WEAK AGENTS! How Much are they Hurting US ALL in Today's Market!

By
Real Estate Agent with Dean's Team - Keller Williams Realty Partners Chicago IL

"Adversity!  Handling it is the medicine that makes you strong!"

My Dad told me that when I was a mere tot.  Although he was not the first one to say something like that, I remember his words like they were said to me today.  Perhaps it was because he was standing in the middle of the living room in his boxer shorts at the time.  Well, I digress . . .

In today's market, which is sluggish here in Chicago and in many places, most of us agree that pricing too high is not an option.  Quite frankly, the property will not sell!

Settling for cluttered, messy properties.  Consenting to very low compensation, or a short listing term.  Often, these are the death knells for a successful transaction as well.

In your listing presentations, you stand your ground!  Speak to principal!   Give them candid advice!

But candid, truthful advice these days doesn't always have a sweet taste.  In the old days, say, 2005, if a seller wanted to list his house too high, you could speak with confidence and authority - "List it at market, and it will sell quickly, with a minimum of hassle to you, and at the top price."  Nowadays, you're not always sure!

So, when you get a listing, and it doesn't sell - out comes the magnifying glass.  "The other agent will do this," or "My sister-in-law says," or "You don't spend enough time or money doing . . . "

Or, sometimes, you don't get the listing in the first place!  Who does it go to?

The agent that agrees completely with them.  The agent who will nod their head to whatever the sellers say.  Sometimes, often times - these listings do not sell, they expire.  But, when they do - you might not get a second chance.  Because there is a line of other "yes men" waiting at the door.

And, you know what?  All these desperate, weak agents just build up the general notion that ALL OF US have no idea what we are doing.  That we are ALL incompetent.  We are all painted with the same brush.

This really hit home the other day, when, to a referring attorney, I was painted as a "hustler" only wanting to "get the listing at any price, so I can sell it quickly, and make a few bucks, and run."  Folks, I've been doing this for a lot of years - but seem to have this perception problem far more often these days.

On another client, we're in mid-negotiation.  A huge gap was reduced to only $1,000 after three days of negotiating.  "Hey, Dean," my client said.  "Your pretty successful!  Why don't you cover the gap?"

"Sorry, wish I could, but I can't,"  I replied.  "What do you mean," my client immediately responded.  "I know other agents that would immediately kick in - to SAVE THEIR COMMISSION!"

Had an estate sale client, three brothers.  I was referred, explained my work, but was not the cheapest game in town.   Who was?  The neighborhood "blue-haired lady agent,"  with unsold signs all over the neighborhood these days.  She got the listing over our Team!  How did she?

I asked the prospective client.  He replied that the other AGENT told him, "All of us agents are alike - we really don't do much of anything differently than each other!  It all comes down to who lives here in the neighborhood - and, I AM the cheapest alternative for you."

When houses sell, quickly, without hassle, and for a good price, you are an immediate hero.  When they do not, despite your best efforts (without useless make-the-client-happy activity), you could be perceived as a bum.  And one of the very troubling reasons why - other Real Estate Practitioners are very eager to put you down - and, at the same time, put all of us, collectively in the profession, down.

I would love your thoughts, shares, and suggestions on how to deal with the "desperation" agents creating a bad rep for us all.  Try not to get too "keep your chin up" motivational here - this is a growing problem which needs to be statagized today!

We're all waiting!

DEAN & DEAN'S TEAM CHICAGO

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Rainer
2,806
Cathy Neuschafer
Coldwell Banker Gesik Realty - Lincoln City, OR

Oh, so true.

It's the same everywhere. Always has been. Some agents will tell a listing prospect anything they want to hear to get the listing. Nothing worse, to me, than having a listing you know is overpriced and you know won't sell. You know the seller will be unhappy and you have to try to explain why the home isn't being shown, no offers coming in, and ask yourself why you lied in the first place just to get the listing and have no backbone. Maybe they don't ask themselves that - but I am.

 I would like to share your post with my agents. As the Manager, they don't really want to listen to me. But validation from another Realtor? Maybe.

Mar 07, 2008 06:07 PM #1
Rainer
70,379
Shayne Stone
First Texas Realty - Richmond, TX

I've only been in the business less than two years and have just started taking listings this year. So I haven't had as much experience as ya'll have.

But when my clients as about lowering my commission, I just said "NO". And explained why! But since I only had three listings in the last 2-months - I sold two of them within 14-30 days and above the asking price. So I really cannot talk much about this subject, but am sure I will within another year or two.

Mar 07, 2008 06:23 PM #2
Rainmaker
1,463,376
Tom Braatz
Re/Max Realty 100 262-377-1459 - Oconomowoc, WI
Waukesha County Realtor Real Estate agent,Waukesha

Dean

They can really put a monkey wrench in things

Regards

Tom Braatz

Mar 08, 2008 12:12 AM #3
Rainer
22,992
Guy E. Gimenez
The PowerHouse Group - Austin, TX
ABR, CRS, GRI - Broker - Austin Texas Homes (512-731-5613)

Dean, this is a phenomenon that is becoming all the more prevalent as the the less knowledgeable, less talented agents respond to market conditions.  When these agents bring nothing more than MLS access to the table, the only thing they can do is drop their pricing (commission).  They are in fact nothing more of less than a commodity, not unlike a can of peas.  Be it Dole or Green Giant, it doesn't really matter...they're both the same commodity so which one is cheapest.  I don't look for this to go away anytime soon though.  When agents see significantly decreased income, something has to give and that something is usually the agent's commission.  

