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Top comments of the week June 20-24

The real estate world from your point of view

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Inman.com is the place where real estate and technology collide — along with a bold mix of voices. Here are our top insights from readers this week.


Pamela Mehl · Commented on How to convert noncommittal clients and cure commission woes | Inman

Behavioral science has already proven that homebuying decisions are emotionally based, not Excel charted. That’s why there is an old real estate expression: “Buyers are liars.” Techs love to “analyze” data but homebuying decisions are not logic based. The “must-haves” get rationalized away when heart triggers are pulled.

Just last week I sold a hard-charging, ER doc with two pages of “analytic predictives” like “one story only” and “at least 3 baths” a two-story colonial with 2.5 baths because it was a replica of the childhood home.

And I am serious about the TWO PAGES of Excel.

Last year I sold a ranch style to a buyer who actually said they would fire me if I didn’t stick to two story houses. The rancher location and landscaping counter-balanced the original floor plan “must have.” The buyer had previously reviewed and dismissed the listing when seen online. I said, “If you don’t love this house I will quit. No online info can convey the AMBIANCE of this home.”

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I had been LISTENING to their emotional needs, family future needs and community needs, not reading pie charts or doing PowerPoint presentations.


Bruce Clark · Commented on 10 reasons you should never buy or sell without an agent | Inman

Excellent article that highlights just some of the many issues we as agents deal with daily. To this list I would add that, as agents, we know how to structure binding agreements with regard to what is and is not included in the sale/purchase.

Many times someone selling without an agent will make an erroneous assumption about their favorite chandelier not being included in the sale, or they don’t disclose all pertinent items about the home, including not disclosing that “little” ceiling water stain, or that they “forgot” to mention about the unpermitted electrical work in the attic.


Maria Rosario Pastorelli Servat · Commented on An open letter to anyone wanting to get their real estate license | Inman News

Real Estate is like a drug. Just when you think that you will stop and get a grip, another lead comes in and you are off to the races! And the next time that you stop to think about it….the slow time comes once again and you wished you could have acted on your instincts on moving on and then…the phone rings and off we go again. Ups and downs….all the way to the bank. Been dancing this dance for 32 years and my glides are just that. Ready for the next tango.


Pierce Smith · Commented on Pricing mistake No. 2: Telling rather than showing | Inman

Rule: never tell anyone anything unless they ask and you know or can find out and call them back. Most agents I observe think they have to have an answer and make it up. That’s called deception! Remember 61 percent of your clients do not trust you(NAR).

Just say, “I’ll find out and call you back”!

How do you get them to ask. “Ask them!” Open questions work best. “How do you feel about the asking price?” Dialogue in the interrogatory domain. Stay out of the declarative domain. Practice this on your wife and kids, or on everybody until you are an expert!


Clasen Real Estate Advisors · Commented on Pricing mistake No. 2: Telling rather than showing | Inman

Valid points although I find that the seller’s untrained eye doesn’t know how to interpret data very well. For example, they may think that if they have one more bath than one of the comps, that their value is 25k higher. Their kitchen cost 100k to remodel so their value is 125k higher than the comp with an original kitchen. They have a larger lot so their house is worth WAY more, and the list goes on.

By the time you educate them on those types of factors, your really just leading them towards what price they should list at. I tell sellers I’m not attempting to pinpoint their market value but rather the price they should list at to let the market speak loudest.

For example, if they want to land at 465k, I say list for 450k because a 450k list price will show up on people’s search results looking up to 450k as well as those looking 450k and higher. But the house listed for 449,999 won’t show up for those looking 450k and higher. The “999” pricing mentality and listing with wiggle room is doing seller’s a disservice. Sellers don’t need an agent to overprice their home, they usually do that on their own if left to their devices.


Donna Goings · Commented on Realtor membership: Is now the time to make it a choice? | Inman

I will never forget the Atlanta NAR annual meeting where NAR spent a fortune on presenting realtor.com to the membership. I was disgusted by the manner in which they attempted to sell me what I was paying for. It was a bust and wasted a lot of money.

I lost confidence in NAR as the leader in the industry. NAR is not cutting edge. I see it as a tired old lobby group. I do not object to paying the dues but I do not feel they invest our dues money wisely.


Ryan Steffens · Commented on Remind me, why am I a Realtor? | Inman

All it is going to take is a “disruptor” like Uber or Amazon and both the MLS and the NAR’s days are numbered in this, the information age. No matter how hard they grasp, claw and scratch to this nonsensical, extortionesque status quo; all hopelessly financed on the backs of its own membership.


Kristopher R Cone · Commented on Realtor membership: Is now the time to make it a choice? | Inman

I am not a Realtor (I did pass the real estate exam in WA). My company, that operates the sites FloorPlanOnline Real Estate Marketing and HomeDiary was selected to be part of the 2016 NAR REach class (NAR REach), who’s mission is to work with companies to help accelerate real estate. As part of this program, we have been given insight into what NAR does and how it helps its members and tries to strengthen the brand and market awareness around the word “Realtor” and the value it brings to homeowners.

