Real Estate by Debbie Reynolds: How Real Estate Agents Are Falling into Uber Drivers' Bad Habits

How Real Estate Agents Are Falling into Uber Drivers' Bad Habits

Uber Drivers Are Changing. Are Real Estate Agents, too?

Uber driverI've been studying the changes that have occurred with Uber drivers. I only use them when traveling but have noticed a marked change in the last 6 months. Here are some areas that have changed.

  • They are less customer service oriented. The days of the social chat seem gone.
  • The cars are less clean. Remember why we didn't like riding in taxis?
  • The drivers are less patient. I saw and heard them yell and gesture at other drivers.
  • The driving is more reckless. There were times I was sure we would wreck. Don't scare me or drive like a Tijuana taxi driver.
  • The little extras are missing. The bottled water and nice music to please the customer are no onger the norm. I am finding that in only about 10% of the rides.
  • The drivers were reluctant to run the air conditioning. I am sure they were thinking about economizing while I am thinking comfort.
  • Where did the smiles go? I am still a customer that is paying good money and I deserve a little friendliness.
  • The drivers seemed to cut corners by not turning down the destination streets and leaving me to walk from the corner, asking me to walk back when they passed the drop-off point. They don't seem to know their way around. I'm the stranger to the city but seem to have to offer directions and they welcome them.
  • Prices have increased greatly so make sure the service is good especially if you want a good rating, good tip and a compliment.

So how does this relate to real estate agents. If driving your client around, drive safely and don't scare them. Keep a clean car. Don't insult other drivers and keep your remarks about them to yourself. Radio music can be distracting so please ask first. The climate control should be set to accommodate the guests, clients. What does the client want, and how does he feel?

Think about the little extras. Bottled water on hot days, snacks when scheduling a long showing day will be appreciated. Smile and be friendly. The clients want to know they are important and be thanked for their business.

Know where you are going. Plan your route and be knowledgeable and in charge. You will look bad if you get lost and appear disorganized. 

Our prices/fees are being challenged so we must make sure we are worth it and give the best service possible. If you want a good review, referral or repeat business, make sure you stand out and deliver more than expected. Remember people have other choices. When it comes to the Uber driver that disappoints me, I can always call a taxi, a limo service or Lyft next time or decide to drive myself.

 Centruy 21 Platinum Properties2130 Wilma Rudolph Blvd.

Clarksville, TN 37040

When you need Real Estate services in Clarksville TN

                  it would be my pleasure to assist you!                             

Debbie Reynolds
"The Real Debbie Reynolds"

Check out all Clarksville TN Real Estate on My Website

931-771-9070 Office | 931-320-6730 Cell

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Comment balloon 47 commentsDebbie Reynolds • May 16 2018 02:20AM


Debbie, very interesting, have yet to take an Uber ride, so have not seen any changes.  Hope our agents are not getting so lax.

Posted by Joan Cox, Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time (House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373) about 2 years ago

Good morning Debbie.  Is it possible that these Uber drivers are moonlighting real estate agents?

Posted by Gabe Sanders, Stuart Florida Real Estate (Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales) about 2 years ago

Where were you traveling Debbie?  I find that ubers vary from one city to the next.  I like to think of myself as the uber driver with all the phone chargers, a box full of snacks, water bottles in the cup holders providing amazing recommendations for all the best places to eat/see.  

Posted by Erika Rae Albert, Austin Real Estate Expert, Exceeding Expectations in Every Transaction (E*Rae Realty) about 2 years ago

Hi Debbie... a very interesting analogy. I sure hope that the majority of agents do not need to be told this (but maybe the scary thing is that they do need to be told).

Posted by Nina Hollander, Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor (Coldwell Banker Realty) about 2 years ago

Carol Williams  good morning, Carol... recommending for Second Chance Saturday post. So now you've received two from me this week... may I be excused for the rest of the week? 

Posted by Nina Hollander, Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor (Coldwell Banker Realty) about 2 years ago

Hi Debbie Reynolds, last time I used Uber was in NY six months ago, each driver went above and beyond. That tells me, not every agent is the same but one bad experience will affect the way consumer feel about Realtors.

