Did you know that you can convert all of your Blogger articles over to Word Press with a simple mouse click? It's ture! If you're looking for any article from this page in the past, head over to the new site where you'll find ALL articles.
Did you know that you can convert all of your Blogger articles over to Word Press with a simple mouse click? It's ture! If you're looking for any article from this page in the past, head over to the new site where you'll find ALL articles.
1. They have had their landscape redone to be a tad better than ours, but they keep mowing int he rain leaving trenches. We like to do our own because no one is as obsessive compulsive as we are.
2. They bought a new gianto SUV this summer. We bought a Jeep this spring.
3. We painted our door and trim a glossy black this spring. They painted their door and trim a glossy black this summer.
4. We threw a 2006 Celebrity Princess Party for our then 9 year old. They threw a 2007 Celebrity Emmy Party for their now 10 year old.
So what does this have to do with a comment sabbaticle? Well, the same thing has begun happening to me in the blogosphere. Look, I'm not a Realtor so I can't possibly compete with you. Nor am I in the mortgage industry. After a few bloggers have either pirated my comments, held on to my comments because their buddy was in the process of making a similar comment (and posting it after the fact, making me look like a repetitive idiot), actually editing my comments (wth?), or simply not publishing them. Therefore, I am tired and I will be on sabbaticle.
The consensus so far is that if we started from scratch, the industry would still resemble the 1.3 million contractors that make up the NAR. I made a comment that could be interpreted as harsh against the demographic that Redfin is seeking to court, but I meant what I said- we all know (or are) someone who is glued to a computer and would love to never ever leave. I have a family member (no, not my husband) who is literally addicted to the internet and would never leave his chair if he didn't have to go to the bathroom. Seriously.
Redfin would be great for him because he's scared to death of getting out of the house. He wouldn't care how Web 2.0 the Redfin site is, he would love the idea that he doesn't have to interact with a human. The problem is that before he says "I do" and marries his home, he'll want to personally (ideally without a sales person present) hold its hand and commence to a little heavy petting before committing. This is why video open houses are so important for this tiny demographic. BUT, buyers will never purchase a home sight unseen, because humans inherently rely on tangibility and emotions regarding major purchases regardless of whatever "business model" a Realtor uses. Look, I personally don't like big crowds and sales people make me nervous, but I have to see the house/car/skirt in person before I let a salesperson into my personal business. I understand.
Therefore, I maintain that Redfin is courting the hipster/WoW nerds and I believe (as my husband notes below) that they will survive (and succeed) in their niche because they've quietly found a tiny demo that was not publicly being courted, and the only reason they need a website is for PR, not necessarily sales. RealtorGenius says it better than I can in a comment at 3Oceans:
"Lani is correct that there is a very tiny fragment of the market that wants nothing to do with actually touching the house first. It does tailor to those who would prefer to sit at their computers or hide within four walls from the world. Knowing that, a great bunch of folks tried to open grocery stores online- they’ve all but failed here- horrible deaths. I can think of a few other types of markets that tried to go the online way and they crashed and burned too. I do believe Redfin will capture attention with rebates, but NOT with the idea of doing it all online- that will fail in the long run as well.
Check it out here and consider if you still want to feature captchas on your site...
(1) sweet- Greg Swann has his own blog category (although Mike had to sidenote that he was half kidding about that),
(2) Altos subcategorized RE blogging in a very concise way (that I liked) and
(3) thank God CoRE takes a dang 4th of July break next week- I really need one!
Definition of a Blog Carnival
*July 4th week- no CoRE
*July 9th- ValleyMarket.com
Who should it be?
