Oh, agents . . . can’t live with them, can’t live without them. I have some agents I just love working with. Here’s why:
- they show up at the house and work with you and the home-owner
- send me the comps I request, and give me clear ideas about who their target market is and the type of client that are looking to draw
- they respect what you say, and back you up with the home-owner
- let you work directly with the home-owner and not try to translate everything you say
- they offer feedback when asked because I always want to be sure I’m hitting the right note
- they pay you on time, and don’t assume that you will do stuff for free (even though I often do)
- show appreciation for the work (and extra work) that you do
- they refer you to other agents
And then there are the agents that:
- try to tell me how to do my job, or change things that I’ve staged
- try to keep their costs down by minimizing what the job “should” be instead of what it really is
- don’t think to mention to other agents that you’ve done a great job on their listing
- view stagers, inspectors and appraisers as necessary evils
- badmouth other professionals
- will not actually introduce me to the home-owner
- do not respect or really appreciate the amount of effort stagers put into their jobs
I’m pretty lucky that most of the agents I work with are great – and respect what I do. My only goal is to help them sell their house. I’ve been learning as I go along what the warning signs are, though. Here’s some phrases that raise my antenna – and feel free to add your own:
- Well, it shouldn’t take you longer than an hour (even after I’ve mentioned I have a 2 hour minimum).
- I just wanted an opinion on a few things (this is actually ok if it’s from a regular).
- I worked with this stager once and she was awful . . . .
- My client wants me to bring in a stager and I’m only doing this to please her.
- The house was professionally decorated.
It’s one thing if an agent just isn’t sure about staging – this is an opportunity for education. I love being able to show them the difference staging can make and why it is worthwhile for them and their client. It’s quite another if agents do not respect you as a professional.
So for agents – if you have a great stager – show your appreciation by telling them so and referring them to other agents. If you see yourself in the “other” list – give some thought as to why you feel that way and keep in mind that if your stager (or other professional) feels that they are appreciated and respected, you will be amazed at how far out of their way they will go for you and your clients.