Real estate agent etiquette goes beyond the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) Code of Ethics. The Code sets enforceable standards for cooperation between the association’s members to protect clients’ best interests. However, it doesn’t cover everything and it only applies to NAR members, not all licensed agents. Good agent etiquette is a daily choice, enforceable by no one but yourself. A successful real estate agent knows the key to their business is in the relationships they build – with other agents, clients, vendors, and the community. If you want to build a business based on strong relationships, then look at these real estate agent etiquette dos and don’ts from professionals across the industry.
Agent to Agent
Treating other agents with respect means more than just behaving politely and appropriately when you interact. It means respecting their time and efforts, too. “One way to respect other agents is to make sure your listing is up to date and the access instructions are clear. Spend a few extra minutes proofreading everything. This can save another agent (and you) from a lot of back-and-forth communication later,” according to License Classroom. Helping other agents will naturally benefit you and your clients when it makes the path to closing easier.
Agent to Client
Treating your clients with respect and care seems like a no-brainer, right? But this doesn’t just apply to your client – think about the other party’s client, too. “If you cannot make it to a house you set an appointment to see, especially when occupied, take the time to cancel the appointment. Sellers jump through hoops to get their home ready for a showing, often leaving the home for hours,” says Mary Beth Harrison, Listing Agent with the Dallas Native Team. Treat other agents’ clients how you would want them to treat yours.
Agent to Vendor
When working with a vendor (photographers, inspectors, title agents, etc.), let them know of any changes to the job order in a timely manner. “As a real estate vendor, we understand there are a lot of moving parts in a transaction. Prompt communication is a key focus of our business so we can keep an efficient workflow. It’s helpful for agents to let us know right away when they need to cancel an appointment so we can reschedule our staff and make that time available for another agent,” says Square Foot Photography.
Agent to Property
Agent etiquette isn’t just for people, it applies to property, too (plus, the homeowners will thank you). “Be courteous and thoughtful when showing a home to a prospective buyer. Treat it as your own – lock doors that you opened, reset the alarm if it was on, don’t touch personal items, and turn off any lights that you turned on,” says Mary Beth. Neighbors will see how you treat the property, too. New clients can be found anywhere, so show the neighbors you respect their community and are an agent they can trust with their own home.
Remember, we’re all in this together with the same goal – to help our clients buy, sell, or rent property. Each role in a real estate transaction is just as important in getting to the closing table. Think about when you’ve had a smooth experience with another party versus a less-than-ideal one. Which experience do you want others to have with you?