Don't Shoot the Messenger

There are many times in life where through no fault of our own, we find ourselves as the bearer of bad news relating to an incident with which we had nothing to do. However often in this situation that small detail is overlooked and we find ourselves being punished for a scenario out of our control. This shoot the messenger syndrome can be particularly prevalent in the world of real estate; increasingly this is so lately as the effects of the economic slowdown continue to be felt and like any less than great situation, many of the worst affected look for someone to blame.

Regularly Agents get to share wonderful news with clients, but being the bearer of bad news is sadly also part of working in real estate. No-one ever likes to tell someone something negative. Well, unless you really dislike the person, and then telling them that they have food stains down their shirt before they go into a meeting can be somewhat satisfying, but on the whole, having to share bad news with others doesn’t top most people’s favourite things to do list. That said, there’s never any excuse for avoiding a client because you don’t have something positive to relay. Everyone deserves the truth, and in a timely manner. Unreturned phone calls, ignored emails and generally being an enigma of an Agent is not only frustrating for your client, but it’s rude, unprofessional and will garner you a reputation that you won’t want, but will possibly deserve.

One of the biggest problems we’re currently facing in the real estate industry is unrealistic expectations of vendors when it comes to the value of their home. Many vendors, although well aware of the current economic volatility, do not expect this to translate so close to home as to affect the price they think is achievable for their property. Similarly if a property is taking longer to sell than a vendor anticipated, explaining the reasons why, or that no-one showed up for a home open, is an unpleasant but unavoidable part of the job.

It’s not easy being a seller in this climate, but often it’s not easy being a real estate agent either and being the bearer of bad news is never an enviable position. An Agent should be professional and well versed enough to present bad news in the most positive way possible, but sometimes there’s no way to sugar coat the facts, so I ask - please try your best not to shoot the messenger!   
Posted by Charles Tarbey on 27/02/2009 at 10:20 AM | Categories:


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