Stephanie's Blog

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The Value of Realtors

It's different for everybody, I'll admit it. Each and every one of the consumers have a different need to be filled when hiring an agent to manage their buying and selling process.  But please don't attack our industry. Maybe your needs are different, or maybe you aren't aware of everything we need to do in our industry.

Watch this video...  Yes, putting a listing on the MLS is just few click's work, but that's not all we do. Oftentimes, by the time I've gotten to the point of entering a listing into the MLS, I've visited the property twice, spent 3-4+ hours on research and data collection both from the seller, online (for pricing analysis), and the city. Our office administrator has several entries to do with a new listing, not just the MLS, as we advertise on multiple websites and the management of this process involves a lot of time and meticulous detail. Photos must be taken, editted and entered. A file must be prepared to include all the required (by law) documents to provide to consumers who will be looking at a listing. Sometime during this beginning process the listing gets entered into the MLS. 

Afterwhich, there is constant monitoring of the market, something a Realtor has access to on a daily basis, making it a valuable source for market information to their client, who so desperately wants the best price, at the right time.

In order to use the MLS, we must pay a fee, we pay for the education to be a licensed Realtor, we owe membership dues and must keep up with our education on an annual basis. We have the responsibility to keep up with changes in the real estate industry. We must be responsible for knowing about changes in the market, local and national. We have a valuable network and close rapport with service people locally who have a reputation based on providing their consumers positive, honest, quality services at a reasonable price. We network continuously with agents and consumers in the region about our listings. This is a full time job that we do.

We conduct ministerial duties, save consumers time so they don't have to take away from their work and family. We qualify buyers to save our clients time they could waste showing their properties over and over again to unqualified buyers. We educate buyers and sellers throughout the transaction. We are mediators, negotiators, and friends. We are the third party who acts as a buffer in so many instances. We might even be thought of as a "life therapist" by some, and work like duct tape to keep relationships in tact- yes, I've been in this situation several times!

We spend a lot of time preparing days' worth of showings for out of state clients, driving in our vehicles to see property with a buyer who may or may not end up purchasing in the end.

We are a knowlege based industry, and yes, the consumers can read all they want, there are times when they have had great success with selling a home on their own, but not everyone is prepared to do so, and not everyone has the time to do so. There is so much changing in the real estate world around us. So many things offered to consumers online that it's almost confusing to those who are not tech savy. Our industry has at times been slammed for the fee structurs for services, but the whole picture was misrepresented and there went another media-driven opinion creating a stir about something that is not based on good, solid ground.

As I am writing this, two women from out of state have arrived at our office. They are looking for some personal insight on the area, they are reading a paper map, and are speaking with a Realtor. There is some value to meeting with a person face to face. Someone who, unlike online communication, acknowleges your feelings and thoughts and utilizes those to help guide you through a difficult decision.

I could really add much more to this, but I'll leave it to you to complete. Thanks for your support, and I look forward to working with you in anyway necessary to reach your real estate goals.

Thank you.

Comment balloon 9 commentsStephanie Jacques • September 21 2008 11:53AM

Comments

Stephanie -

Sometimes, it seems, this is the biggest fight we have - proving our value to consumers.

In tough times, that's even more important.  However, there will always be those who comodotize us, and see us as "dime a dozen." 

"What's the difference," prospective clients will say, "Let's go with the cheapest!"

Hard work to differentiate, but work worth doing.  Indeed, it's tough for anyone to go about this real estate business without the proper advocacy.

DEAN & DEAN'S TEAM CHICAGO

Posted by Dean Moss, Dean's Team Chicago IL Real Estate Team (Dean's Team - Keller Williams Realty Partners Chicago IL) almost 10 years ago

Stephanie, yes, we can educate them, they could try it on their own (sometimes they may be successful or somtimes not). I guess some consumers just don't know the real value with brokers. some learn thru educating while others thru trial and error.

Posted by Peter Nikic (Broad & Bailey Realty LLC) almost 10 years ago

GREAT BLOG - We could charge less if everyone we waisted time on paid us something too!

