Julius Zatopek

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Julius has been a real estate broker for over 20+ years and has coached, mentored, and trained many others. He has always been focused on staying abreast of the latest real estate trends, news, and laws.

Ugly Truth: Unprofessionalism in Real Estate!

April 3rd, 2018

Ugly Truth: Unprofessionalism in Real Estate!

Unfortunately, the real estate industry is not immune from the unprofessionalism of many agents and brokers.  After spending nearly 20 years in the industry, it still disappoints me every time I witness the unprofessionalism of a fellow real estate agent.  I’m not talking about the “dress for success” that has changed from business suits to jeans and untucked shirts.  This I can deal with.  I’m talking about the lack of courtesy and decency, the blatant lack of respect for others.

The two unprofessional acts that I witness more often than most have to deal with agents lack of respect for home sellers.

The first, and biggest unprofessional action in my opinion, is not showing a property they have scheduled to show, or showing up after the scheduled time.  Not showing up at all is probably the rudest & most disrespectful thing an agent or broker can do to a seller.  The seller has prepared the home for the showing, maybe removed a pet or two, and vacated their home so a potential buyer could comfortably view their property as their own.  Only to come home an hour or two later to find out it was all for naught.

I understand there are times when a potential buyer changes their mind and decides they no longer want to see a property, or maybe running late, etc.  However, I feel the buyer would be perfectly fine if their agent simply pulled over and took a minute or two to cancel or reschedule the appointment.  The buyer would probably compliment the professionalism of their agent and feel more confident about their choice of a buyer’s agent.   They would most likely think, “if their agent shows this kind of decency and professionalism to sellers whom they don’t represent; how much more professionalism do you think they will show us, their client?”

The second most common act that shows lack of respect and professionalism is not telling sellers what the they and their buyers thought of the property – good or back.  In our industry terminology we call it “providing feedback”.  I have heard many agents’ excuses for not providing feedback, such as: “I showed so many properties I can’t remember them all” – my translation: I do a horrible job of listening to my buyers and I don’t take good notes.  Or, “I am just so busy I don’t have time to provide feedback” – my translation: I do an extremely poor job of time management, so I would prefer to relay my lack of skills as being unprofessional and disrespectful.  And my favorite, “I don’t remember, but obviously my buyers didn’t like it or we would have written on offer” – my translation: I am so full of myself and have an uncontrollable ego, therefore you and your sellers just need to deal with it!

At the end of every day, or most times in between showings, I take the time to enter constructive feedback of all my buyer showings & my personal previews.  Depending on the day, it could take anywhere from 5 minutes to an hour.  It’s just the right thing to do, showing respect and professionalism to others.  Therefore, I have zero tolerance for agents or brokers that would rather give excuses for their lack of professionalism, than practice it.

So how do we fix it?  I’m not sure we can ever fix it entirely, but I think we could all make an impact.  It starts with the brokerages.  Every brokerage is required to have a Policy & Procedures Manual.  Have a policy regarding showing appointments and feedback.  Maybe the real estate associations could provide more training on professional behaviors in the industry and maybe the Texas Real Estate Commission could make it mandatory to take a class regarding professionalism when applying for a license, and when taking continuing education requirements.  I don’t know, but until then I hope the few agents that do the majority of the transactions, and show the most professionalism in our industry, continue to be a beacon of light to those that don’t.  Because, in light of the few bad apples – there are a ton of GREAT AGENTS and BROKERS that show the utmost professionalism to all!

I’d love to hear your comments, opinions, or personal experiences.

Compliments of:
Julius F Zatopek III – Broker/Owner

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Disclaimer : The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Houston Association of REALTORS®

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