The collection of hats in a Scottsdale Real Estate listing agent’s closet grows at an exponential rate. We alternately don the garb of property evaluator, pitchman, marketing pro, receptionist / showing coordinator, contract prep specialist, home inspection consultant, appraisal jouster, loan oversight committee (of one), repair foreman, closing editor, schedule contortionist, marriage counselor, dime store psychologist, balloon animal fashionista, etc, etc, etc. With the advent of Internet marketing, you can add a couple more titles to the overflowing job description: Google Engineer and Social Media Cruise Director.
Before you place too much importance on these latest additions, make sure your virtual Captain Stubing has what it takes to avoid the icebergs of an honest to goodness Real Estate transaction.
The great equalizer, the cyber-world provides the blank slate upon which even the most novice agents can paint a colorful picture of expertise. Years of experience trumped in the search engines by weeks of keyword optimized content. Those with their hard hats on in this soft medium can easily be mistaken for proven veterans of the Real Estate world. As such, even the most obstinate curmudgeons have yielded to the inertia of technology and joined the online fray in the ever-expanding global search for the next business prospect.
While we here at the Scottsdale Property Shop are ardent followers of the Internet prophets, we realize that this shiny new(er) medium is only the latest and greatest hat to hang on our business rack. The fixation with getting to the top of the pagerank heap has distracted many agents and consumers alike from the actual job of selling Real Estate. Think getting the most online exposure possible for your home is key to the probability of a sale? Well, you’re right. That said, raw exposure in the absence of ability is tantamount to brain surgery via an enthusiastic first year med student with a text book, albeit it one with exceptional illustration.
If you are reading this, you already know that we are adept at getting our services and our properties in front of a target audience. What you may overlook, however, is the fact that this is but one minute portion of the job. You must fully vet the agent(s) you choose to employ on all facets of the service, not simply the “Cool, my house will be on page 1!” factor. Click through the articles, peruse our thoughts on the state of the market, review our credentials. Only then, if you believe we’ve got the chops to handle the full responsibility of listing and selling your Scottsdale home, give us a call to move into stage 2 of the vetting process: a personal consultation.
While the Internet is a valuable tool, there is no magic Real Estate bullet or panacea for an overpriced or under-represented property. Your agent should know the community, the builders, the amenities, the home sales, the effective means of procuring a buyer, the nuance of negotiation, the ability to close and how to effectively navigate the escrow to the finish line. Google and Facebook will do none of those things for you (him). To add another clumsy metaphor, consider the various legs that prop up your home sale. If your agent does not have adequate experience with / knowledge of the product, the integrity is suspect. If your agent cannot effectively close buyer leads, the integrity is suspect. If your agent cannot, or does not know how to handle the various hurdles of the escrow process, the integrity is suspect. And yes, if your agent does not leverage the proper media for attracting suitors for your property, the integrity is suspect. Ask any particular leg to support more than its burden, and watch the entire structure collapse.
While I know a few terrific agents who have been in the industry for relatively brief durations, I am aware of all too many Internet marketing wizards who lack the first clue about the process of selling a home. It seems that the only thing taught in new agent training these days is how to leverage social media and/or drive traffic to one’s site. Valuable tools, but am I crazy to posit that learning to actually do the job is every bit (or more) as valuable as tracking hits?
I see such agents in my keyword Google alerts often enough to know that they have the marketing portion of the job wired, but who exactly are they? For all of that search engine juice, I’ve never seen their names on a sign in the communities they target. I applaud the promotional efforts, but cringe for the consumer who hires the Internet warrior out of mistaken belief in his/her expertise. After all, are we Real Estate professionals who market on the Internet, or Internet professionals who occasionally dabble in Real Estate?
I can buy dominant online position for a particular neighborhood for about $20/month, but I can’t buy ability. Even in the 24/7 virtual “what have you done for me lately” world, a track record is always in vogue.
Consumers … choose your weapons wisely.
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