Just curious: Why aren’t you telling your clients what you do for them? Sure, we’ve all seen the memes or infographics that list the tasks agents perform, but do you supply these to each and every client that signs on with you?
Do you outline on your website and in your listing presentations what you actually do for clients? And, no, we aren’t talking “negotiate to get you the best deal,” or “make suggestions on how to get your home ready for the market,” although those items do have a place on the list.
We’re talking a lengthy and impressive list of everything you do to earn the money you’re paid.
It’s truly a pity that this is even a suggestion. Do you wonder what your doctor, lawyer, veterinarian, hair stylist or plumber does to earn the money you pay them?
Apparently, buyers think that all you do is run MLS searches and open doors for them and sellers think your biggest contribution is helping to figure out home value and sticking a sign in the yard.
Unfortunately, the real estate agent’s “respectable profession” has been downgraded to a pastime, according to Justin Fox at Forbes.com.
Unlike other professions, to get the respect you deserve, you’ll need to earn it – to prove your worth.
Sucks, I know.
From their mouths to your ears
“With the press of a button, the home was online and buyers began touring the home,” a home seller told Andrea Requier at MarketWatch.com.
“However, my listing agent was not giving the tours, the buyer’s agents were. After the home sold, I realized that my agent did very little to earn his share of (the commission),” he concluded.
Notice how the seller credits both technology and buyers’ agents for the traffic through his home. He doesn’t seem to have a clue that his listing agent is responsible and exactly how much work it took to generate that traffic.
We can place the blame for real estate consumers’ ignorance of your job duties on others, but since so much of what you do is performed behind the scenes, the blame lies with agents.
It’s not enough to tell prospective clients how amazing you are. It’s not enough to list your statistics and to sling a snappy slogan at them.
This is not your parents’ real estate industry
“Emerging technologies and data-driven startups are empowering consumers and fundamentally changing the way they buy and sell properties,” according to Tommy O’Shaughnessy at ListWithClever.com.
“What’s more, discount and nontraditional brokerages are challenging the longstanding reign of the traditional realtor model.”
There are real threats to what we once assumed was a pretty bullet-proof profession. Now is not the time for complacency; not when all of these emerging technologies and alternative brokerages are busy proving their worth to the consumer.
What else real estate consumers don’t get
Interestingly, nearly half of home sellers think the buyer pays their agent’s commission, according to the results of a Clever Real Estate study published in February 2019.
Other interesting tidbits from the study include:
- Nearly half of listing clients were unaware that they would be paying the buyer’s agent.
- Nearly 40 percent of the survey respondents feel that artificial intelligence technology can sell a home better than a real estate agent.
- Millennial home sellers were twice as likely to say that their agent was “unimportant or not important at all in the home-selling process.”
Far too many agents aren’t educating their clients and it’s to the point now where their ignorance of the process and what you do to earn the commission is discounted below that of artificial intelligence.
It’s time to let them know a few things
To prove your value, start with explaining every last detail of the buying or selling process.
Explain to your buyers what to expect from the mortgage process, from start to finish, including the major players (loan processor, underwriter, etc.) and what duties each performs. This shows your knowledge – stuff they wouldn’t get if they were winging it on their own.
Go over the purchase agreement and all other forms the buyer will be expected to sign, explaining when he or she will receive it, what it means and what happens after it’s submitted.
You’ll naturally want to explain your part in the process as well. Assisting with repair negotiations and stressing the importance of performing the final walk through with a professional at hand are two you don’t want to neglect.
For instance, you might want to explain to a home seller:
“After you sign the listing agreement, I’ll head back to the office and call the sign company to ensure a sign is placed in your yard. I’ll begin the marketing campaign by writing a description of the home for the MLS entry. Then, I’ll …”
Step-by-step, what you do from list to close, or from the time a buyer signs on with you to close.
It should go without saying that you should explain complicated terms. Even some you don’t think are complicated, such as contingency, escrow, earnest money and title search.
A glossary of common real estate terms on your website can streamline this process. Just steer them to the right page.
Speaking of your website, how about creating an infographic outlining all the steps that you take when working with clients and posting it on your site?
So much of what a real estate agent does goes on behind the scenes. How are consumers going to know what you do—the value provided by working with you—if you don’t let them know each and every duty you perform?
Send at least 100 Just Curious About Selling postcards from the Get More Listings Series.
Need help targeting the perfect niche of buyers or sellers? Use our mailing list tool to create the ideal list (it’s easy) or call our support team for assistance at 866.405.3638!
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