Posted by Beth Atalay, Cam Realty of Clermont FL (Cam Realty and Property Management) about 2 years ago

True "service" and friendliness seems to be rare these days. I was at Whole Foods the other day. I asked the cashier (as I am bagging my own groceries) if she would call someone to replace a dented can of pinto beans.  She looked around like she was looking for someone, but did nothing. There are more employees standing around talking to each other in that store than employees working (most of the time). When she was done checking she asked me "do you want to replace it on your way out?"  
Are you kidding me?  Unless the beans were moved to the outside of the store, replace that can would not be "on my way out".  Please just remove one can from my order. And, thanks for not helping me. 

Posted by Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist, Probate Real Estate (KD Realty - 408.972.1822) about 2 years ago

Debbie- you make an excellent point!  I remember when we were looking at homes when we moved to the DC area. Our agent always had water for us and the car was spotless!  Just as we want good customer service when we are out, we have to be able to provide the same to our clients. 



                                   You've been featured in the group Banatude!!

Posted by Kathy Streib, Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224 (Room Service Home Staging) about 2 years ago

We use Lyft.  However, just saw a news conference from the head of Uber. He promised a return to great service - mmm? 

Posted by Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD, REALTORS® in Clark County, WA (ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors) about 2 years ago

Debbie, was out showing property yesterday.  Planned my destination, actually bought my clients water ahead of time, no music was a smooth drive.

Posted by Steven Nickens, R(S)GRI ABR, Maui Real Estate Hawaii (Wailea Realty) about 2 years ago

Debbie hummmmm ....... I am sorry to say that your observation may be right.

Posted by George Souto, Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert (George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages) about 2 years ago

Before a client gets in my car it is wash and clean inside and in the summertime also have cold bottle water in the car.  Part of my service


Posted by Will Hamm, "Where There's a Will, There's a Way!" (Hamm Homes) about 2 years ago

Debbie, I am sorry to hear you've had such bad experiences. I find Lyft is a better company in general, so that is my preference.

The sad thing is that (like some real estate agents) these drivers that don't take pride in what they do fail to realize that they are in business. I would guess that they are the same driver who complain that their passengers don't tip.

I once had a ride from the airport in a car (probably Lyft) where it looked like a soda exploded all over the ceiling (or whatever you call the interior roof in a car) and the guy just never cleaned it up. Most of them have been nice and clean as well as friendly drivers. My wife did have a nut job conspiracy theorist once... that made for a fun run to the airport... NOT!

Posted by Anthony Kirlew, Helping You Make Fiscally Sound Choices (Group 46:10 Network @ eXp Realty) about 2 years ago

Good post. Thanks for not taking it too far.

Posted by Tod Franklin about 2 years ago

Seriously? Do you know that Uber keeps more then half the fare you pay?? Gas and wear and tear on the vehicle then is the driver’s responsibility (and you know how selfish you sound by saying these poor drivers should also be providing you with water and mints??) You just sound rediculous!! Why are you even comparing the high commissions of a Realtor to an Uber driver... especially when at the end of the day, a driver might break even with all the expenses, if he is lucky enough to get a well deserved tip from a selfish customer.

Posted by G Kennell about 2 years ago

Debbie, I thought that each Uber driver is rated, and passengers are rated, too. So, if a Uber driver has low ratings, they don't get so many requests for service, and they eventually lose the business.And vice versa, if they get excellent ratings, people would like to hire them more.

I have never used neither Uber, nor Lyft.

Posted by Steffy Hristova, Tempe AZ Realtor - Your Home Close to Your Work! (HomeSmart Elite Group Tempe AZ Tel: 480-966-9353) about 2 years ago

This experience occurs in every business and industry, yet, the provider who offers more earns more in any business. Many consumers tolerate inferior service I believe because they are not accustomed to getting superior service, therefore, they continue to patronize inferior businesses. Who is responsible for such inferiority? The business owner and that would be the Broker in our business, wouldn't it? 

Posted by Kimo Jarrett, Pro Lifestyle Solutions (WikiWiki Realty) about 2 years ago

Great post! Do you mind if I re-blog?

Posted by Deborah Ann Spence, Awesome Realtor serving Philadelphia and suburbs! (Fierce Realty Corp) about 2 years ago

I’ve never had to Uber but I have driven buyers around and glad I follow good edict. Thanks for the Uber updates.

Posted by Ellen Caruso (Daniel Gale Sotheby's International Realty) about 2 years ago

I won't use Uber, but this is a great comparison.

