Monday, June 7, 2010
Real Estate Companies are they all alike?
How do you decide on who to list your house with? Some people think that the bigger the company the better off they will be in selling their home. This isn't so in today's real estate business.
Back when I first started selling real estate in the mid 80's it was essential to go to work in the office. We were computerized but that was the extent of it. There was one or two computers for all 50-60 agents to share. We would wait in line for the chance to get on line and search for properties for our buyers.
Every morning the office secretary would run an update on the market. This list would hang on the wall and the first thing you would do is check the list. It would have what was new on the market, expired, pending, reduced and sold. All this information was black and white, no pictures.
When a new listing was posted that might fit your buyers criteria you would run out and drive by it. Then if it was really nice looking from the outside you would try to see what inside amenities it had written on the printout. If it looked good you would call your buyer and try to get them to make an appointment. Once a week you would send out a list of homes that might meet their needs.
Every Tuesday we would caravan to all the new listings that were put on Brokers tour. This was a great way to get your property out there into the agents mind in case they have buyer or find a buyer for your listing. This was a lot of work!
Now we have a computer system that lets us work out of our home offices. The MLS has up to 25 color pictures of the home, an aerial view and map to see locations. Not only are dimensions available but the Realtor can readily look up past sale and mortgage history of any particular home.
With all this information so readily available you would think this would make for better showings. The buyers gets an email about a property that fits their criteria. They can view all of this in the comfort of their home. Nevertheless we still get showing that give feedback "like well my buyer doesn't like splits" or "my buyer wants a bigger yard". I always want to say did you look at the information online?
With all this technology what makes a company different? Everyone knows the biggest companies name. They can easily find their website. The large companies have a market plan that their agents use. It might be their website and nothing more! The good agents pay extra for additional marketing. My personal monthly expenditures are focused on Internet marketing. I am on all the same websites as any of the bigger companies but as an independent I pay extra dollars to be as accessible on all sorts of websites even though all my listings are on all the other companies sites as well. Market values,Realtor.com's expanded site, Market leader, Cleveland.com, Trulia, Zillow the list expands daily. Also strategic targeted Post card marketing campaigns.
It isn't the companies size that matters it what is this agent doing above and beyond the normal MLS and Internet marketing. What other things are they going to do to get it sold. Are they still doing the things that used to work in the 80's. I was one of the first people to have my own computer at my office when I was with the "big company". I was one of the first agents to use a digital camera. Staying on the cutting edge of innovation is essential. So when you are looking at who you should hire to buy or sell a home don't think big box when it comes to real estate. Think Guerrilla marketing. Experience and knowledge with a great reputation is what I bring to your table.