Keep Your Have To To Yourself
There’s a lot of “have to” being thrown around these days. And I’m not even including the “we have to do something” mantra that’s been coming down from Capitol Hill for the last week.
The real estate industry “has to” change. Percentage-based commission structures “have to” change. Static websites “have to” evolve into blogs to remain meaningful as marketing and lead generation tools. Wait — that was 2008 — my mistake. Let me adjust my calendar.
All of these “have to” scenarios have one thing in common – they’re being promoted by those who sincerely hope the status quo changes to make their own particular way of doing business viable. And personally, I just don’t get it.
If I had a unique way of doing business, was the only one doing it and was wildly successful, why exactly would I want everyone else to become just like me? Wouldn’t it make far more sense to enjoy the niche that I’ve created and reap the benefits while everyone else works the same slag heap?
But that isn’t what’s happening. Instead, these niche businesses are crying out for the masses to change the way their business is done. And to what end? Is it just possible that it’s because without massive change, the niche model isn’t going to survive?
I realize I’m making a blanket generalization but almost every discussion of the real estate industry is based on just such a blanket generalization, ignoring the reality that we’re a bunch of independent contractors working in whatever method we deem fit.
Pay As You Go? Not So Sure
Let me tell you a story …
Last week I showed homes to a buyer for two days ahead of a long-planned vacation with my family. After about seven or eight houses on the second day, he looks at me and tells me that I’ve shown him all that he needs to see.
And then he promptly turns around and goes to look at more homes with another agent (and again the next day, even though I had buyers agents standing by), never once having mentioned that he’s going to be working with someone else.
If my business operated on a pay-as-you-go type of system, where buyers paid for the time I spend with them regardless of they purchase a home, this wouldn’t be much of an issue. I still would be compensated for the time that I spent. Instead, unless he decides to purchase a home through me instead of the other agent, I’ll end up with nothing.
So why don’t I go to a pay-as-you-go system? Because it’s not viable. Or at least I don’t believe it to be. Do you think the type of individual who changes agents like he or she is changing their underwear is going to pay me an hourly rate to show them homes? Or are they going to forget about me all together and go to the agent who doesn’t charge a thing and works solely on a contingency basis?
My opinion – a pay-as-you-go system wouldn’t work as long as there’s a “free” alternative available to the public. (And I know it’s not truly free – hi, Jim D. and Ardell – but it appears free at the beginning.)
I could scream from the mountaintops that the entire industry needs to change the way they do business because my way is so much better, but evidence from the free market indicates otherwise.
And that’s the big problem with “have to”. If something truly “has to” change, it changes. Everyone except for a certain governor from Alaska calls this evolution. But if it’s not changing, then “have to” just was another case of “needs to for my own sake.”
“House has spark” – burning up the MLS with typos and other bloopers
The year is starting a march toward its natural ending, friends…and it seems a few real estate careers may be also. This week I found some real head-scratchers in local real estate ads and the MLS. However, I get submissions from all over the U.S., so no one is safe from the eyes of the Blooper Scooper. Check out these blunders:
Do You Smell Smoke?
“House has spark” (Apparently your real estate career isn’t the only thing going up in smoke.)
“Big pep area in kitchen” (Is that the cookie jar where Mommy Dearest stashes her uppers?)
“Dull Viking ovens” (Methinks there’s something in the cookie jar that will perk up those dull Vikings.)
“Large greenhose in back” (Large, naked Jolly Green Giant in yard.)
“Mush added to this house” (Was that the overflow from between your ears?)
I Think I See Flames
“Beautifully remolded guest” (Another cosmetically-altered Barbie hits the Hollywood party circuit.)
“Enjoy a drink poolslide” ( Hell, if the pool is sliding, I’ll need a whole pint of Jack.)
“Each bedroom has own bedrooom” (Hello-o-o, Alice, how are things down there in the rabbit hole?)
“Separate pod to build GH” (That should please my pea-sized buyers.)
“Play room for the kiss” (Something tells me this is the back seat of a ’67 Chevy.)
“Ideal for gusts” (That’s great…if you want to live in a wind sock.)
“Impaccably detailed” (Incredibly challenged)
“Stylish pewder room” (Try burning a match.)
“Stone pillars flake driveway” (Flakey agent got stoned in driveway.)
Nothing But Embers (This Week’s Fave):
“From a bygone error” (You have just written your own epitaph.)
“New bd pans inc” – Making a Splash on the MLS
I have two things to say this week: 1. When you drink, you can’t think. 2. When you drink you can’t- … uh, what was I saying? Oh, yes – the MLS. It was so full of bloopers this week that I am led to conclude that happy hour started Monday and never stopped. Read these and tell me if it is any wonder I was driven to throw back a few martinis myself:
Booze ‘N’ Fools
“Free membership to gin inc” (It seems someone else beat us to it, Martini Mary.)
“Grab now use imagination” (That’s what Arnold said to his housekeeper.)
“House has new edition” (Agent lacks erudition.)
“Babblying broke runs in back” (Bumbling buffoon runs amuck.)
“Drop by for cocktail ho” (Oh, is the Sunset Strip for sale?)
Puff ‘N’ Stuff
“Near Sacramento airpot” (I believe his name is Jerry Brown.)
“Claw me for selling” (I’m too busy clawing my eyes out over your spelling.)
“Reduction on mid-century ner Holywod” (Another mid-sixties porn star is looking for work.)
“We can sake your home” (Can I get fried rice with my sake?)
Proof or Goof
“Nice streem” (Said Grandma to Grandpa after his diaper exploded.)
“Nice for dog kids” (Uh, they’re called ‘puppies,” pal.)
“New bd pans included” (Thank you, Nurse Nancy – can you warm those first?)
“Good stable in neighborhood.” (Have you contacted Mary and Joseph?)
“Drawing for plasma” (Is this a blood-bank?)
And This Week’s Winner Is:
“Good school in areola” (Thanks for keeping me abreast of things.)
PROOF OR GOOF, FRIENDS – I’M WATCHING EWE 🙂
My secret office organization tip – Sharpies and tape
If you’re still practicing to be OCD, here is a secret I don’t typically share with anyone, but I’m willing to share with you today…
I used to be obsessed with the P-touch machine. I labeled everything. Drawers, shelves, folders, canisters, and anything that I could think of putting a label on.
But the label makers weren’t as pretty as my own handwriting and didn’t come in every color a Sharpie does, so I got the brilliant idea one day to write in light blue sharpie in my beautiful handwriting on clear tape, placed neatly on the shelves in the pantry. Visitors thought I had written on the cabinets, “what if you have to move things?” they asked. “It’s just tape, look!” I said as if I was performing a complicated magic trick.
Not just shelves!
It’s great to use this tip on files and folders so you can reuse them (especially if you have custom files or designer files), on drawers at the bottom of each section where pens and tape goes, and especially in the break room.
No more label maker, no more refill cartridges and no more mess, especially someone else’s mess! Trust me, this is an OCD person’s dream organizing tip!
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