A blind date has got to be one of life's scarier moments! Many of us have been the recipient of this form of 'relationship assistance' at some point in our lives.
Although, it's exciting to not know exactly who you will be meeting, the experience is fraught with much angst and trepidation for precisely the same reason...you don't know exactly what you'll get when your date shows up in person!
Today, online dating has spawned hundreds of thousands of successful unions. However, we all suspect that for every success story, there are oodles of folks who don't have a storybook outcome.
We all worry about the potential for this:
- A person whose in person appearance is not even remotely connected to how they appear online
- Fake Testimonials which promise more than they deliver
- Individuals who are not what they purport to be...ie the 'pretend doctor' syndrome with fake credentials
These issues are also a concern for millions of consumers who are now going online to select professional services like those provided by members of the real estate community. Data from the National Association of Realtors indicates that more than 80% of all consumers will utilize the Internet as a part of their selection process for choosing an agent and/or home. Selecting the right agent for your specific concerns can make all the difference in the world.
Although, there are no guarantees that even your best efforts will yield the results you desire, taking the time to do some preliminary research will greatly enhance your prospects for a successful match. Let's examine some critical aspects which you should consider as you review potential prospects.
Do You Know if they're the Real Deal?
I mean this literally. Make sure you're dealing with a real person or business. Do some checking. It's pretty easy. Here are some suggestions: Contact the local real estate board to inquire about their membership and status. If they indicate they hold certain awards or designations, call or go online to see if they are on the membership roster. Google the physical location/address and if you still have doubts, do a drive by. If things don't check out at this basic level, there's a problem.
Are their Products Visible?
You'll be hiring a real estate agent to market your home. The disappearing agent who sticks a sign in the yard and NEVER calls is well documented in real estate folklore.
But what about the disappearing listing? When the home is placed on the market, it becomes a part of the real estate companys' listing portfolio.
Did you know that there is a dramatic difference between the levels of exposure which your home may receive on the Internet? Did you know that your agent's understanding of Search Engine Positioning and Optimization will be key determinants of your exposure?
For instance, a good online real estate agent can literally put your home on the map...the google indexing map that is. Imagine being able to say to your friends and family...did you google my home? If you're competing with 50 other homes for sale in your community, this may make all the difference in the world.
Do They Know What They're Talking About?
Here's the area where the Internet can be of the greatest benefit. While an increasing number of agents and their agencies have websites, these will provide you with only static information about their listings and services. To dig deeper, it's prudent to see if the agent you are considering also writes a blog.
Blogging provides a tremendous amount of benefit to the consumer who is in the process of selecting an agent. For starters, it can save you TIME! In reading a good agent blog, you will be able to determine the areas of an agent's expertise, their style with clients, the kinds of transactions they handle, and the way they resolve conflicts and solve problems.
Can You Interview them Without Extra Hassle?
You'll find that reading an agent's blog is similar to conducting an interview. What's great is that you can e-mail or respond in the comment section if you have any additional questions or would like clarification on certain issues. This type of dialog can be tremendously informative and provides a great platform to become comfortable with someone before hiring them for the job.
It's important to hire the right agent to get the job done. Using this simple list will improve your chances of selecting someone who has the skill and personality which will be most in alignment with your specific needs. If you are in the Grand Rapids, Michigan area and are looking for an Online Real Estate Expert, the real estate specialists at Audu Real Estate would be happy to explore how we can assist you.
Where Should you be looking?
Our listings are advertised in a number of Venues which include: our website, numerous blogs, the Grand Rapids Association of Realtors Multiple Listing Service, the Michigan Association of Realtors NAR (National Association of Realtors), Zillow, Trulia, Real Estate Shows, Google, Yahoo, Oodle, Twitter & Flickr. Contact us to discuss how we can create an Internet marketing strategy which makes sense for you!
Copyright 2008 Audu Real Estate All Rights Reserved
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*thanks to Susan Deane of Greenridge Real Estate for pointing out the typo & resultant update.