The Future of Full Service Real Estate! Is Anyone Listening??

By
Real Estate Agent with Sierra Vista Realty

HelloWith the rise of the discount real estate service companies, we have to be better than we were 5 years ago, even a year ago! We use the term "Full service", but do we provide it?

I keep hearing some real-estate agents complaining about discount brokers taking a bite out of the real-estate market and they are worried that Web companies like Redfin and Zillow will, for some buyers and sellers, eliminate the need for a full-service agent.

Full service real estate services are about more than a commission, it is about treating clients like a member of the family and not just a number. Our commitment must go beyondjust answering our phone, putting a sign in a yard and looking up houses on the MLS.

Successful agents fundamentally and ultimately understand that success is based on human relationships and personal connection that a discount firm or an on-line company cannot offer.

We can and need to be more personable, which is the most effective way of building a loyal customer base and growing our business rather than loose it to discount firms. As a business problem, the issue gets down to this: If our clients cannot get individualized service from you, they will go to a discount firm. 

Our future depends on customized and professional service. A useful metaphor is clothing. Would you prefer an "off the rack," or a tailored suit? Some folks can buy clothing off the rack that fits fine, but most people look best with fitted clothing, even if the modifications are slight.

Off the rack is serviceable, but not desirable. It lacks style. It lacks elegance. It is comfortable only in a diffuse, unrestrained way. You'd wear one if you had to, but only if there were no alternative. But when it comes to that suit made to fit you exactly, it not only looks great, but it feels great. There's something comforting about a snug, custom fit. It doesn't have to be extreme to give you a sense of well-being.

Real Estate should work the same way. Every client wants you to "tailor" your service to fit them. You can't just trot out the same routine for every client!

Just some thoughts.

Brad Snyder - "The 45 Day REALTOR"
www.45DayListings.com 

EDIT: Paul Silver made some great comments and insights on this post and in his own post (Discount Brokers, Full Service Brokers, Limited Service Brokers... what is all the fuss?) I would reccomend you also read his post. I would now change my use of the word "Discount" to "Limited Service".

Thanks Paul!

Brad Snyder

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Location:
Arizona Cochise County Huachuca City
Tags:
full service
discount service
attitude
brad snyder
sierra vista

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Rainmaker
210,324
Yvette Chisholm
Associate Broker - Rockville, MD 301-758-9500
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc.
Go back to the basics...if you tour homes, talk to buyers and sellers, know the market, personal experience...it can't be replaced.  But if you don't bother to truly know your market and keep up on stats...well...then it choices rather than you can get everything with this agent.
September 14, 2007 11:18 PM
Rainer
29,376
Shari George
Coldwell Banker Tomlinson

"Discounters" do very well here..I've often thought of joining the ranks!!  An agent can give good service, no matter the price.

September 14, 2007 11:44 PM
Rainmaker
90,776
Cindy Stys
The Premier Equine Realty Broker
Cindy Stys Equestrian & Country Properties, Ltd

 

Good point!  Has anyone read Commissions at Risk?  It's about more than discounters but rather companies which will "automate the entire transaction from cradle to grave".

The author also stresses how it's important to find a niche market (among other things) to prepare for the inevitable future of the way real estate transactions will occur. 

I am still on the fence about whether or not I fully buy into the author's predictions.

 

September 15, 2007 12:01 AM
Rainer
15,237
Suburban Chicago Illinois Real Estate
Suburban Village Realty

Brad,

Some great points are made and Paul Silver also makes some very good points. From my personal evaluations though, I have to agree with the last part of James Boyer's comments on this one.

September 15, 2007 06:48 PM
Rainmaker
296,413
Ryan Hukill - Edmond
Realtor
ShowMeOKC Team of Paradigm AdvantEdge
Great post and great points. IMO, the discount and online brokers will never replace us. They just offer something different that some consumers want and some don't. I've had many discussions about this lately and I compare it to my own preferences. I choose to drive a little farther and pay a little more for my groceries at Target, rather than the Wal-Mart Supercenter that's about 1 mile from my home. Why? Because the stores are cleaner, the isles are wider, the products are often better quality and the service is superior. It's worth the extra money to me. It may not be for my neighbor, but my neighbor has different tastes than I do. 
September 15, 2007 11:37 PM
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Rainmaker
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Brad Snyder

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Additional Information

Sierra Vista, Arizona real estate information.