Our opinions on the world of real estate.

Found 6 blog entries about Politics.

When there are fewer properties to sell, we tend to see more brokers promoting exclusive access to off-market listings. It can be tempting to respond to ads like these. After all, you don't want to miss out on any "private and exclusive opportunities". 

But keep in mind, ads like these are sales funnels. And they're funneling you into "pocket listings" that benefit the advertising broker -- a broker who often receives both sides of the commission by withholding the property from the larger market. 

Yes, private listing programs are perfectly legal. But it's also fair to question who benefits most from these promotions, and how private listing programs impact housing availability in the broader community. 

Are private listing programs a practice

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At best, working with a distracted realtor can be frustrating. And at worst, risky and dangerous. For example, imagine negotiating your home inspection when your agent is distracted. The consequences can be huge when your agent isn't dialed in.  

Distracted Realtor

Is your realtor fully present with you and your best interests? 

Here are 3 questions that will help you discern the quality of your agent's attention.

#1) Does your realtor pick up the phone and return your calls promptly? Going a step further, is your agent eager and willing to meet with you in person? In the world of real estate, where the stakes are often high, sometimes there is no substitute for an old-fashioned conversation.

#2) Does your agent respond to your texts and emails in a thorough

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You may have heard BMO Harris Bank recently eliminated all of its brick and mortar loan officers. BMO lenders, who once worked out of individual branches, now work out of a call center. Now all customer interactions with a loan officer take place online or over the phone. The face-to-face meeting has been eliminated at BMO.

BMO adopted this new customer service model because it costs less than the old model. It's also a response to evolving consumer preferences, which place a premium on speed and efficiency. Will BMO have a thriving mortgage business 5 years from now? We'll be watching to see how their new approach to service plays out. 

customer service in a digital economy

Our thoughts on face-to-face meetings

We understand why companies like BMO are eliminating the

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Right now there are many experts in the industry teaching agents how to capture leads and fill their prospect pipeline on demand. There are a lot of ways to go about this. Forcing registration on your website is one way to pump up the volume. “Buying leads” online is another. The basic premise is to purchase a lot of low-trust leads and put them through a systematic conversion process. The conversion process often involves placing many phone calls, emails and text messages to each lead over a period of time - until eventually a very small percentage of the leads are converted into clients. In other words, pour each prospect into a SPAM funnel until only the best ones come out. 


10 Days of Pain

As an example, there is one lead conversion plan in

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Our real estate team just had a web expert complete an audit of our site. There were many excellent recommendations that came out of the audit, but the recommendation to “force registration” left a bad taste in my mouth. By “forcing registration”, the auditor is recommending we require people to give up their name, phone number and email address in order to view a property listing on our site.

It was explained in the audit that forced registration is an industry best practice - because it generates “more leads”. I disagree with this practice on a number of levels, but my biggest objection is forced registration just smells and tastes spammy to me.  


More Leads Does Not Equal More Trust

Sure, forcing registration is an easy way to “get more

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MLS Time For ChangeYour local MLS has the most accurate and most comprehensive listing data available. But this isn't how the general public sees it. The real estate consumer is turning to Trulia, Zillow and other data aggregators for what it views as the latest and greatest listing data. Despite plenty of evidence to the contrary, there's a growing perception that these two internet giants are the best places to go for local real estate information.

The data aggregators are popular because they make price history, days on market, and other key listing data available. Accurate or not, the information on Trulia and Zillow provides answers to some very basic questions. You don't need to call or email a real estate agent to get your information. Those days are long gone.

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