Respect is a virtue without which life is meaningless. Without respect, a human being (or any other sentient creature) is just a fixture on this planet. One is bound to feel low, dejected and hurt if one is not given the apt value that they deserve. That can actually result in low sensitivity in people and can even change the entire course of mankind. These days, it comes as no surprise that there are so many agitated people in India and around the globe who are discontent with the quality of life they are having. Apart from affecting the private lives of people, low levels of respect have caused its share of chaos in businesses as well and the government as well. So you see where all of this is ending up. But to understand more about it from the angle of a real estate developer, seller, broker or buyer, we must delve deeper into the issue. Below are some of the themes that shape our mission and vision as a top real estate consultancy. Read on to find out more.
Respecting The Homeowners
As a real estate consultancy, we are expected to provide our clients with the best deals. Be it a homeowner who wants to sell his flat at a good price or a developer who wants the best possible bargain on a plot, so that he can build his next residential project, a broker/agent has to ensure that his clients are satisfied. But apart from showcasing the property, the real estate consultant has to keep other things in mind as well.
Have you ever imagined walking into a client’s house without a proper introduction beforehand? No, not at all! Even if the owner of the home was lenient enough and did not bar anybody from entering his house, we must not take advantage of the situation. We ensure that we follow proper protocol before making a client out of a seller. Our client’s privacy concerns are of the utmost importance. You do not barge in a party and gatecrash it? Do you? Similarly you don’t expect a nice reaction in return for your unruly behaviour.
Sometimes agents notice a good property and owing to their persistent attitude, they make a potential seller quite uncomfortable. They approach him / her firsthand without introducing themselves or providing a visiting card in advance. And then they expect a warm and welcoming response! The reaction to this, is of course, unpleasant. Would you like it if someone you didn’t know was just walked into your house? Obviously not. Then how can you expect somebody to enjoy your exploration of their property? We believe that all our agents must act extremely professionally, identifying themselves and investing wholeheartedly into cold calls. We explain to our employees and associate agents that a deal will surely ensue if you follow the right route.
Respecting The Property
Many times, real estate agents in India who are showing properties are at fault. While displaying the property to prospective buyers, they leave things as it is. They will leave the closet doors open. Or they do not pay attention to minute points like completely ignoring the Do Not Touch signs which could lead to a disaster in the future. Do you think the seller would be interested in dealing with that particular agent in the future? Not at all! If you are an experienced property owner or a home flipper there must have been a lot of instances when you have received a phone call from a seller claiming that the agent has soiled the living room carpet? Or that he / she had left the lights open or the water running. Once again, can you imagine someone doing that in your home? There are multiple peril points which the agent has to take care of. In case the agent misses out on any of these, then there is bound to be a backlash. The worst-case scenario? You get a call from the cops or the lawyer. As if one does not enough on their plate already! But that is how finicky some sellers can be. Of course, we are not stereotyping all of them. But there are all sorts of people in this world.
But why are we bringing all this up? This is one of the few inner and unspoken secrets that nobody tells you about the real estate industry. We are highly adamant that all agents working for us and with us fully respect the property that we are selling and take care of it during inspections. Getting into the bad books of sellers gives the prospective selling client a chance to speak about you. Some premium property sellers make it a point to bully the dealers or the brokers on these points. All they need is an excuse. We could dish out many anecdotes of similar nature, but you have got the point. Sometimes its not even the fault of the agent. Prospective buyers could also end up messing a thing or two during inspections. Which is why the agent must always be alert.
In one instance, a buyer client’s three-year-old toddler was ransacking the house and the parents paid no heed to his actions. Unfortunately, he knocked over a showcased artwork that adorned the walls of the house (in this case a vase from a medieval Chinese pottery set). It was priced at a few lakh rupees in Indian currency. There was no way the buyers would want to dish out that amount. Ultimately, the real estate broker had to bear all the expenses. Can you relate to this situation?
