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We all talk about Real Estate being about relationships. We all talk about the importance of harvesting those relationships so we have clients for life. We also (and when I say “we”, I mean those of us that contribute, comment and frequent Agent Genius and similar real estate blogs), see the power of blogging as a tool where we can actually interact, create dialog and ultimately harvest relationships.

So where am I going with this?….bear with me…..I do have a point

As an architect, I can tell you that in order to move up in the architecture world, sadly enough, I had to change firms every time. My sister is a well established and amazing architect and her promotions have always been due to her changing firms. This happens in many different industries – in order to grow as a professional and advance within the profession, change is inevitable, growth becomes a battle of egos. I find this extremely disturbing and it makes no sense to me whatsoever. The corporate world would rather loose a strong team player, one that is good for the company, one that has proven their worth, because of red-tape and corporate policy?

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The real estate industry is changing right before our eyes. The big dogs (meaning big national real estate companies) are trying to keep up with the times, trying to understand changes, but most of them are missing the boat. Their business is about numbers, it’s about the number of new recruits and new agents they can get into their office, it’s about volume. They try to add a little technology into the mix to say they are keeping up with the times…..but what about relationships? What about treasuring those agents that have been loyal to them for years. Any chance to try to harvest THOSE relationships?

Then you have real estate agents that take listings and more listings, no matter the price, the location or the condition of the sale. They create mass marketing campaigns and their business model also becomes a numbers game – hey, if a couple of listings drop out, who cares? they still have the rest to balance off – it’s about volume. (Doesn’t matter if the old lady selling in order to afford an ALF, or the single mom who needs a new job) What happens to relationships then?

I also see this now in the blogosphere with regards to SEO. Some worry only about page rank and back-links and leads. Those things are important too, but don’t you think you should focus on content and quality first? What about relationships?

What I’m getting at is that we all need a balance. We need to take a good look in the mirror and understand what our intent is. Rick and I became REALTORS because the industry needed more people like us, that took their time to understand emotions and issues and placed the glorious dollar as a reward, not the goal. We want to work with companies that value us, we want to work with clients that see our worth, we want to blog to produce quality and know that by being smart, the SEO will follow.

I will not settle for less. I work to establish relationships and those that don’t appreciate relationships or could care less about what we stand for, please move over, there are plenty of people interested in working with you……and it’s not me.

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Have you looked in the mirror lately?

Written By

Ines is all Miami, all the time. A Miami Beach Realtor® with Majestic properties, Ines authors Miamism.com, PrimeMiamiBeach.com, and MiamismPix.com and is always on communication's leading edge. She goes out of her way to engage and be engaged, often using Mojitos to keep the mood light and give everything she does a Miami flavor. You can find her goofing off or instigating trouble at Twitter, Flickr, Facebook or LinkedIn.

21 Comments

21 Comments

  1. Missy Caulk

    April 23, 2008 at 4:15 am

    Ines, I see it too, I had one agent tell me, “I take every listing, you never know what will stick”. Well, I would never say the word stick but sold. But, it’s just not me, I can’t help but tell the truth. No they don’t want to here it or hire me, but I just can’t do otherwise. Those that trust me and believe me, we form a great relationship.

    Same with SEO for blogging. I was obsessed with it for awhile, but it is too time consuming to learn a new industry, so I know I just blog.

  2. Ann Cummings

    April 23, 2008 at 4:39 am

    Ines – it really is all about the relationships. You build and develop those, and the trust will follow. Then so will all else.

  3. Marc Grossman

    April 23, 2008 at 6:29 am

    Ines, Totally agree with you. I firmly believe that it is in building relationships and trust. Obviously, so do Missy & Ann. This is the way that we run our business.

  4. Diane Aurit

    April 23, 2008 at 6:55 am

    Ines, this is beautifully written and spot on, at least as far as I am concerned. The day real estate, blogging or whatever I do is not about relationships is the day I leave them behind. Maybe that’s why all of us that have commented on this post are here today…because we met through blogging and care about and want to support eachother. I’m not at all good at Twittering but I have noticed how much I like waking up and saying good morning to everyone. It is a chance to just connect without any stings attached. That is how I learned about this post and how hard you worked on it. Thank you!

  5. Teresa Boardman

    April 23, 2008 at 6:58 am

    I have written this post a few times in a few ways. My current theory is that it is easier to worry about seo than it is to write and it is easier to blame seo than to look at improving content if there is no traffic. Everyone looks for a magically solution that doesn’t involve work and some are willing to pay a lot of money for it too.

  6. Ines

    April 23, 2008 at 7:18 am

    Missy – I guess I’ve been frustrated seeing this from every which angle lately and had to get it off my chest. We need to be true to ourselves first…..the rest does come.

    Ann – I know you know, I also know you work hard. Some can achieve a great balance, and I think you are there.

    T – we sure can’t write this enough. I’m an academic by heart and tend to overstudy things too much. But finding that “human side” is crucial for success – whether in business, blogging or whatever.

    The one that gets me the most is getting bigger corporations to give in a little – they rather loose talent than go again their so called “rules”.

  7. Larry Yatkowsky

    April 23, 2008 at 7:26 am

    Interesting comments to this point: only women have something to say about relationships. Is this telling us something?

