This post is about avoiding red flags for real estate agents. I wish I would have known this lesson two or three years ago as I started my real estate career. My hope is that you will learn from it now and benefit from my experience.
Avoiding red flags in potential clients
In the past, I often worked with clients that were not my avatar or weren’t a great fit for me. As I’ve grown in my real estate business, avoiding red flags is definitely something I’ve tried to grow in and get better at. I don’t want to work with people who are not my ideal client, and that includes people who are going to be a “problem child” or super dramatic.
There are some people you’re just never going to make happy. They’re always going to be upset.
You’re never going to do right by them. You could literally hand them a house on a silver platter, and they would complain about the paint color or the carpet even though they were given a free house.
When the situation looks good, you want to get a seat at the table and close a great deal. When you detect red flags, it’s not worth it.
Avoiding red flags with products and services
I often did certain things in my real estate business, bought things for the business, and invested in things for the business when I shouldn’t have. People would want to sell me this CRM or that product or service, for example. Many times, I thought it wasn’t a great fit but did it anyway.
Sometimes it was clear or I at least suspected that the product didn’t do what I needed it to do. Other times, it looked like it would function in the way I needed, but the price was too high. Occasionally, the salesperson or company website seemed a little “off.”
Although I couldn’t put my finger on why, I sensed that I should walk away, saying, “No thank you.” Did I? Of course not. Not until I started to learn.
Every time something went sour, there were indicators I should have noticed. I wish I would have known to spot the signs and walk away.
Signs of bad Airbnb tenants
Here’s another example for you. Recently, I was talking with someone I know who runs an Airbnb. They have a few here in Lancaster.
They were telling me about someone who wanted to rent an Airbnb from them. During the booking, the applicant had red flags that came up about what the person was trying to do, the party they wanted to throw, and so on.
The owner spotted the signs that they’d be bad Airbnb tenants, but the owner wanted the business.
The applicant wanted to rent it out for a few days, and it was good money. It also was nice not to have the unit empty for a few days. So instead of avoiding red flags, the owner rented the property to them.
And then the Airbnb renter destroyed the unit. They trashed it, left a mess with stuff everywhere, marks on the walls, etc.
The owners knew it would be a bad fit. They knew that there were red flags, even as the person was booking, and they still accepted the transaction. What they said to me was, “We should have known that this was a bad situation, and we should have avoided the red flags.” They were really upset that they hadn’t. This is an area where they were growing, and they discussed it with me. In the future, they will be more careful and not let the money influence them.
Avoiding red flags in potential employees or team members
Months ago, a Realtor sat down with my team leader and me, telling us how much they wanted to be an agent at our company.
Something just didn’t seem right. It seemed like they were almost too eager and too anxious to join the team.
We just did not feel right about it. I told the leader I was interested in avoiding the red flags. I wanted to steer clear of the situation I sensed would develop if we allowed that person to join the team.
The person said to me that they wanted to do this, they wanted to do that. They seemed ambitious, but the person had excuse after excuse for why they couldn’t keep a job. Why they couldn’t do this.
I realized that was another bad sign.
To be clear, I understand people not being good at a W2 job. We’ve talked about how I’ll never work a W2 job again. I’m not a great employee. That’s why I’m self-employed. That’s why I work for myself. But I had to learn about spotting and avoiding red flags with people joining our team, with people in coaching, and even with potential clients.
Fortunately, my leader agreed with me, and we politely turned away the applicant.
Being careful regarding opportunities
There are so many different opportunities in this world. I could talk to dozens if not hundreds of people a month about different real estate opportunities. We don’t want to hop into everything. It’s just not wise. We don’t want to have shiny ball syndrome where we jump at every single opportunity.
I want to go for the best opportunities. I want to go after the things that are really a fit for me and avoid the red flags. Ideally, that’s what we all should do.
You can’t always take your time when it comes to real estate opportunities. Blink, and the client could go with another agent. The more experience you have in the real estate business, the better you’ll get at spotting red flags quickly and making the decision about whether to not to work with a client or represent a property.
But with many things, we can take time to think it through. So, take your time. Look for signs that an opportunity is not for you. Choose the things that are best for you.
Podcast advertisers and sponsors
As the podcast continues to grow, people reach out to me wanting to know about advertising on my podcast. They know what a great opportunity it is for them.
But it has to be a good fit. When people accept advertisers they don’t approve of or that are not a good fit, it’s selling their soul in a way.
I want whatever is featured on my show to fit well with my brand and my mission. Also, it must be something I’m passionate about and believe in. I don’t just say yes because someone is willing to pay me. I don’t need the money. Even in the days when I was struggling financially, I wouldn’t have sold my soul.
Who they are, what they do, and what they offer needs to align with what I’m doing, and that’s why I choose advertisers (aka sponsors) such as Harshman Services and RealtorEmails very carefully. That’s why I didn’t accept any advertising for the first year plus in the podcast. I wanted to choose the show sponsors carefully.
Learning leading to improvement
I’ve gotten better at avoiding red flags in this business. I watch for them when asking myself, “Who are you putting over today?” Red flags pop up when I coach. Some potential clients wave them. It happens all the time. The better as I’ve gotten at avoiding red flags, the more successful I have become.
The more you can learn about avoiding red flags, the more successful you can become, too. I wish you the best.