Respecting Fellow Agents
There are many property consultants in India who are at the top of their game. They can handle all sorts of deals and almost sell any type of property that they please. But it takes tons of effort to reach there. And after they have made it, they have a golden period – nothing goes wrong. Every deal that they touch fructifies for them. They have enough work on their hands. Inspections do not reveal any major setbacks. All the buyers and sellers are going gaga over them.
This phase, however, won’t last forever. In our company too there are some property agents who having a great run and some for whom the stars are not in alignment! Some of them are working day and night to please the most difficult of clients and close deals. We instruct the successful real estate agents to wear their success lightly on their sleeves. No one needs to hear you yelling loud and cheering about a deal all over the office. What if time turned its tide against you? It is actually in poor taste to flaunt your successes in front of the whole world. One needs to be respectful and grateful to other people in the team. Each of them contributes something or other with their actions. Our motto at Gupta & Sen is – Be humble as a realtor, and your reputation amongst other realtors and clients is bound to grow.
The bottom line is that if you come across as an arrogant agent, others may feel intimidated by you. They will shirk working with you. As a result, you will be left to fend all for yourself. People talk behind your back and negative reputation spreads like a bush fire and precedes you wherever you go.
Respecting The Appointment
This is one of the cardinal rules of the real estate business. If you have an appointment with a client, then give it the attention it deserves. To show up at someone’s home uninvited is considered to be bad etiquette. If you are going to miss the scheduled appointment, you have to make sure that you have called the party beforehand. This is a golden rule that we follow at our agency. What’s worse than ending up late for a deal? Being early! What?! Yes, we are serious. Imagine you show up at a seller’s house with a prospective buyer and their kids have just returned from school. Or they could be doing their laundry and the whole house is a mess. Do you think both the buyer and the seller will be interested in making a deal at that moment? Not a chance. we always ensure such situations do not arise. All one needs to do is confirm the timing of the appointment. There is one more thing that you ought to keep in mind. And since we believe that God lies in the details we might as well mention it. During the process of negotiation, it is imperative that agents keep their phones in silent mode or simply switch it off. Nobody likes an interruption while they are walking around a property or discussing important aspects of a sale. In case one has to attend a call, you ensure that the conversation is as brief as possible.
Respecting The Client
This is the most important rule of all. But make no mistake we do not elevate clients to a God like status because there are also times when the sellers are themselves at fault. We, as agents, or brokers, must deal with these situations with patience. But how much patience is enough? From our experiences, we have identified some markers which might help us with such situations.
As veterans in the property industry, there have been many instances when one have called in on a client only to find out that they are busy negotiating a supposedly better deal with another agent. Honestly, there is nothing ruder than this. It literally translates into the following words – you are not worthy of my full attention or something along the lines your deal wasn’t good enough. Why not say it in the initial part of the deal? Why keep this lingering for so long? But you can’t help it. Such behaviour is part and parcel of this trade. In situations like these, we make it a point to explain to a seller that we work with many clients and our own time is equally important for us and that you as a client respect us and our time equally.
On the other hand how do you ensure you are respecting your client in the best way possible? For one, you have to be punctual. There is nothing lucrative about inculcating habits where things are not done on time. Not only will you have to reschedule things, but you will also have far less time to concentrate on other aspects of the deal. And when it comes down to signing the papers, you need all the time in the world. If you have come up with any last-minute emergency, then you have to make sure that your representatives are there on time. If the client has a habit of showing up late regularly, we ensure that a mention is made of the delay he / she is creating in the entire process.
There are also times when sellers reschedule the entire program. Not only does it make the agent working on the deal uncomfortable, but it can also cause a lot of frustration to the buyer. What if the buyer decides to walkout at the last minute? You cannot afford that at any cost. We always ensure that such erratic sellers are blacklisted and avoid future dealings with such seller parties who do not care for time.
So dear reader, whether you are a property buyer or seller, we hope we have given you some insights about how we run our business and the values and ethics governing the same. Giving respect can make a business, irrespective of its size and make it go a long way!