As a Real Estate Professional, I have come across different clients with opinions on properties due to their upbringing and exposure. In addition, each individual client has a picture in mind which a real estate agent has to visualise or he/she would frustrate the client or even be frustrated. This is the reason questions such as:
- Which areas would you prefer the property to be located?
- What type of property and number of bedrooms do you have in mind?
- What features would you want the property to have internal and externally?
- What are the environmental requirements?
- What budget do you have for such property?
- Can you afford paying for multiple years?
etc. are asked.
These questions when answered properly can save time and avoid frustration for both the property seeker and real estate agent. Also since the Real Estate Agent knows the rate of properties in different locations, he/she can analyse the answers to the questions to determine if the property seeker’s preference is feasible and viable and the Agent can use it as a basis to give his/her client advice or propose other options.
Unfortunately, some clients make it difficult for agents thereby prolonging a property search which should take 2 days, at most, to weeks because they hold back information which the agent can use to easily search and find a property which the client should like. Likewise, some agents don’t ask these questions which will most likely result in the agent showing the client properties that are not within the client’s preference, thereby frustrating the client to seek help somewhere else.
There are some Real Estate agents who are known to ask for fees before they show clients properties. This has become so common that some agents have taken advantage of this opportunity to exploit clients such that they show them properties which they are sure the clients won’t like and those they know are not in the market anymore in order to justify the collection of the fees. This at the end of the day frustrates the client to look of help elsewhere with the impression that all agents behave in this manner. On the other hand some property seekers engage agents for the following reasons:
- To have an idea of how much properties within their specifications cost even though they are not in urgent need of the property until months later.
- To view all the properties within their cost specifications even though their taste doesn’t correspond with their budget with the hope that a miracle would happen such that they property that want would be below the market value. etc.
This can as well frustrate the agents because there are cost implications such as phone calls, transportation etc. which the agent bears. These property seekers are tagged as time wasters by agents because they use the agents without the intent to satisfy the primary motive of their engagement despite time is money and the agents could have used the time more productively.
Also clients can engage about 5 agents, due to the urgency of their search, to source for properties for them which, in most cases, result in the agents showing the client the same property thereby wasting resources and time.
As a result of the intentions of these clients, agents tend to cut their losses and charge clients inspection fees despite the collection of agency fees as well.
There is also the issue of keeping to time when it comes to inspections. Property sourcing and inspections are what an agent does for livelihood, therefore he/she has to schedule inspections so that they don’t clash, thereby causing time wasting and disappointments. Unfortunately, there are agents who don’t keep to their word of being at a scheduled place at an agreed time. On the other hand, clients, in some sense, see agents to be searching for only the properties which they have requested for, without having in mind that other clients have given them mandates as well. So clients may schedule inspections and despite they know they won’t make it at that time, they expect the agent to wait on them, even though the agent has other inspections scheduled which he/she has to meet up. No wonder, some agents tend to lie on their whereabouts. There are also other factors that prevent keeping to time such as traffic, urgent appointments etc.
Another point is that as clients are busy during the weekdays, agents are also busy sourcing and carrying out inspections. Unfortunately, when agents are supposed to be resting for the weekend, clients are available to carryout inspections even on Sundays and public holidays. This therefore, means that agents don’t have any day off work.
Despite the disadvantages mentioned above, there are agents who work diligently to point that they insect properties on behalf of clients to the extent of taking pictures to send but after all the stress and expense, the clients don’t respond for one reason or the other.
What do you expect the agent to do next time?
In conclusion, if each party can be honest to the other it will go a long way in helping to schedule appropriately and attend other appointments; reduce time wasting, cost implications and disappointments. Also, each party should acknowledge the sacrifices/challenges of the other and not assume, which may cause grief.