Can I phone a friend?

by Dennis Wilson, Manager, Professional Standards

Happy New Year! I hope you had a wonderful holiday season and a chance for some quality time with family and friends.

As I was thinking about my first column of 2017, I received an email from a one of our members (a listing agent) describing an experience she recently had. I couldn’t have said it better myself, so here goes.

Buyer’s agent: “Can I show your listing at 11:00?”

Listing agent: “Yes, the lockbox is on the railing and the alarm code is xxxxx. The home is vacant, so please lock up after you are done using the dead bolt and set the alarm.”

Buyer’s agent: “Can you give me a one-day code as I don’t have a SentriCard.”

Listing agent: “No, I don’t give out one-day codes but I can meet you at the listing at that time and show you.”

Buyer’s agent: “Can I just send my clients then?”

Listing agent: “No, that is not the way we do business. I will meet you and your client there to show you the property.”

Buyer’s agent: “But I have an appointment at that time tomorrow.”

Listing agent: “How were you going to show it with a one-day code?”

Buyer’s agent: “I was going to have a friend show it for me.”

Listing agent: “Is your friend a Realtor?”

Buyer’s agent: “No. Just a friend.”

Listing agent: “Then get someone in your office to help you out.”

Buyer’s agent: “I have tried but no one is available.”

Listing agent: “Well continue to try and if you really can’t find anyone I will show the property.”

Footnote from the member who was the listing agent:

“I ended up showing the property to her client in the interest of my seller. This is not the way we should be doing business, if this agent had a SentriCard, she likely would have given the lockbox card to a friend and had her friend show the property. We put a trust in our colleagues when we allow them to go into our clients’ homes and our clients put a trust in our profession that their most valued possession is in the hands of professionals that will put a value on their security. Had I have given her a one-day code I would have had unlicensed people with access to the home.”

Many of us have heard similar stories far too often. We all need to keep in mind this is not just about laziness or lack of professionalism. It’s about our duty as REALTORS® to ensure the interests of our clients always comes first.

Let’s make a New Year resolution to always keep a client’s interests ahead of our own. I wish you and yours a great 2017.