Should Real Estate Be More Like Ebay?

Real Estate Agent with Prudential California Realty

I am lucky. I REALLY love what I do. There is nothing like helping a first time home buyer through the process of becoming a homeowner or helping a seller get a home sold so that they can move on to the next.Customer Service

One thing I am continually surprised by, I am sorry to say, is the lack of professionalism and customer service by some people.  Don't get me wrong, I work with lots of great agents, lenders, etc... but there are so many that I can't believe are still in business.

Having worked in everything from marketing to various kinds of sales in my lifetime, I can honestly say that I have never see anything like this in other industries. I can not recall so many un-returned calls, improper documentation and at times, just plain bad attitudes.

I have been told on a few occasions, "it's the industry, we just have to deal with it."  But why?  Why should I and especially my clients have to deal with so many inadequacies?  It is really not fair to them! Because most of the time, NO ONE ELSE KNOWS about it!

Ebay has it figured out.I have bought and sold a few things on Ebay and I like that you have to rate or be rated by a star system every time you purchase something.  You get to read comments about people's experiences too.  Would you rather work with a two star agent or five star?

Ok, so maybe it would be just about impossible to implement a system where we can get rated by clients and other agents but it is important to really check out who you are working with.  Here are a few ideas:

Google them- This is just about the best way to see what a person is about. Are they on line?  Many studies have shown that more than 85% of home buyers start their search on line. To me that means a good agent knows they should be on line. You can tell a lot by their writing skills and the company they keep on blog platforms.

Ask around - Good agents are visible in their community. If you have a couple in mind, ask people if they know anything about them.

Call Multiple Times - See if they answer their phones or return calls in a timely manner.

These are just a few tips. Since we can't use Ebay's system, I am glad that there are on-line blog sites, like Active Rain, the one I use. You can get a good sense of a person by the company they keep here.  Check out their writing and their comments.

If you have questions about real estate or local Fulllerton area information, I would appreciate the opportunity to be of service!


Cristal Drake - Realtor (R)...At Your Service for all your Fullerton area real estate needs! RE/MAX North Orange County - 714-423-7525. All information in my blogs is believed to be accurate but is not guaranteed. Copyright 2009 all rights reserved.

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Kristin Moran
San Antonio,TX - Real Estate - 210-313-7397
Owner - RE/MAX Access -

I like your comparison.  I use EBAY alot also - like the system they have set up to rate sellers to warn others of bad service, etc.  KM

January 08, 2009 01:06 PM
Marilyn Harrell
Wixom Lake - Beaverton MI
ReMax Riverhaven

I shouldn't have had to call the power company three times to have power turned on.

First Call: We'll put it in your name, but our records say it is already on. 

                       (38 miles one way from home-it's not on)

Second Call: No Problem, we'll turn it on between 9:00 AM and 4:00 PM tomorrow.

                        (Second trip, it's still not on)

Third Call: You never asked to have the power turned on, you just asked us to put it in your name, it will be turned on tomorrow.

Poor Service is very frustrating! It doesn't matter what type of business you're dealing with, poor service is poor service!


January 08, 2009 02:35 PM
Ellie McIntire
CDPE, Howard County Homes for Sale
Ellicott City Clarksville Howard County Maryland Real Estate

Hence the reason I LOVE to work referrals. I have already been ranked by the referring person.

January 08, 2009 04:48 PM
Paula Swayne
Realtor-Land Park, East Sac & Curtis Park -Dunniga
Dunnigan, Realtors, Sacramento (916) 425-9715

Hi Cristal!
The idea of googling someone (client, other agent, etc) was introduced to me only recently.  I think it is a great idea and will certainly use it on my next escrow!

January 08, 2009 07:49 PM
Wayne Warshawsky
Realtor, ABR,IRES,CDPE,SFR Your Texas
RE/MAX Four Corners

Hopefully the slow down will weed out all these bad apples for us. 

January 08, 2009 09:06 PM
Cristal Drake
Realtor - Fullerton Real Estate
Prudential California Realty

Richard - Referrals are the BEST but unfortunately you might still be stuck with the terrible agent on the other side!

Kristin - Exactly. Wouldn't be cool if we had a rating system?

Marilyn - unfortunately poor service is not limited to our industry.  So frustrating!

Ellie - Yes ma'am! Love it!

Paula - isn't it great? I google most agents. funny how so many are MIA.

Wayne - I have been waiting!!!!!!!!!!!


January 09, 2009 12:06 AM
Michael Thornton
Home Inspector - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.0297
Complete Home Inspections, Inc.

Cristal, Too bad that service providers do not have a rating system. If they did, more of them would not be in this business...

~~ Michael

January 09, 2009 03:56 AM
Caren Wallace
Portland Caren Real Estate
John L. Scott Real Estate

We do have a rating system in our board, it is the Presidents Sale Club awards. I just got a call from a seller last week that had seen me on the current list and that was his criteria for calling me!

