Etiquette for agents: Behavior matters — even if you don’t make an offer

By Collette McDonald

If you want to be a true success as a Realtor, you must understand that how you present, react and treat others is the foundation of your business. During 2022, the goal will be to highlight Realtor missteps and coach you on how to make sure your words, actions and subconscious behavior are not negatively affecting your pocketbook. If you are old enough to remember Anne Landers or Miss Manners, we are going to go old school and resurrect their legacy and remind us all of what it takes to be respected and revered in this business now and when we are long gone from the daily trenches.

Here we go!

The reality is that as a new agent, you may have to navigate more buyers than sellers initially. They can be demanding, but as the professional Realtor, you need to set expectations on the process NOW while the market is heated and can be categorized as a sellers’ market. One of my mantras is “Urgency = Abundance,” and while you want to be the first agent to show that hot listing, you need to understand how your behavior will affect the possible offer process.

Set yourself up for success by reading and following the showing request that the listing agent has supplied for you. It’s as easy as that! Read the listing in its entirety. If the agent is asking for a proof of funds or preapproval letter before showing, supply that and then go to the next request. Are they also using an automatic showing service? If they are, use it! Do not call or text the agent asking for a showing if you have not read the remarks. I guarantee that the agent will remember your level of professionalism when the multiple offers come in. They will want to work with the agents who from the start respected the listing directions by following the correct steps and being the professional they would like to work with from contract to close.

In addition to the request process, give feedback when requested by the listing agent. Be positive, especially if your client loves the property. Compliment the sellers’ choices in decor or whatever you would like to get across to the seller directly. Remember, even if you are not going to write an offer, your professionalism will come through. While the agent may not remember your good behavior on a future deal, I guarantee they will remember your bad behavior.

As the listing agent, elevate your showing instructions! Help the buyer’s agent out by asking them to provide you a preapproval letter or a proof of funds. Yes, this helps your buyer’s agent set expectations for our industry that you must be qualified to see property. This is not the business model for classic iBuyer platforms, but this is a major part of the process, is it not? Explain to your sellers that it’s a key component of ensuring that they are serious buyers. Anyone can look at your property online, but only qualified buyers can access your precious property, and it allows you as the listing agent to follow up more aggressively. This also is a safety element for your sellers’ and your buyers’ agents.

By understanding the nuisances of the showing request process, you will be safer, more efficient and the professional, ethical, successful agent we all strive to be.

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Build Your Business With Online Reviews

Your online presence and social media reputation play a vital role in your real estate business — perhaps more than you may recognize. Nearly every homebuyer begins their search online and will look at reviews to see what people say about you. Endorsements carry weight among customers, with nearly 90% of consumers saying they trust online reviews as much as word-of-mouth recommendations. 

That said, glowing online reviews not only can help to enhance and build your online profile — they are likely one of the key factors in a potential buyer or seller’s decision to contact you or use your services. In fact, the National Association of Realtors’ Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers indicates that sellers value the reputation of an agent more than any other factor when selecting an agent to sell their home.

So, whether you’re trying to optimize reviews on your Yelp page, Facebook business page or Zillow profile, here are three must-remember tips for success:

#1. Let Clients Know About Your Online Profiles

There’s a fine line between making your clients uncomfortable by aggressively asking for reviews versus simply letting them know about your online profiles and their ability to leave a review. 

To ensure your clients know they can leave a review, consider adding your social profiles to your website and email signature. If you have a Yelp page, for example, you can add a Yelp button to your email signature, which can immediately take them to your profile. If you’re a broker, you may also consider displaying social media icons in your brokerage’s storefront. 

#2. Make Engagement a Priority

You’re probably running a drip email campaign to keep your contacts up to date on market conditions, new listings and events. Consider adding new testimonials to the footer of your email. This not only helps your testimonials and reviews be seen by a wider audience, but is also a nice way of showing your clients you appreciate that they took the time to review you.

#3. Show Your Thanks

Always send a quick note or thank-you card to clients who review your services. Even if the review was less than stellar, you should still reach out. This is a great opportunity to acknowledge the feedback and put steps into place to learn and grow from the experience. 

How to Respond to Negative Reviews

While 17 percent of consumers say they would write a review after a positive experience with a brand, many reported that they would be more likely to write a review after a bad experience. If you don’t regularly monitor and respond to your online reviews, you risk sending a potential client straight to one of your competitors. But it’s not just the review itself that’s important. How you respond to that review is often just as important, if not moreso, than the review you received.  

When you respond to an online review, here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Don’t let your ego or pride get in the way. 
  • Always keep your response professional — don’t be defensive or let your feelings get the best of you.  
  • Be empathetic and try to imagine things from your client’s point of view. Try thinking of the client as a friend or relative — respond to the review as if you were talking to someone you care about.  
  • Do your best to try to resolve any issues and help the client — offer them an easy way to contact you directly to get the problem taken care of.  

Build Your Online Reputation

The importance of online reviews and your social reputation grows with every click from a client. To learn more about finessing your online presence, try our AgentEDU® course, Yelp for Your Real Estate Business, today. 

Get unlimited access to every other 10-minute video course on AgentEDU when you subscribe for only $19.99 per month.


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