Real Estate Agent Etiquette

7 Replies

Hi All! We are new to investing and wanted to ask about Real Estate Agent Etiquette.  We believe strongly in treating people well so we don't want to burn bridges or insult anyone!

What is the etiquette for having multiple agents working for you as an investor? I know for our primary home we are working with one agent and will only use him when we want to see a house etc.

Is it considered rude to work with several agents and have them all sending you properties you might be interested in as an investment?  Should you make sure you only have one per area? 

Sorry if this is such a basic question- thanks for your time!

@Victoria King my primary focus is working with investors in the Chicago western suburbs, and I don't take offense if they find something with a different agent.  I don't think this is bad etiquette, especially if the agents work different areas. I think the only thing that would be bad etiquette is wasting one agent's time to show a property and then having a different agent make an offer on the same property. I doubt you would do something like that since you are inquiring as to etiquette!

Hey Victoria!

Personally I would much rather be told I am unable to complete the job they need as their agent. I keep the amount of clients I work with within a certain number where I know I’m comfortable being able to provide all the services they would need from an agent.

For this reason I do not work with flippers exclusively because the amount of time they require would negatively effect my time with other investors and retail clients. Most agents I speak to in my area feel the same about exclusivity but I’m sure it differs in each market. Hope this adds some insight.

Happy Investing!

@Victoria King - I work in a specific area so I have plenty of clients who are also considering areas I do not do and I refer them to a good agent if I have one.  I don't mind that they use someone else if it is an area I am not familiar with. 

If it is my area, and they want to use multiple agents, I do not work with them.  I work very hard for my clients and do a lot of upfront analysis of deals.  I don't put them on an auto search and the time and effort to vet properties before showing a client is the most time consuming part of my business.  So I am not going to do all that work for someone who isn't putting in the work too. 

Even my clients in Chicago who buy a 2-4 unit with me and have a condo to sell in my area I usually have them use someone else.  I only do 2-4 units and feel it would be a disservice to them to do something outside of my experience level just for the money.  

Real Estate is all about relationships at the end of the day. Depending on the city it could be different, for example Chicago is very large so you might have North and South Agent. But Cleveland that one agent can cover both East and West.

SO if you are upfront I don't see any issue its when you hide the fact I would have an issue. Especially IF you are asking for GC, Insurance agent contacts and then you end up buying with someone else. Least offer a bottle of wine for all the advice, connections and knowledge I've shared with you during our time together

I personally wouldn't work with someone who is using multiple agents.  Especially if they're only doing one deal a year on a $50k foreclosure.  My time is spent more productively elsewhere.

@Victoria King , I am glad to see someone so thoughtful. As a number of brokers above mentioned, working with one agent per area is the way to go. All brokers have access to the same properties on the MLS and working with multiple agents in the same areas it won't help you.

A lot of investors are under the impression that just finding a deal takes a little time from a broker. What they don't know is the time and money that broker invested to get to that point in their career, where they can find a deal in 10 minutes on the MLS. Also, loyalty pays off. When I find an awesome deal on the market that doesn't match one of my active buyer's search, I always call my best clients, the ones that have used my services for years and sent me continuous referrals. Loyalty pays both ways!

Thank you all so much for your replies! Your advice was very valuable and helped to clarify to make sure we treat everyone well for their hard work. Appreciate you!

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