The following is a recent Nolensville TN Real Estate interaction I experienced. Names have been changed and locations generalized in an effort to protect the privacy of the individuals involved.
by Flint Adam, Nolensville Resident & Realtor
A text message popped up on my iPhone from an unknown number.
“My name is (Jane Doe). I just sent you a message on Facebook. I would appreciate speaking with you. Thanks.”
Hmm, interesting. I opened up my Facebook account and went to the infamous ‘Other’ folder where email from strangers goes to disappear along with loose socks, twenty-dollar bills, and my wife’s honey-do list. There, I found an email from Jane Doe. It read:
“Hi Flint – if you have a moment, I would appreciate speaking with you. I feel I have been duped by the Realtor I have been working with (I have not signed a contract, but we have been talking and this person has been advising me while I get my house ready to sell). I do not want to make any rash decisions–and would be so grateful for a second, educated opinion.” Jane Doe then gave me her contact info.
I returned her email – validated, again, that she was not yet contractually bound to this other agent – and set a time for a phone conversation to take place a couple hours later. I wanted some time to get my son to school and then research her property.
As it turned out, I was quite familiar with its location, build, competition, and marketing hurdles; and in the back of my mind, I thought there might be an opportunity for me to win Jane Doe over as a client since she sounded dissatisfied with the agent she planned to list her home with.
When I called her up at 10:30AM (on the dot – punctuality matters to me) she thanked me for responding and told me her story. Jane Doe met this other Realtor a few months earlier and began discussing listing her house for sale. The agent had told her a recommended price point at the time, but as they were preparing to go to market, the Realtor suddenly changed opinion and was now recommending a price less than initially discussed.
Jane felt like this might have been a bait and switch, and she wanted my opinion since she has recently come to know me as a Nolensville resident and Realtor.
I didn’t ask her what the initial price point was her soon-to-be agent had recommended. I wanted Jane to hear my thought process and a “general” number I had come up with in my head, keeping in mind I had not seen her property in person and could not reference any upgrades, add-ons, or other particulars of her property that would change the figure. My number was really the starting point – in my head – of where I might price her home if I was the listing agent.
I told her my recommendation, and how I had come to that figure. The recent sales (within 6 weeks) that had influenced my number, the current competing properties within a block of her, and the realities of the subdivision she is in and the new builds that are her greatest competitor. Several factors had changed since her earlier price-point discussion with this other agent.
Jane went on to tell me the revised price point the agent she was considering working with had given her – and it was within $100 of the price I had mentioned. I told Jane I thought the other agent was not ‘duping’ her, as she feared. I might adjust the price up a little given the upgrades and add-ons she wound up mentioning to me, but it was pretty close to what I though the home should list for.
Jane told me she liked the other agent – their conversations had been going well for months – and she just wanted to do her own due diligence. I told Jane it was a smart move and she could continue on without worry. (I did offer, though, that if she should later decide not to work with this other agent – and any representation agreement was no longer in effect – I would love an opportunity to help her in the future.)
I haven’t won every listing presentation I’ve given (though I’m batting a pretty good average.)
I haven’t converted every prospect, like this Jane Doe, to a client; but, I always do my best to treat each person well, give honest opinions and detailed research, and prove myself as a worthy consideration.
Earlier this year, I joined a softball team in Nolensville. Upon meeting one of the players for the first time, I introduced myself and told her what I did.
“Oh – I hate Realtors,” she said.
I was momentarily stunned, but considered the statement. It dawned on me that there are bad real estate agents out there, just like there are bad attorneys, bad auto mechanics, bad teachers, and bad cops. The woman went on to say she had worked with a real estate agent in the past who did a terrible job.
“Well, you haven’t worked with me before,” I replied.
I firmly believe my career-choice is a craft to be honed, a profession to be taken seriously, and a service with merit – and I do my best at it and work hard to please my clients… and prospects. I also aim to protect other Realtors who do their jobs well. We may be competing against each other, but we should also applaud one another when we do a good job, and hold each other accountable when failures happen.
In this case, it sounded like the other agent was doing her job, and I wasn’t about to try an underhanded maneuver to wrestle Jane Doe away.
So that’s why I still consider this story, above, with Jane Doe to be a worthy example of my work.
She didn’t hire me – but I still did my job. I think we’re both satisfied with that.