Yep, it’s that time of year again . . . that time of year when we have the talk. No, not that talk, the other talk. What am I talking about? Boy this article really went off the rails, didn’t it?
I’m talking about professional courtesy. It’s that thing where we as professionals try to be, you know, professional. Promptly returning phone calls, texts and emails. Submitting showing feedback in a timely manner. Stating our callback number at the beginning of a voicemail rather than just at the end so people don’t have to listen through an entire 7.5 minute message just to hear your phone number. You know, it’s the little things; yet it can sometimes be difficult, especially this time of year when we’re all busy.
I think it’s safe to say that we’ve all been guilty of being less than professional at one time or another. I know I have. We are only human after all, and we’re hardwired to make mistakes. Sometimes we just assume and take things for granted. It’s easy to see a missed call and tell yourself that you’ll call that person back only to completely forget because you have a million different things going on at once. But it’s making sure that we don’t make a habit of it. Professional courtesy might not seem like it has that much of an impact in the grand scheme of things, but it is one of the most important aspects of our profession, particularly with regard to our reputation. Our reputation is everything in this business, and nobody wants to work with someone they perceive as unprofessional. You wouldn’t want someone making your sub while smoking a cigarette, would you?
But professional courtesies aren’t strictly confined to communication skills as they extend far beyond that. Here is a list of professional courtesies and tips to keep in mind when conducting yourself in the world of real estate:
- Respond promptly to all inquiries, requests, emails and messages. Make sure recipient confirms receipt.
- State your callback number at the beginning of a voicemail, not just at the end.
- Monitor your voicemail box and prevent it from getting full so there is always room for someone to leave you a message.
- Inform the listing agent if you are going to be late or have to cancel a showing, even if it’s a go and show.
- If your buyer cancels a showing, give the listing agent an explanation as to why, not just other.
- Schedule showings as far in advance as possible.
- It is always a good idea to knock before entering a home. Believe it or not, sometimes owners forget there is a showing scheduled.
- Encourage sellers to promptly reply to showing requests.
- Submit showing feedback as soon as possible — within 24 hours at the minimum.
- Speaking of feedback, if your buyer isn’t interested in a home, give a reason why . . . don’t just say not interested. Sellers rely on feedback to determine what buyers like and don’t like about their home.
- Confidentiality is crucial, so don’t go blabbering on about your clients in front of others no matter how much they drive you crazy.
These are just a few basic tips and reminders on conducting yourself professionally. It’s all common sense, but it’s good to be reminded as it’s one of the most important aspects of being a professional.
Just remember the Golden Rule — do unto others . . . you get the idea.
Richard Boas, III, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices HomeSale Realty
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