There are three general areas where a consumer might get frustrated, and yes, even jaded.
After I wrote about my jaded friend who sold his company, I got a lot of feedback from brokers who felt I was speaking about them. They told me they also felt jaded, frustrated, and not quite knowing what to do.
It’s been making me wonder that if so many brokers are frustrated by today’s circumstances, are consumers jaded too?
What do you think they are looking for and are they getting it? I think they are looking for a few key things, but not too many real estate professionals give it to them.
1. Consumers want real information…not pressure
Real estate, school, crime, neighborhood, and other information someone would need when looking for a new home is readily available and free. Consumers don’t need real estate brokers and agents to obtain the information they need.
If you agree with this statement, how can you, as a real estate broker and/or agent, satisfy that need? How can you provide all the information they need, when they need it? And they want to consume it all without feeling pressured by an agent.
Am I providing information you think is useful for your business, and in the way you want that information? Do you think I am trying to sell you something?
I hope the first answer was yes and the second one is no because that is my intent. As the owner of a company that provides a variety of consulting and technology solutions to the real estate industry, the intent of my writing is to get people thinking and talking about how they can be better. My job while I do this is not to sell anything.
Obviously, at some point I would like the opportunity to talk to you about my business but only after you gain some level of confidence about my ability to help you. Why should your brokerage and agents be any different? Providing the information consumers need, gaining their trust and confidence is how you earn the right to talk to them about their business.
2. Professionalism…Where is it?
Think about it. Based on the current median national sales price for a home of $202,150, the average side will generate a commission of $5,073. Not only is an investment of over $200,000 the biggest the average consumer will ever make, but a commission of over $5,000 is surely higher than the commission someone makes selling you a car or any number of much less expensive investments. Have you bought a Lexus, Mercedes, or other higher end car lately? What was the level of professionalism? Are you servicing your car at the dealership? Are you getting fancy loaners? Is the lounge super nice with free WIFI, coffee, and work stations?
Why is it then that, as an industry, we struggle with a lack of professionalism? Do you think that might be driving certain consumers to discount models and other ways of cutting commissions?
I am so tired of hearing the independent contractor argument. I have independent contractors too. If they don’t comport themselves the way I expect, I fire them.
3. Streamlined transparency
I can pay bills online. I can transfer money online. I can book travel and check onto my flight online. I can read reviews for where I want to eat online before I walk into a restaurant (and I can book a reservation online too, using my phone.) I could go on but I won’t.
Streamlined transparency is everywhere. Yet our industry continues to struggle in this area. I don’t need to tell you how complicated a real estate transaction is…how does it feel for the consumer who is unfamiliar with the process? How does it feel for them when they don’t understand what RESPA is, what APR is, etc. and when their brokerage, agent, mortgage company, loan officer, etc. can’t immediately walk them through this with streamlined transparency?
The technology is there for us to create streamlined transparency yet some boards fight it, some brokers don’t get it, and some agents don’t want to pay. In the meantime, there is some really smart guy or gal out there trying to figure this out, and when they do, watch out. Are you jaded? Do you think consumers should be jaded? If so, what other things might be making them feel so?
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