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.
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?
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