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• Wednesday, September 17th, 2008
Image Copyright Time Inc.

Image Copyright Time Inc.

What?  Why those dirty S.O.B.s!

Okay, not really.  But what if they did?  Imagine how easy it would be to just place all your listings in one easy to use and navigate location.  A single place where masses of your potential buyers would go to shop for their new home.  No more having to deal with running your own listings site, no more dealing with code, or web geeks – you could just sell homes.

On the other hand, how would you be able to differentiate yourself, and your listings from the others on the shelf next to you?  What would make you the best person to work with?

I Just Want to Sell Homes

You have to ask yourself – Do I want the individuality and customization of doing everything on my own?  Do I want to have an influence on how my potential customers find and perceive me?  Or, do I want the ease of letting the “big guy” do the work for me, knowing that I’ll be on the same shelf as my competitor?  Do I want to make my customers dig through hundreds of listings they may have no interest in before they find mine?  Both options have their own pros and cons, it’s not an easy choice, and it’s one that many Realtors struggle with every day – often even after they make it.

What Does the Buyer Think?

For the sake of discussion, let’s say that you are selling toasters, not homes – and I want to buy one.

I may know nothing about the brands (that would be your homes), I just care about the price and if the box has pretty pictures and maybe a few bullet points to tell me how many slices of toast I can burn at one time.  I don’t really understand, or even know about the subtle nuances of the various makes and models.

Clean up on Aisle Nine.

When I step into my local Wal-Mart to browse for a toaster I am almost always assaulted with ads and gimmicks for related and sometimes competing products…”buying a toaster, perhaps you want a new blender as well”.  Perhaps I should get my oil changed too.  Heck, I am already here, right?  After I finally make it to the toaster aisle, who do I talk to If I have questions about the features?  Will someone be able to tell me if it’s kid-friendly?  What about pets (My dog loaves toast)?   If I’m able to somehow locate one I think will work for me (and buy it), what will I tell my friends who love my new toaster and want to know how I found it?  Go to Wal-Mart and stare at boxes and hope to find one you like?

Hi, How Can I Help You Today?

Now let’s flip that scenario.  I walk into a locally owned appliance store (which I found by asking a friend by the way) and am welcomed by a smiling sales person (that would be you, the Realtor). He is very knowledgeable about the various toasters, knows the features and functions of each.  He talks to me, finds out my needs and wants.  We develop a relationship.  Then – he makes recommendations about which toasters he thinks would be good choice for me and my family.  Rather than just pointing down an aisle of endless boxes, he’ll actually guide me through a tour of each – will let me look at them up close…touch them even.  Wow…sounds nice.

I’m so Confused…

What’s the best way to go?  That, my friend, is a question only you can answer.  Every person has a different set of priorities, a different approach to how they sell toasters, er, I mean homes.

What do I Know About Real Estate?

Me, almost nothing – I am not a Realtor.  However, I am an SEO person, and I like it when things can be made to stand out from their competition.   Also, I did recently buy a toaster – and there has GOT to be a better way.

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One Response

  1. You didn’t talk about the best part of the Wal-Mart experience, the part where you check yourself out. You work the cash register, you bag your own toaster and you walk it out to the car yourself. Plus, you have to wait for the people in front of you (there are always people in front of you) to finish their transaction before you can complete your own.

    How much of a headache would a closing be if you had to handle all the papers yourself, get your own inspections, your own appraisals, etc.

    I feel that some things are better left to the pros

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