How well do you truly know your sellers area?

Education & Training with Consistent Clients

I was reading a really thought-provoking post this morning from Loreena Yeo on Active Rain, Perfecting Your Inventory Knowledge in Your Neighborhoods, and it got me thinking about a situation that is happening a lot more with the current economy – taking listings in an area you’re not all that familiar with. This is probably because, as the market has cooled, a lot of agents are trying to supplement their business by expanding the area they cover. They’re also more likely to accept a listing in an area they’re not familiar with, where a few years ago they might have referred it out. Check out her post to get the whole story, but here’s a few things that I got out of it:

Real estate marketing tips for sellers agentsI can understand the pressure of a softer market, and the need to accept listings you may not have previously (hey, we all have bills to pay!), but you have a responsibility to your client to provide knowledgeable and comprehensive service. This includes taking the time to know the local real estate market, and research comps as well as other properties that are for sale that may not be comps, in order to get a bigger picture of what’s happening around your seller’s home.

Be prepared to do more work than usual to become familiar with the area and stay on top of changes and new listings/sold properties that come in. That’s the price you’ll have to pay in order to earn the commission you’ll be getting for taking this listing from out of your area. I like Loreena’s last line -

Until then, you haven’t deserved to earn your paycheck from your sellers. Be either very good or don’t play. Don’t ever let your Sellers know more or sooner than you do in his/ her neighborhood.


Rich Rogala - real estate marketing coach on Twitter

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Scott Hoen - Carson City, NV
COO, Hollywood Title Company 714-270-9607

Even take advantage of all the free information that is out there -- for example, from Zillow, Trulia or Cyberhomes.  It may not be the most accurate but the sites do have good community and school stats with historical trends.

Dec 17, 2009 03:17 AM #1
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg Real Estate

I think that is a totally bad idea from Scott above. YOU should be the 'go to guy' of the area. Zillow, etc. is so inaccurate you might as well use a ouija board to come up with a list price!  Knowing the area is paramount in getting today's homes sold.  I recently took a listing from an agent that was 15 miles away, not that far, but far enough.  The home has sold now in 2 weeks.  Why?  I was more familiar with the models in the neighborhood and the trends in the neighborhood.

It's a complete disservice to the seller. Just because you can do it in the MLS, doesn't make it right.

Dec 17, 2009 05:09 AM #2
Michele Reneau
Certified Staging Professional (CSP) Elite Instructor - Summerville, SC
Realtor, GRI ~ Charleston, SC Relocation Experts Team

Lyn-I agree that Zillow and others are quite inaccurate, but I do check Zillow once a seller contacts me for a listing appointment so I might have an idea of how far off they are.  It has helped prepare me on more than one occasion. I was able to arm myself with better stats and pull the numbers from Zillow and show why it was inaccurate.

Rich-I think in this type of market, its more reason to turn down listings. Quite frankly, it costs me money to carry the listing and it I don't believe its going to sell because the price is not right, or the condition is not up to par or because of the highway that runs behind the house, it's just not worth the time and energy.

Jan 14, 2010 12:57 AM #3
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