Editor’s note: The following is a guest perspective by Alisha Alway Braatz, a Realtor in Eugene, Ore.
By ALISHA ALWAY BRAATZ
Moving is never fun. Well, I take that back.
It could be fun if you were really smart (and/or wealthy) and hired movers to do everything from the packing to the lifting and the unpacking to the decorating … and then making you dinner the first night in the new place. Then, I guess, it wouldn’t be so bad.
I just moved to a new town. New house, new puppy, new brokerage, and now: a new vision. My new brokerage has set me up with two marketing consultants full of enthusiasm and pithy advertising jargon; of course I’m going to take advantage of it!
Plus, I thought, this is a good time to change the ol’ image. I can be anything I want to be. (This is also what I thought when I went off to college, but apparently you can’t just "decide" to do musical theater.)
Anyway, I am going to do things differently — starting with a new slogan. After attending the Real Estate Connect conference in San Francisco this year I came home to my sleepy little mountain town and began telling people about the robot cars that talk to you down by the wharf, and the then-futuristic iPhone applications.
To my neighbors, such stories seemed a portent of a fast-approaching apocalypse. Or hogwash: First off, no one believed me. Second, what’s the use of a face-identifying telephone if you already know everyone who walks down the street? Kind of redundant.
But now, see, I’m in a new town and that technology might just come in real handy. I can be a techie! …CONTINUED
So, let’s get to my new branding. The marketing gurus took me into a private room. There were no windows and three chairs. This was serious. I sat down and fielded a barrage of questions. "What does your epitaph read?" "Describe your core values." "Who was my first grade teacher?" And "What did she think you were good at?"
Inevitably, what they were really trying to get at was: "Hey, what does Alisha do that sets her apart from the rest of the Realtors in this town?"
Well, that got me going. See, I’m totally fed up with the agents in this industry who are content to offer the status quo. It makes me sick that people still use agents who take pictures of dirty laundry hampers and toilet seats for the multiple listing service, who stick a sign in sideways and wait, who really have nothing to offer, less an engaging bedside manner.
And then half the agents I know have no personal-professional boundaries set. They answer their phone in the bathroom, for goodness sake. And why, I ask, do most Realtors continue to bend over backward for a disingenuous client? I know we’re all hungry, but this isn’t good enough!
The marketing folks were pretty wide-eyed. Yikes. Did I really just say all that out loud? I looked over at their steno pads. "Bucking the Industry" it said. "Alisha is the Rebellious Agent."
I don’t think I’m going to use that tagline, exactly. But I’m sure the final version will convey something of that sentiment. Apparently, I’m ready for a change. Are you?
Alisha Alway Braatz is a Realtor with RE/MAX Integrity in Eugene, Ore.
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