1. Not taking out the required permits.
2. Starting a job without the necessary tools and supplies.
3. Inadequate preparation of the job site.
4. Skimping on materials.
5. Using the wrong paint.
6. Improper preparation of walls for painting.
7. Unsafe job conditions.
9. Working beyond your limits.
10. Failure to get a clue.
My favorite articles today:
Google adds Group Chat (great for co-drafting documents)
Top 10 DIY Office Projects
Making a Room Look Bigger (great for staging or in your own home or office)
Cord Management (addressing Realtor Genius' cord crisis)
It's no Feed Bag, but now I'm like Larry, pimpin' and slingin' the addiction that is Lifehacker (see Erin, I like to say pimpin'!)!
Sidenote: photo courtesy of jynmeyer (our daughter is actually cuter...)
Weblogging101 opened today, and to be honest there is just so much information it would take several days to plow through it all, so I’ll let you know my thoughts next week- but here are my general thoughts in advance.
First of all, bloodhoundblog.com isn’t profiting on this at all. No one is over there giving criticism of your blog to gain your business, it’s the simply how-to we all needed when we started (and I for one, still need) and for this I believe it has heart, merit, and to be honest, you can trust it. Why? Because the only thing your being sold is a better understanding of what in the heck you’re doing!
If you, your children, a client or a friend is preparing to walk the plank (aka get married), you have to look at Emma's work. Not only is she incredible, she has a blog!!! I've learned about her doggie (happy 1st Sophie!)...her family and her clients... never before have I been so impressed with any single photographer (uh... sorry to our wedding photographer). Her silly nature is reflected in her work and she never takes herself too seriously! What a dream!!! When our children get married (or we finally have our Catholic wedding), Emma will be well worth the extra few dollars to get her down here to Texas.
Let me know when she becomes your family's wedding photographer- I'll watch her blog for the best pictures of you you'll ever see!
For those of you new to blogging, finding inspiration can be one of the most difficult tasks. No problem, RSS Pieces has the perfect solution- use one of their 225 proposed article ideas written by the supersupersassy Fairy Blogmother. If you haven't stumbled onto this site yet, it is great for new bloggers (or uh, bad ones)...
Anywhere in Austin south of the Capitol, the "Keep Austin Weird" subculture reigns. I've been debating how to use this article in the blogosphere, but it's too dang funny to not publish. For those of you who have lived in or visited Austin, you'll giggle as you read this article; for those who have not, you surely have some "deck" element in your own city.
Tell us how deck YOUR city is!
photo (from thatotherpaper.com )/ Fred Benenson
(1) Before I was a BHB contributor, I decided to ask Greg any and all questions regarding blogging even if the questions made me look stupid. He never judged my ignorance, instead he quickly emailed me back an answer.
(2) There has been no restriction on what Greg has been willing to share with me. He's given me access to the PHP code for parts of his site that I wanted to steal, he's given me his Carnival judging algorithm, and he's endlessly given me definitions to dorky blog words that I've had to learn over the past months.
(3) Greg is not inflammatory. His articles and comments are provocative, but he never cusses at anyone, he backs his theories up with his researched facts and is willing to take the heat when his arguments anger people. Currently, Greg has brought up the licensing bar and postulates that we should abolish it. I disagree with this- abolishment is not a solution; I'm waiting on a solution. Regardless, what I like about Greg is that if I email him saying, "hey, I disagree," or "what's the solution to the licensing issue?" he will write an article about such a topic instead of hiding behind an offline conversation.
(4) BHB publishing rules don't exist. As an author, I've never been censored. I've also never used curse words or made ignorant personal attacks. Some people have been censored (and Greg emailed me the censored comments and his reasons for censoring) and I'm okay with that. Ponch (Kris and Steve's troll) and Prime Minister (my troll) pick fights online and if they get out of hand (which they haven't yet), they WILL be censored- that's my right. I disagree that Greg arbitrarily blacklists- like I said, I've seen the conversations. Whether I would make the same choice to censor is not the point.
Greg didn't ask me to (and would probably prefer that I didn't) write my Top Four Reasons I'm Friends With Greg Swann, but sometimes someone with "mo money [and] mo problems" are busy and that's when a friend should step in.
