I have a friend in another state who is selling her home and her hot button when choosing a real estate agent was, apparently, his personality. Seriously, she chose to go with the “nicest” agent of the two she interviewed.
There’s a lot to be said about being nice. After all, the listing agent will negotiate with the seller’s agent over price and terms and other negotiable items. Since people attract more flies with honey than vinegar, then I suppose choosing a “nice” agent or a “fun” agent might work.
But, there has to BE a “fly” for his or her “honey” to work. And, the only way to get buyers through the doors of the home is through effective marketing. Therefore, the most important job of a listing agent is marketing the home and the best listing agent to hire is the one with the best marketing chops.
Reason number one to hire a particular Billings real estate agent
I asked my friend to send me the agents’ listing presentations (this is the agents’ “leave-behind” literature on the market, pricing, etc.) Essentially, a listing presentation is akin to a job application and resume. It’s also an example of the agent’s marketing chops.
After all, this is the only opportunity the agents have to impress the homeowner enough to get the job of listing the home.
If they can’t effectively market their own business, how can you expect them to properly market your home?
I must tell you, I felt immensely sorry for my friend. Both presentations were horrid. In fact, one of them consisted of two pages, both printed out from the local MLS to which he scribbled figures on the bottom with a black Sharpie.
The second was a bit heftier but the first 10 or so pages were touting the glories of the nationwide franchise that he works for. Finally, when it got to the actually listing presentation, it was woefully lacking in pizazz. No color photos, no easy-to-understand explanations, no marketing plan. If I were a potential employer and this guy was applying for a job, I’d take his “resume” and rip it to shreds.
So, suppose you find several agents who seem to have a clue about marketing – at least themselves. Another way agents market their businesses is via their websites. Go online and navigate to each agent’s site.
How does it look when you land there? Since it takes money to make money (a hefty marketing budget is a good sign of someone who understands the value of marketing), has the agent spent enough on his or her own website to make it an effective marketing tool? Or is it just another ho-hum template with the same content you’ll find on half a million other real estate sites?
Speaking of content, does it appear that the agent did it himself or, worse yet, outsourced it to an amateur? We all know that professionally-written content is a Google magnet and we all know that to be found on the first or second page of Google is a real estate website owner’s holy grail. If the agents took the “cheap” route with content, please reconsider. They obviously don’t care about their own business enough to spend the money to market it properly. Why would they spend a dime more than they have to in order to market your home?
Then, put the agent’s name into YouTube’s search box and watch the videos he or she has produced. Do they represent the quality of marketing you’re seeking to help sell your home? When I say “quality,” I am referring to professional videography with tasteful music and, especially, drone-captured footage, like this.
Check the agent’s “buyers” section on the website. Does it contain valuable information that buyers are seeking?
Or, is it just a sales pitch to get buyers to work with them? Put yourself in a homebuyer’s shoes and determine if what you read is compelling enough to keep you coming back to the site. After all, it’s buyers you’re seeking and if your agent can’t even keep them on her website, how will she get them to consider your home?
Reason number two to hire a particular real estate agent in Billings
What services does the listing agent offer to his or her clients? I laughed when I read my friend’s listing presentations. One of them included a long list of items and each of them cost the agent nothing and some of them were standard among all agents. Sadly, several items listed as a service to the seller are activities mandated by law in her state (“I will provide the buyer with your seller disclosures”).
Crazy, right? Misleading a consumer into thinking that an activity required by law is a “service” he provides. That takes nerve, in my opinion. But, obviously, this agent was assuming my friend knows nothing about selling a home.
Some of his “services” had to do with “discussing” things, “recommending” things and “referring” my friend to service providers. Discussing the home’s current condition is NOT a service – it’s something most listing agents do as part of their duties. Recommending things, such as repairs and staging, are as well.
But, what value does recommending something hold for the homeowner? She’s aware of what needs to be repaired and she’s aware that staging her home will help it sell quicker and for more money.
The value would be in going beyond a recommendation that she stage her home and actually staging it for her (or at least paying for the staging). Now THAT is a “service.”
In fact, anything the listing agent will actually do, or offer to pay for, to help the home sale process go smoother, quicker and end up more lucrative is a valuable service to home sellers. Yet, instead of actually offering valuable services, too many agents offer lip service.
Remember, the more real services the agent offers to her homeowner clients, the more money she is saving you and the harder she is working for the money you are paying her.
When considering a Billings real estate company to assist you in the sale of your home, keep your ultimate goal in mind and do your research. And, do ask us about the very REAL services we offer, at no charge, to our listing clients.