If You Haven't Been Fired Once Or Twice, You Aren't Doing Your Job

By
Real Estate Agent with (512) 786-8300

Every good agent I know has been fired by a seller. Some great agents have been fired numerous times. If you haven't been, there is a good chance you aren't doing your job right. Getting fired (or not getting hired in the first place) can happen for numerous reasons. The home may not be updated despite your requests. The house may not be priced well, despite your suggestions. Or you may have asked for staging, and the owner is too stubborn to do so, or doesn't see the value.

So you do the one thing that we aren't necessarily supposed to do- you look back. We have all been there. You have been fired from the listing (either the seller doesn't renew, or asks for an early out) or you didn't get to list the property in the first place. So you go on mls, and notice the house didn't sell for the next agent, or sold for a much lower price than originally listed. It isn't so much a *I told you so* moment, as much as you verifying that your knowledge, instincts and suggestions were all correct. I've done it often, and almost every time, I realize that I was right all along. 

But what good does that do, to realize you really do know what you're doing? After all, you should know that already. Our goal should be to prevent getting unjust firings and passed over in the first place. Getting fired isn't alway personal, or avoidable. But, maybe we can lessen those times:

 

If staging is that important, make sure the owner knows you feel that way. It. may take showing the seller empiracal evidence that a staged home sells quicker than a vacant one. Perhaps you let the client know that you will reimburse them for the cost of staging at closing. Chances are, if the sale goes well, they will realize you were right all along and refuse your money. At the very least, have a stager on call, that can explain their value well, or perhaps offer a no charge evaluation.

Homes that aren't updated face an uphill challenge. You know it, I know it, the seller should know it, but sometimes they dig their heels in. Remember, homeowners treat their houses like they do their marriage. The things they would never accept in another person, is perfectly acceptable in their spouse. The same is true of their home. So I like to perform the equivalent of dragging a married person to a creepy singles bar. Show your client several homes. Homes that have no updates, and nice houses with new fixtures and renovations. Then return back to their house, with a new perspective on what needs to be done.

Schedule price drops in advance. It would be a beautiful thing if our sellers listed homes where they should be priced. In my opinion, this is the biggest reason an agent eventually gets fired. Frankly, I've lost several listings, because I told the homeowner what the home should be listed at. And of course, I looked back several months later, seeing those price drops and eventual sale. Sometimes it took six months, and often it took two more agents. But how could I have avoided it? Why not tell the seller you will agree to the price, if they agree to a price drop every twenty one days. Of course it should be written in the listing agreement.

Communicate, Communicate, Over-communicate- When communication breaks down, people get frustrated, and *employees* get fired. Before the listing, let the seller know you will be in constant communication. Feedback from agents and buyers is imperative in this case. The more you communicate, the less chance for confusion and surprises. 

Remember, it's ok to be fired. If you are doing your job right, you probably should be fired every now and then. But bear in mind, a few tweaks here and there, may make your employment last a bit longer, with a more pleasant result. 

Posted by

Scott Hayes

Austin Real Estate Agency

Extraordinary Service, For Extraordinary People

Direct: 512-786-8300

www.austinrealestateagency.com

close

Re-Blogged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Donald Bradbury 08/30/2010 07:55 PM
  2. Don Spera 09/01/2010 07:16 PM
Topic:
ActiveRain Community
Tags:
real estate
real estate industry
real estate market
real estate tips
real estate tools
selling real estate

Anonymous
Post a Comment
Spam prevention

Accessibility option: listen to a question and answer it!

To submit the form,
drag the printer to the circle on the side.

Type below the answer to what you hear. Numbers or words, lowercase:

Spam prevention

Accessibility option: listen to a question and answer it!

To submit the form,
drag the chair to the circle on the side.

Type below the answer to what you hear. Numbers or words, lowercase:

Show All Comments
Rainmaker
376,307
Kerry Lucasse
eXp Realty - Nest Atlanta Team - Atlanta, GA
Your Nest Atlanta Real Estate Consultant

After getting "fired" (i.e. not selling before the listing expired) recently, I have vowed not to take on a listing unless I know the seller is willing to price and/or stage it correctly.  I spent so much time and money marketing their home, it just isn't worth it.

I do like the idea of adding the price reduction to the listing agreement -- that could make a big difference.

Aug 30, 2010 03:39 PM #50
Rainmaker
534,171
Morgan Evans
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Manhattan, NY
LICENSED REAL ESTATE SALESPERSON

Nobody enjoys getting fired but on the flip side when we end an exclusive listing with an owner because its just not working out you definitely learn a lot from every situation.

