In much of my writing, I often mention that home sellers should interview real estate companies, not just real estate agents. This comment goes relatively unchallenged and unnoticed for the most part, but every once in a while I get feedback. Most often times, the feedback comes from a real estate agent, and location does not seem to matter, as real estate is practiced in a similar manner in most communities in the US housing market.
This morning, I read a blog post by Jay Thompson (the Phoenix Real Estate Guy) who did some quick math to determine just how many REALTORS® walk among us, in terms of REALTORS® per capita. I did not find it surprising that Florida had the second most REALTORS® in the country, nor did I find it surprising that Florida was also number 2 in REALTORS® per capita.
Top 10 States By REALTOR® Population
If nothing else, Jay's information shows that there are plenty of REALTORS® in these states and nobody should be in a panic or crisis if they suddenly develop the urge to buy a home. But there is more to it than that.
The sad fact is most real estate agents have a license and "hang it with a broker" in case they sell something. Most do not. In a previous blog post, I showed that the average Tallahassee REALTOR® will sell fewer than 2 homes this year! Can you imagine some poor un-suspecting home sellers are hiring agents with similar sales results and are hoping to sell their home in the toughest real estate market since man moved out of caves?
Real Estate Agent Thinks Company Does Not Matter
As I stated at the beginning of this post, most real estate agents will tell you to interview an agent, not a company. From their vantage point, they see all the work being done by agents, with the company having very little to do in the sale of a home. And they are right ... in most cases.
Recently, I received a comment from Chris Olsen, a real estate broker in Cleveland, Ohio who wrote:
Hi Joe -- I absolutely love your stuff, posts, data, you write so well and you are right on the mark. The only difference of opinion is I don't think the real estate company makes much of a difference at all. Many MLSs syndicate the listing out and most companies don't do all the stuff that really matters - home prep, staging, deferred maintenance, making sure the home is properly priced, marketing, negotiations, etc., all that solely resides with the skill and expertise of the agent. Sure a broker is available for backup support, but it's the agent that does 99% of the work that matters, regardless whether this agent is with any of the big franchises or independent companies. Case in point, I have had more then one seller tell me when I planted my sign in the yard (before I started my own company) that they thought I worked for a different company.
This opinion is not uncommon, and quite frankly would be true in 99.99% of offices around the country. But not here at Joe Manausa Real Estate. We are doing something that is different, but I suspect will become much more common in the years to come. We have a different view, and a different way of conducting our business. We do not believe that the average real estate agent should be part time, and we do not believe that a real estate agent should have to "go it alone."
The Return Of The Real Estate Company
At our Tallahassee Real Estate Company, we work as a team to assist home sellers and home buyers. The agent is not stuck with "all of the work," rather they provide excellent customer service while myself and our office support team helps in the marketing and administrative side of the business. Maybe that is why our marketing drives so many more prospective buyers to our listings.... because we have dedicated team players who fill this role each and every day.
When you start looking at what we do to sell a home, you will realize that it can not be done by one person alone. The processes that we employ to leverage all of the wonderful benefits of the internet require a highly trained, highly skilled staff of full time employees to implement, no single agent can compete with what we can provide.
In order to survive in the future of online marketing, I believe our competition will be forced to follow our lead. Great REALTORS will need to work hand-in-hand with great real estate companies, and one will not exist without the other.
Our recent parody of the traditional real estate agent has received many favorable reviews and quite a few chuckles, but this agent is a dinosaur whose time for extinction has arrived.
Joe Manausa, MBA is a 26 year veteran of real estate brokerage in Tallahassee, Florida and has owned and managed his own company since 1992. He is a daily blogger with content that focuses on real estate analytics and providing his clients with a tactical advantage in today's challenging market.