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I Shall Call Him… Mini-Me.

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you know you want to do the voice... go ahead.I was talking with my father the other day – a mutual acquaintance had called us both, an agent in a different city who in the course of conversation was bragging about his success, that he had just brought on his second Buyer’s agent.

My father was adamant: he would never want to list his house with someone who separates Buyers and Sellers to different people.  Last time Dad sold a house, he listed with a guy who just lists and lists and lists and passes off all buyers to his team.  Pop’s impression was that his agent listed his house and was never seen from again.  I have a feeling there were major lack of communication issues there, but regardless, that’s how he sees it.

I was trying to explain the division of labor and the reasons behind having a team set up that way, but he wouldn’t hear of it.  No way, he says.  I want to list my house with the people who work with Buyers.  Those are the people who know house values and are more likely to know a large group of Buyers who might want my home.

We didn’t get to finish that conversation, but it was something that got me thinking.  Should we be specialists?  Or more well-rounded?  In a successful growing business, you eventually run into human limits and have to hire help in order to satisfy growing demand.  So does Team Housechick have a listing specialist and buyer specialists?  Or do I create a couple of mini-me’s who can handle either side with ease?  And more importantly, what’s best for the consumer?

(and then – can I hire a dude under team housechick?  what if they turn out to be ill-tempered?  have i limited myself to only half of the agent population?)

Kelley Koehler, aka the Housechick, is usually found focused on her Tucson, Arizona, real estate business. You may also find her on Twitter, where she doubles as a super hero, at Social Media Training Camp, where she trains and coaches people on how to integrate social media into successful business practices, or at KelleyKoehler.com, a collection of all things housechick-ish. Despite her engineering background, Kelley enjoys translating complex technical concepts into understandable and clear ideas that are practical and useful to the striving real estate agent.

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5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Athol Kay

    November 5, 2007 at 3:13 pm

    I think it sounds like the listing agent did just disappear into the sunset as soon as the listing was signed. Bad communication there.

    Your Dad is wrong on the needing to know the buyers front. Agents and buyers are just getting their info from the MLS, the odds of “hey I know a guy” are pretty slim these days. And then, even if you “know a guy” you should still put the house on the MLS anyway and see what other buyers get interested.

    At some point you’ll need to group it up to develop business beyond what you can do yourself. It’s the way I think all RE business will head. Be a team leader, join a team, or start missing out.

    >>can I hire a dude under team housechick?

    /raises eyebrows…

  2. Daniel Rothamel

    November 6, 2007 at 4:49 pm

    I agree with Athol on this one. If the agent your Dad worked with had tons of buyer clients, would his experience have been any different? Probably not. As an agent, I have worked with other agents who specialize, and those that do both almost equally and very well. Does it make a difference? Not in my experience. Good agents are good agents, regardless of the nature of their clients.

  3. Toby Boyce

    November 7, 2007 at 2:16 am

    This is a great topic, and as a single agent — I believe that there is a difference between the two. Of course, the key being that GOOD agents are good agents regardless of what they are doing.
    However, I’ve seen too many “listers” that don’t have the communication skills or management system in place to balance the volume of listings.
    Of course, the same can be said (and is true) of single agents.

  4. Benn Rosales

    November 8, 2007 at 7:40 am

    I do not agree with a team approach. I think it has its place, but personally, I think there are better ways to get from a-b. Your dad likes the old way of doing business- he isn’t into being a product, he wants to be respected with a handshake and a cup of coffee, a gentlemans agreement, and results by reputation. That’s back when an agent earned his 3-6, it wasn’t maximized into fastfood real estate.

  5. Ken Jansen

    July 28, 2009 at 5:23 pm

    I think it would be funny to be the guy on the housechick team. You could were a kilt to the office. Ok, maybe not. I have seen both sides of the team argument played out well and poorly. There are some teams in Kansas City that are great and I would and have referred friends and family to them. There are other teams where they operate just like your dad envisioned and I can’t stand to work with them. The same is true of individual agents. It really depends on the professsionalism, systems, and abilities of those involved.

    Thanks!

    Ken

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Business Marketing

Tired of “link in bio”? Here is a solution for Instagram linking

(MARKETING) The days of only one link in your Instagram bio are over. Alls.Link not only lets you link more, it gives you options for marketing and analytics too.

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Woman checking Instagram on phone

If you’re like me, you’ve probably swapped out the link in your Instagram bio 100 times. Do I share my website? A link to a product? A recent publication? Well, now you don’t have to choose!

Alls.Link is a subscription-based program that allows you to, among other things, have multiple links in your bio. I’m obsessed with the Instagram add-ons that are helping business owners to expand the platform to further engage their audiences – and this is NEEDED one.

With the basic membership ($8/month), you get up to 10 customizable Biolink Pages with shortened links (and you’ll be able to choose your own backend). You also get access to Google Analytics and Facebook Pixel for your pages. With the basic membership, you will have Alls.Link advertising on your Biolink Page. Plus, you’ll be allotted a total of 10 projects, and Biolink Pages with 20 customizable domains.

With the premium membership ($15/month), you get link scheduling for product drops and article releases, SEO and UTM parameters, and you’ll have the ability to link more socials on the Biolink Page. With this membership, you’re allotted 20 projects and Biolink Pages with 60 customizable domains.

