Robert Donica

Core Values Series 1 of 6

We’re kicking off our series of helping you understand our internal core values by examining the requirement that our clients’ needs must always come first. This might seem pretty straightforward, but truly committing to this value can take real courage, self-awareness, and sacrifice on the part of the agent.

Here’s how we discuss it with people who are considering joining our team:

“Our clients come to us because they want our help and expertise when going through the home buying or selling process. They are not interested or motivated by our financial or personal needs. For every client who finds their dream home in a week, there will be a client who needs to look at dozens of houses over the course of a year to find the right fit. They both equally deserve our time, attention, and respect. There will be sellers who listen to every suggestion and take it to heart, and there will be others who ignore all of our advice. Take care to serve them both to the best of your

Many of our clients will be dealing with other major life events as they move through a housing transition – births, deaths, marriages, divorces, empty nests, growing families, promotions, job losses, new physical limitations, etc. Some will handle it with grace and poise, while others will nearly lose their minds. Love them both like they are your family. You might be the only source of encouragement and hope they’ll receive that day.

Watch out for them. Encourage them. Give them confidence both by your words and your actions. If you have to ask for referrals because your clients wouldn’t think to do it on their own, you’re doing it wrong. Deal with your clients in such a way that they will see sending a friend, co-worker, or family member as a favor to their friends/family, not to you. If you do what is right for your clients, and leave a trail of happy people behind you, you will have loads of clients waiting ahead of you.

If you don’t see this as the way you want to do business, that’s okay. We have some companies we can suggest where you would fit right in. But you won’t be happy at Rocket Realty if you don’t put clients’ needs first – always.”

Putting Words Into Action

So what does this look like? Here are some examples of putting the client’s needs first:

1. The seller0002_rocket has decided to take the house off the market through the winter. Our agents know that buyers are out there all year long, and hate to see the seller miss an opportunity to find their buyer. But the decision lies with the seller, and our agents are trained to respectfully share our perspective but ultimately accept the client’s decision with grace.

2. The buyer was initially looking in an area our agent was very familiar with, but later decided to buy a property outside our expertise (like a large horse farm, for example). The agent could pretend that they know what they are doing and cross their fingers, but that’s not right for the buyer. Our agents are congratulated when they recognize that they are outside their element and refer a client to an agent who excels in that niche. That’s what’s best for the client, and so it’s what’s best for us as a team.

3.  A seller just doesn’t connect with the agent that specializes in their area. They have very different personalities, and despite efforts by the agent to accommodate the seller’s preferences, it just doesn’t seem to be working. We’ll offer the seller the option of working with one of our other agents. If that isn’t the right solution, we’ll help the seller find the right fit outside of our organization. Our agent might lose a listing, but that’s better than a dissatisfied client. People, not money, are number one.

4.  A buyer calls and wants to see houses $255K-$350K in Giest with at least 4 bedrooms and a big yard. The agent is left to find which homes to show the client. The agent gets 24 results in their initial search. If the agent chooses the houses to show based on buyer’s agent commission or potential sales price (both leading to a higher commission), they’ll be fired immediately. The agent can request more input from the buyer to narrow the field or show all the results to the buyer and let them narrow the field, but they cannot cherry-pick for their own benefit. That’s dirty business, and that’s unacceptable in our firm. Period.

What This Core Value DOESN’T Mean

So does this mean you can call your agent at 8:00 on Saturday night and insist they show you houses RIGHT NOW? Um, no, it does not mean that. Our agents are trained to set realistic expectations for time, availability, and advance notice. Our agents have families, friends, and hobbies, just like you do. While we strive to give our clients access to us as much as possible, we are not going to skip parent-teacher conferences, dance recitals, and family vacations to show a house last-minute.

But that’s the beauty of being part of a team. If Damon is sitting front and center at his daughter’s volleyball sectional championship game (that girl is a wicked Vball player!), he can reach out to team members and find someone to show you the hot house that just hit the market. In time, Damon will repay the favor to his team member. It’s a win-win for everyone.

So there it is. Our first guiding principle for how we deal with clients. If potential new agents balk at this idea during the interview process, they won’t be joining the team. All team members are assessed during their annual review on their ability to put this value to work. It’s an active, living part of what we do here at Rocket Realty. Call us if you want to see it for yourself.

Good luck out there!



  1. Lidia
    01.04.2015 at 15:53

    I’ve been watching your blog. I like the way you write, but I’m hoping it’s not just words. There a lots of industries that need changing, and it will take an army to make those changes happen. Good luck to you. Don’t fall into the entrapment of money. Your goals are too important for that!
    Additionally, our state is in trouble. Money hungry, bigoted fools man the helm. I hope you do a better job setting a good example.

  2. Mark Houston
    01.04.2015 at 16:04

    I used to have my license, and I don’t totally agree with you. But it is true that some agents just want theyre paycheck. Isn’t it fair to say that no agent wants to starve? Surely you don’t mean to say that all agents are money grubbing a-holes. I haven’t practiced in some time, but I remember that there were a few decent agents who took agency very seriously. Technology has made quality relationships much harder.