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Thoughts on Co-Op Agent Interaction

In real estate, not every client will be a peach. Not every transaction that we have will be smooth. Not every agent that you work with will be a blessing in your life. Sometimes, you will pick up the phone to call that one tall, dark, and handsome client of your’s who you were pretty sure was in some way “connected” (you know what I mean), to see if he knows how much a hit is and who he knows who could help you. Cause you DID hear that apparently it's cheap around South Jersey and you were just won-

Set the damn phone down and breathe.

The way other agents treat us should never dictate how we treat them. We always want to make sure that we are respectful, kind, appreciative, and helpful to other agents. While it is true that our industry is competitive, it is also true that the industry has created a standard of conduct which is… not very high... Okay fine, it sucks! The standard SUUCCKKSS…

Do not let that be an excuse to operate without integrity, professionalism, excellence and a little bit of fun. Set the standard. Break the mold. Make the industry your b*tch. Tell IT what to do, don’t let it tell YOU what to do. YOU are operating at a higher level, which will enable you to make a higher level income and live a higher level life. You don’t get ahead from doing what everyone else does. You kick the cones that form the boundaries down and you do the right thing no matter what. Watch how your amazing reputation precedes you in the future, before you even meet anyone. Mind BLOWN, y'all!

Be known as an Agent who is a pleasure to work with. Who knows her stuff, and goes above and beyond to make sure that the transaction is done well for all parties involved. I have found that people act and react based on their own life experiences and I feel like that has given me more compassion toward diffult-to-work-with Co-Ops. In my experience, I’ve found that many of the agents who give you a hard time are only doing so because they either:

1.) Are insecure deep down, totally uncomfortable, or made a mistake and feel like asserting themselves above you and blame shifting to you is the only way to make them appear confident and secure or like they didn’t do anything wrong. Keep in mind that a majority of our agents in any given town don’t do a majority of the business, so the transaction you’re doing with them may be only one of the few they will do all year. Some agents just aren’t experienced, so their insecurity comes out in their attitude. They basically don’t want you to ask too many questions, so they put up the “Ego Wall” as I lovingly call it. The wall that is 1000 ft tall, and seems impossible to climb or break down, until you realize that there is a door RIGHT THERE that you can just walk on through. Just takes a little people- skill. Insecurity can come out in many different ways. Things aren’t always as they seem, so be laser focused and solution-minded.

2.) Have only ever experienced working with C- agents and have hardly ever been treated as a partner and collaborator in a transaction. The only mode they have learned is fight mode. I have found this to be especially true in areas where there are a massive amount of agents- everyone is doing a little business, but operating at such a low level, because they are inexperienced. Agents don’t know each other for their entire careers. It can seem like an endless pit of non talent to be working with a ton of egos who are compensating for the fact that they know nothing. Yet, we need to be laser focused and solution-minded.


3. ) Are terribly unhappy/ unfulfilled in their lives or careers and/or are jealous of your success. Not everyone is taught the value of running a business, managing their time and stress, and creating and living a life on purpose. And this business is freaking overwhelming if you don’t learn those things, which is why so many agent’s fail and quit, or reach a ceiling on their growth. Many agents who do stay, grow unhappy or complacent in their career, either because it's in their nature to do so, because of their lack of willingness to learn and grow, or because they have been conditioned to do so by their leadership and/or the agents that they are surrounded by.

This business holds so much opportunity, it's ridiculous, yet most agents will go their entire lives with what I'd like to refer to as a crawlspace mentality. A crawlspace has a low ceiling. It's dark, it’s cold, it’s empty, and there is mouse shit in the corner. There's a tarp to like-protect it from moisture so it doesn’t destroy the house, but nothing is brought to life in a crawlspace. Nothing amazing grows in a crawl space. There’s no light. There's no energy. There's no hope. There's no vision. Just the excruciating monotony of another day, another dollar.

Oh, there is protection from weather! The tarp somewhat protects the crawlspace from moisture, which could rot the wood and destroy the entire house.... I mean he/she can pay his/her mortgage, and they may even drive an awesome car! They aren’t in financial ruin! They service their clients and sell a few houses. But their perspective is from the crawlspace. They can’t see the gorgeous entryway that you can see, or the shiny, reflection of the cesarstone counters, or the exquisite workmanship of the trim or tile work . They will never, ever see the panoramic views of the ocean that you experiece from the third floor master bedroom- that breath-taking beauty, that limitless sky that makes your heart race. Don't allow a crawlspace-minded Agent kill your vibe. They would love to have the perspective that you do, but they don't. You have a higher vision and purpose, so have compassion on them instead. Be laser focused and solution-minded.

You may understand the frustration that comes with poor leadership, lack of time management skills, boundary-less clients, co-op agents, and bosses, and working like a horse from the time you wake up until you crash without even taking an hour’s break. That lifestyle sucks you dry and burns you out. Thankfully, you don’t have to live that life any more! But not all agents will get that opportunity. (PS- if you ARE living that life and don't want to, why not consider joining TSC? Just saying...)

