Sunday, July 22, 2007

But Wal-Mart Does!

I promised a continuation of my last blog, and here it is. In the last entry, I talked a bit about limited service and discount brokerage. This time, it will be more about eliminating agents from the picture.

OK, here is the shocking statement to start off with. Buyers and sellers don't need us in order to complete the transaction. That's right, we are not a necessary ingredient. Obviously, the buyers and sellers need each other. They need a real estate attorney to complete the transaction. Usually, they need a mortgage broker. That's pretty much it. They don't need a real estate agent, they don't need an inspection, and they don't need the MLS or other tools that we bring to the table.

But, did you notice the "need" theme that ran through that? Would you ever tell your buyer not to get an inspection? Of course not. But is an inspection a required part of the transaction? Of course not. Need and advantageous are very different things. We need to not lose sight of that. It is advantageous to deal with an agent, for both buyer and seller. It is advantageous to get an inspection. It is advantageous to use the MLS, for both buyer and seller. It is advantageous to the buyer and seller to have access to our tools, our contacts, our knowledge and our counsel.

That is the crux of it. We (industry groups like the NAR, and our broker parent companies e. g. C21, Re/MAX, etc.) are telling our prospective clients that they need us. Meanwhile, the limited service and FBSO organizations are telling our prospective clients that they don't need us. And they're right. What we should be telling them is that it is to their advantage to hire us. We will make the transaction smoother, easier, and less stressful. We will keep the time wasters at bay, and keep the transaction on track. That is what we do, and that should be our focus.

Since I'm a car guy, I have to sum it up like this.

A Ford Crown Victoria and a Lincoln Continental are built on the same platform. They both come with power seats, power winders, A/C, and a V-8 engine. They both hold the same number of people, and about the same amount of stuff. But the Lincoln costs way more. Why should someone pay the difference? Because it is smoother, easier and less stressful. It is quieter and a little more comforting.

We are all of that, as well as knowledgeable. We can save our clients money, maximize their sales price, smooth out the bumps, and hold their hand when they need it.

What do YOU think? I'd love your feedback. Thanks.

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