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How to be an even better Realtor professional in a competitive world

Second to the transaction

How many times have you, the Realtor, been the second to the transaction? The second to list the home, the second to show property to a new home buyer? The mere fact that you’re the second party points to the failure of the first party to deliver, or so it would seem.

Although you know the most realistic reason the first party likely did not deliver were the high expectations of the client to begin with, for example their price was too high on the listed property, or maybe the buyer expected a lot more home for a lot less money.

The “second time around” client is more often than not softened to market conditions, and more willing to come to terms with reality- this is often a win for the second to the transaction and most Realtors know this.

Treatment of the first party

But why, if Realtors know this, do they besmirch the first party to the transaction? There is this inherent desire to tear down any gains the first party may have built your very foundation on.

For example, my new insurance carrier mentioned I could call their direct competitor, but just I wait until I filed a claim. I paused and asked, “so when I need to file a claim, I need to call you directly to make sure I got every penny I deserved, that you will fight for me day and night in comparison to the “other guy,” right?” He digressed and told me all about their 1-800 number I would call for a claim… I thought so.

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Not just real estate

It isn’t just the real estate industry, it’s any industry that involves sales and competition, it involves any industry that involves humans and their insecurities, even in the corporate world where high level consultants play, and it is just that- a delay and stall tactic where weak minded individuals look at a foundation and point out something they disagree with and place blame while they scramble to come up with something they could do differently knowing full well that first and seconds to parties and transactions are often truly just part of the process of the client reaching their own conclusion that the first party was right in their recommendations in the first place.

I wonder how many of you begin second party to a transaction by tearing down your peers in the industry? I wonder how many really realize that it is a pure sign of weakness not to understand that foundations were meant to be built upon, not torn down? I wonder how many realize that this is actually incredibly unprofessional and demotes the previous work by the actual client as the client is and always has been the primary decision maker.

Learning to deal with unprofessional behavior

At the end of the day, I’ve learned to deal with the unprofessional behavior of professionals in many industries, and am never shocked at what I contend with being a party to any transaction as I am often an intermediary between both, but yesterday, something brilliant happened, something wonderful, something inspiring.

I contacted a very competitive vendor yesterday- not competitive to me, but competitive in the real estate industry on the association level. I asked this individual who they believed to be their top five competitors in the industry and why. He agreed wholeheartedly to convey the list, but he prefaced with this, I’d like to send the list, but I’d like for you to understand that the reasons they do some of the things they do are necessary and not necessarily indicative of a bad product. Some of the nuances of this particular product from vendor to vendor should be met less with criticism, but with deeper evaluation as what may appear as a defect to you may in fact be a value (I’m paraphrasing).

Wow. How powerful is that? It not only sold me on this gentleman’s breadth of knowledge in the line of products I’m attempting to evaluate- in fact, it blew me away. It blew me away because for a change I didn’t doubt a line of promises similarly to the insurance carrier above, rather, I wanted to know more, ask more, and his recommendations immediately had value. Here was a guy prepared to tell me the truth, secure in his own product, and willing to go as far as he needed to assist me in my evaluation.

I’ve never brow beaten a competitor behind their back, that’s way too easy, but I had also never taken that step further to articulate a foundation. Looking forward, the value of doing so is clear.

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Benn Rosales is the Founder and CEO of The American Genius (AG), national news network. Before AG, he founded one of the first digital media strategy firms in the nation has received the Statesman Texas Social Media Award and is an Inman Innovator Award winner. He has consulted for numerous startups (both early- and late-stage), and is well known for organizing the digital community through popular offline events. He does not venture into the spotlight often, rather he believes his biggest accomplishments are the talent he recruits and develops, so he gives all credit to those he's empowered.



  1. Ben Goheen

    May 19, 2011 at 3:40 pm

    Thanks for the food for thought. With so many sharks in the water, it's great to see someone being honest about their product.

    btw: my insurance agent (who I only saw 2 times in 10 years) gave me the exact same line about the personal service when I switched to another company. "They don't have an office in the area, who are you going to talk to?" Uh, the person at the other end of the 1-800 hotline, same as what I do now.

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