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.