The Other Agent: Ally or Adversary? | The Zebra Blog

The Other Agent: Ally or Adversary?

I can’t tell you how many times I have seen agents quarreling and bickering over their real estate transactions. Some agents start seething over a small hiccup or completely blow up when things aren’t going right. I have seen agents completely lose their mojo over a transaction when they felt bullied and berated by an agent who had lost their cool and “dumped” on the other agent. I have even had my agent clients call me for help in dealing with the “monster” agent on the other side.

Because we are trained to put our client’s needs first, I believe that some agents take that too far and view the other agent as their adversary when really they should be viewed as their ally or partner. Smooth transactions begin by treating the agent on the other side with respect and professionalism.     

Your job when representing your buyers or sellers is to do what is in their best interest and take the transaction from contract to closing with a minimum of bumps along the way. This journey begins with how you communicate with the other agent from the first time you meet them or speak with them on the phone. It starts with respecting the other agent and making an effort to get to know them and their personality type.

Putting your client’s interests first means you may have to put your ego aside, step out of your comfort zone, and take notice of what the agent on the other side wants and needs from you in the transaction.

First of all, take note about how do they like to communicate. Watch for clues about how they communicate with you and, just like you would ask a client how they like to share and receive information, make sure to ask the agent the same question.

This is key because some agents are definitely phone people while others prefer to communicate via email or texts. Remember, even though you may communicate best via email, don’t make the assumption that the other agent has that preference as well. Your job is to minimize the bumps, so if the other agent prefers the phone, make sure you have a live chat when there is a potential problem. This will also help you get to a solution quicker, which is also in the best interest of your clients.

Second, if there are bumps that happen along the way, think through possible solutions and have those at the ready before you contact the other agent. Remember your conflict resolution formula (stick to the facts, ask questions and offer solutions) at all times, as this will help you maintain your professionalism, even when you are feeling hot under the collar or anxious about getting the transaction closed on time.

Think about a time when you were treated badly by an agent on the other side of a transaction you were involved with. Maybe they were short with you or they didn’t listen when you asked them to send you an email with details rather than leave a long winded voicemail. Or perhaps they were controlling or rude or overbearing. Did they make you feel badly or were they hard to communicate with?

We have all experienced a transaction like this and we remember them. And so do our clients because bad behavior, negative energy, and poor communication styles always comes through to the clients. Likewise, if you are a calm, positive, problem-solver, that will also get through. So if you are constantly feeling like you are turning the other cheek, don’t feel as if it is in futility.

So, the next time you pick up the phone to call the agent on the other side of your transaction, remember that the better you treat them, the smoother your transaction will be. And of course follow the golden rule and treat everyone the way you want to be treated. Lay the groundwork for a successful transaction by listening to what the agent is saying. Watch their actions to learn how they want to be communicated with. It is the little things and the details that make you stand out in the mind of the agent on the other side. Make a long lasting positive impression.

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2 Responses to “The Other Agent: Ally or Adversary?”

  1. Vickie Jackson says:

    Great article, Denise! I had a Broker earlier in the summer who was so confrontational and defensive about sharing any kind of info on her clients (I was asking for more info to try to find a common ground with my Seller), that my Sellers got mad and shut down. A couple of months later, the same Broker brought the same Buyers back– with a different attitude– and we are cooperatively weaving our way near closing…woo hoo!

    Vickie Jackson

    • Denise Lones says:

      Vickie – Finding common ground can be a great strategy for bringing parties closer to the closing table. For example, buyers sharing what they are looking for or sellers sharing why they are listing their home with the other side. Sometimes this can lead the other side of the transaction to provide helpful information about the area that can’t be found on the listing – impressions of local schools, how active the neighborhood association is, noise levels and traffic – you never know. Of course, it’s not always possible – some buyers/sellers prefer to know as little as possible about the people on the other side of the transaction. Also, we must always be mindful of what agency law allows us to communicate on our client’s behalf. Your point about what a difference attitude makes is a great one. I hope your closing went smoothly. -Denise

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