There seems to exist the premis that the business of real estate requires an agent to build “long-term relationships” with buyers/sellers. I can’t help but wonder why. From my side of the fence, the home buying/selling process is a transaction, which doesn’t necessarily require a relationship.
In my mind, the relationship with a first-time client develops throughout the transaction process, eventually becoming some sort of ongoing relationship.
Question: Is sending a monthly newsletter, holiday (or other) card, adding to your FB, etc. considered a relationship? Doesn’t a relationship require some real life interaction on a somewhat regular basis.
The exception being repeat clients, friends and family, in which case the relationship did in fact did precede the transaction.
It’s not an enterprise sale, it’s a transaction
Typically around a solution as opposed to a transaction, enterprise sales are a lengthy, complex process that includes multiple stakeholders on both sides that contribute to the ultimate decision. Once the sale is “closed” the vendor or service provider remains actively involved in the deployment and ongoing execution of the product or service – thus the “relationship”.
An example would be the need for a company to purchase a customer relationship management system. Not only does this require lengthy system integration, but internal and perhaps external training.
Is real estate like car sales?
Let’s draw a parallel. Like real estate, cars are a significant, infrequent purchase often based on emotion. At a high level, the process looks something like this: The car salesperson determines your needs, recommends best fit, and shows several models, the choice is made, financial paperwork is completed and approved, and then the keys are handed over to the new owner.
At a very high level is it so different from selling real estate? (The reference may have you fuming. That’s not my intent. I have great respect for the amount of effort that goes into your profession.)
We’ve all purchased cars. Have you formed a relationship with your car salesperson? Personally I have not. This is not to say I would be opposed to referring folks or providing testimonial as to my experience, provided the service was good and I’m satisfied that my needs were met. However, I don’t consider being a referral or testimonial source a relationship.
The trust argument
Perhaps it could be argued that since the transaction is complex and fraught with paperwork, more trust in the competency of an agent is required. I imagine in light of recent events that is truer now more than in the salad days.
As you know by now, I’m not an agent, so I can’t speak from your perspective. But I can speak from the perspective of a potential client. As a consumer, if I know you socially I may like and trust you as a person and know you are good and honest, but that may not sway me to believe you are highly skilled at your job.
My questions to you…
- Are relationships with clients necessary in real estate, or nice to have?
- If yes, why?
- Have buyers/sellers changed their perspective now considering this more of a transaction?
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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