Posted by Richard Shuman, Real Estate Broker - Orlando Area - Love Referrals (The Only B.S. I Have is from the University of Massachusetts) almost 10 years ago

Great post!     I've always felt that the true value of a real estate agent is to be the "interpreter" for sellers and buyers.    Without that interpretive person in the loop, there are many failed transactions.    Putting something on mls is the least important thing a realtor does.

Posted by Li Read, Caring expertise...knowledge for you! (Sea to Sky Premier Properties (Salt Spring)) almost 10 years ago

It's true that we have high expenses, but that's not a reason for others to pay us.  When it comes to sellers, our value is in our marketing expertise.  When a company wants to market a product, they use professionals to position, present, and promote.  Then there are the negotiations and conducting the many steps of the transaction properly.

One of the reasons I think people have little clue as to how hard we work...we make it look easy!  They don't see everything that goes into what we do.

Posted by Suzanne Champion (N.J. Realty - Westerville Ohio) almost 10 years ago

Sometimes cheap does not cut it...like yesterday when I showed up for a showing and the out of town (office 45 miles away) agent never confirmed my "confirmed" appointment. You get what you pay for.

Posted by Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty, Fifteen Years Experience in Brevard County (Bucci Realty, Inc.) almost 10 years ago

Unfortunately, about 90% of realtors actually DO do nothing to market a house.  They input it into the MLS, take some crummy photos and put a sign in the front yard and pray. They have no marketing skills, no business skills, and are technologically challenged (and that's being VERY kind).  The only requirement in the recent past is that they were breathing when they got up in the morning.  If so... they could make a really good living - by doing nothing.

That's the reality.  The real estate industry was hurt by these types of people getting in the business to make a quick buck.  There is virtually no barrier to entry.  Some realtors don't even have a high school education. 

The 10% that ARE worth their weight in gold have been hurt by the 90%, who in actuality, should be working at the mall or the grocery store.  That's why the opinion of realtors by the general public is right up there with used car salesman.  That video didn't surprise me at all.  

The best thing about the current market is that many of those 90% WILL be taking a job at the mall, which is where they should have been working in the first place.  Maybe then, the real estate industry will regain a more professional view from the general public.  

Posted by Marlin almost 10 years ago

Actually, the 80/20 rule seems to apply here. I was in a sale's meeting last week when we were told that approximately 80% of the Realtors in NH have not closed a single transaction in the past year. I do hope I heard this incorrectly, though the number of NH Realtors was something in the 5000's and take 20% of those who'd had a closing. I still can't quite grasp the reality of this. Can this be true?

I have to say, if those agents left the business, the agents who remain will have worked harder than any of the 7 years I've lived the business. I love this type of work, it's not work to me. I haven't for 7 years had that nagging feeling in the morning about having to work, not once!

Posted by Stephanie Jacques almost 10 years ago

When a client calls me to list their house and starts telling me I make too much money (can't imagine who told them how much I make), and that they would like to pay less, I tell them immediately that I am MORE THAN WILLING to take less, assuming that, up front, they provide:

- $600-$1,000 in cash, to pay for the initial ads in the Real Estate Newspapers, and local neighbourhood papers, where I always advertise new listings

- $100-$300 for the online version of those papers

- $300+ for colour flyers/brochures for the open houses

- if the house is going to be difficult to sell, or will require additional advertising, I will also send out a couple of thousand flyers to the immediate and surrounding neighbourhoods.  This will cost a bunch more, and lots of postage, etc...

I show them copies of previous ads/invoices for existing or recent listings, to prove the costs.
And then I tell them that if the house doesn't sell, or if the sellers (they) decide to pull the house from the market, or decide not to sell, no one gives that money back to me.  However, if they will give it to me in advance, I will consider lowering the commission.

I show them all the other types of marketing/advertising I do, and I dont' even go into the monthly fees, the board fees, the association fees, the licensing fees, etc.  (They would have heart failure, I think ...)   It's not always easy, but it helps them to see that it's not just a "for sale" sign on the lawn, and my job is done.

And as far as the 80/20 rule, I think that's true everywhere.  20% of the agents make 80% of the money (sales), and the other 80% of the agents do very little or nothing at all, in a bad market.

Posted by Sylvie Conde, Broker, Toronto Real Estate (Sutton Group-Associates Realty Inc., Brokerage) almost 10 years ago

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