Inman News readers pour fuel on the conversation fire by commenting on our stories every week. Here are a handful that stood out, compiled by the editorial staff.

Jeri Gutner · Commented on Buyside helps brokerages double-end more deals

Am I missing something here? If I were selling my own house I would want all agents in my area, not just one office, to bring their buyers. I would choose the one with the best offer and best terms.

Wouldn’t I be more likely to get better offers (cash, no appraisal, no inspections, etc., etc.) if a wider audience of buyers had the same amount of time to see and decide? If I work for a seller shouldn’t I be searching under ALL rocks not just a select few?

Adriana Bartlett Gray · Commented on The only strategy you need for turning leads

Another great article by Mary McIntosh! As a new agent, I feel like there is so much advice coming my way. I start second-guessing just being who I am. But, truth is, I’ve had the best success with clients when I am my true self. Yes, I realize my personality is not for everyone. I have a crazy sense of humor, I’m a total extrovert, sometimes I talk too much, maybe I seem too enthusiastic to some. But, just as in life, not everyone is going to like me and that’s OK. In my experience, I find that most people do like the real me.

And, for those that don’t, I don’t mind if they work with someone else instead. I’m not so big-headed to think I am the right agent for everyone. I’m happy to work w/just those who naturally clique with me. It certainly makes for a more fun experience when you work w/a client you just have natural rapport with. And, yes, I said ‘fun’. Some of my clients have become friends. We follow each other on Facebook and enjoy the time we spend together. This article is a great reminder to just calm down, be yourself, and the right clients WILL come your way.

Peg Popken · Commented on Top 3 special function rooms homeowners prefer

Some of this maybe a function of climate and lifestyle. Many homes in my area do not even have a coat closet, just a couple of hooks for jackets and dog leases. In the Midwest that would be unthinkable. It was full-on boots, hats, gloves coats and down filled everything. Here a place to store a surf board or 3 and an outside shower to get rid of sand and salt can be a real plus..

The Jurgensen Group · Commented on Why the real estate industry loves to cast shade on Upstream

I guess I don’t completely understand the dynamics of all this but it just seems like a bunch of power struggles that seek to pit us against ourselves.

Please take a minute to imagine an idealistic solution WAY BACK in 1998, about the time when first went on line. It was a train wreck but hey, at least we were on line. Fast forward 6-7 years I think it was and suddenly Z bursts onto the scene – at first a “valuation” tool – using only information garned to tax records if I have my facts correct – no access to MLS data and certainly no access to the private closed transaction data.

My theory is that was so foreign, so alien that NAR was fearful of it and rather than hire and pay IT people, which we would have control over 100%, they outsourced it and that is when we “lost control” of our BRAND. Not only did we lose control but we gave it away for a measely, what, 10%? Making multi-millionaires out of Move when they sold to Murdoch. So we no longer control our brand.

BUT, what would have happened had NAR simply had the foresight and insight to hire in house IT people and create a NATIONAL database of ALL Realtor listings on ONE sight – which we would have control over (as it should be, because that is OUR intellectual data (our words, our photos, our marketing and our income source!) It does not belong to Z or T or any other site – it belongs to US.

Imagine being the “go to” sight – and how had we had exercised a little forward thinking instead of farming it out to minions who are now kicking our butts with it. We could have hired some skilled IT people and put them on the payroll, but we elected to outsource.

Now we have nothing but fragmentation in this industry — some would call it diversity – but it’s just high level inefficiency — divided we fall, united we stand – what happened to that theory? Pandora’s box — you can’t put it back in the box but why continue to act like, well, I’ll just say it, prostitutes – anything for a buck even if it subverts our reputation.

The average consumer thinks Zillow is where you go to find homes for sale – and you know what? THEY ARE RIGHT – except they don’t realize that there is considerable stale data and mostly flawed valuations (why are they even allowed to do this? Their valuations are off by upwards of 25+% on some homes.) Yet the public turns to them as the industry gold standard BECAUSE WE SOLD OUR SOUL ( to the devil. And now we are reaping the “rewards”.

Many new agents today don’t have a clue how to market a home – I see it every day – the old 3 P’s – Put up a sign; Place it in the MLS; Pray. Might work for some however it’s just easier to pay Z and T thousands of dollars to catch the fish and send them to my basket. When in realty, we should have done that for ourselves, about 18 years ago, when we had the chance. And whatever happened to fishing for yourself?

Spilled milk now – but as I prepare for my retirement from this industry soon, I look back and think “what could have been” – instead we have a train wreck for an industry.

Jeff Culbertson · Commented on Does real estate have a gender problem?

After being a top executive in a top company, I can honestly say that the reason most woman in real estate don’t appear to be “climbing the corporate ladder” is that there really aren’t that many firms left that have “executive positions”…What I do believe is that women are smarter than us men and they are happy to continue to simply make most of the money in the business…LOL…

In my opinion, our industry is reverting back to a more cottage like approach to the business…teams are the new small brokerage office on the corner and it’s becoming very apparent that it’s all about lead generation. Don’t believe me…look at the valuations of companies like Zillow, vs. companies that operate franchise opportunities…

Alice Galeotti · Commented on 4 Tips For Taking Gorgeous Real Estate Listing Photos With Your Phone

Wow, agents can be pretty harsh in the judgment department where choices of photography is concerned. Plenty of pros shoot excellent quality photos on smartphones, and plenty of amateurs who own high-end equipment shoot lousy shots. The key is to be honest about the outcome of your photography method, not to just assume spending the money on a photographer will always yield good results.

Frontier Metro Realty, Inc. · Commented on Opendoor tries to satisfy agents, though concerns persist
It seems that some are beginning to recognize that Opendoor truly has the capability to continue gathering market share and the initial reaction appears to be unsettling to them.

The fact is that consumers have choices and there is a good share of the market that Opendoor appeals to. There are many sellers out there that want the convenience and certainty that Opendoor delivers. Sellers that have a situation, pets, kids, or housekeeping skills that are simply not condusive to the traditional methods are likely to choose Opendoor. Opendoor provides a choice that fits the needs of many and they work very hard to make it the best (and most transparent) experience possible.

I have done some independent contractor work for them and the sellers that I have met are very impressed with the Opendoor experience. The most common feedback is that they chose Opendoor because they didn’t want the hassle that is associated with the traditional process, specifically prepping the home, dealing with agents, and home showing parades. Plus, they can walk away with much more than what they would get from a “low-ball” investor.

Agents must work harder than ever before to earn client trust and make a living. Opendoor respects that and values their relationships with agents and they know that they must work equally as hard to build their brand and form alliances within the agent community.

Email Caroline Feeney

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