Real Estate

Agents, Hold Yourselves To A Higher Standard — Especially Now

Although the market extremes can be challenging, we’re all still here and working in the business. As professionals, we must focus on the long haul — while working together, helping our clients and always doing the right thing.

Boise, we have a problem. It’s not an aeronautical problem, but it’s definitely a space problem. 

You see, over the past year, we’ve been experiencing a massive influx of people to our area. As jobs have become more portable and people realize they can move based on their lifestyle preferences, Boise, Idaho, has enjoyed an exponential increase in popularity.

The downside is that we simply don’t have enough inventory to accommodate this growth. Thus, the space problem. But the more significant issue is that buyer’s agents are getting frayed and burned out, writing offer after offer, only to lose the home and go back to the drawing board for their clients.

Similarly, listing agents are bombarded with 40 to 50 calls within 20 minutes of posting an available home, getting harassed by buyer’s agents for not getting favorable treatment. Even the most seasoned and experienced buyer’s and listing agents are getting worn out by this market.

Homes are being listed on a Thursday morning, shown 25 times that afternoon, and by Friday morning, there’s an offer of $70,000 over the asking price. If 20 offers are made, 19 families are still without a home and 19 buyer’s agents are still on the hook for getting their clients into a home.

This frenzied market has led to some unethical behavior among agents, which in my opinion, will ultimately ruin the reputation of not just the agent — but the industry.

We are self-reflecting as a professional group, so a few bad apples can alter how we are perceived as a whole. It is up to all of us to uphold the highest standards and always strive to do the right thing. Always.

That’s why I remind my team every day to be ethical, professional, courteous and humble. Believe it or not, it’s hard to work in a good market. But we can’t let our standards drop. We must continue to treat our colleagues with courtesy and respect. We can’t play favorites with our fellow agents because we work for our clients and hold their best interests above all else at the end of the day.  

The current market is in a steep swing of the pendulum, but markets always self-correct, and this frenzied market will not be this way forever. I probably don’t need to remind anyone here that in 2008, we had no buyers and plenty of listings. Today, we find ourselves with plenty of buyers and few listings.

Market pendulums swing back and forth, and they occasionally find themselves in the extremes, like we find ourselves today. Although the market extremes can be challenging, we’re all still here and working in the business. As professionals, we must focus on the long haul. As I remind my team, this too shall pass. 

In the meantime, we can’t abandon the core tenets that hold us together as an industry. Other agents are not our competition. We work in a relationship-based business, and you won’t outcompete your professional relationships. Our fellow agents are our force multipliers. These professional relationships reinforce how great our industry can be.

Agents misbehaving will damage not just themselves but our industry. Always hold yourself to a higher standard. Buyer’s agents, please don’t lash out at a listing agent and demand a favor or attack them for “not coming to you first.”

Listing agents, don’t lord over the buyer’s agents because you have what they want. Work together, as best as you can, putting your clients’ interests first, representing them to the best of your ability, while fostering meaningful and respectful relationships with all your fellow agents.

We are in this together, not in competition with one-another, but as an industry, showcasing our expertise and protecting and enhancing our reputations always.

Be ethical, be professional, be courteous, be humble. And don’t step over a dollar to save a dime. Winning a deal like that today won’t bode well for you tomorrow. A rising tide will lift all ships — and there will be plenty of opportunity for the ethical and professional real estate consultants to thrive over the long haul. Together we can be better.

Jeff Martel is the broker-owner and chief inspiration Officer of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate 43° North in Boise, Idaho. Get in touch with him at: jeff@43re.com

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