When you meet your antagonist, do everything in a mild and agreeable manner. Let your courage be as keen, but at the same time as polished, as your sword. - Richard Brinsley Sheridan
Aaahhh Real Estate Agents!
How best to relate to them?
As Jakk points out, Real Estate agents are just human, and they respond well to courtesy and respect. But being human, they also respond well to money, age, sex and social status.
I've had many agents simply brush me aside because I'm young(ish) single, female and blonde. I'm dealing with one agent at the moment via my boyfriend who is acting as intermediary. This agent will call my boyfriend to find out where "we" are up to in buying this house. He doesn't seem to understand that I'm the one with the purse strings, despite this being made ubundantly clear to him by both of us, and despite requests that he call me, not Mr Cornflower. Unbelievable! This ain't the 1950's anymore....
I need to do stuff like the palm pilot idea, simply to get them to take me seriously at times. Of course, once I have purchased a property through them, they do take me seriously, and as I have been courteous and friendly, are always more than happy to deal with me again.
So I turn up in a late model car, with lots of tasteful gold jewellery on, with profesional looking brand-label clothes, with a manicure, with tasteful make-up. And I give them my business card from a reasonably well know company, where my title is "Manager". And I talk about my other properties and wraps and I ask them what they think of the Jenman system, and I let them know, in the nicest possible way, that I'm not a newbie, or a bimbo. This is particularly vital if I have not had dealings with them before.
And I get a MUCH better response than if I was simply nice alone
Dealings with Real Estate agents as buyers are inherently adversarial - the RE is representing the seller, he is not your friend and he is not working for you. Not to say that they won't put you onto good deals, but you don't get yourself onto the top of that list by simply being a nice chappie. Simply being a nice girly would get me substantially less than nowhere. You get yourself onto the top of that list because the RE has a belief that you are in a position to buy property NOW. And for a price that the vendor will be happy with, and with the least amount of effort on the agent's part. If he knows that the transaction will be smooth because you are nice, that will help, but that is not the only reason for being first in line. Much more is based on your reputation (of not being simply a tyre-kicker), either real, or *perceived*.
So, I think tactics that make you appear less of a tyre-kicker, will always work to your advantage. I wouldn't call using a PDA this intimidation though. It's more like a "reputation enhancing" tactic!!!