Market sales data is an indicator of a market acceleration. Another sign I notice is new real estate businesses. Each time we experience either a rebound or surge in the real estate market; it is followed by an outpouring of real estate companies based on “new” platforms as well as products designed for real estate agents. In reverse, many of these businesses seem to be the first to go when the market declines. For five years, I rarely had a call from a salesperson trying to sell me the latest and greatest item that was going to flood me with business. Now the phone rings several times a day with these calls.
In the 70’s and 80’s it was file systems with “Prospect Cards” along with pens and cups with your name imprinted on them; magnetic signs to put on the side of your car, magical rolodexes and a host of other items.
Starting in the 90’s through today we primarily see technology based products designed to make prospecting and client follow up a piece of cake. Don’t get me wrong, I bought my share of cups and pens; I carried a Day-Timer and had the magic rolodex. Presently, I believe in having the most up to date technology available both to make my business run more efficiently as well as to provide the best service to my clients. However, no system will serve you if you are not willing to sit down every day, open the metal box that contains your prospect card and dial the phone.
One of the latest startups is being termed a “hybrid” real estate office where you can find discount and pay as you go services. Sounds like a new name for an old idea. Help-U-Sell made its debut in 1976 as the original fee-for-service real estate company. There have been several similar companies since, many of which are no longer in business.
I hope I don’t sound like the old dog that I probably am. I respect new ideas and new companies; however, the real estate media touts these as “changing real estate” and “poised to disrupt the market” and “shaking up the market”. In my humble opinion (IMHO), the only thing that shakes up, disrupts or changes the real estate market, with exception of acts of God, is the economy and interest rates. Now, the recent presidential election is what I would term a “shake-up” and I’ve yet to see a new real estate idea achieve that!
I believe real estate agents should treat their job seriously, as a professional career, whether full or part time. That means obtaining the knowledge and abilities to serve a client in pricing, property conditions, contracts and documents, negotiations etc. If this can be achieved by offering services at a low fee and/or by offering less service, my hat’s off to that. I personally don’t know how to provide the level of service I feel obligated to offer on a limited budget and stay in business.
My advice to the consumer as well as sales agents is to perform your due diligence. Check references, research the services a company is offering, make sure tech support or guidance is available and know what will be required of you to accomplish your goals whether it is selling a home or having a successful career. Remember the adage “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is” and choose wisely.
Michael Elliott has been selling real estate at the Lake of the Ozarks since 1981. He is one of the most respected brokers in the area. If you have interest in a career in real estate or would like Michael’s assistance in the sale or purchase of property, contact him at 573.365.SOLD or firstname.lastname@example.org View thousands of lake area listings at www.YourLake.com $1 million plus homes at www.LakeMansions.com You can also view each months’ article, ask questions and offer your opinion on Michael’s real estate blog, www.AsTheLakeChurns.com