My key is to differentiate myself from the other agents.  Like the blue haired lady said, they're all the same, and she's right.  All those like her are the same, same lack of skills, talents and fortitude. 

I can tell you honestly, I simply won't take a listing at less than my 6% because I'm not a commodity and I can clearly prove it.  If I lose the listing, so be it.  I usually call a broker friend and tell her, "Hey, lost a listing today, let's celebrate with some java this afternoon."  I simply refuse to work from a position of scarcity.  If they want the cheapest, they can certainly find cheaper on every corner, much like the homeless in our town.  Begging for business because they have nothing to offer and they know it.  I also believe there will always be those educated consumers that will pay for professionalism, knowledge and skils.

My motto is this....I'd rather go fishing and not make money than work and not make money. 

NEXT!

 

Mar 08, 2008 12:30 AM #4
Rainer
50,408
Heather Rankin
Rankin Realty at Lake Powell, LLC - Page, AZ
Lake Powell Real Estate

Wow, just got to add in here.... First off, relatively new but will not take less commission. I have been busting my tail learning everything I can get my hands on, frequently up until 2 in the a.m. I have almost memorized the MLS for my area and have been by all active properties. Because we are in a rural area (long story) I went to the county recorder and bought plat maps of every single private ownership land parcel within 30 miles. I have started my own website, and been active on the rain. I am licensed in one state and am leaving next weekend to go to 90 more hours of class to receive an Arizona license (yes, am going to be well educated in the federal portion)

Bottom line: I am in this for the long haul and will make mistakes then learn, but I will NOT be the commodity of peas.

My broker said the other day when i was bemoaning the fact one other company has the lions share of the listings here, "We are not here to take listings, we are here to get buyers and sellers together"

Guy I like the motto, totally agree with it. I live by one very big fishing pond. 

Adversity = one more opportunity to succeed.

Cheers! 

 

Mar 08, 2008 01:23 AM #5
Rainer
52,213
Bobbie Files
Success Real Estate - Taunton, MA
Realtor, Berkley, Greater Taunton Homes for Sale

Hi there,

I am a FULL TIME Realtor and have been for 13 years.  I capitalized FULL TIME becuase that is a HUGE problem in my area!  Most of the inexperienced, unskilled, or plain out lazy agents have gotten "real jobs" to supplement their income.

The Massachusetts market (Bristol County in particular) is declining at a rate that is out pacing most other states.  Pricing a home to sell is an increasingly difficult task, especially in the towns and cities that are saturated with homes for sale.  I do feel that more than 1/2 of the time an incorrectly priced home is more of a misunderstanding or not full grasping of the absorption rates for the town, and not necessarily "just saying anything to get the listing" mentality.

This market will by itself weed out the underperforming agents and open up a new level of production and achievement to those who not only survive but Thrive.

Bobbie Files
REALTOR
Keller Williams Realty
www.BerkleyMass.com

 

Mar 08, 2008 07:03 AM #6
Rainmaker
351,011
Dan Brudnok
Keller Williams RE- Exton - PA License Number #RS225179L - Downingtown, PA
REALTOR,e-PRO,ABR,GREEN,SRES,CSP

Dean,

In good and bad times, there are people who will say anything to get a listing.  They too seem to have many that reduce very quickly.....I don't get it.

I am honest to a fault with all my clients (as my wife would say), yet I sleep very well at night.  I have lost listings, but to a one with Seller's refusing to listen to me......so why bother.  I know that I have helped many.....and I am here for the long term, so why risk my integrity?

Mar 08, 2008 08:22 AM #7
Rainer
300,058
Vicente A. Martinez
Prudential Douglas Elliman Licensed Real Estate Salesperson - Woodhaven, NY
Realtor, Brooklyn - Long Island - Queens Homes
Hi Dean. GREAT POST! It's the weak agents that make us look bad. The ones that will take an overpriced listing at a discounted fee and then want you to help them sell it. In this market I've seen quite a few disappear almost overnight.
Mar 10, 2008 02:08 AM #8
Rainer
5,432
Christina Happ Stoneman
Coldwell Banker Hedges Realty - Cedar Rapids, IA

Dean,

I think that you just have to stick to the same standards that you have had all these years.  They are hurting our business and will continue to hurt our business, unfortunately.  This year will weed out more of the weaker agents, but not enough.  Our market here is still pretty good, but on Friday I had to give a market on a house that was $30,000 under what they thought their house was worth.  That was not an easy task, but I stuck to my "GUT" and I didn't waiver.  How easy it would have been to tell them what they wanted to hear, but I can't do that.  Now someone else may come in and tell them what they want to hear, but let them waste their time and money.  (I didn't get the listing!)

I am with you on the pricing though.  I used to be so sure in pricing and now it seems like a crap shot.  Then you still think that you have it priced right and it sits on the market.

Thanks fotr the discussion, like always.

Mar 10, 2008 10:03 PM #9
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Rainmaker
362,983

Dean Moss

Dean's Team Chicago IL Real Estate Team
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