Buyer Loyalty is a Two-Way Street
In my 9 years as a broker, my database has not always been flush with clients. Starting out in early 2006 was challenging since it takes time for seeds to grow. Being new to town and looking much younger than my age of 26 did not help. Just as I started to get a pretty good pace of transactions, the great recession and resulting real estate meltdown of 2007-2009 happened. So, for about my first 3-4 years in the business, things weren’t great. I mainly worked with buyers at the time and I found enough loyal buyers to get by, but the great thing was there were rarely multiple-offer situations, so if the buyer was qualified, motivated, and loyal, we were going to get something. Buyers didn’t need us to find them properties or fight for them to get those properties that badly during those days because there were plenty of properties and not much competition. I became very grateful for every loyal buyer client I had, and I still am, because they didn’t need to be loyal to get what they needed.
These days, partly due to my relative success and longevity in the business (9 years! Over 150 deals. Most agents don’t make it 12 months) and the amount of demand in the market, buyers are not hard to come by. In fact, I am working exclusively with more buyers in Playa Vista than there are properties for sale. What I don’t understand are the buyers who are unwilling to commit to working exclusively with an agent. They call me to see what I have on the market and when I ask if I can help them identify other properties, they don’t commit. They are probably doing that to every other agent in town as well. I would love to help them if given the opportunity, but maybe they feel that it is better to cast a wider net and the more agents they talk to, the more will think will give them the scoop when a property is about to hit the market.
The reason this behavior counterproductive is that while many time I do get information about my upcoming listings and many other agents upcoming listings before they come on the market, I would rather share that information with my loyal clients first. I want them to have early access, if such access exists, not people who are speaking to every other agent in town. In this case, a little bit of loyalty would result in my bending over backwards to find you what you are looking for on the market, through a colleague, or mailing letters to homeowners if all else fails. Sometimes people fail to realize that if you get back what you give in life. If you are loyal and choose to work with a single person or company who you value and respect as an expert, someone who you feel can get a job done for you, your reward is that person doing all they can to live up to those expectations.