    I’m off to check the mirror. Do I need to change? .>)

  8. Mary Pope-Handy

    April 23, 2008 at 8:36 am

    Hi Ines,

    Great points! I have seen what you describe in agents and brokerages over & over and it’s certainly happening in my home town. Managers focus on recruiting, forget their midrange and top producers (leaving them on auto-pilot) and then wonder why the best talent leaves. With each anchor personality who moves out, the offices looses more and more of its sense of cohesion. Playing the numbers game isn’t so smart for a long range strategy.

    Also I’ve seen buyers do this (playing the numbers game) with short sale listings. Because so few short sales actually go to closing (I believe the national average is about 20%), they put offers out on 5 or more homes, hoping that one of them will stick. Nevermind that the poor seller is trying hard to avoid foreclosure, and the buyer bailing out 6 weeks into the contract might actually harm someone.

    The SEO stuff is important, but it has to be balanced with being valuable to the reader. Anyone who’s ever written a blog only to have Google ignore it (which was happening to me for a long time with one of my main blogs) will understand the frustration that goes with it. Why write if no one can find it? But of course blogging should be about creating those relationships, where at the end of the day, readers feel like they can know, like and trust the blogger. That is what it’s all about.

  9. Christy

    April 23, 2008 at 11:16 am

    Ines,
    Great post and too true. It is all about relationships. No one wants to think they are just a number. People want someone that understands their situation and is genuinely trying to help them.

  10. Ines

    April 23, 2008 at 11:44 am

    Larry – I was just telling my husband that. Interesting no? go check yourself…..you may find something.

    Mary – thanks so much for you well thought out response. I guess the reason I’m not too concerned about SEO is that I had Mary McKnight to back me up from the beginning….talk about putting your blog in cruise-control and let them handle the rest. I remember talking to you about content and placement and let’s talk in 4 months and you’ll see the different with your new RSS Pieces blog.

    Bottom line with this is that a lot of us talk about relationships and don’t realize how these apply all around, not just to our clients. If you are a broker out there, what are you doing for your agents? If you blog…..are you providing resourceful tools for your readers? Even if you are a real estate seller…..do you know what type of business your Realtor has? will you be a tally mark in their book? or will they care of you?

    btw – your new blog is beautiful!

  11. Ray

    April 23, 2008 at 1:51 pm

    Excellent Post! Very insightful and from the heart. We too often look for the mega bucks instead of the mega relationships and friendships we can grow from our work. Thanks for being willing to share!

  12. Elaine Reese

    April 23, 2008 at 4:24 pm

    Excellent points in so many ways – especially the corporate world and personal real estate relationships. In the nearly 10 years I’ve been in this business, I’m still amazed at how some agents speak of their clients (not nice). The teams seem to do this more frequently because they’re too big to get to know each client personally. Their clients are just an address to be processed on the agent’s assembly line toward a closing transaction … or not.

  13. ines

    April 23, 2008 at 5:40 pm

    Diane – didn’t mean to skip you, your comment must have been held in moderation. I agree with you. And I think you can tell who cares about relationships and outcome always keeping people in mind. Thank you.

    Christy – not all people understand. I can tell you that in my market area, a lot of people want to be a number and don’t care about just being part of the inventory.

    Ray – it was definitely written from the heart and upsets me when I see people being superficial….maybe I have to toughen up.

    Elaine – Rick and I refer to our listings by the client’s name, never by an address – we made a pact to never forget the emotional side. The corporate world will stay unchanged, unfortunately and those few that do see the opportunity, will be the most successful.

  14. Mariana

    April 23, 2008 at 8:50 pm

    “Rick and I became REALTORS because the industry needed more people like us”

    That is the same reason that we got in the business. LIFE is all about the relationships that we make and the relationships that we harvest and the relationships that endure the test of time.

  15. ines

    April 23, 2008 at 8:59 pm

    Mariana – I know the line sounds a bit conceited…..but I knew YOU would get it. The industry definitely needs more people like you and your paid actor husband, Derek. 🙂

  16. Mariana

    April 23, 2008 at 9:11 pm

    My paid actor husband, Derek … and your paid actor husband, Rick. 😀

  17. Matthew Rathbun

    April 23, 2008 at 10:32 pm

    You know, a lot of people scoff at Zig Ziggler, but his saying of “The more people you help get what they want, the more likely you’ll be to get what you want” (paraphrased) is so true in real estate. Referrals are a huge part of business and cost far less than new business.

    Respect from your peers also yields results in the other agents eagerness to work with you and help you, if they know and respect you.

  18. ines

    April 24, 2008 at 11:27 am

    Matthew – absolutely, it’s the basis for repeat business – now how do we get big corporations to change their rigid ways? how do we let the consumer know to look the pretty marketing brochure and know they will be only a number?

  19. monika

    April 24, 2008 at 12:26 pm

    Ines,

    You are so right on with this post. I work for a big national chain and it is number driven. I am into the relationships and sleep well at night. I probably never will be a top producing agent in my firm and truth be told I don’t want to be.

    Someday perhaps large brokerage firms will value service as much as production.

  20. ines

    April 24, 2008 at 12:54 pm

    Monika – I don’t know if they value production either, that’s the whole point. Sometimes their policies are so rigid that not even the top producer can be demands. It’s not a smart way to run a business, especially when new, better and successful real estate models are popping up around them.

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