Aug 30, 2010 03:43 PM #51
Rainmaker
850,942
J. Philip Faranda
J. Philip Faranda (J. Philip R.E. LLC) Westchester County NY - Briarcliff Manor, NY
Broker-Owner

So true, Scott. You can't hit home runs without striking out and grounding into some double plays too. I have given people releases, both at my own and their behest alike, and it is part of the business. 

Aug 30, 2010 03:56 PM #52
Rainmaker
396,068
Cameron Novak
The Homefinding Center - Corona, CA
Featured Corona Real Estate Agent Team

Good stuff Scott.  Keep up the great work.

Aug 30, 2010 04:06 PM #53
Rainer
93,733
Vince McEveety
Gilleran Griffin Realty - Sherman Oaks, CA

great post

and a great perspective

if you haven't had a listing expire

if you haven't overpriced a home

if you haven't had a buyer stolen from you

if you haven't gone out and made the mistakes it takes to learn

Aug 30, 2010 04:12 PM #54
Rainer
38,363
Rebecca Diamond
Berkshire Hathaway Fox & Roach Bryn Mawr - Bryn Mawr, PA
Main Line Homes for Sale

Excellent post, thank you. You cannot have dramatic success without dramatic failure so...."fail" (depending on your definintion of failure of course) on. I LOVE to make price reductions a part of the lisitng contract. Sometimes it's very very difficult to get Sellers to agree to it though. I'd so be curious to know what kind of schedule and percent reductions other folks use - when they use this technique.

Aug 30, 2010 04:30 PM #55
Rainmaker
1,382,721
Donna Harris
Donna Homes, PLR - Austin, TX
Realtor, CDPE & ASP - Hill Country Lakeway Austin

Remember the fabulous listing I referred to you prior to me moving here?? They wanted $650k and it sold for $425k... I always look back at that one and LAUGH LAUGH LAUGH my buttox off!! They also wanted the inexperienced agent because they thought he would work harder?? LAUGHING LAUGHING LAUGHING some more!!

Aug 30, 2010 05:10 PM #56
Ambassador
1,097,526
Bryan Robertson
Catarra Real Estate, Inc - Los Altos, CA
Broker, Author, Speaker

I've never been fired but I have taken myself off a listing simply because it would not sell (overpriced and unmotivated seller).

The approach I use with all my clients is that I'll tell you what you need to hear, not what you want to hear.  If you listen, we'll get your home sold or get a great buy.

Aug 30, 2010 05:44 PM #57
Ambassador
538,642
Peter Pfann @ 1 Percent Realty Victoria, and Pay-Less For Victoria Real Estate Results!
1 PERCENT REALTY, Victoria BC www.1percentrealtyvictoria.com - Victoria, BC
Talk To Peter 250-213-9490 www.pay-lessrealty.com

Hi Scott

We typically bring out the old 2 form price reduction method,

One is the cancellation form, the other the price reduction and we show them both in our meeting, to really communicate that we are serious about the need to make the adjustment or move on ....

Most of the time when the client understands that this is not about us, but about them being able to move on to the next stage of their life, they more often than not will agree to the adjustmens needed.

 

Happy Selling.

 

Aug 30, 2010 06:05 PM #58
Rainmaker
1,277,663
Richie Alan Naggar Author PEARLS SERIES of books
People first then business! Ran Right Realty Riverside, Ca - Riverside, CA
on LIFE and LOVE plus Real Estate too!

I have complied with yout post. Every once in a while, I like a good FIRE.........

Aug 30, 2010 06:43 PM #59
Rainer
42,994
Phil Cogan
Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate - Coral Springs, FL

Scott, I have been fired in the past by clients. Now I pick and choose whom I want to represent, be it buyer or seller. I recently let a buyer go because she was demanding that I violate our COE.

Aug 30, 2010 08:12 PM #60
Rainmaker
351,023
Karen Feltman
Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA Skogman Realty - Cedar Rapids, IA
Relocation Specialist

Great post!  I agree that sometimes the best thing to do is to walk away from a listing where the seller is not listening to your recommendations.  We are blamed for not being able to control the buyers or the agents that show the home. Ultimately, the market determines the value.  I too have gone back and looked at listings that I had that expired or were cancelled to find that they either did not sell at all, or that they sold for less than what I initially expected. 

Aug 30, 2010 08:23 PM #61
Rainmaker
391,037
Elizabeth Cooper-Golden
Huntsville Alabama Real Estate, (@ Homes Realty Group) - Huntsville, AL
Huntsville AL MLS

Scott, ROTFL...I love it!  The VAST majority of us have been fired at one time or another.  Don't think I haven't had my share of firing my clients lately as well!  I really liked how you included not getting an extension as being fired.  That is so true, isn't it?