If you’re unsure about whether or not Alls.Link is worth it (or which membership is best for you), there is a free trial option in which you’ll be granted all the premium membership capabilities.

Overall – premium membership or not – I have to say, the background colors and font choices are really fun and will take your Biolink Page to the next level. Alls.Link is definitely a program to consider if your business has a substantial Insta following and you have a lot of external material you want to share with your followers.

The day-by-day statistics are a great tool for knowing what your audience is interested in and what links are getting the most clicks. Also, the ability to incorporate Google Analytics into the mix is a big plus, especially if you’re serious about metrics.

If you have a big team (or manage multiple pages), I would suggest going premium just for the sheer quantity of domains you can customize and link, though there are various other reasons I’d also suggest to do so. Take a look and see what works for you!

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Business Marketing

Use the ‘Blemish Effect’ to skyrocket your sales

(MARKETING) The Blemish Effect dictates that small, adjacent flaws in a product can make it that much more interesting—is perfection out?

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blemish effect

Presenting a product or service in its most immaculate, polished state has been the strategy for virtually all organizations, and overselling items with known flaws is a practice as old as time. According to marketing researchers, however, this approach may not be the only way to achieve optimal results due to something known as the “Blemish Effect.”

The Blemish Effect isn’t quite the inverse of the perfectionist product pitch; rather, it builds on the theory that small problems with a product or service can actually throw into relief its good qualities. For example, a small scratch on the back of an otherwise pristine iPhone might draw one’s eye to the glossy finish, while an objectively perfect housing might not be appreciated in the same way.

The same goes for mildly bad press or a customer’s pros and cons list. If someone has absolutely no complaints or desires for whatever you’re marketing, the end result can look flat and lacking in nuance. Having the slightest bit of longing associated with an aspect (or lack thereof) of your business means that you have room to grow, which can be tantalizing for the eager consumer.

A Stanford study indicates that small doses of mildly negative information may actually strengthen a consumer’s positive impression of a product or service. Interesting.

Another beneficial aspect of the Blemish Effect is that it helps consumers focus their negativity. “Too good to be true” often means exactly that, and we’re eager to criticize where possible. If your product or service has a noticeable flaw which doesn’t harm the item’s use, your audience might settle for lamenting the minor flaw and favoring the rest of the product rather than looking for problems which don’t exist.

This concept also applies to expectation management. Absent an obvious blemish, it can be all to easy for consumers to envision your product or service on an unattainable level.

When they’re invariably disappointed that their unrealistic expectations weren’t fulfilled, your reputation might take a hit, or consumers might lose interest after the initial wave.

The takeaway is that consumers trust transparency, so in describing your offering, tossing in a negative boosts the perception that you’re being honest and transparent, so a graphic artist could note that while their skills are superior and their pricing reasonable, they take their time with intricate projects. The time expectation is a potentially negative aspect of their service, but expressing anything negative improves sales as it builds trust.

It should be noted that the Blemish Effect applies to minor impairments in cosmetic or adjacent qualities, not in the product or service itself. Delivering an item which is inherently flawed won’t make anyone happy.

In an age where less truly is more, the Blemish Effect stands to dictate a new wave of honesty in marketing.

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Business Marketing

Google Chrome will no longer allow premium extensions

(MARKETING) In banning extension payments through their own platform, Google addresses a compelling, if self-created, issue on Chrome.

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Google Chrome open on a laptop on a organized desk.

Google has cracked down on various practices over the past couple of years, but their most recent target—the Google Chrome extensions store—has a few folks scratching their heads.
Over the span of the next few months, Google will phase out paid extensions completely, thus ending a bizarre and relatively negligible corner of internet economy.

This decision comes on the heels of a “temporary” ban on the publication of new premium extensions back in March. According to Engadget, all aspects of paid extension use—including free trials and in-app purchases—will be gone come February 2021.

To be clear, Google’s decision won’t prohibit extension developers from charging customers to use their products; instead, extension developers will be required to find alternative methods of requesting payment. We’ve seen this model work on a donation basis with extensions like AdBlock. But shifting to something similar on a comprehensive scale will be something else entirely.

Interestingly, Google’s angle appears to be in increasing user safety. The Verge reports that their initial suspension of paid extensions was put into place as a response to products that included “fraudulent transactions”, and Google’s subsequent responses since then have comprised more user-facing actions such as removing extensions published by different parties that accomplish replica tasks.

Review manipulation, use of hefty notifications as a part of an extension’s operation, and generally spammy techniques were also eyeballed by Google as problem points in their ongoing suspension leading up to the ban.

In banning extension payments through their own platform, Google addresses a compelling, if self-created, issue. The extension store was a relatively free market in a sense—something that, given the number of parameters being enforced as of now, is less true for the time being.

Similarly, one can only wonder about which avenues vendors will choose when seeking payment for their services in the future. It’s entirely possible that, after Google Chrome shuts down payments in February, the paid section of the extension market will crumble into oblivion, the side effects of which we can’t necessarily picture.

For now, it’s probably best to hold off on buying any premium extensions; after all, there’s at least a fighting chance that they’ll all be free come February—if we make it that far.

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