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When you can learn something new by reading a publication’s comments section, you know those readers are really something special.

I learn something new every week from Inman’s readers, who leave comments on stories across the site. Here are a few of my favorites from this past week.

Jessie Beaudoin · Commented on What will it take for brokerages to survive in the future? | Inman

Thought-provoking post Glenn. I agree on what is needed by brokerages regarding culture, tech, marketing; especially as you see teams who are running successful businesses within a businesses.

As you mentioned; “more hands in the same-sized pot equals consolidation of epic proportions”

Marketing cost to acquire leads will also increase with this competition / consolidation.

At the core the real focus is for companies to create systems to improve lead conversion by providing buyers and sellers with the highest levels of service with a consistent experience that exceeds their expectations.

The first step to success is to implement a system allowing every agent to instantly respond to all consumer inquiries to create a great first impression. This is a known consumer expectation according to surveys (49% buyers / sellers expect instant responses per CAR) that is also proven to dramatically increase lead conversions, lowering cost per closed transaction.

The better the service, the higher the lead conversions the more referrals a company (agent) will receive which lowers lead acquisition cost. These systems create the culture and brand recognition as being a leader in the space which attracts top agent and creates a virtuous cycle.

Mimi Fostock-Schag · Commented on 3 reasons I gave my business to a low-tech agent — again | Inman

Great story! The reason I have so much business is exactly for the same reason, I text/call/email all my clients myself and they love that I’m hands on and personal. I only sell dirt, but same/same when it comes to making a client feel “taken care of”.

Brian Rotenberger · Commented on 6 reasons the Galaxy S7 might be perfect for you | Inman

Make the switch from Apple! Trust me, once you learn Android, you will be so much happier. Having a native full month calendar view (that isn’t available on iPhone) and being able to store files on the phones memory easily makes shuffling paperwork a snap. Before you do, make sure you “de-register” your phone number from iMessage. I tried the iPhone and it was the biggest mistake. I can’t get over how many people claim the iPhone is “easy” to use. All the apps you need are available and most free.

Kenneth Jenny · Commented on How 1 independent broker is building a saleable asset | Inman

Go Elizabeth! Entering the business with an exit strategy is ciritcal to achieving your ojective of building something of value. In all too may cases, the preception is that when the leader leaves, so go the followers. Thus the lack of value for most real estate brokerage businesses. Creating a consumer experience that is duplicatable is a critical first step, applying a brand to that experience and then working to assure that every piece of that business which you have created lives beyond your departure – is imperative to one day exiting the business with the sale of the company.

Paul Suppo · Commented on Is your area crawling with criminals? New index tells you | Inman

On the surface this tool looks useful to home shoppers. However, as I look at my report it shows enviromental hazards such as Moderate hail, medium UV Index and moderate crime being concers, while wildfire and earthquake are benefits… humm, 6 years ago the hill I lived on burned… my neighborhood was under evacuation watch, and the USGS is saying that Oregon is in for a MAJOR earthquake.
Also, it shows my house as a 2 bedroom 2 bath… furthest from the truth… that is county data issue though…
I guess what I am trying to say here in a long winded around the bush way is as a broker I am concerned with tools like this which assign a value to my home, assign risks and frankly get them all wrong. I am going to use this tool for every listing though… not for it’s intended purpose, but to see what damage control I will have to be perfoming.

Greg Shosa · Commented on 7 truths that will alter your closing gift state of mind | Inman

“He told me he would never use that agent again — someone who gained $5,000 in commission and gave him a $30 candle.”

This is precisely why I don’t get my clients closing gifts. When was the last time your lawyer got you a set of steak knives as an acquittal gift? When was the last time your plumber left a plunger for you? When was the last time your doctor got you a remission bouquet?

I don’t mean to be crass but I think it cheapens our industry to feel obligated to do closing gifts. I believe it’s important to show professionalism in the transaction and continue to follow up with valuable information relating to their community, their home value and Industry/market changes. If you’re banking on client calling you 6 to 10 years later because you got them some Cutco knives be ready for a rude awakening.

There is no closing gift that you can afford and I will make a client feel as though they got their money’s worth out of you. By providing one you are giving them the impression that you’re Value coincides with the quality of the closing gift. Client see your value image quality of work follow up that you provide.

Nick Vandekar · Commented on Should selling real estate require a college degree? | Inman

Sorry, don’t agree with you. Many of the worlds top billionaires dropped out of university. To be good or even great at what you do does not require a college degree. Having a college degree woild not improve day one for anyone as a real estate agent. Yes, mentorship would help, but it is experience and dealing with situations that makes you a good agent. Therefore it is your ability to deal with those that will make you a good agent, not a degree. I know many agents with degrees, even some who have law degrees, it does not make them a good agent.

Hank Miller Team/Harry Norman Realtors · Commented on For agents, .homes could be the new .com | Inman

Just another way for the industry to screw agents – what dummy is going to place any trust in anything because of a domain name?

I guess the laughingly called leaders of this laughingly called “profession” really do operate under the “who can we fool them now” approach.

Bev LaLonde · Commented on Shatter your crystal ball — here’s a better market predictor | Inman

Sounds like a fabulous tool for unrealistic sellers who still continue to believe their properties are appreciating and set an unsellable asking price. Some agents think “every listing is golden” because they expect to generate leads from it, but an unsold house can do damage to an agent’s reputation and underscore the public view that agents aren’t competent.

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