What Not Listening to You Costs

By Renae Virata (modified for the Bluffton/HHI market)
I recently came across a home buyer who was interested in building a property on a sizeable lot nestled within a gated Dallas community of modern homes. It was the ideal spot for the mid-career professional and her fiancé. However, the area around them seemed, in her eyes, “sketchy”, so she decided to call the Realtor for advice on the property and neighborhood.

Austin Distel/Unsplash

Austin Distel/Unsplash

Soon after, the couple met a neighbor who, coincidentally, worked for the same firm as the Realtor selling the lot. They discussed their qualms about the location with her, and she offered her advice. Feeling confident that they could rely on her expertise, and being so close to them, they decided to work with her to help them gain a better foothold on the Dallas scene. She offered to not only give them the scoop and a tour of the area but also recommendations for other homes and neighborhoods that could fit the bill.

The real estate agent neighbor did her due diligence by asking about what the couple was specifically looking for: property type, price range, proximity to downtown, etc. After another round of clarifying emails, the couple felt assured that their neighbor would find them properties they would not have otherwise been able to find. To their surprise, it was the complete opposite! Instead of the modern homes in the upper-six-figure bracket that they had clearly outlined, they received email after email of fixer-uppers in “transitioning” neighborhoods in the lower-six-figure bracket. Needless to say, the couple was turned off and decided to “go in another direction”.

Andrew Neel/Unsplash

Andrew Neel/Unsplash

So what did the real estate agent do wrong? It’s pretty obvious, but it begs to be said out loud: SHE DIDN’T LISTEN TO HER CLIENTS.

The following are points that the author emphases as important for agents to know about their clients. We completely agree.

Real estate agents need to make sure they are not guilty of wanting to merely pushing properties on their clients in hopes you’ll see a glint when you see a property that is recommended. We also need to make sure that we don’t send properties to you that don’t make sense when we can’t find what you are looking for right away. In any case, we need to know that it’s a real turn-off to clients to feel as if you’ve been heard but then don’t see the results as a product of the conversation.

Agents need to look for cues from you all that tell us what we’re delivering is not in line with your expectations. It should be clear to us when you shoot down our recommendations that we need to adjust. We need to take a moment, reassess your needs, and ask you directly what it is that you don’t like.

Agents need to know that doing our homework and taking the time to research will help you feel confident in our recommendations.

Finally, agents need to be honest and upfront. If we can’t locate a property in an area that you desire at just that moment, then we need to let you know. We need to let you know that we are working hard to find the right fit but that may take some time.

When we all work together, then everyone is happy and understands one another.