Don't Text Me!!!

By
Real Estate Agent with Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Seal Beach, Irvine REALTOR

"Don't Text Me!"

That's how I was greeted this morning when I answered my phone. Now had it been my accoutant or doctor, no problem.

But this call came from a Listing Agent! (You know, the one's trying to sell a property)

Huntington Beach Short Sale Agent

Now before we open up a HUGE debate about texting, let's back this up a little bit. I called on Wednesday to schedule an appointment for SATURDAY. {How's that for being prepared}
But when I called, the agent's mailbox was FULL. Again, Listing Agent... Property... Voicemail Full... Nice.

Since the only number listed in the MLS was her cell phone number in EVERY SINGLE SPOT, I decided to send an email. Again, this was sent on Wednesday. Now I wasn't freaked out or surprised that I didn't get a response on Wednesday, after all, that's 3 full days before Saturday. But on Thursday, knowing my time was booking up, I thought I'd try again.

Voicemail... FULL!
Email... NO REPLY
.

Now by Thursday night, I was beginning to get a little anxious. My client really wanted to see this property, but we had a small window on Saturday that would work. Oh, and before anyone asks, Yes, I was very specific on times, the property, my name, my number, even my email address. I was polite, clear, respectful, and even repeated the information twice just to be safe. So it doesn't have anything to do with the message itself.

Back to the story. Friday morning comes along {What day did we start this? Wednesday! And what day is it today? Friday! And when do we need to see the property? Saturday!}
So after one more Full Voicemail call and a third email, I decided to send a text message. I kept it brief, identified myself as a Realtor, put my name and number, the property and a time... and BAMM!(and not the cool Emeril Lagasse BAMM! either)

The phone rings, and I'm thrilled to see it's the agent I've been trying to get a hold of!
"Hi, it's Rob Magnotta. Thanks for getting back to me!" I say.

"First of all, don't ever text me", she says. "My children can text me, my friends can text me, but strangers are not to text me. And especially not to see a property".

It's maybe the last part that caughty my attention, or maybe the whole thing; I don't know. I really don't. But it was one of those sad moments where you know the person on the other end of the phone isn't completely okay. I was super-polite, haven't called multiple times a day, have sent only 3 emails in a 72 hour period, her voice mail is full, and I was quickly running out of options.

PS... If you plaster your cell phone number everywhere, guess what might happen?

So feeling a bit miffed myself, I politely said, "Well, I have been trying to leave you a voice mail since Wednesday, but your mail box is full. I also sent a couple of emails, which I'm not sure if you received or not, but I was just trying to schedule a time to see your listing on Saturday."
"Yeah, you and everyone else! I can't delete these messages fast enough!" she replied.

It was at this point that I had to stop. These are the things that give good listing agents a bad name, and I'm sorry to say, really make it clear which agents need to get out of this business. If you don't like your phone ringing, go work in a bakery or something.

Huntington Beach Short Sale Agent

I don't know, just don't be a Realtor. We're in the service business, maybe the ultimate service business, and the only way we can help our clients is by picking up the phone, responding to emails, driving from A to B, etc. It's part of game, and no one is forcing you to play. But if you are going to play, then suit up, shut up, and play! We're all in this together... right?

*** AS PROMISED, HERE IS THE END OF THE STORY ***

This listing that my client wanted to see was a Short Sale, and marked as "Active" on the MLS (see where this is going?). The listing agent told me that she had already accepted an offer a while ago. Now there were NO notes anywhere that would indicate that, and since the listing wasn't in "Backup" status, which is where it should be all you agents that don't do that (and don't say "the bank told me to keep it Active"; the bank only does that on REO's, and even then only sometimes. I've done enough short sales with over 15 different lenders, and NONE of them tell you to leave it Active)

Wait, it gets better! I asked her how the negotiations were going?       Silence.       "Hello?"
"I said we already accepted an offer", she said. "We're done negotiating". Okay, GIANT red flag that I had to pursue.
"No, I mean the negotiations with the short sale lender. How are those going? Is your client doing HAFA?"
Again, silence. Finally, she says.... AND I KID YOU NOT...
"Oh, the seller is handling all of that."