And if Athol asks me why I'm friends with him, I can make that my next article... :)
Today, a temporarily (by request) unnamed site coins a new term- "Redfinned." MTV may have Punk'D, but the Real Estate industry has Redfinned. This word is an adjective used to describe the despair a buyer or seller feels when dealing with a non-responsive-call-center-operator (also known as a Redfin or McDiscount agent) who cannot return or make calls. This word is applicable to the feeling of tearing out hair when the salaried Redfin (or McDiscounter) agent does not feel that they make enough money to acknowledge buyers or sellers, rather they would prefer to read blogs, troll the malls or plaster bandit signs around the city.
The disdain for a lack of customer service was bound to be let out of the bag someday- well, here we are, June 13th, 2007- it's finally "someday."
I encourage you to use this new term (or the logo) on your own site in regard to agents (whether at Redfin or otherwise) that lack service. YOU'VE BEEN REDFINNED!!!
(1) to hear more of my unsolicited opinion regarding real estate and
(2) to fend off the comment pirate(s)
(3) but mainly to be more creative in showing who's on my feed reader.
I hope others will pick up this idea of linking to sites where they've added to (or screwed up in some cases) the ongoing conversations:
Dalton's Zillow Roast
Chris' New Buds
Rory's Buffett Connection
Berg Barks at Vultures
RG Exposes Dad at the Sorority Party
These are in no particular order, rather listed arbitrarily on this here ol' blog. We're headed out for the weekend, so forgive my lack of comments/articles over the weekend. For those of you who know me (and how verbose I can be), you'll know to call the authorities if I'm not actively commenting by Tuesday...
*Realtor Genius' Web 2. Oh No
*BawldGuy's Adios Blog
*Greg's Line in the Sand
*RSS Pieces' Style Thesis
*Athol's Neener Neener
*Lockwood's Hate/Love Affair
Because I am friends with 4 of the 5 blogs mentioned above, I will speak in generalities...
1.) I am noticing a heating up of pee contests online (so what if I've used this phrase before?!?!). Some of you know that you are agitating the pit bull that is chained up, but listen well- when the chain breaks, you won't be able to run fast enough and I predict you'll lose parts of your pants. Sure, your friends think it's funny because they don't like the pit bull and your making funny faces at it is entertaining, or they do like the pit bull and they are just bored. However, the pissing contest is one that has an eventual winner (and loser) and I for one squat, so I won't get into the urine launching arena. Just remember though, someone has to lose. I just hope that everyone calms down- we're blogging for business, not for fun. If you want a fun blog about pants and music, get off of the RE airwaves.
2.) I have also noticed a great deal of Web 2.0 observations going on and I am loving it! Lockwood does a great job of bringing this topic up, and Realtor Genius tears it a new hole (yeah, that hole). While they talk about the merit (or lack thereof) of the Web 2.0 movement, I have to pause to affirm that it is a means to connect with your clients by being more natural and by being yourself which is a great benefit to those with relatable personalities. The problem that Realtor Genius notes is that many bloggers put on a sideways hat and say "whattup dawg" to attempt to relate rather than being themselves (which he asserts is the point of Web 2.0).
3.) Jeff Brown and I had an off-line conversation about RSS Pieces' article regarding style and he made the distinct note that style and voice are not the same thing. He and I have voices that are recognizable even if we don't put our names on our articles or comments- it's inescapable. My style, however, changes with each article. My style can be the Troublemaker (see Point 1), and I can be authoritative, but my voice is usually silly and I don't take myself too seriously. I AM a 20-something non-Realtor, and I write as such. I never pretend to have a voice/style that is one of a Realtor with 20 years worth of experience (like Jeff). To complete my stream of consciousness point on the RSSPieces article, your style is not your voice (as the piece asserts) and the two should not be confused. I may have a silly style in one article and a condemning style in another, but my voice is constant because of who I am- you are always able to point me out in the blogosphere (even if I play the anonymous card).
