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A Plea to My Fellow Realtors

Have you ever heard the phrase, “you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar”? I know

many people believe that being rude, angry, demanding, and intimidating is the way to convince the other side to bend. The Karens of the world certainly think so. Admittedly, many people do achieve success with this strategy, but to what end? Who are they hurting by acting this way? What bridges are they burning as a result? What kind of reputation are they building for themselves? They may feel that vinegar is the silver bullet, but I’m of the mindset that honey will catch significantly more flies. In other words, kindness, flexibility, understanding, and cooperation are key to successful negotiating.

Many realtors look at other realtors as the competition….which… reality they are. However, our job requires us to work together way more than it calls for us to compete. I say this all the time: the worst aspect of my job is other realtors. Mostly it’s because they just don’t communicate and make the transaction quite difficult to even get started. But many times it’s just because they are arrogant and rude. If I’m listing a house, the buyer’s agent can make or break a transaction. If I’m selling a house to my buyer, the listing agent can make the experience a nightmare or a smooth experience. I understand if the other agent is new or just doesn’t do many transactions and therefore just needs some guidance, but I cannot understand why some people think it’s cute to be an a*$%ole.

Real estate is full of obstacles. We might experience a couple small bumps, one giant hurdle, or a title wave of ridiculousness in any given transaction. Problems are to be expected. So when the agents as old as time lose all of their marbles over one set back, I just sit there and scratch my head. First of all, you said you’ve been doing this for 40 years…..aren’t you used to this by now? Second, I’m not sure who you think you are talking to, but this is not how I do business. I am a problem solver. I will literally do anything to help make a transaction happen. The buyer or seller needs some money? Take some of my commission, even if you aren’t my client. One side or the other suddenly has to be homeless for a week or two? I’ll rent them an Airbnb. FHA is crying about some peeling paint on the garage? I’ll paint the whole thing. The timing is off and now the client can’t drive their Uhaul to Traverse City? You know what, I got you. There’s literally a solution to anything. And if I’m the one who screwed up, you better believe I’ll do whatever it takes to fix my mistake. Just talk to me like a rational human being and we will figure it out. Although, even if you are a giant jerk, I’ll still figure it out and make it happen for my clients, because at the end of the day it’s not about you, it’s about them.

Albeit, I still ask that we all be a little kinder so that our clients’ bumps and hurdles can be greatly reduced. After all, our job is stressful enough, we don’t need to make it worse for each other for no reason. Do we need boundaries? Do some people need a push? Do we need to defend our clients? Yes, yes, and yes. But we don’t need to be crazy chihuahuas barking incessantly at every leaf that flies by. Instead, be the well-trained pitbull who is as sweet as pie and stoically guards his owners’ home, but will tear someone up if they cross the line.

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