Many brokers believe that listings are the life-blood of their business. Chris agrees that they’re critical to a firm’s financial health. However, with Zillow and Realtor.com as the preferred shopping platforms for home buyers, we no longer control information and access to homes for sale. And online, a house is a house.
Unlike a brand-loyal Mercedes driver, nobody is going to restrict themselves to only buying a house listed with a specific real estate firm.
However, some will only buy with the assistance of a professional whom they know, love and trust. And if they don’t have a relationship, and our brand promise really resonates, they may reach out to ROOST Real Estate Company in search of an agent that can give them what we promise. In either case, making the sale had nothing to do with which firm’s sign was in the yard.
From a cash flow perspective, list-side commissions matter. However, in the age of compressed commissions, they are of no more value, and often of less value, than a buy-side commission. In today’s market, the ability to create long term, value-added relationships that generate referrals, is infinitely more valuable than any number of listings.
Listings are the natural byproduct of working by referral – the result of a relationship rather than the cause of one. A brokerage or agent obsessed with listings is too often obsessed with earning both sides of the commission. There is nothing wrong with earning both sides, provided it occurs as a natural consequence of meeting the needs and exceeding the expectations of both your buyer and your seller. Double popping a listing should be the result of an agent’s obsession with the needs of their client, not simply greed.
A focus on listings is the result of a transaction based mindset rather than a relationship based mindset. Today, we have more buyers than listings to sell. The scarcity mentality that is infecting so many markets right now is creating a proliferation of ‘pocket listings’ and off-market ‘coming soon’ listings, that in Chris’s opinion, further devalue our profession in the eyes of the public. The market will turn again and as Chris says, “Karma is a BLEEP. And the congregation may be seated.”
That’s a wrap on today’s lesson. Join me next week for The Client Experience: The Times They Are a-Changin’