I am the first to stand up for myself and others, but I think we should all get back to what we were doing- blogging about real estate (usually for the consumer). Some of you can pee further than me (and others can't), but who cares? I don't blog to clients- my niche is more for Realtors (and the occasional spouse), so I remind those who ARE blogging to clients to relax and get your eyes back on the ball. Please. I mean, now. :)
I anticipated a call to the hotel to be one of an extremely professional tone as my first call, but when I called the day before check-in to see what time check-in was and to request an earlier check-in, the younger man said "we're all booked." Uh... no crap? I have a reservation- again, here's my confirmation number, can I get an early check-in please? "We're all booked."
In five short months, Realtorwives.com will be host of our first CoRE... yippee!
1. From the moment anyone even THINKS they might sell their home, they must stop cooking any of the following foods: curry, fried foods (chicken, steak, fries, anything in oil which permeates the air and lingers), any seafood products, any microwaveable tofu products, and menudo. You get the idea- anything that you can smell after the table has been cleared and the dishes done must be avoided until you are in your new home. This is a great time to eat out, diet or stick to the less fragrant meals.
We at Realtor Wives think he should answer so others don't do it for him...
Check out the conversation here and encourage David to follow up!
1. Save electricity by using the powerful Ubervac less frequently- it really sucks up the watts!
2. Save water by doing less dishes. For example, I should drain pasta through my fingers instead of dirtying a dish- who needs finger skin? It'll be good for the planet!
3. I will dust less frequently because Dust Bunnies are creatures of the Earth and it is cruel to murder them and not allow their repopulation.
4. The lawn will no longer be mowed, weeded and edged twice a week because of the use of gasoline and power. Honey, I'm sure you're sad about this one...
5. No laundry will be tossed in the dryer- it will be hung to dry and I will use one of those 1890's flat iron insted of my Super Steamer Iron. Plus, the wrinkled look is in, so now we'll be super chic.
I have to admit on this site that I was terrified when Greg approached me. I feel like I'm about to go into the review on my senior thesis again. Now, I'll have to learn Latin, remember Spanish, and most importantly, remember how to speak (uh, write) English properly. How can I possibly run with the big dogs? I'm a two month old French bulldog- in the blogosphere, I weigh only 3.21 lbs.
After my initial shock, I became elated- what an awesome opportunity! I am not selling anything, so my voice is different than most people in our blogworld... I opine because I want to, not because I need to. Being buddies with Odysseus will be a blast! I CAN run with the big dogs- I'm fit, I have great stamina, and I can bite an Achille's heel better than anyone at this vantage point! So watch out world, this little pup is up for the work out!!!
*you can't add contributors or have multiple authors (it all goes under one single name),
*and no blog linking ability (well, unless you are linking to another a la mode site).
What a dud. After all the spin and after all the hype, the phones still rang this week in the office. There was hustle and bustle, people in and out, and it was business as usual. I watched the traffic in and out, listened intently for signs of blow back, and still, nothing. There were happy conversations with buyers and sellers eager about their business of buying and selling and agents facilitating. What a great week it has been. Even online there were 10 or 15 blogs on the subject of the huge dump CBS took on your living room floor and a whole lot of commenting, but honestly, it was not the doom and gloom I think some had hoped for.
It got me to thinking about some of the things I had written about earlier in the week- my main point was that NAR is not a business model as some would like to portray. It is still 1.3 million agents all around the country that all do business in thousands of ways. Some would like to think that the idea of a discount is a new thing, but alas, the reality is still true- Realtors invented the discount brokerage over 20 years ago. Some practice it, others do not, but the truth to those who want to hear it is still loud and clear- real estate as we know it will adapt day in and day out (you thought I was going to say something else) as it always has, and so will the 1.3 million agents who practice it.
