 4 years ago
Gary - Right you are. I couldn't agree more, and I often think that about agents I come across while selling. Gail - Great point. Empathy (or at least an attempt at empathy) goes a long way. :)
Posted by Jason Crouch, Broker - Austin Texas Real Estate (512-796-7653) (Austin Texas Homes, LLC) over 4 years ago

Jason, in a couple of months I'll celebrate my first year in real estate. A long way from your milestone that's for sure! I've been fortunate to have as my mentor my wife Tammie who has made clear to me that good communication early and throughout the process is what makes things go smoothly. Of course hard work never hurts!

Posted by Tom White, Franklin Homes Realty LLC, Franklin TN (Franklin Homes Realty LLC (615) 495-0752 or www.FranklinHomesRealty.com) over 4 years ago

"Be proactive about admitting your mistakes." I dig it!

 

Love and light,

Laura

Posted by Laura Cerrano, Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher (Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island) over 4 years ago

I ask too when that happens.  Not for the agent's name, that's not important to me, but the details are.

Posted by Tammy Lankford,, Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville (Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668) over 4 years ago

Hi Jason - Congratulations on a great achievement. As for communication you are spot on that it should be done throughout the process and when in doubt communicate. Win and loss reviews (even others) are educational. Great job!

Posted by Jeff Fritzson: Frisco Real Estate Pro, Your Success is My Focus! (Jeff Fritzson Real Estate, Ebby Halliday Realtors) over 4 years ago

Hi Jason,  Good advice.  Keeping clients is important but sometimes firing them is also important.  I had to do that recently too.  It has to be a good fit and the sooner you can establish that the better.

Posted by Ricki Eichler McCallum, Broker,GRI,ABR, - Your Coastal Bend Home Source (CastNet Realty) over 4 years ago

Yes those are great lessons to learn. I was never afraid to fire an agent or a client when it was in the best interest of all.

Posted by Debbie Reynolds, Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent (Platinum Properties) over 4 years ago

Nothing is more important than clear and concise communication when working with buyers and sellers. I took a listing last summer after the sellers had decided to part ways with the prior listing agent.  The problems were many.  After the property being listed with that agent for over 200 days, once I listed we had an offer in 2 days and closed right on time.

Posted by Kate McQueen, Tailored service for your real estate needs! (CB&A Realtors) over 4 years ago

By the way Jason, GREAT domain name for your website!  It amazes me how some of the best ones are still available when you go to purchase domains.  I'm sure you've had that one for years though.

Posted by Kate McQueen, Tailored service for your real estate needs! (CB&A Realtors) over 4 years ago

Jason, yes, gaining a client from an agent who lost them should serve as a reminder to all of us to always be on the up-and-up with our clients and to keep the channels of communication open.

Posted by Ralph Gorgoglione, Hawaii and California Real Estate (800) 591-6121 (Maui Life Homes / Metro Life Homes) over 4 years ago

Jason~ we are not in the business of losing would-be clients, (and you are so right) "this is a great reminder of that, because, like mentioned, "we" know it happens 

Posted by Jon Kolsky, Licensed California Real Estate Broker (Kolsky Realty & Management) over 4 years ago

Jason, Congratulations of 17 years without lawsuits or mediation!  That alone is a great indicator you're doing well.  To add to the equation, you're adding clients who have had a bad experience elsewhere.  While that's extremely good for you and those new clients, it's a disturbing trend for the real estate industry.  Thank you for sharing.

Posted by Rebecca Foresee, Let's foresee the possibilities . and get results! (Alain Pinel Realtors) over 4 years ago

Jason, good job, and it interesting listenting to new clients when they explain why they fired an agent.

Posted by Joan Cox, Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time (Metro Brokers - House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373) over 4 years ago
Edricks Properties LLC is one of the areas’ premiere real estate solutions company, and since our inception we have been helping homeowners along with improving communities in each and every city we work in.Through our extensive knowledge of the business, network of resources, and years of expertise, we are able to assist homeowners with a wide variety of real estate problems.We pride ourselves on our reputation for working one-on-one with each customer to handle their individual situationsWith the ability to directly purchase homes and make cash offers, we can create an extremely fast, and hassle-free transaction. In addition, we re-develop a large number of single family and multi-family properties throughout the state with the intention of revitalizing communities and encouraging home ownership. Our mission is to rejuvenate neighborhoods and increase the standard of living by improving the overall quality of housing for the residents. Call us today and let’s see how we can work together!We not only purchase property but we also sell homes, many of which are completely renovated and in move-in condition. Whether you are dreaming of becoming a first time home buyer or looking to upgrade your current home, we can help.Edricks Properties LLC is truly committed to helping each individual customer. We focus on fast response, integrity and over-delivering on customer service. By putting the customer’s needs first, whether selling or buying a home, we can help you realize your real estate goals.
Posted by Rabeya over 4 years ago

Jason, some good points here and great to hear of your longer term success in the business.  You're obviously doing something right.

Posted by John F Muscarella, Broker/Owner, Venice, FL, Florida's Suncoast (RIVER FARM PROPERTIES, LLC) over 4 years ago

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