I was actually blown away by all that NAR does and was very favorably surprised with the organization. I am a former CPA. If I wanted to work and be part of that industry, I had to join the national organization (my firm required it).

I had no idea what they did for me personally, but I knew it helped the industry as a whole with standards, etc. I joined because it was part of my profession and it was the professional wrapper around my business focus.

Maybe this program has given me an insight most NAR members do not get, but the initiatives, programs and lobbying efforts NAR does on its members behalf is impressive. Things like:
-Pushing for consistent data standards
-Upstream (basically forcing those data standards and ultimately making a lot of people’s lives easier that will drive innovation)
Center for REALTOR Technology — GreenButton initiative — working to get utility companies to provide utility data to homeowners and also helping to make homes smarter – benefits us all.
-Patent lobbying – which helps EVERY single real estate firm with a website that displays listings on a map for example. Other homeowner related lobbying too…
-Education — did you know you can get a Realtor degree (see Realtor University)
-Growing the base with new people and improving the image. Things like YPN and the Phil ad campaign now.

Comparing NAR to Zillow is like comparing Cellular Telephone Industry Association to Apple. They are two different animals. NAR is a non profit. Zillow is for profit. Sure NAR licensed its brand to Realtor.com but that does not mean they have control over how that site runs, the business model, etc. That is under Rupert Murdoch to manage. Their mission is to help the members.

Plus, there is a brand and value to the name Realtor. You do not have to be a member. You can be a real estate agent. But if you want to call yourself a Realtor, there is a cost. So it is not a tax, it is a cost of doing business that gives you a right to use a certain type of franchise mark, in addition to all of the other things they do. Is that worth $120 a year (the actual NAR dues fee)? You all decide. As an outsider looking in at all the other stuff I see NAR does, it seems like a bargin.


Daniel Signani · Commented on Realtor membership: Is now the time to make it a choice? | Inman

How about if we just look at Dues as “The cost of Doing Business?”

Without NAR we would welcome agents to run amok without having to adhere to a code of ethics. The Realtor®designation is an important designation to which it elevates one to a much higher standard than a licesed real estate agent.

And if having access to local MLS’s is part of that “higher standard,” then so be it. I imagine it also depends heavily on how a member uses the tools NAR makes available to him/her, including those tools at both the State & Local level Associations.

Lastly, I know not everyone can “get involved” with your Local and/or state associations. But I am fortunate enough to do both. Once you get involved, you quickly understand the value the Associations provide to their agent members.

And those agent members then peroclate downward to their colleagues the “value add.” So get involved and do your part to help keep our industry relevant & respected. Or don’t get involved, but help keep our industry relevant and respected.


Hank Miller Team/Harry Norman Realtors · Commented on Realtor membership: Is now the time to make it a choice? | Inman

NAR fees are extortion, plain and simple. One can argue about lobbying and how they are required to “represent” the industry in DC….fine. But please don’t insult me and tell me that being a realtor matters because of “ethics.”

Take that road AFTER you raise the bar to entry and retention, AFTER you hammer agents for misrepresenting their production, AFTER you educate the public on how to properly evaluate an agent, AFTER you stop with the dime stopre desingations just to fool the public and get agents to write checks, AFTER you initiate a mandatory apprenticeship and classification system and AFTER you make membership in NAR something agents want to join instead of being REQUIRED to join.

I’ve been in real estate full time since ’89 and I get NOTHING from NAR. And since the average buyer or seller cannot tell you the difference between an agent and a realtor….neither do they.

Other than that NAR is indespensible.


Gerard Marino · Commented on New FAA regulations loosen drone rules for real estate agents | Inman

I think we all agree that safety must be first. However, reading this article it seems to me there could and should be “classes” of drones determined by weight, load, speed, etc.

Amazon delivering a 10 pound package with a 50 pound drone by a computerized program is a lot different than a REALTOR using a 5 pound drone with a 1/2 pound camera going up 100 feet and maybe 200 feet from his/her subject property. How about a “driving school” for micro drone owners with class time, a written test, a “driving test” and liability insurance?


Nestor Rivera · Commented on Pricing mistake No. 4: Being ashamed of taking an overpriced listing | Inman

Here’s my problem with agents who take overpriced listings: Agent A (me) meets, counsels and helps sellers prepare their house for market. All along strongly demonstrating with facts and statistics the right price is $xxx,xxx — I stick to my guns.

Along comes Agent B who agrees with the Sellers that the price should be $yyy,yyy (10% higher than what Agent A demonstrated).

The sellers now list with Agent B because that agent has validated them. A few months later the sellers fire Agent B and list with Agent C at the price Agent A counseled because the sellers are too proud to go to Agent A and admit they were wrong.

BTW, the house is now stale and a bit stigmatized so the perceived value has dropped. If Agent B had counseled the sellers on the correct price; the sellers would have listed with Agent A to begin with and the house would have been long ago sold.

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