In my area I am seeing a shift in attitude from consumers. They are hiring the best agents they can find.
When the market was hot, many sellers looked for price above service. They felt any idiot could sell their home. Real estate companies offering limited services began to pop up. They attracted mostly inexperienced agents and prospered. Some of them opened second and third offices here locally.
As the market shifted, many limited service companies and agents became less successful. Many of their listings sat and rotted. Those that sold took longer and their clients required more help and time. Many of their agents have left and are leaving the business or moving to full service companies. Some began to close offices and consolidate. Recently a large local, limited service company changed their business model to full service and did away with flat fees. They also changed their name and their name.
The market goes through cycles. We are in a cycle were homes are not selling as easily as they did a couple of years ago. In a changing market real estate agents and companies need to be at the top of their game to succeed:
- Homes are taking longer to sell.
- Marketing is more expensive.
- Sellers need better guidance, through the entire process.
- Home preparation and pricing is critical. If the home is positioned wrong it simply will not sell.
- Sellers need increased and improved services:
- Home staging
- High end photography.
- Better printed materials.
- Virtual tours and websites
- More open houses
- Increased advertising of their homes.
- Consumers are checking you out. They want the best they can find.
- They demand full time professionals who are dedicated to selling their home; not someone who is doing this on the side.
- They are looking for designations and accomplishments. Consumers are reading about them on the internet and know what they are.
- They are looking for neighborhood experts who are moving the homes in their area.
- They are getting referrals from their friends and families instead of quotes.
- Consumers are checking out your website and reading your blog posts.
- Sellers are looking at how you are marketing your other listings.
Do I believe we will be seeing the death of the limited service business model in my market? Absolutely not! Several will survive this market, many will die. The same is true of full service companies who may not have been at the top of their game.
When the cycle changes again and homes are flying off the MLS quicker than you can buy an ad in the newspaper, the various business models will be thriving again and popping up all over the place. Every hair dresser and fast food worker will be racing out to get a real estate license. Those of us who do this professionally will still be here. We will be thriving as we did in the tougher market, but will have even more war stories about what the agent on the other side of our transaction just did. We will also have tons of material to write about in our blog posts.
Randy L. Prothero, REALTOR®
Broker-in-Charge, ABR, AHWD, CRB, CRS, e-PRO, GRI, MRP, SFR
Team Leader - "The Prothero Group"
Randy Prothero is well established as an expert in working with military / VA clients and first time home buyers. His home seller's (listing) campaign is one of the most aggressive marketing programs in the area. His luxury home listings sell faster and for more money.
Based out of Mililani, Hawaii. Randy services the island of Oahu (Honolulu County) Performs mediations and ombudsman services for the Board of Realtors. To improve overall professionalism in his area Randy also offers classes for real estate agents.