Joe Blow isn't on TV... But the Big Balloon Company is...How Do You Choose

By
Real Estate Agent with CELLing Realty

Have you ever driven down Main Street of whatever city you wanted to buy a home in, and noticed all the Real Estate Offices?  If it is a small town, you might have Mom and Pop Browns Realty, and Joe Blow's Realty Plus, a few more with cute catchy names, some with pictures in the windows and some with a lot of neat stuff outside inviting you in.

 

Kathy McGraw CELLing Realty

But how do you know which one to go to, especially if you have 10 choices within a few blocks radius?  Do you go to the one with the Big Balloon because you saw it on TV?  How about the one that has all the Golden Houses on their ads?  Are these better because you recognize them?  How do you choose?

First of all let's talk about Marketing.......the Big Balloon one has thousands of dollars to spend on TV and Print Advertising, and so does the Golden House one.  Joe Blow's Realty might only advertise in the local paper, or maybe not.  A lot depends on the size of the Town or City that you are in.  The Big Balloon one and the Golden House one, are the ones you're familiar with, because you have seen them, you hear about them....but once you get through the door Who is selling you the house?

OK, back to the TV.....you see the wonderful ads.....you've driven down the street, and you pick  Joe Blow's Realty Plus and the Big Balloon as your 2 choices.  You park your car, hopefully there is somewhere to park. You go first to the Big Balloon, after all this is the one you know, and you want the best, and they say they're the "Best."  You drag your 3 little kids with you and go into the Office.  The receptionist smiles, and says someone will be right with you.....

A well dressed Agent comes out and takes you into the conference room where  you explain you are just looking around, and don't know  if you can buy a house, but wanted to see some just in case you might want to live there.  Now how is this persons attitude?  Do they tell you to go get pre-approved first, before  they will show you around?  What type of "attitude" did you get from them? Does this  person know all the ins and outs of the area.  Did they immediately try to sell you a house, or did they take the time to listen to you, ask you where you're from, etc. etc. etc.   Did they try to get to know YOU?  How comfortable were you with them.....

 

Next you go inside  Joe Blow's Office which  doesn't have a receptionist,  but you see a couple people working. They aren't dressed like the people at the other office, and they don't have a conference room. One of them comes up and introduces themselves, and invites you to have a seat........asks you if your little ones need a restroom, asks you if you, and the kids, would like something to drink.....gives you undivided attention......

You explain you are just looking around, and don't know  if you can buy a house, but wanted to see some just in case you might want to live there.  Now how is this persons attitude?  Do they tell you to go get pre-approved first, then they will show you around? How comfortable are you with this person?  Do they seem to know the area?

People first Real Estate second

Real Estate is all about relationships, how comfortable did you feel?  Did the person, in either Office, show you respect, and give you a feeling of not only competence but of acceptance?  Would you want to be with this person for the next several months while you look around?  How will they communicate with you? Did you feel that even if you don't have a fax machine or an e-Mail that this person would be there for you? Did they even ask? 

Real Estate is a People Business.....all of us  List and Sell Houses, Land, Commercial Properties, etc. for people.  We sell to people!  We have likes and dislikes, families, maybe a dog or two, and hobbies.  Some of us might be older or younger than you, but it is imperative to spend a few minutes talking to us as a person first and an Agent second. 

You will be a "Team" with that person, not with the Golden House or the Big Balloon......you can't sit in that cute little chair by the pretty flowers outside the door......you will be talking with each other either electronically or on the phone, in order to get your needs met.  So make sure you know who it is you're working with.

Next time when you drive down Main Street wondering which Real Estate Office to choose remember that it is a Person you are looking for, not an Office......

Google them.....read what they have written, but above all remember to look beyond the Real Estate Company, that is just Marketing, we all do it.   The Real Estate Agent you want is the one you will be comfortable with personally and professionally regardless of what you see advertised on TV or in the Papers.

 

By: Kathy McGraw - CELLing Realty

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Rainmaker
291,915
Kathy McGraw
CELLing Realty - White Water, CA
Riverside County CA Real Estate

Paul-Nicely stated...thank you.  And Google-ing is coming :)

Bill- Thank you for stopping in...and it will always be the case that all of us have  choices.