January 09, 2009 07:07 AM
Greg Nino
Houston, Texas
RE/MAX Compass, formerly RE/MAX WHP

80% of Realtors should NOT be licensed in my opinion.

But hey.. if it wasn't for them looking so bad, we may not look so "good"

January 09, 2009 08:46 PM
Denise Gray
Realtor SRES, Wichita Kansas Homes
Realty World Alliance

Your title grabbed my attention because I listened to a webinar one day that talked about selling homes like ebay. I've slept since I listened but I think it went something like this.

I get buyer to pay me upfront to advertise there home for auction. They put everything together I just advertise. I make them a web site because god knows the internet makes everything possible. They hold the auction I'm not even there. They call if they need information I still get paid.

So I try to convince the Buyer to do all the heavy lifting, pay me up front,, and they hope their home sells. On top of that I convince them they will make more money this way.

January 09, 2009 09:13 PM
Marcy Moyer
Keller Williams Realty Palo Alto Probate & Trust Specialist

Cristal, Excellent advise. I think I finally got a picture of my dog on an Active Rain Post. Check out my blog, the obamas Want a Labradoodle or Portuguese Water Dog.


January 12, 2009 10:45 PM
Ann Allen Hoover
CDPE SRES ASP e-PRO Realtor - Homes for Sale - AL
RE/MAX Advantage South

It still blows my mind when I meet an agent that does lots of business, only to find out that they are not really all that.  I don't get how these people get so far!

January 13, 2009 08:01 AM
Cherimie Crane
Cherimie Crane & Associates, Ballenger Realty


I completely agree..It would be fantastic if we had a "star" system so obvious as ebay's. I guess our best bet is our referrals...they are little stars themselves for sure.

Sorry I have been away. I hope you are having a great week.

January 13, 2009 08:36 AM
Robin Scott
Broker, CRS, ABR, SRS, REALTOR® - Austin Texas
Robin Scott, REALTOR®

Cristal, most of the people I work with are great but every onw and then I encounter an agent whose style is to try to bully you. Why? Everyone has a better day and probably better results when we cooperate and work toward a win-win.

January 13, 2009 11:47 AM
Bill Gassett
Metrowest Massachusetts Real Estate
RE/MAX Executive Realty

Cristal you know this is one of my favorite subjects:) It is funny sometimes how there is such a lack of thought that who a consumer chooses to represent them.

January 14, 2009 07:44 AM
Paddy (Patricia) Pizappi
Real Estate Associate Broker Hudson Valley NY
RJ Smith Realty Real Estate Solutions

Great advice Cristal.  People will often spend more time picking out a brand of shampoo than they do picking an agent then they wonder why they are not getting satisfactory service. 

January 16, 2009 06:43 AM
Cristal Drake
Realtor - Fullerton Real Estate
Prudential California Realty

Michael, I hear you!  It is too easy to give bad service (especially to other agents) because no one really knows about it!

Caren, awesome!  I love that system!

Greg, of course you are right. The only problem is that sometimes the clients don't see how TERRIBLE they are behind the scenes!  I guess that was my main point.

Denise, I spoke to a broker for a home auction company (forget the name) but yeah, I was suppose to get them to pay about 5k up front, etc... Then the prospective buyers all had to get their own inspections before the sale. It was crazy.  Good concept but execution was terrible.

Marcy, going to check it out!

Ann, that is for sure. I am surprised at how many agents just have no sense of professionalism.

Cherimie, thanks for stopping by! Of course we are thinking of you!

Robin, why is that?  Crazy!

Bill, You know I know! That is for sure!  Can not wait to see you on HGTV!  Keep us posted!

Paddy, surprising, hugh?

January 16, 2009 09:49 AM
Myrl Jeffcoat
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent
GreatWest Realty

Cristal - With all the bid submission going on with short-sales and REOs, I almost thought we were selling real estate in an Ebay environment.  Even some of the out of area escrow companies are acting a lot like PayPal.  Are we read to return to a more traditional market or what!

January 19, 2009 06:30 PM
Cristal Drake
Realtor - Fullerton Real Estate
Prudential California Realty

Myrl! You certainly said it! I am just tiered of these agents that don't care how they treat other agents!  I really want to go back to SERVICE!

January 19, 2009 11:18 PM
Anonymous #21
Yanne G

Hey Cristal:


I love your idea of the rating system. It probably would have helped me a lot when my bf and I were looking at buying his home. We went through about 3 agents and still got screwed. I on the other hand was very lucky cause I had an AMAZING AGENT!!! WINK WINK


If we can have ratings for restaurants and ratings on ebay and food critics and such, i am sure there is a way to set up a rating system for Agents.


Great job Cristal! You are amazing.



January 20, 2009 07:53 PM
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