Real estate agents have long been independent spirits, shaped by forces of nature, paid only for results. The industry is competitive. The vast majority of new agents drop out in their first or second year. A minority emerge from those first years very different people; leaner, wiser, better. It is a sometimes gut wrenching business that rewards creativity, persistence, thick skin, talking things out and thinking things through. The sleepless nights it brings aren’t a lot of fun but are perhaps necessary for working through problems with disparate players and motivations. As much as I hate lying in bed troubling on some transaction, I usually emerge with circles under my eyes, a cup of strong coffee and a workable solution. I have seen how a commission based industry forces agents to develop competence.
Now that computers have moved to our phones, people want home information in the palm of their hands. But good apps are expensive to create, so corporations have stepped in to fill that role. As a buyer, you can look up a house and find all kinds of good information; property lines, walking scores, school ratings; you can even click to ask questions or set up a showing.
“But who are you reaching when you click the app?”
Indeed, who are you reaching when you click the app? It is not your trusted agent who replies. You are not reaching someone who knows the property, or has even seen it, in all likelihood. Instead, you are connected to one of two people depending on which corporate app you are using. First, you might reach a salaried employee. I think it is fair to assume they would be new to the industry or someone who didn’t thrive in real estate. Experienced agents with a history of happy clients referring them don’t tend to walk away from that. The second person you might reach is an agent willing to pay for leads. In this case, the lead is you.
The raw information provided is useful, even to us in the industry, but a skilled agent offers so much more of what you need throughout the process; local knowledge, market insight, good negotiating and the ability to get over the many hurdles to closing. By all means, use your favorite app, but when the time comes to ask a question, schedule a showing, or write an offer, I encourage you to call a Realtor® you trust, or ask around and find the best one you can. Call us! Taking this small extra step will make a big difference in the experience you have and keep dollars in the community.