When the phone was invented, did the world as we knew it stop? Did the candle business cease at the advent of electricity? Did Bell keel over when cell phones were born? Did the desktop or laptop computer get pushed out the window to the awesome technology of the PDA? No. Most even suspected the end of American Airlines when Southwest Airlines popped onto the scene, but it just did not happen. Those businesses adapted and pushed forward, and so will we.
I personally am not worried about the fin I see in the water, I have come to the conclusion that Most in the Know have come to, and that is when you throw everything in the air- the hype, spin, blame, accusations, ill comments and everything else possible you see this cloud of smoke and haze, and beneath it all, you see a client and their Realtor. It will be on the ground, face to face with our clients that the air will be cleared. All the spin in the world cannot stop the one-on-one relationship a client has with his agent. Think about it… from their desk with their dual monitors and snappy headsets, it is hard to relate to the buyer or seller the way we do. On the phone, a client can hang up if he or she gets annoyed, but the service agent has the advantage of being there. That is where Real Estate is practiced- on the ground, face to face. That is precisely our advantage- the ability to do whatever it takes to make a buyer or seller happy. You just can’t do that from a call center. In time, even at a discount, the discounters will be held up to light about their commissions due to this inadequacy. What’s next? In order to become more profitable, the online discounter ships the jobs overseas to India? “Press one for English”
By no means do I advocate ignoring the issue- you should debate it in your office, in your mirror, or even with your clients as I have this week. Sharpen yourself and your business, and keep your eye on the ball. Negativity breeds negativity and that is their game.
Turns out it’s just a perch after all.
It should be noted and stated loudly that the same folks who would bring down the NAR or redefine the industry as they put it are the same people who hate and want to bring down Wal-Mart. Not sure what I mean? I’ll explain…
Before Wal-Mart, the streets were lined with mom and pop shops- from the corner drugstore to the large department stores that had been family owned and operated for years in their communities. When Wal-Mart came along, the nation rejoiced and flocked to the big discount store to buy many of the same products they were getting at the stores I just described, but they were obviously lower quality, lower quantity; you name it, it was lower than just the price. Little by little, the old mom and pops fell off one by one. This phenomenon has been noted on popular shows and your local news. You’ve seen it for yourself when you visit your old hometown only to see the old fashioned drug store sitting vacant on the corner. The reality was explained away on major news networks as capitalism at its best, and the way of the world much the way CBS has done.
NAR is much the same as the mom and pops as the National Association of Realtors is made up of 1.3 million independent contractors (every day average people, mostly sole-proprietors) who already work to the advantage of their individual clients. Realtors assess the situations of all clients and are generally reasonable with them in their listing or buyer commissions. Realtors negotiate their price and sometimes settle with a reduced commission to build a stronger trust with the client because the clients’ needs were put first.
Mom and pops of yesteryear were much the same way. They knew their clients personally and by name most of the time, and knew when the O’Brians needed a helping hand and let them pick up a few essentials on credit until next month. The O’Brians would be grateful and would remain customers for life.
Somehow today, the same folks that would redefine our industry are the same folks who hate what Wal-Mart has done to the landscape of downtown main street- they’ve basically rendered them useless as the independent owner could not compete at volume discount pricing. The Anti-Wal-Mart lobby jeers at the idea of “one more Wal-Mart” while the Capitalists applaud. Slowly over time, the competition has faded away and we really aren’t sure if we’re getting every day low prices at the Wal-Mart because we really have nothing to compare it to. We simply have to pay for quality.
But again, the Anti-Wal-Mart Klan would have you believe that tearing down the network of 1.3 million independent contractors of the Real Estate Industry would fix what may or may not be wrong with it. I would argue that the industry is fine. There is room for argument about real estate practices (such as the argument of dual agency), but fundamentally, the industry could not be more diverse in its current state. Another example of this phenomenon is the oil industry. I remember when independent gas stations were competitive and abundant, creating the kind of competition that kept prices in line. Today, we have roughly five major suppliers around our cities basically deciding what we pay. Let’s face it, tearing down the independents of our country is fast becoming the way of the land; and to be honest, it is scary. Last I checked, there are no discount gas stations opening up, nor an outrage over the fact that real gouging is taking place on a daily basis. Are we going to continue this vicious cycle? I pray not.
