Here are this week’s top comments, compiled by the editorial staff.

Angela Kristen Taylor · Commented on Sales first, relationships second: Let’s get our priorities straight

I heartily disagree… Today’s consumers do not want to be sold and can smell a salesperson 100 miles away. Don’t get me wrong though, I fully believe we need to be skilled negotiators, mediators, and at times even psychological therapists. Those things are important to the transaction but not to lead generation or conversion.

There are many different ways of generating leads for our real estate business and whether you choose the “quantity cold” or the “quality warm” routes to get them are irrelevant. A good “salesperson” today as a true relationship builder approaches potential clients in a consultative manner. They ask questions so they can deeply understand their client’s source of pain. This enables them to then use their skills and experience with their product or service to help erase that pain. That is the start of the relationship-building process. Uncovering what their timeframe is, whether or not they are serious, getting them pre-qualified for their loan… all aspects of the process but I wouldn’t call any of these things sales.

Many years ago, I had my own house up for sale. A fellow Realtor I did not know scheduled a time to show her buyer. Her buyer arrived to see the home just as we were leaving. The Realtor was not with him as she had sent her husband (assistant) along in her place. I was told by her husband that the buyer was very interested and wanted to make an offer. No offer arrived.

The following morning I received a call from a mortgage broker out of town. Turns out she was the person who had referred the buyer to the local agent. The buyer had driven 2 hours that morning to get to her office because he wanted to make an offer on my house and the agent had refused to do so. She was very forcefully trying to sell him a house he did not want, one of her own listings. Needless to say that did not end well for the other agent. I would say she was a salesperson, not a relationship builder. The mortgage broker was a relationship builder, not a salesperson. The main difference being that a salesperson wants to make the sale at any cost.

The relationship builder cares about the clients wants and needs and puts those first above their desire to sell. That does not mean they won’t hold the client accountable and does not mean they will let that client walk all over them. Take a look at Simon Sinek’s Ted Talk on The Golden Circle. “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” Relationships are everything…

Steve Tower RA · Commented on Special Report: How to make the most of open houses

Open houses are in my opinion the most important thing a new or established agent can do to drum up business! I probably get over 75 percent of my business to date from sitting open houses… it still amazes me to this day though how many agents are just sitting on their butts with no personality or charisma whatsoever at open houses, if that’s going to be your style then it is a big waste of time.

Jerry Hoffman · Commented on Why you’ll pry my MLS from my cold, dead hands

The MLS is to a realtor like a scalpel is to a surgeon. It is that critical as a tool. The services provided by the MLS today (if you know how to use the tool competently) are irreplaceable.

Nancy Layne · Commented on Kickstarter Helps Launch Toor, The ‘Smartest Lockbox Ever’

I think the use of this or any product will be (and should be!) up to the consumer. I think it’s really going to be up to the sellers to decide if or how they want it. Buyers will want it, no doubt — and frankly, if I’m representing a buyer I’d want it, too — easier to make appointments and arrange tours? Yes, please.

How many times have we all tried to get in touch with a seller’s agent only to have them blow you off, not call back, ignore, etc.? But sellers will have to decide how they want their house presented. Some will want full-on descriptive tours with an agent present every step of the way. Some will be ok with registered buyers. It’s already that way even with Supra. Some agents throw up a combo lockbox and call it good, some accompany every showing, and every version in between. We all know this.

I’m pretty confident in my ability to bring value to the table, and I think if everyone just takes a breath you will be, too. The value of a Realtor isn’t just in opening doors. The knowledge base, area expertise, experience in handling negotiations, contracts, pitfalls of escrows, etc. are all part of the package. Opening the door to the house is just a small part.

Ultimately it will come down to how buyers and sellers want to use this information and technology. I’m old enough to remember the warnings of gloom and doom when we went from paper books to the internet — from keys to cards — and all the various steps in between.

I say — Embrace the change, make it work for you, and introduce another benefit to your client.

But maybe that’s just me.

Zoila Andreu Khouri · Commented on Realtors’ electronic lockbox unlocks property details fast

I see no benefit since we already have this information handy. Just more options to obtain the same information which results in more confusion. Since it requires NAR membership to use, all they’re doing is offering another way for them to make more money through access control.

Burt Shaw · Commented on Do strip clubs actually hurt property values?

I find this interesting. Not the conclusion of the “study”, but rather the diversity of the opinion regarding the “study”. Regardless of any attempt to quantify the impact of Strip Clubs…it all boils down to one thing…the client’s perception of the impact of the presence of the club…If you look at the small sample of opinions, even on this page, you will understand the dilemma. Since the market is nothing more than people and people have opinions based on life experience, situational events, religious views (or not), media bias, moral code, regional differences, cultural differences, peer opinion, social status, occupation, city and county ordinances, and a host of other influences, unless there is a way to quantify these variables in a meaningful way- no study will help change value impact or change minds….

As always, it will be DR. REALTOR, who will know best if a strip club impacts the value of the house. The ONLY empirical evidence that matters is the COMPS and the ONLY person that can deal with the comps AND the psyche of the people aka “the market” is US. I am not trying to account for municipalities who for one reason or another want to regulate or zone the SOBs existence because that will just get dumped into one of the opinion buckets above….Just one more thing for DR REALTOR to account for while determining the value of the propert…uh..the real value.

Email Caroline Feeney

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