Posted by Tim Brown, Broker, ABR, GRI, SRES, TRLP (RE/MAX Corridor) about 2 years ago

Uber came on the scene to take on the Limo Drivers and Limo Companies that later morphed into taking on the Taxi Drivers and Taxi companies... now they have their own competition called Lyfft   just like there are many levels of Real Estate Service and Companies... if you forget the client service you will become obsolete great message Debbie...

Posted by Endre Barath, Jr., Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002 (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices) about 2 years ago

Hi Debbie Reynolds and thanks for a great analogy. I don't use Uber (or any of them (comment #15 is a reason why)). I do agree that your client's (and even friends for that matter) comfort is priority if you've got them in your car.

Seem like common sense to me ...


Posted by Bruce Kunz, REALTOR®, Brick & Howell NJ Homes for Sale (C21 Solid Gold Realty, Brick, NJ, 732-920-2100) about 2 years ago

Hi Debbie

Good customer service is so important in any business and you offered some good tips about how Realtors should handle driving clients around.

I have to say my Uber experiencesfor both my wife and I have been pretty good this year. Like Any business there are some good expreiences, and some that are not.


Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude (eXp Realty of California) about 2 years ago

I've never had a reason to use Uber, but I agree that customer service and a friendly attitude should be a must for any business person. If you can't provide it, you deserve to fail.

Posted by Marte Cliff, Your real estate writer (Marte Cliff Copywriting) about 2 years ago

Hi Debbie, You don't go into details on the areas you travel using Uber. I'm a Realtor and an Uber driver. I'm serving all my clients in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. Real Estate in NY only. I know I am an exception to your rule because I am the exact opposite of every Uber statement you made. When you read my reviews you will know why I say I know I am an exception to your rule.

The review that says "Looking Forward to Working With You Jeff" will be the 7th home I have sold to my Uber passengers.

I am also a recruiter for uber and train my new drivers to try to emulate me. Personality has a lot to do with it so not everyone "gets it".

I could post just as nice Real Estate client reviews too.

So whats the moral of the story: Debbie has not had me for her driver yet!

Here: "The Proof is in the Pudding"! 


Posted by Jeffrey Hopkins, CBR, "Making Dreams Come True, 1 Yard At A Time" (Exit Realty All Pro) about 2 years ago

I take Uber whenever I go to New York. Most of the drivers have been good. I prefer Uber to the taxicabs in New York. There have been a few who have asked me if they good drop me off a block away because of the traffic.

Posted by Gita Bantwal, REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel (RE/MAX Centre Realtors) about 2 years ago

Congratulations, Debbie, on your feature recognition.

Thanks for sharing your experience.

Posted by Roy Kelley (Realty Group Referrals) about 2 years ago

Good morning Debbie Reynolds,

Congratulations on a well deserved featured post! Good message on providing excellent customer service. If you become lax expect those referrals and past client'll be out pounding the pavement for new clients!

Posted by Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR, Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate (Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.750.6899) about 2 years ago

Uber drivers make less tan minimum wage. That should answer your questions on why their service sucks. Not sure how to relate that to real estate.

Posted by Tere Rottink (CoastalVa Realty Inc) about 2 years ago

Interesting. I hadn't thought about comparing the two, but I can see where you are coming from. If you want a good review/referrals, I think many of these principles apply across any service industry. 

Posted by Eric Sztanyo, Cincinnati & NKY Realtor® | (Keller Williams Advisors Realty) about 2 years ago

Debbie: I have never used Uber simply because I pretty much stay put or drive myself--But your suggestions to all of us about driving the public around as we must do, are great and some I never thought of, i.e. bring some snacks along on a long day of looking at houses! What a great post! Thank you for sharing it!

Posted by Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA, ...A Local Expert in all The Hamptons (Douglas Elliman Real Estate) about 2 years ago

Hello, Debbie, I think not everyone is like that, Some of the uber Driver are friendly and good. Thanks for sharing your experience.

Posted by James Grant about 2 years ago

Good reminder there is competition out there and to be client centric. There is always another option for the customer. 

Posted by Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543, Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line (Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400) about 2 years ago

I haven't ridden with many Uber drivers, but none of them had the characteristics you describe.  One did drive fast, but it was very obvious he knew exctly where he was going and I was OK with that.

