The Problem with REALTORS.

iStock_000005979170XSmallBefore I even “go there“…let me first say that I am speaking totally on my own behalf and not in any of the positions that I hold in organized Real Estate. This is just some of my ramblings that come in go in my mind and need a Blog outlet, so please bear with me.

I began in the business 30 years ago and when I say “the business” I am referring to Real Estate or any other service industry. We had all been trained to strive to be the best in our field. Success equates to the sale of property, a satisfied Buyer, Seller or both.

We have sales managers that create a competitive atmosphere in the office, offices that compete with each  other within a Company, Brands that compete with each other and a Government of Canada Competition Bureau that insists that the Seller or Buyer are getting a full choice of competitive options.

When we sit at the offer table with our competitors, we are sometimes successful. Of course, our clients want to work with a winner. In a busy market, a Buyer agent can be out on multiple offers almost nightly to fail and have the client hold them responsible for that failure, even when it was the client that decided that price they were willing to pay, knowing that four offers at the table meant that the buyer has a 25% chance to win the offer process. Go figure!

So Realtors, myself included, measure their own success by the number of sales we do, Offices do the same, Companies do the same, Boards and Associations do the same and our clients expect that a “Successful REALTOR“ and a “Good Market” reflects better on them.

So here is where the problem lies…REALTORS need to focus less on the deal. We provide many services to our clients,marketing, staging, advice, market history, etc. We must focus more on becoming the source of everything to do with home ownership, not just the transaction. The transaction is not the end of our relationships however, few clients ever hear from the Realtor after the deal is done. Becoming to “go-to” home ownership dude is what I aspire to…if I fall down on the job, remind me. Feel free to ask me for anything…within reason.

Recently in the United States, the National Association of REALTORS  created a web site called Houselogic.com . It is a brilliant move because it wants to make NAR and the REALTOR the go-to-place on the web for everything to do with home ownership. I applaud them and hope to offer that kind of service to all my clients.

Looking beyond the sale is what the Service Industries all need to do. I champion Social Media in my business because it allows for these conversations. I look forward to hearing from you with your thoughts and suggestions!

8 Responses

  1. Eugenia

    I couldn’t agree more:)))

    “So here is where the problem lies…REALTORS need to focus less on the deal. We provide service to our clients,marketing, staging, advice, etc. We must focus more on becoming the source of everything to do with home ownership, not just the transaction.

    This is exactly what I think and work by the same ideas:)

  2. Victor Lund

    Interesting Post. The concept of ‘customer for life’ should be in the center of every client-provider relationship. There are truck loads of books on the topic.

    Have you ever measured MLS policies and services against this goal? For example, most MLS services ‘time out’ client email notifications after some period unless the agent renews it.

    Agent and Broker branding for the buyer and seller agents never appear on sold listings.

    I am sure there are many more examples. Perhaps a good topic for CMLS would be “ways that MLSs can support the REALTOR in client for life relationships”

  3. Anna Mae McPhail

    Thank you for the post Richard. I’ve been in the business since 1976. Broker of Record.

    The real estate industry is changing. Something has to change in the way business is being done, otherwise the industry itself will not survive.

    The economics of it is one thing that is goind to force our hand at how we do our day to day business.

    Years ago at one of the Conventions CREA or OREA a futurist said some things that we branded him as off the wall.

    Exactly what he said is coming to pass.

  4. REESE BATE

    HAVE A HAPPY HOLIDAY RICHARD!!

    LOVE WHAT YOU SAID ABOUT THE SHIP…PLEASE WILL YOU POST SOME PIX OF THE BOAT.>> 5 DINING ROOMS ON THE
    SHIP.. WOW.

  5. Craig Homewood

    I agree with most of what Richard is saying. If you are the go-to person for real estate, the deals will follow. In the office I manage, we stress a co-operative, supportive atmosphere, not emphasising the competitive aspect. One of our mantras is “working together we all do more”. I find good salespeople are competitive by nature.

  6. Ron

    Richard

    I think you have missed the point here 5% of the Real Agents make 95% of the money, this has not changed and if your in that position then you can experiment , but the agents just starting or are in the 90 to 95% bracket need income and therefore are subjective to prevailing winds controlled by the 5% salespersons.Its a paradox and this will need a generation change.

    Ron

  7. Richard Silver Post author

    Ron,
    There are a lot of new Realtors who start and do very well. The point I was trying to make was that the transaction is part of the journey and not the journey in itself. For the long term focus on the client rather than the transaction….

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