I want to believe in reincarnation. Not because I want to live over and over again (well, that would be nice), but because I fear that when I am fertilizing the lilies, there will be so much I failed to achieve, a cookie jar of excellence on the top shelf which I couldn’t quite reach. I want to come back as Marc Davison.
This post is quintessential Marc – the perfect combination of fabulous writing and dead-on message.
For the most part, real estate just tries to throw a net around everyone.To be all things to all people. Well, the sad part is, that doesn’t work. You end up appealing to no one. You are like everyone else. Plain vanilla yogurt…
I want to be the more satisfying, fun flavor with sprinkles. And this is one of the greatest values of blogging to me and to my potential clients. You may not like sprinkles, but you at least get the opportunity to peek into the generic packaging to see what’s truly inside before diving in.
What you call a listing, is really my home.
What you refer to as a lead is really just a person looking for some information.
The neighborhood I live in you call a … farm.
Once I make a simple inquiry, you incubate me as if I were an egg.
To keep me interested you drip on me rather than shower me with affection.
When you sell my home, I become a notch on your top producer belt.
You market to me as if your personality means more to me than the value of my home.
Agents are trained to be vanilla yogurt. From the day the new agent is shown to his cubicle, he is enrolled in a total emersion class in the language of real estate. While he is taught to farm and drip mail and court his sphere of influence (formerly known as friends), the ideas of professionalism and excellence and integrity are swept under the rug like so much clutter. When lip service is paid to these concepts, it is as a throw-away line, subordinate to the primary goal of getting the deal.
To be a doormat you have to lay down. Agents whine and bemoan the pervasive lack of respect for their numbers, yet we have spent our history trying to enter from the off-ramp. No wonder we’re a wreck. Of course we need clients to make a living, of course we need clients to demonstrate professionalism, excellence and all the rest, and of course we need to market ourselves to earn the customer’s business. But we are coming at it from the wrong direction. The lessons we need to first master are not those involving bulk-mail farming, chasing “expireds”, or converting open house leads. How can we possibly expect the public to respect us when the most respect we can give them is a Recipe of the Month card or a reminder to set their clocks back on Daylight Savings day in the form of a PrintShop-generated door hanger?
On second thought, I want to come back as a real estate Broker-Owner. My office policy manual will include the following:
- No agent shall be allowed to participate in a real estate transaction until they have successfully completed training in basic business practices, contracts, liability, and ethics – real training.
- No agent shall be allowed to participate in a real estate transaction until they have successfully completed training in technology and demonstrated competence through application.
- Ethics violations of any kind will be immediate cause for dismissal.
- No agent will be allowed to even think about paying (or having their clients pay) a Transaction Coordinator to manage their paperwork until they have done it themselves, start to finish, and a minimum of six times. Veteran agents will be required to self-manage at least one transaction per year as continuing education.
- Any agent who even thinks about a marketing program involving unrelated content, including but not limited to “List with me and get a free (anything)”, “Forget-Me-Not” (seed packet included), and “Your Neighborhood Specialist” will be hog tied and left for dead in the title company’s lobby.
- Pop-quizzes will be administered periodically to test the agent’s knowledge of fundamentals such as statistics and trends for their market, statutory disclosure laws, Board rules, mortgage rates, and how to multiply and divide integers. Agents failing to receive a passing grade will be excluded from next year’s office holiday party and have mustaches drawn on their bus bench images (with Sharpies).
- Property brochures consisting of black and white photocopies of the multiple listing service entry will be set afire.
- Agents without a professional website and email address will be set afire.
- There will be annual performance reviews and minimum standards, not based solely on the agent’s “numbers”, but on the numbers measured against the satisfied customers versus destruction having been left in their wake.
Income alone will not be sufficient to ensure future desk space in my next-life office. This means that I will have to be selective, but I assure you that my office will be full. There truly are many, many exceptional agents out there; you just have to know what to look for, what to teach, and how to inspire.
I will let Marc work for me.