If real estate agents get like this they will have no clients.

Posted by John Dotson, The experience to get you to the other side! (Preferred Properties of Highlands, Inc. - Highlands, NC) about 2 years ago

It IS all about the service....and anyone who is an agent who doesn't get that,  should think about surrendering their license !

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Real Estate Agents - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) about 2 years ago

I provide quality service to the consumer even when I don't go to transaction. It really is the service we provide that differentiates us from the new disruptor in business.

Posted by John Wiley, Lee County, FL, ECO Broker, GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA about 2 years ago

Excellent points Debbie! I need to definitely work on my road rage and keep my mouth shut 😂🤐

Have a great day! R

Posted by Ricardo Mello, Manhattan & Miami Real Estate Agent (Manhattan Miami Real Estate) about 2 years ago

Hi Debbie Reynolds. While I have very rarely used Uber, I do see the parallels of simple customer service; whether driving someone to their desired destination or showing homes to prospective buyers. Here in AZ for much of the year, climate control in a vehicle is very important, as is proper hydration. I make sure both of those items are addressed before clients get in my vehicle. They really do appreciate it, and it is so easy to do ahead of time.

Posted by Greg Mona, Professional Real Estate Representation for YOU! (eXp Realty) about 2 years ago

Great comparisons! Personally, I prefer Lyft over Uber.

Posted by Melissa Spittel, "Achieving Results Together " (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) about 2 years ago

Good reminder to keep the cooler and supplies at the ready!

Posted by M.C. Dwyer, MC Dwyer-Santa Cruz Mountains Property Specialist (Century 21 Showcase REALTORs) about 2 years ago

Comment #29 is 100% right. Even though Uber haven't gone public yet,word is that the company value is around $60 Billion dollar company whenever they do decide to file their IPO. But they need to pay their drivers more than what they are getting paid. So I don't blame the drivers,I blame the company.

Posted by Lanre-"THE REAL ESTATE FARMER" Folayan, I don't make promises.I deliver results.SOLD HOMES (Keller Williams Select Realtors-Buy a home in Washington DC. Sell a home in Washington DC) about 2 years ago

Name a business and it is about people...Without people, empty in empty-out

Posted by Richie Alan Naggar, agent & author (people first...then business Ran Right Realty ) about 2 years ago

Can't say I've ever had a bad Uber experience but if I felt so compelled, I might post a review about it.

Posted by Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%, Put 40 years of experience to work for you (RE/MAX Gold) about 2 years ago

What a great write up, and this is why I use a scooter and I am mostly a listing agent. I really don't want to have the liability of an accident ( I do have my SCCA NASA, and an open wheel ( expired ) Licence).

We have google maps and ways and showing request maps ... it's easy as pie. I don't desire to be anyone's tour guild on my gas. and trust me, people try here in Miami.

Posted by Michael Rasch, Michael Rasch 305-741-1819 (International Property Finder - Property Option) about 2 years ago

Point well taken. People like friendly service in all industries and will come back for that experience. I wonder if Millenials feel the same though?

Posted by Ron Buck, Associate RE Broker at Keller Williams Realty (The Ron Buck Group) about 2 years ago

Ahhh Uber....the FSBO of transportation. I prefer to pay for a taxi. They have to meet certain requirements to be licensed, and I have somewhere to go if I have an issue.

Posted by Jane about 2 years ago

Absolutely fantastic analogy, Debbie! 

I had to take my car to the repair shop a few weeks ago. The ride home from there was just okay - the driver's conversation was extremely morbid - everyone he knows is dying or has recently died. It went on and on! He did not have the air on and as you also mentioned, the car was less than clean.

On the way back to pick up my car, I was picked up in a JEEP with the top off and had to give the guy from a neighboring town directions to get to the shop. Super nice guy but, he certainly didn't notice the sweat rolling down my face from the sun beating down on me for 20 minutes!

As for our profession - you are so right.  Our fees are being challenged more and more these days and we simply must stand out from the rest. When we do, it's easy to justify our fees.

OH and I want Jeffrey Hopkins, CBR to move to Charlotte - I would definitely be requesting him for my every Uber ride!

Posted by Debe Maxwell, CRS, The right Charlotte REALTOR! ( | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310) about 2 years ago