THE MEDIA SPIN
I would say to online vendors such as Redfin, pay your dues- your Realtor dues. Be a member of the Board and agree to the CODE OF ETHICS and we’ll work with and trust you; join the list of the already competitive 1.3 MILLION independents in the industry. Work within the guidelines that have already proven to work countless times a day when Buyers and Sellers shop their list of local professionals and make their choice based on their needs. The bottom line of what this is all about is that companies like Redfin want to practice real estate without paying to be a Realtor and following the Code of Ethics. I noticed this was omitted.
The title of the 60 Minutes Story says it all about the spin that the media has already begun to spew- (“Chipping Away at The Realtors’ 6%”). The last time I checked, I only charge 3% of the transaction, and the buyer’s side (the other Realtor) charges 3%. So you aren’t chipping away at 6%, you’re simply chipping away at my little old 3% that I earned by being married to my client for 30, 45, 60, or 120 days or more. You’re chipping away at my ability to earn the trust of my individual clients (the O’Brians) by giving them back what I see is needed to make a sale work. When bringing a buyer to the table, many listing agents already discount the buyer’s side anyway, so the Redfin argument is moot on the so-called 6%.
CBS was also bias in the fact that it brought one couple from the discount side, versus clients from the 1.3 Million agents around the country to say exactly the same, only at least 1.3 millions times over. Another telling moment of the interview was: "Redfin very proudly says that they returned in rebates $3 million last year to its buyers," Stahl remarks. "You can't boast of anything like that." "Absolutely not," Arends acknowledges. "I don't know how to answer that one." I have the answer to this question- ONE POINT THREE MILLION INDEPENDENT AGENTS can boast a hell of a lot more than 3 Million dollars saved- we save it in equity at purchase, we save it in profit at sale, and you know what? We save it in rebates too. I’ll need a bigger calculator for that one….
Redfin is a tic tac in scale to 1.3 million Realtors in the United States, who are all independent voices and advocates for their clients- and Redfin aims to “redefine” 1.3 Million small businesses, 1.3 Million opinions, 1.3 Million consumer advocates that proudly stand up for their clients daily! Are you kidding me? We don’t need to defend ourselves. The DOJ needs to buck up and get the fact that 1.3 Million voters/agents/human beings make up NAR and those 1.3 Million voices know a little more about “the O’Brians” than a faceless machine that is designed to spend even less focus on consumer advocacy- the small fraction of those complaining or having problems with Realtors are guarded by the local Boards and Real Estate Commissions, we are already held to a higher standard than those that are not members of the Board and believe me, we are held to account!
Commission levels of 3% (standard in Texas) per agent were set to protect consumers from gouging. In the past, that number has remained the standard regardless of the market or home prices. With the home prices spiking, protecting the seller’s equity has become even trickier and even more needed. Realtors have never been MORE needed, yet all we hear is how they need to reduce agent income. If your profit margin on your home is $80 grand, then why are we debating over $2,400- how is that a price gouge? If I had $80k to net on my home, the last thing I would be doing is attempting to go it Wal-Mart style.
REFORM: Redfins needs reform to be able to compete with 1.3 Million agents that make up NAR
Redfin does not scare me nearly as much as this so-called reform many say this industry needs. Why does it need to be reformed? The reality is, the MLS is a product of NAR- not an open source code for any and all to access, much like Zillow’s product offered. Let them build and develop their product the way NAR has done.
Imagine a world with five different NARs and you have the world as envisioned by Redfin. Are you telling me that Redfin is going to allow the other four Redfin-type companies to list on their version of the MLS? Consumers are not best served by this business model that forces home buyers to search four, five, maybe six online listing systems. It’s like the BCS- the MLS may not be the best system in the entire world, but it does work!