Oct 12, 2007 12:27 PM #64
Rainmaker
311,866
Leslie Prest
Leslie Prest, Prest Realty, Sales and Rentals in Payson, AZ - Payson, AZ
Owner, Assoc. Broker, Prest Realty, Payson,
I've run into people several times who went to the "gold coat people" because they recognized the name, and weren't very happy with the service in my small town. Not to name any names or anything. People don't realize that each office in a franchise is only as good (or bad) as the people working at that particular office.
Oct 12, 2007 01:13 PM #65
Rainer
81,971
Rey Gallegos
W.J. Bradley Mortgage Capital LLC (NV License # 504) - Las Vegas, NV
FHA, VA, Home Loans Las Vegas, NV
I think that this post outlines what makes our industry and therefore every other industry great, which is diversity.  Some people want to go with the big ad budget people and some people want to go with the Mom and Pops.  This is all persoanl preference.  Great post!  Well written.
Oct 12, 2007 02:47 PM #66
Rainmaker
291,915
Kathy McGraw
CELLing Realty - White Water, CA
Riverside County CA Real Estate

To whom it may concern:  I just deleted the anonymous comment of what company to avoid......This Post isn't about that, and I don't want any company or agent slandered on here.....your comment may have a lot of truth to it, however without any specifics it isn't appropriate to just say Avoid ABC Company.  If you have specific reasons to avoid them you can:

1) Go to the Broker in Charge with you complaint

2) Find out what Local Board of Realtors they belong to, and file an ethics complaint if you have cause

3) Every State has some sort of Licensing Authority (usually the State) and they handle consumer complaints.......

I hope you understand why I felt the need to delete your comment......it was too general, and I have given you a few resources to help you resolve the issues if you want.  Thank you for your understanding. 

Oct 12, 2007 04:11 PM #67
Rainmaker
291,915
Kathy McGraw
CELLing Realty - White Water, CA
Riverside County CA Real Estate

Leslie- you stated: "People don't realize that each office in a franchise is only as good (or bad) as the people working at that particular office."  Exactly.......Thank you.......

Rey "Steak Dinner"- you stated: "I think that this post outlines what makes our industry and therefore every other industry great, which is diversity."   Thank you....it is indeed Diversity, everyone has something to offer to someone....and not everyones needs are the same :) :)

Oct 12, 2007 04:18 PM #68
Rainmaker
336,214
Dena Stevens
Century 21 Canon Land & Investment - Canon City, CO
Putting The Real Into Realtor Since 2004
Oh this is so getting forwarded! Excellent points. This is a topic in my office almost daily.
Oct 12, 2007 11:06 PM #69
Rainmaker
291,915
Kathy McGraw
CELLing Realty - White Water, CA
Riverside County CA Real Estate
Dena- Glad you found it timely, and useful :) :)  Now good luck with the discussions.........
Oct 13, 2007 12:37 AM #70
Rainer
192,519
"Tommy" Decebal
HomeSpector Inc. 516-851-5833 - Farmingdale, NY
Adamescu Long Island NY Certified MASTER Home Insp

Very interesting article.

Thank you.

www.HomeSpectorInc.com

Oct 13, 2007 01:32 AM #71
Rainer
18,257
blreast therealty4u
Beach and Luxury Realty, Inc. - New Smyrna Beach, FL

 

I've always been amazed that people will list with Big Balloon, or Golden colours.... just because of the television spots and millions in advertising....

    But never seem to realize all that money is spent selling their Branding and business... Not any home in particular!  What could does it do the individual seller?  but he doesn't think about that..

and often not whether the agent is the right fit or not...

Like has been pointed out maybe great agents in the franchise, but is that the one who you've gotten for your needs? 

Check out different agents... and find the one with interest in your interests!

Likewise as agents, sometimes we need to be more honest and selective about clients we work and spend hours and days with....  ? Be Real and if some other agent would be a better fit, or personality...   pass on... but I'm NOT JUST TALKING ABOUT 'problem cases' either...

Good article... 

