Scene, But Not Herd
So your real estate agent has listed your home for sale! Yay! Your home becomes active on the multiple listing system (MLS), and then maybe the photographer comes out to shoot your home.
This scene is played out all too often in the real estate industry. A home becoming active on the market, without images, is frequently overlooked by potential purchasers. The National Association of Realtors has repeatedly shown that the first two weeks for a property’s listing being active are the most crucial and critical times, in terms of exposure to the market.
Kind of like the first impression that you never get to make again.
But don’t take my words for it, check out what folks on Facebook (potential purchasers) have to say about lack of images on a home for sale:
See, Sarah understands marketing. She understands the value of putting as much information into the potential purchaser’s hands as possible. It allows the purchaser to make an informed decision, in a place and form that they are comfortable with.
But here’s another angle that needs some light shed upon it: fiduciary responsibility.
Yep. As agents representing our clients, we have this “crazy” thing called a fiduciary responsibility to our clients. The long story short on this responsibility is that as agents, we place our clients’ needs and goals before our own priorities. As my friend Matt Stigliano writes for Kimberly Howell Properties:
We are visual creatures and thanks to the internet, video, digital cameras, etc.; we can have instant gratification while looking for houses in our pajamas. If the buyers are out there looking at photos, shouldn’t we as agents want to give them all we can? I certainly think so. It’s in our best interest and more importantly it’s in our clients best interest.
He’s right about us being visual creatures. But he knocks it out of the park, albeit quietly, when he points out that doing all that we can for our clients is in their best interest. I am pretty sure that is the definition of “fiduciary responsibility,” putting our clients’ interests before our own.
But, but, but…
“Todd, the homes are flying off the market, just as soon as they go active! There’s no need for the added expense of virtual tours and walk-through videos!”
Go back to that Facebook link and read some of the responses in the comment thread. Go ahead… I’ll wait.
Two things from the comments worth noting. Well, three, really.
First, the comments originate from industry professionals and consumers, alike. Second, did you catch the comment from David Webber that he would buy a property, “without seeing it in person?” Third, and this is where I will camp out for the rest of this post, purposefully using a client’s property as an opportunity to double side a transaction.
Double siding a transaction is the practice whereby an agent “represents” both the buyer and seller on one property. It is a perfectly legal practice, but one that is fraught with more than a few landmines.
Having participated in a few double sided transactions, I can freely admit that I felt like a cat on a hot tin roof, each time. For me, the concern I have is not whether I can successfully and ethically meet the needs of my clients. The concern is whether or not my clients question my loyalty to their real estate needs and goals.
Because I do not approach each listing as an opportunity for me to double side a transaction, my aim and goal is to represent the seller and their property to the best of my ability. That means creating a digital marketing footprint for my clients that is, in some cases, 500 times larger than the average agent.
Will having a dominating marketing strategy for my selling clients generate more clients (buyers or sellers) for me? Unabashedly, yes.
Do I start with my business goals and needs primarily in mind? Only in the sense that I do my best for the clients that have hired me. I
know am now seeing how doing my utmost for my clients is phenomenal for my business. Eighty percent of my business in the last 24 months has been repeat and referral business (!).
In a culture and climate where consumers are leery of anyone that appears to be a salesperson, it is refreshing to run across service providers that, you know, actually care for the outcome of your transaction. I know that when I run across that consumer satisfaction oriented service person, I return. Again and again.
And I tell my friends about my experience!
Perhaps, and this is me being way too optimistic, if more agents kept their clients’ goals primary in their minds, we would not have the cynical stereotype that seems to follow us around. You know the one I mean; the one that says that real estate agents are only out for a quick buck and consequences be thrown to the wind.
Scratch that. While it would be most excellent for consumers if more agents stepped up their game, it would make standing above the crowd more difficult. Real Estate industry, please continue with your practices, whilst I remain a destroyer of your suckitude; one client at a time.
To learn more about the value of your home and the marketing system I will put into place for you, please contact me here: http://www.berkshirehathawayhs.com/todd-waller-real-estate-agent/content/forms/contactme.aspx