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Top comments of the week Feb. 20-24

Voices from across the site

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‘Can you help me hang my artwork?’

Jim Weix · Commented on 4 listing presentation questions you should always expect

Would you be able to take my dog or cat while I’m out of town?
Answer: I can’t. My 80 pound dog is very aggressive with other animals

Can you help me move some furniture when I sell?
Answer: I can’t, due to my back, but I can get you people that will.

Would you help me paint this room prior to market?
Answer: Due to a detached retina, my painting is really bad.

Can you help me hang my artwork?
Answer: No problem, but my bad eye causes me to miss the nail a lot, so you’ll need plenty of drywall repair paste.

Will you go out with me on a date if I select you to list my home with?
Answer: Let me check with my wife, she works for the Internal Revenue Service

Are you a rich broker, or a poor broker?
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‘Hey honey, we should go visit this one’

Alex Saenger · Commented on Robot makes unique 360-degree property videos

Very cool technology, but in my opinion, not great for the purposes of actually selling real estate. I owned a virtual tour company before I became an agent. We did 360 virtual tours. We also did still photos and even offered floor plan tours. What I discovered in the end was that agents don’t want to, or can’t afford to spend thousands of dollars on these types of solutions unless in the multi-million dollar price range. Thus, this type of solution will be very [seldom] used, and only on the VERY expensive properties.

What most buyers want is an accurate representation of a home or space. They want enough information to either say, “nope, not interested,” or, “[hey] honey, we should go visit this one.” And our job as professional marketers of real estate is to get the prospective buyer TO THE PROPERTY! We are not trying to sell houses over the internet. A person has to step foot in the property to fall in love with it. They have to experience the environment, feel the flow and size. See the views with their own eyes. Our job is to get them there so they can become comfortable making an offer, and create a Win-Win for both buyer and seller.


Musings on an obsession

Greg Ward · Commented on Fast-growing, 18-state brokerage: No office, 100% splits

I have been [obsessing] over the direction of our industry. Seems like this model is winning in most markets and it makes sense why: Agents want to keep more of [their] commission…Period. If you can provide a high level of service to the agent at a more affordable price, then it’s a no-brainer to the agent. My biggest concern is that most of these models seem to [acknowledge] the fact that the consumer has all the leverage, but their answer is lower fees to allow the agents to use their commissions to either discount, or invest in their business (Into SOI, lowtech marketing, etc); however, with big players like Zillow and now, Opendoor, the old way of lead gen and prospecting wont be as effective and the big box brokers and teams who can afford to play the online lead gen game and online marketing game will continue to take more and more market share, leaving the small agent, discounting even more just to compete, eventually getting out of the business all together.


Concessions should never be first

Lisa Dearing Damron · Commented on How to save the deal when clients play hardball

I for one was immediately disappointed that the first solution out of the gate was “Realtor contribution”. The Realtor did not stain the hardwood floor, neither did they botch the appraisal or allow the roof to get old. There are so many great pieces of advice that should have been given to agents first, like:

1. Remember that it is not your job or place to decide how the issue should be handled. Your job as a trusted real estate advisor is to inform your client of all the options, pros and cons, and help them to decide what to do.
2. Be on top of the transaction from the start:a) Monitor the appraisal request and deny access if the appraiser is not from, or familiar with the area of the subject property. You can’t choose your appraiser, but you can usually get a way with one rejection. b) Talk to your buyer up front and make sure they understand the difference between “safety issues” and non-safety issues in an inspection.

Everybody eats because everyone gets paid for their hard work. Sure, concessions are made, but that should NEVER be the first option.


‘A nice gravy train to ride’

Randy Hilman · Commented on Should agents discount if a seller finds the buyer?

Come on, double the liability and work? A lawyer could close a FSBO transaction for a fraction of the fee agents charge. For decades, the fixed price percentage model was a nice gravy train to ride, but it’s about to be retired to the steam engines museum by the saavy new entrants into the marketplace. And don’t think consumers aren’t paying attention. So, I reduce my fee by 1% for double-sided transactions and 3%, if the seller procures the buyer. I even help them find buyers by giving my sellers very nice fold-over promo business cards and creating flyers for open houses, if they choose to host them. To avoid missteps, I want to preview all seller-generated advertizing, qualify the buyer, handle all the paperwork and manage the transaction from beginning to end. As a listing agent, my state allows me to assist unrepresented buyers in the preparation of offers and with other ministerial actions, like scheduling inspections, connecting them with service providers, etc. The buyer and seller agree on price and terms, I provide the disclosures and prepare the offer, encouraging buyers to submit all docs for legal review. It’s time we got real and started offering better service at lower prices. In my opinion, It’s the only real chance we have as independent agents to build a reputation before the red tide comes in.


‘This is the answer’

Jeff Del Castilho · Commented on Robot makes unique 360-degree property videos

I’ve seen and produced quite a few VR videos similar to this in the early stages of VR and I can tell you this is the answer. Being able to minimize the human [footprint] (“nadir” for you astronomy nerds) was always a huge issue and they seem to have figured it out. There were some editing companie that were trying to charge us 3 times the total cost of the producing the entire video just to remove the nadir. In my opinion this is as close to a true VR tour as it gets and while there is some mild shaking (this is actually the least shaking ive ever seen in a true VR video), I’m sure this can easily be reduced or completely removed with advances in editing tech and camera stabilizing tech. IMO, this company gets it.


Strict policy

Andrew Cork · Commented on How to respond when clients demand to know your politics

I learned a long time ago talking about politics with a client/customer is like quicksand. DO NOT go there. My response is: “I hope you don’t mind, but it is my [strict] policy to never discuss politics with business clients.” It works every time. :)


‘If you can’t be found on Google, you don’t exist’

Anton Usaj · Commented on The best real estate digital marketing plan you’ve ever seen

Great takeaways on digital marketing plans for agents. Key takeaways I think we’re appearing online with a great bio and some sort of value for potential buyers and sellers to show you’re a real person. If you can’t be found on Google, you don’t exist to the cold/internet lead. Instagram and Snapchat in my opinion have the strongest potential to connect with potential clients on a personal level. Connect your Facebook Business page to IG so you have access to the most powerful paid advertising tool on the internet right now. I would also advise partnering with your brokerage to allow them to promote your listings and drive traffic back to your personal agent page. All good stuff. Great panel!

Top comments are compiled by Inman’s editorial staff in no particular order.

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