With the comment section on fire this week, we heard crazy stories about clients with unreasonable demands, advice on starting your own brokerage, skepticism over the virtual office, and how being an agent and stay-at-home parent can, in fact, work.
Hear about that and more with our top comments of the week, compiled by the editorial staff (in no particular order).
I lost a buyer client because she wanted to meet at the exact same time that I had my wedding dress fitting scheduled that had been scheduled for THREE WEEKS!! I offered to meet her on the night before or after my fitting appointment (which was already cutting it close at less than 10 days before my wedding!) or that afternoon after my fitting appointment but she refused. Even though I had a buyer agency agreement with me, she wanted to fire me that following Monday. I’m pretty sure she met with another realtor that weekend. I released her from working with me but refused to allow her to work with someone else so her housebuying plans were on hold for four months. I already had 2 months invested with her, had written one offer but lost it in a multiple offer situation, and had shown her a good 15 properties at that point. People don’t seem to understand that we have lives too and I’m certainly willing to go above and beyond but come on people!! Don’t be ridiculous about it!
My firm, Stetson Real Estate, was founded in 2000. The first 8 years were great, we made it through the rough years, and now we are rising again. My words of advice: 1) have a substantial back-up fund to manage expansion, advertising, hiring and cash flow (e.g. $300k); 2) 1st Hire (cheap) – an administrative assistant, full time and loyal (check out SBA On the Job Training that could cover half the salary for up to 6 months); 3) 2nd hire (very expensive) – A person that could replicate some aspect of you in running the business … and be comfortable doing whatever needs to be done to run the business; 4) Carefully consider what you have to offer associating agents and what splits you will pay .. remember, you can always sweeten the offer … but it is death to sour the offer once on board; 5) Carefully consider the characteristics of agents that fit with the way you choose to serve your clients … and only hire those agents; 6) Set marketing standards; and 7) Keep selling like your (business) life depends on it … it will … after your second hire, you will be in the grind and your effective split may drop under 50% until you ramp up with other agents. When you break through to consistent production spread across many agents, then you will bask in the rewards of a real business. Good Luck!
Jokingly, on the phone, when following up and the person on the other side of the line does not clearly remember me, I tell them “I’m the guy with GREAT hair”. Perhaps my “uniqueness” is holding me back???!!! There’s got to be a supporter group for Realtors who feel my pain!!!
Home is where the owners’ heart is and is a reflection of their ownership. While looking at home trends may be used as a guide, ultimately practical use, looks and budgets combine to owners’ decisions. I agree with several comments regarding the architectural influences of the exterior upon the interior. Past clients have loved the traditional architectural style of the exterior and were surprised at the disconnect inside and vice versa. Unless it’s extreme in any direction, combining charm, style and function usually garners interest from varied buyers in the marketplace.
Mediocre and subpar agents are definitely A1 danger to the business. NAR recognizes this obviously, but I’m not sure anyone has a solution. Tougher licensing laws have to come at the state level, as would CE requirements. Brokers who hire anyone who will fog a mirror in hopes of that person bringing in one or two more deals a year to the firm are to blame ultimately. If brokers had higher standards – and held to them – we wouldn’t have this conversation. But just as NAR needs membership and numbers to pay the dues / support the organization, brokers need agents to pay the bills / support the firm. It’s a losing situation for the consumer. Higher standards – in education, testing, and yes at the broker level – all are needed. I terminated an agent with cause (violating ethics and company policy) who had a large number of listings. “I’ll just go back to my old broker – he said he’d always take me back.” He did. How sad.
There is a lot of truth to this article. But I have been a stay at home parent and Realtor for 10 years. Definitely not easy – but doable. Could I have been a better parent? Yes. A more productive agent? Yes. Did I do great at both – Heck Yeah! I wouldn’t have traded it for the world. Time management is a must; plus either way it takes a village to raise the kids, I was lucky to be a part of a husband and wife real estate team and we were able to cover each other. But the challenges and sacrifices of working with you spouse requires yet another article…lol
Greg Hague · Commented on Did Facebook just make brokerage offices obsolete?
It confounds me that real estate firms still focus more on recruiting agents than attracting business for the agents they already have.
Judi Reitzel West · Commented on Did Facebook just make brokerage offices obsolete? (in response to Greg Hague)
I had rather teach an agent to fish, not just throw them a fish once in a while.