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Phoenix Real Estate and Homes for Sale | Jonathan Dalton, Realty ONE Group – (602) 502-9693

Jonathan Dalton
REALTOR
ePro, SFR
602-502-9693

Moving Again, For the Last Time I Hope

Moving Again, For the Last Time I Hope

What to say, what to say …

One of the reasons I have remained in real estate through thick and thin the past several years is the notion of autonomy – the ability to run my business as a business and, so long as I remain within the guidelines of state statute, the NAR Code of Ethics, and Arizona commissioner’s standards, to run in it any manner that I see fit.

What I do in terms of marketing, in terms of advertising, in terms of attracting buyers and sellers and in terms of working to get my listings sold is completely within my control – while my sellers do have some input, at the end of the day I’m the one who does this for a living. If they require a service that I don’t happen to believe in, that’s fine. There are other agents in the Valley. Or, as Seth Davis says in Boiler Room, “I’m not Charles Schwab. I don’t need your business.” (I really thought this line was funny when I was, in fact, working at Charles Schwab.)

Unfortunately, this past week it was made clear that I did not enjoy full autonomy when it comes to marketing homes for sale. My broker’s decision to accept a position with Zillow had been a non-issue from a business standpoint for months; this week, we were told the brokerage had a new mandatory form that would explain to sellers how strongly Thompson’s Realty supports the cause of listing syndication.

If you’ve read this blog at all, you know I don’t share that sense. Smart syndication – syndication where it actually is theoretically beneficial to the seller – sure. But blindly syndicating listings to Zillow only to have them marketed as being overpriced, not so much. And make no mistake about it – when buyers see the list price is higher than the Zestimate, they’re not researching the issue further. They’re jumping to the conclusion that the property is overpriced.

Syndication supporters have yet to address the issue aside from the misguided notion that I as an listing agent can somehow tell buyers who never pick up the phone or e-mail me the realities of the property’s value. All that matters to the supporters, and to the syndicators themselves, is how many eyeballs look at their websites. Yet sheer website volume does not a sale cause – there is zero evidence to the contrary.

Needless to say, I can’t in good conscience hand my sellers a form singing the praises of syndication when what they need to know are both the pros and the cons of sending your listing data to the wider world. To present only one side would be a great disservice to my clients. And they are really what this business is about, at the risk of going “it’s all about the fans” on you.

And so, by mutual agreement, I’m moving on. Again. And hopefully for the last time. While in some corners of the world working for a new broker every couple of years is viewed as a good thing, I never have seen it that way, maybe because most agents I know who jump often are doing so because they’re not having any success in a given place and, like a blackjack player on the skids, thinks another table might do better by them – even when it’s other factors causing the lack of success.

Considering I’ve accounted for about 10 percent of Thompson’s Realty’s total sides this year, that clearly is not the case in this instance.

Come Monday or Tuesday all of the logos will be different but the heart and soul of this website and my business will be the same – providing excellent customer service without having corporate conflicts of interest getting in the way. This business should be that simplistic, and it will be again.

Thank you for your continued patronage, patience and readership and we’ll catch you on the flip side.

Comments

  • Jim Little says:

    Jonathon
    Best of luck wherever you are going!

  • Announcement will come Monday/Tuesday once the paperwork’s complete to make it official, Jim!

  • Gena says:

    You be great no matter where you hang your license! And kudos for sticking up for your sellers!!

  • VickiLloyd says:

    Congratulations Jonathan on making your decision i’m not at all surprised. You will do fine, where ever you are! Aren’t you a little tempted to open your own brokerage?

  • Only until my wife says the words “do it and I’m outta here.”

  • Jessie Geroux says:

    Well big papa, I also can not say that I am surprised.  A tad disappointed that the “pushes” have had to come to be honest, and you are not the only one to feel them- In all reality the true autonomy you are speaking of will probably only come with owning your own brokerage. No matter who you go to it will always be someone else that can change as easily and quickly as it is to send an announcement bulk email out of nowhere. As long as a direction is being driven by another, the path is likely to go a direction that doesn’t consider anyone but the driver. This is the only reason that I have had to give up sounding like your Katie in regards to my hub becoming a DB of his own brokerage in order to keep the business he has grown. These mutual agreements feel a lot more unilateral then they should (in my opinion)  I wish you luck sir!

  • Thanks, Jessie … one of the interesting discoveries the past 18 months is how self-sufficient my business really is, and how portable it can be when needed. I don’t need offices, I don’t need a large brand, I don’t need the overhead. I just need a place where I can do my job the way I do my job and be left alone. Thompson’s had been that but, with the Zillowfication of the place, all has changed. My hunch is the end is in sight as too much business has walked/been pushed out the door in the past five weeks to make it sustainable, but that’s just my guess.

  • Onward and upward! 

  • I am not a fan of moving either, but you will do well no matter where you land.  Good luck to you!  

  • Sarah Stelmok says:

    Congrats on the move Jonathan!  I’ve moved comapnies three times over social media differences with my broker.  I’ve finally found a broker that believes in what I do and how I do it.  On that note, isn’t your new broker a zPartner with Zillow?  I know you are not pro-syndication and definitely not pro-Zillow.  I hope it works out.  http://www.zillow.com/blog/2012-07-24/zillow-announces-first-zpro-for-brokers-partners/

  • They are, Sarah … the manager from ROG even called me over the weekend to make sure I was okay with coming over given that fact, and I had talked to others there a while ago when it was a theoretical event.
    I look at it like this. If they’re able to make the company’s brand more prominent and leverage their own listings without turning that leverage completely over to those buying ad space, more power to them. I’m not a fan of Zillow’s business model and I don’t much like the whole “the listing agent knows more than anyone else” routing as it ignores some fiduciary details, but I guess if both sides are going to use each other and the seller isn’t harmed, go for it.

    At the same time, if I have a listing where the Zestimate is lower than the list price, I’m putting it back as Not for Sale as quickly as possible – I’m not going to disadvantage my seller no matter how many eyeballs look at the site.

    Escaping Zillow only would be possible if I went solo and my wife’s pretty adamant on that one. And I didn’t leave TR because of Zillow as much as losing a significant amount of autonomy of my marketing strategies.

    If all else works, I’ll make the zPlatrform routine work as best I can in the framework of what I do. 🙂

  • They are, Sarah … the manager from ROG even called me over the weekend to make sure I was okay with coming over given that fact, and I had talked to others there a while ago when it was a theoretical event.

    I look at it like this. If they’re able to make the company’s brand more prominent and leverage their own listings without turning that leverage completely over to those buying ad space, more power to them. I’m not a fan of Zillow’s business model and I don’t much like the whole “the listing agent knows more than anyone else” routing as it ignores some fiduciary details, but I guess if both sides are going to use each other and the seller isn’t harmed, go for it.

    At the same time, if I have a listing where the Zestimate is lower than the list price, I’m putting it back as Not for Sale as quickly as possible – I’m not going to disadvantage my seller no matter how many eyeballs look at the site.

    Escaping Zillow only would be possible if I went solo and my wife’s pretty adamant on that one. And I didn’t leave TR because of Zillow as much as losing a significant amount of autonomy of my marketing strategies.

    If all else works, I’ll make the zPlatrform routine work as best I can in the framework of what I do. 🙂

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