I walked out of this year’s Real Estate Connect conference with two thoughts: I’m gonna figure out how to work the Web, and I’m gonna learn video.
“I’m gonna figure out how to work the Web” was a good thought, because apparently on the Wednesday of the conference someone on SocketSite in San Francisco posted a link to something I’d written and I got 1,800 hits. Who knew? Did any of those people figure out I was a great real estate agent in Manhattan who would be happy to sell their Aunt May a condo?
Probably not. But they will.
If there was any takeaway from 2007 it was that all my big goals got achieved, but they took monster time. So I expect “getting” the Internet to take monster time, too, and video to be even worse.
The upside, though, is that I don’t feel like that many people are that far ahead of me in video.
So I decided to learn, and how better than to learn on a listing? I have an old friend from college who had bought an investment condo three years ago, and he tells me every six months he wants to sell it, and every six months I give him the state of the market and what he should do.
I sort of did this before I became an agent, since talking about real estate is the New York equivalent of fantasy football. But I also have kept doing it since I’ve become an agent, lying in wait for the day he’d want to list.
Now I by no means feel like I am guaranteed the listing. He is a savvy investor and knows many many brokers, and I am still a relative newbie.
So today when we went to lunch, I made my proposal: I would buy him video, out of my portion of my commission, but he wouldn’t hold my video inexperience against me and we would learn together.
There are many decisions to make: hosted or unhosted, with just an agent voiceover? (Instinctually, I prefer unhosted, because I figure I’m not Carol Marol and anyone who is watching this is doing it to see an apartment.) Do we want a cut-and-dried, “Here’s the foyer, here’s the living room,” or do we want to include a little narrative about the block? What about music? Does a video have to have music? Is there a secret language of music where I’m supposed to use one kind of tune to sell a prewar and another to sell a new development condo?
Can we edit footage of Rachael Ray into the kitchen?
OK, that last one probably not, but I do feel like I’m moving into a world where there aren’t a whole lot of rules yet. Luckily, I trust my potential customer’s judgment, so I know the decisions we make together will be good ones. While I feel vulnerable on the topic of being a newbie — and am therefore always reluctant to show a customer how inexperienced/completely retarded I am, I’m spinning this one pretty well as it’s a technique that’s fairly new to most of the New York market.
My friend asked about the commission my firm would charge on the sale, and I kicked that one upstairs to my sponsoring broker.
Hopefully that discussion will go off without a hitch, and we’ll land the listing within the next month, just in time for spring selling season.
So stay tuned for more about my adventures in real estate TV. In the meantime, if you have any dos or don’ts, please feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Let us know too if it’s OK to publish your letter.
Alison Rogers is a licensed salesperson and author of “Diary of a Real Estate Rookie.”
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