How to Avoid Getting Stuck With The Wrong Online Real Estate Agent!

By
Real Estate Broker Owner with Lola Audu~Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI Real Estate

oh my goodness...what a clown!A blind date has got to be one of life's scarier moments! Many of us have been the recipient of this form of 'relationship assistance' at some point in our lives.

Although, it's exciting to not know exactly who you will be meeting, the experience is fraught with much angst and trepidation for precisely the same reason...you don't know exactly what you'll get when your date shows up in person!

Today, online dating has spawned hundreds of thousands of successful unions.  However, we all suspect that for every success story, there are oodles of folks who don't have a storybook outcome. 

We all worry about the potential for this:

  • A person whose in person appearance is not even remotely connected to how they appear online

 

  • Fake Testimonials which promise more than they deliver

 

  • Individuals who are not what they purport to be...ie the 'pretend doctor' syndrome with fake credentials

These issues are also a concern for millions of consumers who are now going online to select professional services like those provided by members of the real estate community.  Data from the National Association of Realtors indicates that more than 80% of all consumers will utilize the Internet as a part of their selection process for choosing an agent and/or home.  Selecting the right agent for your specific concerns can make all the difference in the world.

researching onlineAlthough, there are no guarantees that even your best efforts will yield the results you desire, taking the time to do some preliminary research will greatly enhance your prospects for a successful match.  Let's examine some critical aspects which you should consider as you review potential prospects.

Do You Know if they're the Real Deal?

I mean this literally.  Make sure you're dealing with a real person or business.  Do some checking.  It's pretty easy.  Here are some suggestions:  Contact the local real estate board to inquire about their membership and status.  If they indicate they hold certain awards or designations, call or go online to see if they are on the membership roster.  Google the physical location/address and if you still have doubts, do a drive by.  If things don't check out at this basic level, there's a problem.

Are their Products Visible?

You'll be hiring a real estate agent to market your home.  The disappearing agent who sticks a sign in the yard and NEVER calls is well documented in real estate folklore. 

But what about the disappearing listing? When the home is placed on the market, it becomes a part of the real estate companys' listing portfolio. 

Did you know that there is a dramatic difference between the levels of exposure which your home may receive on the Internet? Did you know that your agent's understanding of Search Engine Positioning and Optimization will be key determinants of your exposure?

For instance, a good online real estate agent can literally put your home on the map...the google indexing map that is.  Imagine being able to say to your friends and family...did you google my home?  If you're competing with 50 other homes for sale in your community, this may make all the difference in the world.

Do They Know What They're Talking About?

Here's the area where the Internet can be of the greatest benefit.  While an increasing number of agents and their agencies have websites, these will provide you with only static information about their listings and services.  To dig deeper, it's prudent to see if the agent you are considering also writes a blog.

Blogging provides a tremendous amount of benefit to the consumer who is in the process of selecting an agent.  For starters, it can save you TIME!  In reading a good agent blog, you will be able to determine the areas of an agent's expertise, their style with clients, the kinds of transactions they handle, and the way they resolve conflicts and solve problems.

Can You Interview them Without Extra Hassle?

You'll find that reading an agent's blog is similar to conducting an interview.  What's great is that you can e-mail or respond in the comment section if you have any additional questions or would like clarification on certain issues.  This type of dialog can be tremendously informative and provides a great platform to become comfortable with someone before hiring them for the job.

It's important to hire the right agent to get the job done.  Using this simple list will improve your chances of selecting someone who has the skill and personality which will be most in alignment with your specific needs.  If you are in the Grand Rapids, Michigan area and are looking for an Online Real Estate Expert, the real estate specialists at Audu Real Estate would be happy to explore how we can assist you.

Where Should you be looking?

Our listings are advertised in a number of Venues which include:  our website, numerous blogs, the Grand Rapids Association of Realtors Multiple Listing Service, the Michigan Association of Realtors  NAR (National Association of Realtors), Zillow, Trulia, Real Estate Shows, Google, Yahoo, Oodle, Twitter & Flickr.  Contact us to discuss how we can create an Internet marketing strategy which makes sense for you!

Copyright 2008  Audu Real Estate  All Rights Reserved

 

Check out these Related Articles for additional information:

 11369 starflower drive: Did You Tell Them to....Please Google Their Home?

Real Estate Blog - 11 "Quirky" Questions to Ask your Realtor ...

real estate advertising: 8 Great Ways to Reinvent the Old Pre-View Home Tour!

real estate advertising: The Question That Messed Up My Old Marketing Strategy!

marketing: Touch Points...Building Localism into the Communal Landscape!

real estate advertising: Elevating the Extraordinary Within The Ordinary...Another Look At Creative Marketing

real estate advertising: WHY Ambush Marketing is Gobbling Up The Hottest Real Estate on The Planet!

marketing: Creating Captivating Open Houses!

*thanks to Susan Deane of Greenridge Real Estate for pointing out the typo & resultant update.

 

 

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Topic:
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Greater GRAND RAPIDS, MI Real Estate
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Comments 42 New Comment

Rainmaker
388,327
Kim Sellers
Lake Arrowhead Realtor - DRE#01412099 - Lake Arrow
Lake Arrowhead, CA Coldwell Banker

Well said.  Such a huge thing to make sure you can carry what your selling on the Internet.

September 17, 2008 05:28 PM
Ambassador
486,555
Donna Bigda
Greater New Haven CT Real Estate
RE/MAX Alliance

Lola - With so many buyers and sellers who may be months out before deciding to buy or sell starting on the internet to find information on the real estate market, homes or a particular town they are considering a move to, the majority of agent and company websites today do not provide that personal window that a blog can create in allowing them to get the infomation they want anonymously and finding the agent they feel will best suit their needs.

September 17, 2008 09:03 PM
Rainer
285,731
Diane Aurit
Lake Norman Real Estate
LKN Realty, LLC

I do think blogging is the best way to get to know a Realtor.  I just got a buyer from Russia who has been following my blog for 8 months.  When we talked it was like we were old friends.  I agree that static websites really don't tell you much about an agent and people need to do their homework.  Great advice.

September 19, 2008 04:10 PM
Ambassador
380,745
Tracy Santrock
Raleigh - Cary Realtor
Fonville Morisey/Santrock Realty Group, Inc.

This is becoming more common today than ever.  You make some excellent points regarding expectations and what to ask the Realtor prior to meeting them.  As Diane points out - when people meet me they feel like they've known me for a long time through my blog. 

September 22, 2008 08:01 AM
Rainer
188,214
Ed Vogt
Grandville, MI Midwest Properties
Midwest Properties of Michigan

You brought up some great points for consumers/clients to think about and questions to ask when selecting an Agent.  On line interviews through our blogs or by reading our blogs is what I have found some to be doing. 

September 23, 2008 01:48 PM
Rainmaker
373,283

Lola Audu

Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI ~Welcome Home!
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Grand Rapids, Michigan real estate information including houses for sale, rent and home buyer/seller tips. Also includes wisdom and insights from Lola Audu, CRS Associate Broker.

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