Yesterday brought about another one of those debates that seem to tie some real estate agents up in knots and send others to their soapboxes in record time. What was most interesting is the debate over this one topic – asking folks who use our home search to provide a name, phone number and e-mail address – remains no different today than it was four years ago.
Once upon a time I didn’t ask anyone to register to search for Phoenix real estate but that changed about a year ago. Why? Well … I hope I don’t shock any of my dear readers with this announcement but I happen to have a career in sales – I sell real estate for a living. It’s not a hobby, it’s the method by which I put food on the table and keep shoes on my growing children’s feet.
That’s the no-brainer side of the equation – I’m providing a small service and all I ask for in return is a name, phone number and e-mail address. Preferably yours, to be specific.
But there’s more to it than that. By registering on this site you’re able to save your custom searches, saving you the time you’d waste having to re-enter the same information over and over again. You’re able to mark your favorite properties and watch them specifically. You’re able to schedule showings and you can ask for additional information. You can add your own notes so when the homes blur together you can be reminded of what you liked.
Yet as robust as Diverse Solutions’ platform may be on this and my other sites, it doesn’t have all the capabilities for custom search that I have in the MLS. So one of the first things I offer to people registering on this site is to have a more complete, more specific custom search set up for them and updated either via e-mail or via a personalized listing portal.
Now … here’s the little secret that goes with the latter portion. Any agent in the Valley with MLS access can set up the same thing. Which is another way of saying that listings are far from the extent of the services offered here. Finding a home often is the easiest task in a real estate market such as this. Having a coherent plan of action to obtain that home’s another story.
What gets completely list in the debate over registration is the fact the listings are just a small part of what real estate agents offer – or at least what they ought to offer. In many ways they’re the free root beer float Sonic offered to get you to buy a hamburger. They are a loss leader, designed to get you to a site and keep you there.
Another fashionable argument in the debate about registration is the idea that anyone who does not ask for such information is pro-consumer and not just a salesman and vice versa, as if something as non-consequential as registration is the litmus test.
Personally, anyone in sales who works so very hard to convince everyone that they aren’t in sales just because they abhor prospecting reminds me of the fable about the scorpion and the frog. You can dress a beagle in reindeer antlers but he remains a beagle.
Read the comments on Jay Thompson’s post about writing multiple simultaneous offers (and also see the answer I provided on Trulia Voices and posted here) and you’ll see my approach may be different from other agents. Not all real estate agents are the same and not all handle the business of helping buyers buy and sellers sell the same way.
It’s knowledge and expertise and knowing the meaning of hooped that sets apart what I do from other agents. Maybe that’s of interest to you. Perhaps not.
And if it’s not, if all you are looking for is a place to anonymously search Phoenix real estate listings, that’s fine. Here are some places you can do so:
- At Home in Scottsdale
- Arizona Real Estate Notebook
- Phoenix Area Real Estate Blog
- The Phoenix Real Estate Agents
- Bloodhound Realty.com
(Jay’s site was on the list but things are changing on his site.)
Now ask yourself … why would I intentionally link to other agents’ home searches from my own blog? I’ll accept insanity as an answer, though I’d prefer to think that I’m crazy as a fox. Because I also know the listings only are the window dressing. It’s the rest of the package that really makes the difference.[tags]Phoenix real estate[/tags]