Why would a Real Estate Agent want to trick his fellow Realtor just to cheat him off his Property Listings? Why?
In my many Years of real estate as an agent who brokers deal between my real estate buyers and sellers, I have never come across the act of this present generation of some real estate agents who parade themselves as Clients with the sole aim of cheating on their fellow Brokers and Agents off their Property Listings. Why such a low-life act?
LAGOS REAL ESTATE AGENCIES IN THE 80s
In the early 80s when Lagos real estate kicked off in a professional way as a Company with Jide Taiwo & Co, registered as one of the real estate companies in Nigeria, we obviously had no Internet Technology which these days we are privileged to enjoy as it makes life and business transactions so easy.
The method of running your business as a real estate agent back then was tedious.
1) You must source for this Properties by going out on foot (if you are not privileged to have a car), scouting street to street for vacant Properties for sale and rent, etc.
2) You have to physically reach out to the Property Owners, Landlords, Sellers, Clients, to inquire if he or she is looking to sell or rent their property (remember, no Mobile or GSM Phones back then).
3) You then ask to place your company’s “Sign Board” on the property indicating for RENT or SALE on the board with your Company name, address, and a Landline phone number by NITEL, the then Nigerian Telecommunications Limited (remember, there were no Mobile Phones back then).
So, this were the three major information about your company that would be on the board waiting for Passers-by to see it and reach out to you either by a visit to your office address or by calling your office Landline as shown.
4) Note that between (2) & (3) you could also do what is known as “COLD CALLS” by getting numbers, Landlines, through mediums like the ‘Vanguard Yellow Pages, Newspapers, Magazines, and other paper or Billboard Adverts.
This method of calling a number you do not know just to introduce yourself and inquire if they may need your services is known as “Cold Calling”
WOW! We really are enjoying now the power of science and technology, the power of development with the World Wide Web (WWW) that has made the World a Global Village.
5) After all these mentioned above, you then wait for a Lead, Call, Client, to reach you, an inspection to see the property is fixed. Once all that is done, then you can begin a paperwork-filled process of a transaction.
But Hold Up! We are not here however, to talk about the process of old ways of running a transaction as a real estate agent, No not at all. Just checking in comparison as to why the state of real estate agents is this bad to the point of playing pranks on a fellow real estate agent.
SO, WHAT HAPPENS NOWADAY?
Thanks to the invention of Internet Technology, the Social Media, Digital Marketing, and all Online activities, just to mention but a few.
This is how it all works now in this new internet generation times of ours.
1) You still go through the scouting process both the old way and also with advanced methods of being an area specialist going street to street within your area of specialization as a professional real estate agent.
2) You can also run Social Media campaigns and adverts requesting property owners interested in selling or renting their properties to allow you the right to market their properties via any real estate portal such as Nigeria Property Finder, and/or any other medium to reach out to prospective Leads.
3) And of course, by means of placing your ‘For Sale & Rent boards/banners on properties, alongside making phone calls, running email marketing campaigns, are all key parts in reaching out to property owners and also to get the prospective clients.
However, what we see play out nowadays especially in the Lagos Real Estate Industry amongst real estate agents, or should we call them ‘novice non-professionals’, what we see is that they want the quick way of getting these properties to list without going the hardworking way.
Hence, we call them the lazy real estate agents who are there to run the others down, thinking they are smart.
SO, THIS IS WHAT THEY DO, THE CHEATING REAL ESTATE AGENTS:
1) They go online, that is to the real estate portals like Nigeria Private Property where agents have their property advertised. This cheating real estate agents go there, source for any property of interest to them and call the contact numbers of the professional real estate agents who have taken their time and used their resources to get these properties listed.
2) The sad part is that this cheating real estate agents act like they are Clients themselves and call the professionals pretending to want more information. They even go as far as asking you to send them the property photos without your company Logo or the real estate portal Logo on the pictures. What? (So, apparently, they can find it easily and get it listed on their own portals the quick way, or so they can take their own client there once they are able to trace your property).
3) The most unprofessional, low-life act this cheat real estate agents carry out is to go as far as hiring or borrowing a decent car so they can look like the Client themselves, probable dress their best that day, get someone to tag along so they can introduce as their family member.