I have learned the hard way through the years that now, it is MY way or the highway.  I am so darned choosy on which listings I take now...they must trust me and be willing to cooperate 100%, or I'm not even going there.  It's a tough market and we have to be in charge now!

Love this post...move to Huntsville and work with me, lol.  They DO consider us your little brother city, you know :)

Aug 30, 2010 09:04 PM #62
Rainmaker
391,037
Elizabeth Cooper-Golden
Huntsville Alabama Real Estate, (@ Homes Realty Group) - Huntsville, AL
Huntsville AL MLS

Scott, ROTFL...I love it!  The VAST majority of us have been fired at one time or another.  Don't think I haven't had my share of firing my clients lately as well!  I really liked how you included not getting an extension as being fired.  That is so true, isn't it?

I have learned the hard way through the years that now, it is MY way or the highway.  I am so darned choosy on which listings I take now...they must trust me and be willing to cooperate 100%, or I'm not even going there.  It's a tough market and we have to be in charge now!

Love this post...move to Huntsville and work with me, lol.  They DO consider us your little brother city, you know :)

Aug 30, 2010 09:04 PM #63
Ambassador
1,258,175
Erica Ramus
Erica Ramus - Ramus Realty Group - Pottsville, PA - Pottsville, PA
MRE, Schuylkill County PA Real Estate

You are so right. And sometimes you just don't mesh with a buyer or seller and should just move on.

Aug 30, 2010 10:35 PM #64
Rainmaker
682,187
Ruthmarie Hicks
Keller Williams NY Realty - 120 Bloomingdale Road #101, White Plains NY 10605 - White Plains, NY

Most of my sellers stick with me - but I'm very honest up front as to what they need.  If I think they need staging - I tell them . As the listing languishes - I tell them again - and again - and again.  Often as the listing goes nowhere  - they come around.  Ditto - price reductions.  Most people don't want to hear this - but that's what they have to do to  move the home.

Aug 30, 2010 11:12 PM #65
Rainmaker
89,206
Monte Pratt
Jack Pratt Signs - Oklahoma City, OK

Great post!  The only job i've been fired from was when I was 17 yrs old, working at the local Burger King for eating on the job.  I couldn't help it - you get really hungry after a while.

Aug 30, 2010 11:42 PM #66
Rainmaker
358,512
Scott Hayes
(512) 786-8300 - Austin, TX
Realty Austin, Broker Associate

Richard- Thanks for the read. 

Dagny- Thanks. When AR was down, I saved my comments to word and pasted them. Gonna have to try that one again.

Sergio- You have to really watch the marketing dollars these days

Chris- Thanks very much for the read

Carol- I like the partnership description

Jon-People don't always appreciate sound advice

Dietmar- Firing from our end can be just as liberating

Aaron- Exactly right about getting fired for going above and beyond. But still the right thing to do...I guess

Terry- That is exactly right

Stephanie- Thank you. Always like your comments

Eileen- Most battles are won before they are fought. I've got to stop using those Wall Street lines

Karen- Great comments. I'm actually going to lunch with an appraiser to get a real firm grasp on their method for getting value

Aug 31, 2010 12:52 AM #67
Rainmaker
358,512
Scott Hayes
(512) 786-8300 - Austin, TX
Realty Austin, Broker Associate

Brian- I had that not getting hired instance, but at least I didn't wait the six months. That would have been rough

Kerry- Its scary how much we can spend on the listing without realizing it

Morgan- Couldn't say it any better myself

Phil-Any successful person is going to fail a few times. Meant they tried something hard.

Cameron-Thanks much

Vince- Thanks. Great comments

Rebecca- I've heard 3% every 14-21 days

Donna- You know I was referring to that situation in part of this blog. You aren't just responsible for getting me on AR, but gave me blog material

Bryan- In the long run, telling sellers what they need to hear is still best

Aug 31, 2010 12:58 AM #68
Anonymous
Anonymous
Anonymous

Right on Scott. Not much more to say except I'm in good company.

Aug 31, 2010 07:39 AM #69
Anonymous
Post a Comment
Spam prevention

Accessibility option: listen to a question and answer it!

To submit the form,
drag the pants to the circle on the side.

Type below the answer to what you hear. Numbers or words, lowercase:

Show All Comments
Rainmaker
358,512

Scott Hayes

Realty Austin, Broker Associate
Ask me a question
*
*
*
Spam prevention

Accessibility option: listen to a question and answer it!

To submit the form,
drag the pants to the circle on the side.

Type below the answer to what you hear. Numbers or words, lowercase: