Nice is Nice, but Good is Better


posted by on An Exceptional Agent


Last month, I stopped by my bank to make a minor change to my business account. The gal who helped me was Really Nice. Friendly, chatty, made good eye contact and seemed truly interested in making sure I had a great experience in her bank that day. I left thinking lots of warm thoughts about her and my bank. She was Really Nice.

I emailed her the next day with a question about the change we’d made to my account. No response. I called and left a voice mail. No call-back. Called again. No call-back again.

A few days later I tried to use the account we’d made the change to and something was wrong. It wasn’t “working” right. I stopped by the bank for help. She identified the error she’d made and corrected it. Or so I thought. Actually, she corrected one mistake but created another.

I’ve now been in the bank four times and spent at least three hours with three different bankers trying to get my bank account to “work.” All of them were Really Nice and I left the bank thinking all was going to be well.

Not sure if it is, indeed, “all well” yet, but I’m hopeful.

Anyway, here’s my point. Last month there were some fun discussions here in the Rain about whether it’s more important to be knowledgeable or to be likeable as a real estate agent. And when we say “important,” we’re referring to an agent’s likelihood of success in this extraordinarily difficult industry we call home.

I proclaimed that knowledge and competence trumps likeability, assuming one has to choose between the two, which of course, is not always or even usually the case. But if I had to choose a real estate agent to represent me, I’d want one who will Get the Job Done as opposed to one who will be my New Best Friend but doesn’t have a clue how to manage my real estate transaction. Besides, being likeable just gets you in the door; it doesn’t sell houses and doesn’t lead you to a payday if you aren’t competent to manage the business your likeability earns you.

I believe that if you are confident in your competence, even if you are NOT the friendliest person in the world, that confidence will be more compelling to potential clients than just being a likeable guy or gal. So you win both ways – you GET business because your demeanor inspires trust, and you GET PAID because your competence gives you a good shot at getting your transactions all the way to the closing table.

So, yes, being Really Nice gets you in the door and may win you lots of friends. And if a real estate transaction starts to sour maybe being Really Nice can even charm the client into not being too upset. But wouldn’t being Really Good be a better approach? Something to shoot for?