They then call the professional real estate agent to arrange for a viewing or inspection to see this property just to know the location, so that later they can come back behind you to get the Owner’s details via the security or any other source around, just to close this deal without your knowledge.
SAD AND SHAMEFUL right? Very unprofessional!
HOW DO YOU OVERCOME SUCH ULTIMATE CHEATS REAL ESTATE AGENT?
1) Get the Property Exclusivity – Be the Principal Sole Agent
Make sure you try to make the effort best, at least to be in direct contact with the Property Owner. Ask to have the property listed exclusive with your company by signing an Exclusive Contract Form whereby anyone who comes to the owner directly is referred back to you. In other words, if any of the cheat agents come behind you to meet with the property owner, he or she would redirect them back to you. In Summary, secure your business.
2) Have Your Company Logos on all Photos and Videos
If the ultimate cheat real estate agents, as we call them, or anyone whosoever asks for photos without logo (red flag), please, please let them know that the only photos your company permits you to share is those with logos, either your company logo or those with the real estate portal logo you advertised on. Period!
By the way, why would a true Buyers, Investor, or a Prospective Tenant want to do with Photos without Logos after he or she has seen all necessary information plus photos online with the real estate portal logos or your company’s as the case maybe, Why? Hid not for real if he so insists. So, Watch Out!
3) Have a Property Viewing or Inspection Form – Be Professional
Stand Out! Be the professional real estate agent that you are! Always have a Property Viewing Form done in your company with you. I have left a draft downloadable sample above that shows you basic key information you need to get from your Lead. You will need the Prospect’s basic details like, Full Names, Phone Number, Email Address, Place of Work or Company Name (even if his or she is a Business Owner), Business Card affixed, etc.
Get this basic info before you schedule to take anyone to view or inspect your property listed, these are little ways to play safe so that all your daily efforts and hard-earned resources is not being played on by some people pretending to be clients.
Every professional real estate agent’s joy comes from the fact that you are able to have a property listed and eventually get it sold, satisfying your Client. No greater joy for a broker than a smooth successful deal, trust me.
However, we still have our fair share of encounter and experience with as the ultimate cheat real estate agents, and this has made us put this article together with the hope that others would learn.
We also hope that this cheat act will be brought to limelight and therefore reduce such irresponsible behaviour in this reputable industry..
In fact, few days back a Lead called our office line requesting to see a particular property we listed on one of the real estate portals. During the greeting section on the phone, we put some questions about her request and if she was the person looking to buy.
She eventually claimed it was for her Uncle who wants to buy a Semi-Detached Duplex in the Lekki axis. We told her that we would send an Inspection Form across for him to fill so as so schedule a viewing. And she asked if she could fill the form herself. So, the question came, “are you the decision maker?” Cause this is a Property he is buying, for crying our loud, not a pair of jean shirt.
A serious buyer who has over NGN 50M to buy a property would want to be on ground. Do not get me wrong, some still send people to check it on their behave but you would know such scenarios when that happens.
Anyway, we eventually found out that she works with another real estate firm that is into property development. My point is why not say you are an agent also and would want to bring your client to see my property so we can work together?
From yet another experience, on taking this client for inspection, he claimed he is a Developer and started saying to us after the inspection that, “I have a partner, let me get back to you once I speak with him.”
In fact, we have heard this same phrase three times from three different gentlemen, “am still talking to my partner.” Until they stop picking your calls or responding to your messages. One of them later went behind us to trace the owners, unfortunately for him, the wind got to us about that.
This basically are the little tricky acts that we all experience occasionally from such people infiltrating the real estate industry.
Professionalism is the key to being a great real estate agent. Being professional inside out, in the way you dress, carry yourself, and most importantly, in integrity, these qualities would definitely give you success the rightful way.
Learn to stand out professionally by following the steps listed above so as to help cut down your losses incurred from such lazy person acting as agents.
Do let us know below what your own personal experience with such ultimate cheat real estate agents or players have been.
Hoping this article was helpful, we wishing you all the best in your endeavors and more closed deals in all transactions.
Do leave your comments, feedbacks, or inputs below as you join in this discussion to make this industry of real estate agency a better place.