Above is an actual notification we received yesterday (contact info redacted and emphasis mine).
This post isn’t a rant about part-time real estate agents. Let’s face it, the Phoenix real estate market ”“ along with much of the country ”“ has been pretty rough of late. Many agents have left the business altogether. Others have picked up part-time jobs. And there is nothing ever wrong with having multiple income streams (heck, I do).
I know some brilliant agents that have second jobs. Those that handle it well have plans and systems to cover for them when they are not available for real estate. Maybe it’s a partner or team member. Maybe they are selective about the clients they take on, or the areas they work. Those that handle it well place real estate first, and their other job second.
But when the real estate sales job takes a distant second, when you can only help someone in the evenings ”“ and apparently not on a Sunday ”“ when you have no plan to have your client covered 24 x 7, then it is the client that suffers.
The person that sent in this showing request assumed this was our listing. It happens all the time. Someone searches for homes on one of our sites and doesn’t realize that we display all the homes available for sale, not just homes we have listed. Had this been one of our listings, of course we would have arranged to show it. But it’s not, and this person is already working with an agent so we can’t show it.
(And for the record, we would not expect someone in an existing agency relationship to give that up if we were to show one of our listings. In fact, I don’t like to serve as a “dual agent” ”“ representing both the buyer and seller in the same transaction ”“ so I’d encourage this person to work with their agent. There are however, some listing agents that would try to undercut the buyer’s agent. Believe me, it happens all the time.)
Here we have a home buyer that is obviously very flexible, and is interested in a $180,000 home. An ideal client by any definition. Yet they are searching for homes on a site that doesn’t belong to their own agent, and they are reaching out to what they think is the listing agent, trying to view a home they are interested in. They are setting up their own showing appointments.
What is their agent doing?
Working some other job I guess. It’s plainly evident that the agent they are using doesn’t have a home search enabled web site, nor have they instructed their client on the potential issues of dealing directly with the listing agent. It looks safe to assume the agent has not set their client up on a dedicated “client portal” that the MLS provides.
It makes one wonder what else they aren’t doing for their client.
How many potential homes is this buyer going to miss out on because their agent isn’t available? What happens when this buyer calls a listing agent that has no problem “stealing” them from their current agent? How is this evenings-only agent going to be present during the day for an inspection? How are they going to be at the title company for document signing? What if they do get under contract and something goes wonky with the inspections, the escrow, the appraisal, the lender, or any of the other dozens of things that can jeopardize a real estate transaction? Will the part time, no coverage in place “agent” be able to get away from his “real job” in order to hold the transaction together?
For his client’s sake, I hope so.