Before you sit down to write something nasty in the comments below, hear me out. See, most agents aren’t lazy through fault of their own, but because our industry actually promotes it to a certain degree.
Let’s take a step back and look at why I think agents are lazy. This feeling comes first-hand because I own a real estate company and actively sell, so I see this every day. Realtors are always looking for the easy way out – or in, for that matter. We’ve been brainwashed by industry gurus who tell us technology will eliminate good old hard work, and that Facebook, Twitter and blogging will open the “lead” floodgates.
Well folks, I can tell you that it’s never going to happen. Actually, that’s not quite right, so let me rephrase: it WILL happen. And when it does, it will be the end of organized real estate as we know it. Why? Because when (notice I didn’t say, “if”?) technology takes the “work” out of selling real estate, then anyone and their brother will be able to do it, and they won’t need us!
Here’s the solution: we need to work a lot harder up front. I said up front; I did not say “always, forever or during the whole process”, just up front. Let me explain.
How many of you out there actually have some form of listing presentation? I don’t mean just a few scribbled pieces of paper and a few printouts from your MLS system, but a true listing presentation that describes your value proposition and the processes and tools you use to promote the sellers’ listing and communicate with them (the seller)? How many agents actually spend time at the listing presentation explaining to the seller how their website works, what the online buyer is going to experience and how they will generate leads from their site?
You see where I’m going here. If you don’t have a canned Power Point listing presentation showing and describing to your seller exactly where and how you’re going to advertise their property, how and when you’re going to provide feedback, how your website generates great quality leads and when and how you’re going to communicate with them on a regular basis, you’re missing something very valuable. In all my years of selling, this was the number one tool I used to increase my value proposition in the eyes of the consumer.
The ancillary value I received? I saved hours and hours of time in the long run. The seller always knew what, how and when to expect things from me.
Now some of you out there are already making my point of lazy agents valid because you’re sitting back saying, “that’s too much work” or, “I can’t do that, it takes too much time”. If you’re one of them, stop reading now because you won’t like what I am going to tell you from here on either.
Let’s say you finally get a listing. You go to the sellers’ home and pull out your MLS listing documents. You spend some time filling out the paperwork with all the data your MLS requires. Great, right? Wrong! If you think spending half an hour filling out MLS paperwork is enough to create a captivating, compelling message to an educated consumer, think again. As agents we need to stop relying on what’s considered “industry standard”, start being more creative, and work a little harder.
When taking a listing, if you’re not taking detailed notes on every feature and benefit that your listing has and trying your best to describe the home in one paragraph on your MLS data sheet, you’re doing a disservice to your sellers. Too many of us take our MLS listing and populate that same information on our website.
So let me ask you this: if you were an online buyer and went to an agent’s website and saw the exact same information I found on other sites or the MLS, would you go back to that agent’s site? Probably not. Take some time to create a value proposition on your website that will captivate the online consumer, and you’ll have the opportunity to communicate and cultivate an even better quality lead.
This isn’t rocket science – it’s just a little hard work up front that will keep you ahead of the competition. Create a great value proposition in the eyes of buyers and sellers, and inevitably it will help you close more transactions. Captivate, communicate, cultivate and close…it’s that simple!
Terry LeClair is the CEO and founder of RealtySites PLUS, a suit of software and online tools that were built by Realtors for Realtors. www.RealtySitesPLUS.com