And Other Musings From A Buyer’s Agent Showing Homes
Since officially receiving my Real Estate license during May of this past year, I’ve had my share of experiences operating primarily as a buyer’s agent here in Philly and occasionally in the neighboring counties.
It feels good to serve others in something that is so fundamental to their lives, in this case, the roofs that will be placed over their heads. However, few of us get the memo about all of the rough patches you may have to put up with as an agent.
About two Sundays ago I had a particularly cumbersome day. I was scheduled to meet with a buyer for a home consultation, and two referrals who were each on the search for a home to lease.
None of them showed up. The lady I was supposed to meet with for the home consult straight up told me that she forgot, one of the leasing referrals carelessly decided she would inform me at the time of our appointment that she no longer needed 3 bedrooms, and the other leasing referral explained to me that her car wouldn’t start. This wasn’t the first time I dealt with referrals, leads, or clients not appearing for showings, but it was the first time it happened successively like it did that Sunday.
The experiences of that day encouraged me to become more consistent in the ways that I try to decrease the inefficiencies in how I assist the people I work with on their searches. I’ll talk about two of those ways.
First off, it’s important to always call to confirm an appointment the day before, or the day of if you had only scheduled it two or three days prior. In my experience, most of the people I’ve worked with have shown up without a reminder. However, the case where you are traveling far (one of the appointments I had that Sunday was 30 miles away in the Levittown) will be the occasion that a person decides not to show up, or cancel after the fact.
Second, unless you already have a rapport or contract agreement with whoever it is you are helping, make sure that the people you work with have already been qualified. In the case of a buyer, that means already being pre-qualified by a lender or connecting him or her with one if needed. In the case of someone looking to rent: know their credit scores and have a sense of their monthly income.
Now, as much as you can work on implementing systems and try to be efficient, there are aspects to being a buyer’s agent that you simply have to deal with sometimes. For instance, like in the event where a listing agent for a property gives you the wrong number to open their lockbox, or the lockbox is jammed or frozen because of the weather conditions. There are times where you might have driven out far to a property, or spent time sitting in traffic on I-76 only to find out that you have to turn right back. I guess it’s partly the nature of the beast. But you kind of learn to appreciate the process, and realize that you just have to take the good with the bad.
I feel that a lot of the information I consumed about this industry previous to entering it had be overly-romanticized. So as much as I am enjoying the journey thus far, my experiences prompt me to want to be as transparent as I can about my reality of serving in this industry. These are just some of those thoughts.