Return your calls, respond, communicate, listen!

Hundreds of Houston area consumers took the time to give us their comments on how to improve the real estate experience. HAR’s consumer panelists were asked this question:

What suggestions do you have about ways that real estate agents or the real estate industry can better serve your needs?

We have excerpted many of their comments. The No.1 complaint about agents is poor communication.

Pay Attention

“Give your clients your attention. Answer the phone when they call, return their calls as soon as possible, have a smartphone so you can check your email when you’re out of the office.”

Respond to Emails

“If I have to wait two days to get an email back from you, I think you are not interested in helping me.”

Quicker Response

“Be quicker to respond to questions and to be more aware of the other people involved and their issues.”

“Return phone call within the hour.”

“I like my agent, but I have found other agents have been unhelpful, for instance one agent on the other side did not even return my agent’s calls regarding one house I purchased.”

Ratings are Important

“In addition to rating agents, let’s rate appraisers, inspectors, lenders, home stagers and home improvement friends…  be open about who works for who.”

“Home reviews on from buyers and professionals who have viewed the home with ratings system for the reviewers to be held accountable…”

“Make ratings available”

Know the Market

“A much better knowledge of the market in a given neighborhood. I feel that an agent should know the comps for a given area. When I know more than an agent, they are clearly working in a part of town that they have no business showing homes.”

“Notify me as soon as a home fitting my criteria hits the market.  I’ve brought houses that I’ve found on my own and sent to my REALTOR® to set up showings on more than one occasion.”

“On HAR, please always show how many days the property has been on the market.”

“Know the market and area you are showing.”

“Make comparable sales data public.”

Importance of Photos

“Show more photos rather than just a few. List all schools in that location rather than just the ISD which only makes me have to waste my time looking it up. If the home has bad schools, I’m going to find out anyway so why hide that?”

“It would help if the agents took a class to learn how to photograph rooms for their best view. People rely on the pictures shown on the internet. If those pictures are hastily taken, a beautiful home could lose valuable looks by qualified buyers. I have seen my own home photographed by two different agents and was amazed at the difference.”

“I would like to see a change in the way agents post their listings. A lot of them are slacking on their pictures, not formatted correctly and  too small, pictures of only the outside don’t help very much. Each picture should have a description!”

“Many agents need to learn to communicate better with each other. Many times our agent will call another agent and not get a response back for several days.”

Additional Comments:

“Allow REALTORS® to charge higher or lower commission based on experience, competence, etc.”

I’m completely satisfied with my Realtor® and can’t think of a thing he could do to improve my impression of him. We’ve remained friends and he has helped me with two transactions over the years.

“My Agent was marvelous!”

“I noticed that many are slow to update the status of homes on HAR – would help if it was kept more up to date.”

“HAR has an excellent website – the search features for houses are just GREAT! Listing Realtors® in the area is a big PLUS.”

“The biggest aggravation is agents that come to view my house have not provided any feedback. This is very frustrating. This has not been the fault of my agent but other agents that bring their clients in to look at it.”

“My agent was very responsive and diligent, kept in touch, gave me leads, maintained contact.”