Can’t We All Get Along: I Think People Have Lost Their Minds

The current economy seems to have given people permission to lose all common sense. Especially in the realm of New Homes Sales. Apparently as long as you site “The economy” and the current state of the housing industry, you should be able to do anything you like.

New rules seem to dictate that you should be able to ask new homes sales agents to show you property at all hours of the day or night regardless of site hours, or the need for appointments. And you can now offer anything you want if you invoke the claim that the company must be going bankrupt…with of course, no facts to support this argument.

I think people have lost their minds.

First and foremost, New Homes Sites are businesses. That may sound like a no brainer, but for some reason some real estate professionals as well as some consumers have forgotten this. There have always been actual operating hours for new homes sites, just like most other businesses. Yet I’ve heard lately, “What do you mean you can’t meet with myself and my client after 6PM on a Saturday to show a house? Don’t you want to make a sale?” Not to mention those who want to meet at 7 on a new home sales site during the week… Well why antagonize and behave as if we don’t want to make a sale?

Do you think if you question our work ethic that will allow you to get your way?

Do you call up a store who’s hours list that they close at 5:00 pm and say, “What do you mean you won’t come back in, ignore the fact that you have a family, and come in and work at 6:30 for me? Don’t you want to make a sale?” Meanwhile when I ask why normal hours won’t work I usually get a list of any number of other things that are taking priority… buying a home is important. If that’s not your priority that day to do it during business hours how serious are you? Now don’t get me wrong, we’ll stay late on just about any day to write a contract, but that’s not what is being asked of us. That’s like saying I’m coming in to browse, why won’t you hold your store open for me to look around?

In some cases we can’t keep regular office hours on our sites, so these become by appointment only. We don’t just arbitrarily make our communities by appointment only. It’s not because of some kind of innate laziness on the part of our sales agents. Sadly, because of major downsizing we don’t have full coverage for some of our communities. Now this may not be ideal, but with the current economy, and a smaller staff, that’s just the way we are able to cover all our communities at this point in time. “Appointment only” shouldn’t be foreign to real estate agents. After all, you can’t just show up at a resale home that someone lives in and show it… you need to give people some advanced warning. Does that mean they don’t want to do business or make a sale? No…that’s just common courtesy to make an appointment.

My personal favorite ridiculous comment is, “I know you have to sell this house. Your company is in trouble.” Really, so you are standing in my office telling me my company is in trouble? Trouble compared to what? We sell homes every week and are continuing to build. If you mean all builders have slowed down and that is troublesome to them, then true. But if you mean we’re declaring bankruptcy, that simply isn’t true. Just imagine someone sitting in your office or calling you on the phone and saying, “I know your company is going out of business and you need to make a sale…” Get a grip people…we aren’t going anywhere. If this is your reason to offer an insanely low offer to the builder and expect that he should have to take it, you need a bit of a realty check. Then we really would be going under if we accepted some of the ridiculous offers people want to pay for our homes.

We wouldn’t still be in business today if we were operating at a loss and taking whatever we could get for our homes. We are not having a liquidation sale, we are in business to make money. What do you do? If your company is not making a profit will it still be around next year? Why should a builder pay someone to move into his homes? Especially if that builder is still operating, building, and selling?

While the rules have shifted a bit for some new homes sales offices it doesn’t mean we are not doing business. It doesn’t mean we don’t want to make a sale, and it certainly doesn’t mean we are going out of business. Just because our hours of operation have changed, and some communities have become by appointment only, does that mean we should all be disrespectful to each other when we can’t get that instant gratification we are used to having?

Can’t we all get along in the home sales industry? Keep working toward a recovery and respect our own time as well as others. Am I asking for a Utopian Real Estate Society?

I think I’m just asking for the use of a little common sense and common courtesy from both buyers and professionals.