How to Endear Yourself to Other Agents: A Rant

J Philip Faranda July 2, 2009

  • Abbreviate! Abbrvte! This is especially useful when you have the room to write more in your remarks but you still feel the need to call a living room an LR and a master suite a mstr ste. It really makes for easy reading when each sntce has mltple abbrvtns. 
  • “Buyer agent to verify.” Why should you confirm the legality of additions, extra bathrooms or taxes? Caveat emptor, I always say. 
  • Misspell. Nothing builds your credibility like “refridgerator” or “Motevated seller”, especially when the error lasts 4 months and your MLS has spell check. And while I’m at it, thanks for keeping that picture of the house under a foot of snow. It’s July; my clients were curious as to what the place looks like if we get a White Christmas. 
  • Voicemail greetings are for selling yourself! That minute-plus sales pitch about your commitment to excellence and your website URL, complete with spelling, enriches my day when I need to leave you a quick message. You’ll always get bonus points for repeating the whole spiel in Lithuanian. 
  • Who needs square footage? “0” works for me. “2000” or “1450” only make for preconceived notions before a showing. Keep ’em guessing! Special bonus points for when you do throw out a number and include illegal finished basements with falling ceiling tiles and 1950’s panelling. 
  • Mapquest. We are professionals; we shouldn’t have to rely on you for cross streets or directions, especially in new areas not on maps or the GPS. Just put “mapquest” in the direction field as a friendly reminder. 
  • We really care what the taxes were in 2004. It keeps us on our toes to figure out your listings taxes by triangulating the last 4 school budgets and the rate of inflation. 
  • Keep your cell phone a state secret. Want the hot market to return? Act like it’s here already! The buyers will line up if you behave as if you are inundated and need insulation from the hordes looking for houses! So keep that cell number off the MLS printouts! Don’t let the office divulge it. Standing in the rain with no key in the lockbox builds character! 
  • Dictate! When I am driving across town and am late for an appointment, it relaxes me to add writing your list of questions from yesterday’s home inspection to my multi-tasking. No need to email them so I have them saved on my hard drive; email is for spam, not business. 
  • The Long Island Special: Be Nasty. This is especially for some of my dear colleagues in the 516 area code. If I am trying to show your 448-day old listing, act as if I just tinkled in your corflakes when I call to say we are running late (with 2 toddlers in tow) or I have questions about the asbestos siding. 
  • The Queens Special: Status updates are for wimps! It makes us all better agents when our client has a total craving for a listing that shows as active day after day after we have been told contracts were signed last week. Also, when I submit an offer, play “hard to get” until you bring in your own buyer. 
  • Queens Special II: Appointments are for wimps. Just call an hour before you want to show and if the key is in the office you can come pick it up. We don’t do lockboxes. We don’t do appointments. We don’t do calenders. Live in the moment. 
  • I love homework! Your client likes my listing but wants to know the setback rules for an addition they might want to build? Don’t call the building department silly, just call me! I’ll be happy to be the liason between your client’s idle curiosity and the grump at the building department. My sellers are just as curious about building an addition too. That’s why they’re selling.  
  • Lockbox Derby as more fun than a pinata. OK, so the lockbox isn’t on the front door or the rear door. It isn’t on the railing; no need to tell me this on the MLS sheet or when I make the appointment. Make me earn it. 
  • Just call me back whenever. New Yorkers are too fast-paced. My clients don’t need answers to their questions too soon. Let them wonder for a while before getting back to me. Quick follow up is overrated; play hard to get. It worked for my wife. 
OK…I think I feel better now. 

Read my short sale bog here. See the New York Photo blog hereSend J. Philip Your New York Referral!

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