Yes, that was a baited title and No, no one said that to me. But they could if I don’t do my job as a listing agent first and foremost. I am NOT an anti-social media advocate (not at all, I <3 love social media!) but I AM a consumer advocate and if you are an agent your consumers are buyers and sellers, period.
Do you want to know what the awesome sauce of being a top listing agent is? It is servicing a listing as you would want your own home to be serviced. Think about that for a minute. If you had a home for sale, what would you expect the listing agent to do? You may not have even thought about it in this perspective before, but it can be a pretty handy tool to up your game and build client loyalty and provide your consumers, your clients, with the type of service they RAVE about.
I would EXPECT my Super Star Ace Listing Agent to:
1) Dominate the Internet with my listing, including maps, pictures, details, school info etc. I’d want to be able to Google my address and find my listing in many different locations.
2) I would want to be able to reach my listing agent quickly, in my preferred communications manner (text, email, phone).
3) I would expect detailed updates each time they showed the house (feedback) and monthly updates on all the marketing my listing agent has done that month for my property (and I’d like to know what is working and where the traffic is coming from, technically and geographically).
4) I for SURE want to be assured that when someone wants to see my listing, that the listing agent makes it very easy and accommodating for it to be shown.
5) If I saw my agent on Facebook, Twitter or other social media, I’d be cool with it as LONG as they were doing the above first. If they haven’t had time to update me, show my listing or give me feedback, they sure as Heck don’t have time to be on any social media site.
6) I’d EXPECT my listing to be on my listing agent’s blog or website (I would not take kindly to the idea that my agent’s blog or website is NOT the place for my listing to be, so if you, Blogging Purist Agent, don’t have a main site where your listings are highlighted, I’d rethink that strategy, my main clients are my listing clients, not blog visitors who don’t want to see my listings, this is a REAL ESTATE BLOG and I SELL MY LISTINGS).
7) I would NOT want to know that my listing agent has a bad reputation for spamming anyone.
8) I would expect my listing agent to be fully abreast of my competition not only when they list the property, but monthly so that we can make decisions together regarding price changes based on informed knowledge.
9) I would want to know that my listing, regardless if it’s lower than the rest of my agent’s inventory, is getting the same treatment that all of the others do. If they wanted my business, then respect it. Don’t just take my listing to build your inventory book and treat me like a red-headed step child.
10) Finally, I’d want to know that my agent is knowledgeable, approachable, professional and dedicated to selling my listing as quickly as possible for the highest the market will bear.
If you, fellow agents, have some disgruntled listing clients or clients who don’t want to reduce their price even when the market indicates it should, look at the above and see if you have done your job as you would have expected it to be done for your own property. Where did you fall short? What can you rectify now? Build your business around the desired consumer experience and expectation and you can’t go wrong.
You might do all of things, you might do more, and they might seem elementary. If so, Great, go have a blast on Facebook and bring in more great business from great clients, but if not, get your own house in order before looking for more houses to sell. No pun intended.
PS I have seen agents (and even myself in moments of weakness) not provide the service above, and when I look back at my less-than-perfect self, I just shake my head, pull up my bootstraps and get back to being that agent that I want to be. Where I most often fall down is simply letting the clients know what is going on. I somehow forget that they don’t KNOW their single property site has been viewed 5,000 times, or that there is a foreclosure in the neighborhood that wasn’t there before, etc. I need to always keep them as informed on their listing as I am so they can feel secure and up-to-date. That is exactly what I would want to be if it were my home on the market….
Austin tops the list of best places to buy a home
When looking to buy a home, taking the long view is important before making such a huge investment – where are the best places to make that commitment?
Looking at the bigger picture
(REALUOSO.COM) – Let us first express that although we are completely biased about Texas (we’re headquartered here, I personally grew up here), the data is not – Texas is the best. That’s a scientific fact. There’s a running joke in Austin that if there is a list of “best places to [anything],” we’re on it, and the joke causes eye rolls instead of humility (we’re sore winners and sore losers in this town).
That said, SelfStorage.com dug into the data and determined that the top 12 places to buy a home are currently Texas and North Carolina (and Portland, I guess you’re okay too or whatever).
They examined the nerdiest of numbers from the compound annual growth rate in inflation-adjusted GDP to cost premium, affordability, taxes, job growth, and housing availability.
“Buying a house is a big decision and a big commitment,” the company notes. “Although U.S. home prices have risen in the long term, the last decade has shown that path is sometimes full of twists, turns, dizzying heights and steep, abrupt falls. Today, home prices are stabilizing and increasing in most areas of the U.S.”
Average age of houses on the rise, so is it now better or worse to buy new?
With aging housing in America, are first-time buyers better off buying new or existing homes? The average age of a home is rising, as is the price of new housing, so a shift could be upon us.
The average home age is higher than ever
(REALUOSO.COM) – In a survey from the Department of Housing and Urban Development American Housing Survey (AHS), the median age of homes in the United States was 35 years old. In Texas, homes are a bit younger with the median age between 19 – 29 years. The northeast has the oldest homes, with the median age between 50 – 61 years. In 1985, the median age of a home was only 23 years.
With more houses around 40 years old, the National Association of Realtors asserts that homeowners will have to undertake remodeling and renovation projects before selling unless the home is sold as-is, in which case the buyer will be responsible to update their new residence. Even homeowners who aren’t selling will need to consider remodeling for structural and aesthetic reasons.
Prices of new homes on the rise
Newer homes cost more than they used to. The price differential between new homes and older homes has increased from 10 percent traditionally to around 37 percent in 2014. This is due to rising construction costs, scarcity of lots, and a low inventory of new homes that doesn’t meet the demand.
Are Realtors the real loser in the fight between Zillow Group and Move, Inc.?
The last year has been one of dramatic and rapid change in the real estate tech sector, but Realtors are vulnerable, and we’re worried.
Why Realtors are vulnerable to these rapid changes
(REALUOSO.COM) – Corporate warfare demands headlines in every industry, but in the real estate tech sector, a storm has been brewing for years, which in the last year has come to a head. Zillow Group and Move, Inc. (which is owned by News Corp. and operates ListHub, Realtor.com, TopProducer, and other brands) have been competing for a decade now, and the race has appeared to be an aggressive yet polite boxing match. Last year, the gloves came off, and now, they’ve drawn swords and appear to want blood.
Note: We’ll let you decide which company plays which role in the image above.
So how then, does any of this make Realtors the victims of this sword fight? Let’s get everyone up to speed, and then we’ll discuss.
1. Zillow poaches top talent, Move/NAR sues
It all started last year when the gloves came off – Move’s Chief Strategy Officer (who was also Realtor.com’s President), Errol Samuelson jumped ship and joined Zillow on the same day he phoned in his resignation without notice. He left under questionable circumstances, which has led to a lengthy legal battle (wherein Move and NAR have sued Zillow and Samuelson over allegations of breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and misappropriation of trade secrets), with the most recent motion being for contempt, which a judge granted to Move/NAR after the mysterious “Samuelson Memo” surfaced.
Salt was added to the wound when Move awarded Samuelson’s job to Move veteran, Curt Beardsley, who days after Samuelson left, also defected to Zillow. This too led to a lawsuit, with allegations including breach of contract, violation of corporations code, illegal dumping of stocks, and Move has sought restitution. These charges are extremely serious, but demanded slightly less attention than the ongoing lawsuit against Samuelson.
2. Two major media brands emerge
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