Always try to come from a place of understanding and be laser-focused and solution-minded.

That means, keep your eye on the win at all times. Don’t let emotion get the best of you. Don’t let the other agent’s words take up residence in your mind and then affect negotiations for your client. It is not about what you want. It is not about “winning” when it comes to negotiations or issues that arise. It is about moving the transaction along for the best of both clients by finding a middle ground that is justifiable and reasonably fair to both parties.

The following tips are some that I've found helpful on communicating with other agents:

  • When the going gets tough, remind the agent that your main goal is to find a solution and that you will work hard to do so. Decide what your win is, decide your trajectory, then implement your “Plan For The Win”.

  • Don’t ever feel trapped in a conversation. If you don’t know how to answer or if the agent is out of control, tell them you will give them a call back. Give them a few hours to decompress. Just because they are acting out of radical emotion doesn’t mean you need to allow it to kill your vibe. Handle any issues, but let the emotion wear off.

  • Don’t talk too much. (I may or may not have learned this the hard way...) The more you talk, the more ammo you will give a co-op agent, if things go south for whatever reason. “But you said….” Will come back to kick you in the butt repeatedly until you learn this. If you are a chatterbox, ask the agent about their life and business and make conversation that way, but don’t get chatty about your client or the transaction. Ever. Like literally ever.

  • Set the expectation in the beginning. Don’t over-promise and under-perform. The root of frustration is unmet expectations, so you will cause frustration if you don’t follow through with what you say. Be honest. Have integrity. And listen more than you speak.

  • Never Compromise your Core Values. Not your integrity. Not your professionalism. Not excellence. Not your family or your downtime. If an agent is upset that you are not answering them at 9pm, that is their own issue. It is not your's. (Remember the Non-Successfuls? They're the people who may have had A success, so they wear their pride on their sleeve under the false illusion that they are successful in all areas of life. They are not UNsuccessful, but they have mastered only one area of their life, so their vision and goals... or ahem... lack not the same as your vision and goals, Wise One! YOU are a "Successful"- one who strives to master ALL areas of your life, remain humble, hungry, and smart". ) Your family and your life outside of work are important. Don’t compromise on that. Simply ignore the call and handle it the next day, letting the Agent know that you don't answer work calls after a certain time. I get laughed at all the time for my voicemail, which states that I don't answer my phone before 9am and after 6pm, and my weekends are by appointment only. Yet, the interesting thing is that I'm the one living a balanced life with energy and not complaining on a regular basis, becauseI can't manage my overwhelming anxiety, so who is the real winner here? Come AHN, Bro...

  • Answer the phone when they call. Or call them back ASAP. Be respectful. It’s just solid business form. At the same time, you don't need to call an agent every day to check in. Which leads me to my next point:

  • Don't try to micromanage the other agent or "catch them" in anything. Let them work their side of the transaction. There are deadlines to meet, and that is contractual, but they don't need you reminding them of every duty, every day. That's what I like to call.... "f*****g obnoxious". And by the way:

  • NEVER throw another agent under the bus. Not to your client. Not to your friend. Not to your husband or your Sister's Aunt's Friend's Cousin, not to anyone. Never ever do that. It doesn't make you look better. It makes you look BITTER. And you are better than that. Honorable people are the first to honor others. Because it isn't about glory. It is about integrity. Search and find integrity if you haven't yet. Squeeze it tightly in your hand, run like hell to the closet, hide it in the safe of your heart. Never ever let anyone steal it, no matter how close they get to getting the correct combo to the safe, and DEFINITELY don't freaking give it away to anyone ever. You keep it stored in the safe of your heart and let it become a living, breathing part of you that cannot be removed.

  • Keep calm if the conversation begins getting heated. Let the agent speak, and listen to what they are saying. Don’t speak over them. Let them finish, so they feel heard. And LISTEN. If you were wondering what that range word is, "listening" is that thing you do when you shut the **** up and open your ears and your mind to authentically try to understand their point of view and how you can help. Calmly clarify the agent’s question, issue, or concern no matter how heated they get, and again, assure them that you are going to partner with them to get a win. Then sit back and watch the agent's anger diffuse.

Listen, dealing with PREEs (Pregnant Real Estate Egos... don't laugh... it's a real thing. You know what I mean- the ego is so huge, that it's virtually pregnant... with another ego...inside of itself. Like, that's how inflated that the PREE is) is NO JOKE! It is why we have a reputation of being "shark infested waters", but

make the industry your. b*tch and change the game.

Operate with integrity, professionalism, excellence, and a little bit of fun... all the time. When it comes down to it, it is about your quality of life. When in doubt, always remember: be humble hungry, and smart in any and every situation and you won't go wrong. Be humble: don't let your ego get in the way. Be hungry: Learn. Alwayyyysss be learning and growing. Whether you are learning from a situation or a person, learn. And smart: do the wise thing. Make wise choices and think about your actions. I hope this helped someone today! I am wishing you peace, love and good vibes from my office to your's!


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