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Up until this week, I looked at the real estate industry from the outside in. This week, however, I got an inside view that has given me an even greater appreciation for the role Realtors play.
You see, this week my wife Amie and I signed a contract on a townhouse and I would not/could not have done it without the capable leadership and assistance provided by our agent, Conni Smith.
This experience has also given me is a better understanding as to why Realtors should blog, and the role blogging can play as a marketing tool.
Step 1: Focusing on Listings We started our home search the same way over 80% of prospective homebuyers do according to NAR, on the Internet. We didn't begin by looking for an agent to work with though. Instead, we began by looking at listings. That may not be typical, but I suspect it is.
Step 2: Focusing on the Agent Once we found some homes we wanted to take a closer look at, Amie and I contacted the listing agent. It was at that point that the relationship with the agent began. Once we found a place we really liked, that suited our tastes, needs and lifestyle, then we REALLY began a relationship with the agent.
I had questions. Does this Realtor know her stuff? As the listing agent representing the seller, would she also represent our best interests? Can we trust her? Of course, all of those questions were answered overwhelmingly in the affirmative, but we didn't really have a way of knowing that except by virtue of walking through the experience with her. I read her bio page on the broker's website, but that only gave me minimal information...length of time as a real estate agent, credentials, some brief customer testimonials, etc.
If, however, Conni had had a blog, I could have gained much more understanding of her expertise, experience, her track record in sales, knowledge of the local real estate market, the community, and, yes, her personality. I wanted to know who this person was before I entrusted her with what, to date, is the largest buying decision I've ever had to make.
Knowledge That Leads to Trust I've always held the opinion that people don't want to do business with businesses, but with people, and in particular, people they know. Knowledge leads to trust, and a blog would have given me more of both where Conni was concerned. Without sounding too melodramatic, a big chunk of our future was held in this lady's hands, and I wanted to know she could deliver the goods!
Our interactions with Conni proved to be very positive. (BTW, she gave me permission to use her name.) She was personable, professional, and extremely capable. You bet I will use her again. She was even familiar with blogging, as her son had blogged for his college, something to do with recruiting. Still, I needed some assurance before entering into the transaction and negotiations, the kind of assurance a blog could have given me.
Had I been an experienced home buyer, perhaps I would have taken more for granted, but this is the first home I've purchased in 10 years. I'm a real estate neophyte where buying a home is concerned.
I'll tell you something I did do in advance of our meetings with Conni. I contacted an agent I knew I could trust, Ines. She answered my questions and, at my request, shared insights into the kinds of things I should look for. I didn't merely trust Ines' advice because she is my apprentice, but because reading her blog let me know she had expertise and experience which could be trusted.
It all comes down to a matter of trust. I needed to know I could trust the agent I was working with. A blog could have helped foster that relationship. Some of us just need all the help we can get!
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.