Huntington Beach Short Sale Expert
How exactly again did you get this listing???
If there are any consumers reading this by the way, here's a suggestion... scratch that... MAKE SURE YOU SAY THIS BEFORE YOU SIGN ANYTHING:
1) How many short sales have you done? {This answer needs to be more than 0 }
2) What is your success rate?
3) Do you mind if I speak to one those sellers to ask them how it went? {This answer needs to be "NOT AT ALL. Call this number"}

I obviously didn't show the home and told my client it was unavailable. We wrote an offer on something else, which was accepted (that listing agent ALWAYS answers her phone... strange, huh?). But since there have been a lot of questions, I decided to do a little more investigating. The property in question is scheduled for Trustee Sale in a couple of weeks, which I'm certain the listing agent doesn't know. While it's maybe overstepping my bounds, sent a letter to the homeowners, not asking for business of any kind, just to try and let them know that time is running out. I tried to let the listing agent know first about this (sent email, voicemail still full), but I can't be certain she got the email... So I just sent her a text message.

Posted by

Rob Magnotta ~ http://www.servinghuntingtonbeach.com

714.330.9558 direct

Huntington Beach Short Sale Specialist Huntington Harbour Homes     Huntington Beach Short Sale Specialist Huntington Harbour Homes     Huntington Beach Short Sale Specialist Huntington Harbour Homes     Huntington Beach Short Sale Specialist Huntington Harbour Homes     Huntington Beach Short Sale Specialist Huntington Harbour Homes     Huntington Beach Short Sale Agent & Huntington Harbour Homes Top Realtor                      Green Realtor Orange County Homes Green Real Estate Agent     Huntington Beach REO Broker Orange County Homes REO Top Agent     Huntington Beach REO Broker Orange County Homes REO Top Agent

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Topic:
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Location:
California Orange County Huntington Beach Downtown Huntington
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patient respectful short sale agent huntington beach ca orange county ca professionalism courtesy

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Show All Comments
Ambassador
1,471,129
Renée Burrows
Las Vegas Real Estate Broker - www.urLVhome.com
Savvy Home Strategies Realty, LLC-REALTOR®-Estate-Probate

It sounds to me that an agent is just "enabling" some pretend sellers to "milk the system" and stay in their home as long as possible without making a payment.  That is a HUGE issue here.

I prefer text to playing voicemail tag :)

August 09, 2010 12:02 PM
Rainer
105,424
Rob Magnotta
Huntington Beach & Newport Beach Coastal Specialist
Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Seal Beach, Irvine REALTOR

Renee, Renee, Renee... I'm sitting here waiting for my text message but it isn't coming!

August 09, 2010 07:01 PM
Ambassador
1,471,129
Renée Burrows
Las Vegas Real Estate Broker - www.urLVhome.com
Savvy Home Strategies Realty, LLC-REALTOR®-Estate-Probate

I have a feeling it is never coming :)

August 09, 2010 07:51 PM
Rainmaker
195,792
John Alesi
(Orange County California Real Estate)
Century 21 Award

Hey Rob...great post. If I hear about another whiney-a$$ed agent who is "just too busy" I'm going to pull what's left of my hair out!  If you are too busy to reply to another agent then it's time for an assistant, receptionist, secretary or baby-sitter.  When will they just leave the business?

BTW...it was great meeting and talking with you at RainCamp.  Hope to see you around OC and perhaps do a deal together.

August 09, 2010 08:28 PM
Rainer
105,424
Rob Magnotta
Huntington Beach & Newport Beach Coastal Specialist
Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Seal Beach, Irvine REALTOR

Renee - Thanks for finally sending that text message!!! :-)

John - It was a pleasure meeting you as well. I'm sure we'll see each other again, and it would be great to sell a home together.

August 10, 2010 12:42 AM
Rainmaker
589,438
Jim Hale
On the Move for You! - Eugene - Springfield Oregon Real Estate
ACTIONAGENTS.NET

A mail box that is full doesn't discriminate.

If agents are getting that greeting, so must her clients.

 

Wonder if any of them have tried texting her?????

Wonder if she instructs them to not text her????

 

 

August 10, 2010 03:25 AM
Rainmaker
589,438
Jim Hale
On the Move for You! - Eugene - Springfield Oregon Real Estate
ACTIONAGENTS.NET

The thing that surprises me about this post....and several others over the past few months...is how there can still be MLS's out there where electronic lock-boxes and very easy showing instructions are not the norm.

Having to go through the LA to get into a house is so old-century.  Appointment-only showing instructions should be rare indeed - reserved for the very most expensive listings or homes with unusual security issues.

August 10, 2010 03:33 AM
Rainer
105,424
Rob Magnotta
Huntington Beach & Newport Beach Coastal Specialist
Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Seal Beach, Irvine REALTOR

Jim - She did have a lock box on the property, but the listing instructions clearly stated not to go over without scheduling an appointment first. It also stated that the home was still occupied. I didn't want to violate the homeowners right to privacy or violate the terms of the listing, so I followed the instructions!

