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Top 10 Ways Realtors Could Be Better

Every now and again I sit silently in a real estate brokerage and watch my industry loudly and clumsily pass by me.  Arrogant realtors, unethical realtors, dumbass realtors – we’ve got all sorts in Toronto. 

Now I’m not saying I’m better than anyone else, I’m saying we as a group can be better than we are.  Here are a few ways we can all get better.  If you know a realtor, please pass this along.  

Have some kind of understanding of legislative processes.  You don’t care what a private member’s bill is?  You should, it may affect your job.

Have some kind of understanding of lending processes.  If I am representing a seller in a multiple offer and you tell me your buyer is putting down 5%, but “not to worry because they are ‘pre-approved’” – don’t be surprised if I advise my clients to take a lower offer over yours.

Have some kind of understanding of your own ethics.  If your client wants to hold back offers, get their written direction (PS – there is a form for this) and post it on MLS.  If they are willing to entertain a pre-emptive (bully) offer, get their written direction (same form, Einstein).  When an offer comes in, notify the involved agents.  If for no other reason, you are acting in the best interest of your client.  Don’t throw our ethical obligations in a trashcan to get a deal done.

Update the MLS.  While we are on the topic of using the MLS, if you sold a property – here is a novel idea: UPDATE THE MLS so those poor buyers out there don’t inquire about a property that has been sold for a week.

Have some kind of understanding of technology.  Things are changing at a very fast rate, I get it.  Things may have been easier when it was all fax machines and pagers – I’ll never know.  But for now let’s try to examine new technology, like email.  You didn’t know how to drive a car at first, but you learned – right?

Plagiarism wasn’t cool when we were growing up, and it still isn’t.  Stealing someone else’s content on your listings, on your blog or on your marketing materials makes you an unoriginal joke.  It also speaks to your overall commitment to your career and client service.

Stop killing trees.  Carpet bombing your community with flyers that say “sold over asking” that go directly into a recycling box hurts the environment as much as it does our reputation.  Stop it right now.

Take a class from time to time.  A freehold townhouse is not the same as a condo townhouse.  A South facing condo at Queen’s Quay is not the same as a South facing condo on Wellington.  Benching is not the same as underpinning.  

If you don’t have the answer, don’t lie.  Full disclosure: I don’t know enough about septic tank inspections for that cottage I am showing this weekend.  I also don’t know enough about commercial lending to comment on how to finance that apartment building we are looking at.  This is why we rely on experts, so we don’t make up stupid answers that mislead everyone and create law suits that didn’t need to be created.

Stop chasing ambulances.  Google it.

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