Recently, I had the chance to talk to a local New Orleans real estate agent. As we were chatting about a listing, he said that he had to get off of the phone because he was “at his job”.
HINT: It wasn’t real estate.
This is not meant to be a slam on part time agents. There are some spectacular part time agents out there that do an excellent job of making sure their clients are taken care of. Then there are the rest. The ones that treat this business like a hobby.
I have a job (meaning one other than real estate) is no excuse for an agent to:
Not have the tools of the trade. No lockbox key? No MLS access? No marketing plan? These are required tools to effectively list and sell real estate in New Orleans. Without them, they are not truly in the real estate business.
Not be able to show properties. If your agent can’t show you properties because it interferes with their day (or night) job, and they don’t have someone else that can help you, then he or she is not really in the real estate business.
Not be able to attend inspections. The standard in New Orleans is for the buyer’s agent to attend the inspections either for or with their clients. If your agent can’t be there and doesn’t have a backup or plan B, they are not in the real estate business.
Not answer the phone or return calls until their break or lunch hour. While we don’t answer our Crescent City Living phones 24/7, we are definitely available during business hours. Consistently waiting until lunch or dinner time to call people back won’t work in an industry that is built on deadlines and response times that can be measured in hours, not days.
Before hiring an agent to help you buy or sell, ask them if real estate is their “job” or if they have limitations on their availability to you. Every client deserves the full attention of their agent. Make sure you are getting it.