August 11, 2010 09:37 PM
Rainer
93,682
Cece Blase
Paragon Real Estate Group

I am prodding our local MLS to add a field about whether a short sale has an accepted offer, or require agents to state the property's status with regards to negotiations. So friggin' RUDE!!!

August 11, 2010 11:24 PM
Anonymous #67
Anonymous
Suzanne Peterson

Rob, I know I am a little late on this one, but this is an amazing blog entry!!! GOOD FOR YOU!!! I definately would've done all I could to get it "featured"!!! I CANNOT begin to tell you how many of these almost identical situations I have dealt with!!! I truly think I will scream if I hear one more real estate professional complain to me about how overwhelmed and busy they are!!!! Hello...IT'S OUR JOB!!!!! Busy is good...remember??!!

BTW...where is that blog post you were promising the other week in response to my post about the FHA 203k loan??!! I've been watching for it as promised :o)

August 18, 2010 06:41 PM
Rainer
8,487
Suzanne Peterson

One more thing...watch for my blog post on a very similar situation. I was trying to decide if I really wanted to put the time into it.....I decided yes...you've inspired me!!!!!

August 18, 2010 07:02 PM
Rainmaker
206,650
M. Suzi Woods (Gravenstuk)
Suzi Woods, Prior Independent REBroker in MS
NOW Sharing the life and spice of the GC one day at a time

...Maybe she does not have a good texting plan?  We are fortunate in the MGC to have so many responsive agents.

August 18, 2010 07:17 PM
Rainer
105,424
Rob Magnotta
Huntington Beach & Newport Beach Coastal Specialist
Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Seal Beach, Irvine REALTOR

Hey Suzanne! It's coming soon, I've actually written most of it. I just haven't finalized it yet. Probably by Thursday or Friday. I'll send you a bill for the inspiration! :-)

August 18, 2010 09:06 PM
Rainer
8,487
Suzanne Peterson

Thanks Rob...and I'll be SURE to pay it as soon as I get it ;o)

I'll be watching for your blog post!!!!

August 18, 2010 10:17 PM
Rainmaker
142,363
Mike Mayer
Mike Mayer, Broker/Owner - i List For Less Realty, LLC

Rob, does your Board have rules regarding "status changes"? The reason I ask is that this would be a clear violation in any one of the 3 boards I have, or had, an association with. A complaint might help with that attitude issue of hers.

August 19, 2010 01:03 AM
Rainer
105,424
Rob Magnotta
Huntington Beach & Newport Beach Coastal Specialist
Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Seal Beach, Irvine REALTOR

Hi Mike. The agent should have technically moved the listing into Backup on the MLS. However, there was nothing to indicate that an offer had been accepted. So reporting it would mean they would have to contact her... see where this is going?
But yes, I believe this should be a violation if it's showing Active.

August 19, 2010 01:09 AM
Ambassador
754,362
Brenda Mullen
Your San Antonio TX Real Estate Agent!!
RE/MAX Access

Hi Rob-Yep, you're right.  That was a horrific, terribly funny story!  Unbelievable that you had to go through all of that.  I am glad to hear that you found your client another house.

By the way, if you are a Realtor, you should be accepting texts in this day and age :)!  Great post!

August 23, 2010 09:29 AM
Rainmaker
940,526
Georgie Hunter
Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info
Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers

That was a good story, and well written too.  I find it hard to believe somebody so rude could still be in business.  We have to make ourselves available by whatever means there is, and then be responsive to those contacts.

August 25, 2010 06:02 PM
Rainer
105,424
Rob Magnotta
Huntington Beach & Newport Beach Coastal Specialist
Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Seal Beach, Irvine REALTOR

Brenda - You would think, right? Our email is sent to our phone, and a text is easier to access than an email, so what's the fuss?

Georgina - Thank you, you're very sweet to say that. I agree that we need to be available to our clients (within reason). If we're not, someone else will be.

August 25, 2010 06:12 PM
Rainer
143,700
Victor Zuniga
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services California Properties

Rick, I hear you brother. All I can say is that it's 2010 and consumers, as well as agents, have told us in several surveys that the expected response time is 15 minutes or less. I wish this agent best the luck as the industry leaves her behind.

September 01, 2010 08:32 PM
Anonymous
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Rainer
105,424

Rob Magnotta

Huntington Beach & Newport Beach Coastal Specialist
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