Oct 13, 2007 03:17 AM #72
Rainmaker
153,515
Nancy Moeller
Seven Gables Real Estate - Anaheim Hills, CA
I love working as an agent for the big balloon, but it's all about the person. I'm happy if our advertising gets my phone to ring, but it doesn't get someone to list unless we connect.
Oct 13, 2007 05:35 AM #73
Anonymous
Anonymous
Anonymous
Kathy-What a thought provoking post!  I had myself sitting back thinking as if I were the consumer.  What do I look for and what do I want from a person I'm going to hire?  Personality, honesty, knowledge, drive, and the desire to take care of me. Oh and eye contact.  That let's me know the person cares.  
Oct 13, 2007 09:57 AM #74
Rainmaker
291,915
Kathy McGraw
CELLing Realty - White Water, CA
Riverside County CA Real Estate

blreast the realty4you-Thank you for coming by and leaving your responses....indeed we all , consumer and client alike should try to work with the best match for fulfilling needs.......whatever they are.  Many have Teams, and the Team approach is designed to have at least one person for each part of a transaction...people doing what they do best .

No one Person can meet all our needs.....Teamwork with the Lender, Title, Escrow, Stager, Appraiser, Contractor, etc.  are all important......everyone has an important role to play for the Buyer and Seller.

Nancy- Wise....and well said.  Thank you.

Julie- Thanks.......yes, a little thought put into who to hire helps everyone, and I had forgotten to mention eye contact......that is really important.  Let the consumer, or whoever know they are important to you, and vice versa.

Oct 13, 2007 12:37 PM #75
Rainmaker
176,954
Robert McArtor
RE/MAX Components - Fallston Maryland - Bel Air, MD
Top Listing Agent for Baltimore and Harford County
When the "Balloon Company" is 8 Counties away soliciting business, I just have to chuckle....."Can you tell me Ms. Balloon Company why there are so many houses for sale on Smith Ave.?" - The locals will know, the Balloon Co. never will! (Unless they read about it from Google)
Oct 13, 2007 07:20 PM #76
Rainmaker
291,915
Kathy McGraw
CELLing Realty - White Water, CA
Riverside County CA Real Estate

Robert-  That is another good point.  An Agent can list anywhere but that doesn't mean they know the area. I see this every day with some Companies, and Agents listing, never showing, and having no idea of what the area is like. but they don't refer their client....now to me this isn't in the clients best interests, especially in this Market.......

this goes for big, small, home office equally........sell what you know, it helps everyone :) :)

Oct 13, 2007 09:57 PM #77
Rainer
29,382
Brandon Hoffman
RE/MAX Connected - Irmo, SC
Kathy, just as a followup to your reply to my comment, I agree with you 100%. I believe the company is there to support the agent and not vice versa. Of course, it's up to the agent to follow up and create a good reputation. RE is like every other business, you have people who are good and honest and some that aren't.
Oct 14, 2007 09:04 PM #78
Rainmaker
291,915
Kathy McGraw
CELLing Realty - White Water, CA
Riverside County CA Real Estate
Brandon- Exactly.....:) :)
Oct 14, 2007 11:31 PM #79
Rainmaker
151,411
Amanda Hall
DFW Living - Fort Worth, TX
Real Estate Broker - Fort Worth Texas

I used to be a balloon head.  Took all that knowledge and ability to serve with me when I went independent.  I wrote a blog not too long ago about being stalked by the balloon because what had to have been the largest balloon in the fleet was practically in the backyard on MY FIRST LISTING appointment as an independent.  It was some of the weirdest timing ever but made for a great story!

It IS all about the individual ability of the person hired to do the job.  Great post!

Dec 10, 2007 07:14 AM #80
Rainmaker
291,915
Kathy McGraw
CELLing Realty - White Water, CA
Riverside County CA Real Estate
Amanda- I am going to go find you Post....am in the mood for some entertainment :)  thanks for reading and commenting.....
Dec 10, 2007 09:00 PM #81
Rainer
32,350
Linda Futral
Newnan, GA
Here you guys go http://activerain.com/blogsview/205124/THAT-HOT-AIR-BALLOON  probably not the best way to get it here but hey it worked.
Dec 10, 2007 09:14 PM #82
Rainmaker
291,915
Kathy McGraw
CELLing Realty - White Water, CA
Riverside County CA Real Estate

Amanda- this is funny...I am at one of your other Posts right now while you commented on this, but it is so interesting, and funny (one of your new Posts) I wanted to finish it first .....:) 

Linda- thanks for the link...I'll go there in about 5 minutes :)

Dec 10, 2007 09:17 PM #83
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Rainmaker
291,915

Kathy McGraw

Riverside County CA Real Estate
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