NAR represents 1.3 million diverse independent contractors that practice real estate under one code of ethics and one common application of fair Real Estate practices that safe guards consumers. The alternative is to “redefine” ourselves into a corner where we go back to having numerous Listing Services, a lack of industry standards and an overall discord in Real Estate. The alternative is not even viable.
I would suggest that all Realtors throw away the talking points and simply say that all 1.3 Million of us already guard your interest, less than 100 say otherwise.
NAR is not something you just change without affecting the 1.3 Million Mom and Pop voices (who only average $47,700 per year) within it; you don’t just do that because a tic tac says so.
Be careful what you ask for!
That Austin Real Estate Guy
After three separate emails suggesting I do so, I have entered yesterday's blog into ProBlogger's Group Writing Project. 5 is pertinent because after I wrote this article, I took the time to catch up on my feed reader and read Greg's article on the "Top 5 List" Project- how convenient, I had just completed a "Top 5" of my own!
OH, and I got 5 green lights on the way into the office (out of 7- that ain't bad), stood in line behind 5 people at Starbuck's today (normally it's 2, but so what), missed 5 calls while inside Starbuck's and I now have 5 fingers crossed that I win the lottery (or at least the Group Writing Contest)!
When someone calls looking to buy, a good Realtor should be able to listen and understand the complicated nuances of subjective wants vs. needs. While discussing a buyer’s future home, the Realtor should already have 5 MLS numbers in mind and be checking availability from his laptop (with a Sprint wireless card if he’s not in the office). By the end of the conversation, the Realtor should know the area the buyer desires (probing questions may reveal that they said they wanted North but they didn’t know the Tollway opened, so now they are open to the more affordable options in the West), have 5 homes in mind to tour, know 5 things the buyer wants in those homes by asking questions regarding subjects even THEY haven’t thought of (you have a baby coming? Perhaps you could use a study instead of an additional bedroom- that will open up some options. You want red brick? You’ll love this red brick with limestone accents featured by a prominent local builder. You say you want to landscape? Oh, you mean you want a 2’x4’ space for your hydrangeas!). After all, knowing 5 things they want is good because, as my husband says, “you can’t argue with your own data.”
Too many Realtors simply have fun playing around in vacant houses and forget that the buyer’s time is precious too! Everyone loves dreaming about replacing floors and what color the valances will be, but shopping should be the easiest, smoothest, and often the shortest part of the home buying transaction. After the home is selected, most Realtors consider their job done and suddenly stop answering calls. This is pathetic- the best Realtors know to hold a buyer’s hand through the lending process, to follow up with title, to go to all inspections, help coordinate insurance and warranty, be at the closing table and be there to open the front door with the buyers. This is an incubation period which is often neglected in the Real Estate industry, but is CRUCIAL to the buying process. No wonder builders are experiencing so many cancellations!
Look, my husband has a 99% closing ratio because his background in PR and marketing has given him the unique advantage of being able to listen effectively and narrow down people’s comments into 5 desires or needs (and being able to distinguish the difference between the two), and in most cases being able to show buyers the home they will buy in the first shot (but will show 2, 3, or 4 more to ease the “what if” questions buyers may have). He tells buyers up front that they will look at up to 5 homes, they will not be stalked (and can walk away if it is not a good fit), and they will have someone on their side watching over the entire process. Most times, they will take their chosen home off the market the same day he shows them. He loathes the long term buyer’s agreement and doesn’t feel the need to subject a client to 120 days of his “service”- if a Realtor hasn’t gotten close within the first 5 homes, maybe they just don’t get it and all parties should part. After all, he wants to be at the house warming party and he will be the Realtor to sell that same house in the future!
To summarize- when your buyer calls and is prequalified, you need to
(5) Now that you've saved time shopping, you can spend more time with the closing process and should be able to give more (aka better) service to the buyer!
I see this work every day- it should be the norm in the industry, not the exception to the rule!