In the past few weeks, several columns have generated some thoughtful responses. (Note: Some of the letters have been edited for space and clarity.)
Q: I just finished reading your recent column, where the reader asks why Realtors expect to have “clients for life.”
I have to say, as a Realtor, I’m extremely disappointed with your answer.
While you were right in not sugarcoating the fact that there are many incompetent agents out there, it would have been so helpful to honest and hard-working agents if you had emphasized the positive aspects of having a continual relationship with a good Realtor.
Repeat and referral business is the bread and butter for any Realtor and the client benefits greatly with using a known entity. A good Realtor knows the client’s tastes and preferences, knows honest and fair inspectors and lenders, and knows the temperament of the client. A Realtor’s professional demeanor, excellent customer service, and careful guidance are priceless.
As you know, it’s a highly competitive business and getting more so as everyone and his brother is jumping into what is perceived as an “easy money” occupation. The Realtor cited in your article who is “nuts” is definitely out of line in her behavior toward her former clients, however I believe hers is a rare example within our field.
Thank you for your time in reading these comments. I enjoy your column each Sunday in the Press Democrat newspaper in Sonoma County, California.
A: Thanks for your comments. I heard from a member of the California Department of Real Estate asking me to forward the name of the Realtor if he or she was from California. When I asked why, I was told that this agent had breached at least one, and possibly several, ethical conventions, as had the second agent.
I’m sorry that you were disappointed in the answer. In my books about buying and selling homes, I tout a great agent as being a distinct advantage. This is particularly true if you’re selling in a slow market.
But the issue here was the outrageously bad behavior exhibited not only by the first agent, but also by the second. This sort of behavior of “entitlement” of business helps to give the entire industry a black eye.
Aug. 5, 2006.