Pool Boy or Buyer Pool?

Real Estate Agent with www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 228209

The Bravo NetworkPool Boy or Buyer Pool?

A show on the Bravo network recently featured three high-end real estate agents who routinely work million-dollar-plus deals, in the City of Angels, Los Angeles, California.  I can’t say that it reminds me exactly of when I was a new agent!

Called Million Dollar Listing, the show is a “docu-series” with three young stars:

Younguns•    Josh Flagg graduated high school in 2004, stepped right into high-end residential sales, made several record sales & became one of LA’s top agents.
•    Madison Hildebrand, a recent Pepperdine graduate, sold his first home to a celebrity and now sells high end homes up to $20 million.
•    Chad Rogers got his real estate license at the tender age of 18, rose through the ranks & currently works for a prestigious high-end brokerage firm.

You're probably asking, "Where is she going with this?"  Nowhere – and everywhere! Watching the show, I couldn’t help but wonder, if these younguns can sell a $20 million dollar house in Beverly Hills, in this economy, we can certainly sell $200,000 homes here!

Pool boyOkay, so they’re selling to celebrities.  And, yes, residents in Beverly Hills, West Hollywood, ‘The OC’ and the surrounding counties are 'famous' for their big wallets—at least that’s our perception on the East Coast!  It may just be easier to sell a house with fifty natural selling points –huge pool with the ‘pool boy’ included, beautiful grounds cared for by full-time landscapers, two-ton chandeliers, stables (you get my point, my dream list goes on and on!)—than it is to sell an average house that may have five selling points.

buyer poolHowever, having said all that, when times get tough, remember that you too live in a beautiful city; you have beautiful homes for sale, in nice neighborhoods and great communities.  Your listings have many selling points to “show off,” one being that  they’re at more affordable prices and with a larger buyer pool—more who can afford them! 


So, focus on the positives of your listings and show them off in every way that you can!  

Key points to help you SELL those listings:

    A clear, concise, non-repetative, rich, inviting MLS write-up--need I say more?
    Clear, crisp photos—and plenty of them!  This is the NUMBER 1 COMPLAINT that the consumer has regarding their home search, according to last year's NAR buyer/consumer survey.  The puzzling thing--it's the easiest thing in the entire transaction to do!
•    Ask your sellers to tell you what, exactly, made THEM select the home that they’re in –that large master closet could be what their buyer is looking for too!
•    What is their favorite room in the house?
•    What do they LOVE about their neighborhood?
•    What do they like about the location?
•    Does their HOA serve them well?

Selling my home in Charlotte NC


These are just a few things to get you going…brainstorm with your clients as you tour their home.  Ask what changes they’ve made—is the roof new?  Do they have a separate well for irrigation?  Is that HVAC new by chance?  Remember, you’re making notes of the positives.




Another thing that I love doing is to schedule showings for my sellers to view the other homes in the neighborhood currently on the market.  Not only does this help you and your sellers to see what their home has to offer that is superior to the competition but, it also helps them see what shows well and what doesn’t from a ‘buyers perspective.’  Lastly, now is a good time to review how the other homes are priced and helps your sellers to see if they need to make a price adjustment right out of the gate!

note the positives


Again, focus on the positives of your listings and show them off in every way that you can!  You may not have the houses to sell with the pool boy included but, target that buyer pool that you do have with your BEST marketing!

*Of course, a strong online presence is an important facet after you've gathered all of your selling points and completed your write-ups!


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Don Anthony
Don Anthony Realty ~ www.DonAnthonyRealty.com - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte & Triangle NC Discount Realtor

Just happened to watch an episode last night that I had missed that I had recorded.  Definitely an entertaining show and amazes me how different life can be, even in the same country.

Don Anthony Realty Signature - www.DonAnthonyRealty.com 

Jan 29, 2010 05:07 PM #71
Debe Maxwell, CRS
www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

Hi Everyone!  I had no idea that this post would generate this many comments!  I thank each and every one of you for your comments. 

Of course, you know I have to respond to a few comments! 

Don't shoot the messenger!  It is only a TV show that sparked an idea to share about a blog--as much as we may or may not like the show, there IS a silver lining!   And, yes, I can put a positive spin on just about anything!   I thought that many are probably discouraged by these types of shows--"Oh, if only I could sell a $20M listing--I could..." So, I wrote a blog about it.

If it's any consolation to you, these guys are virtual unknowns in the industry--they could very well be fictitious and yes, they're making us all look bad--in OUR opinion!  The show is a popular one and most times, when you're in a profession, you EASILY spot the things that are 'wrong' with a show because you KNOW what is legal and what is not--you know what is correct 'procedure' and what is not... All consumers don't know this and find this a humorous show--not thinking about what is so wrong with it as we do.   There's a whole lot more professionalism going on with our REAL clients, that's for SURE!

So, before you shoot the messenger--read the rest of the post!  It was written to help agents and sellers recognize what selling is REALLY all about in this crazy market.  It's an article written to HELP sellers and their agents be creative in their selling, not  to praise a couple of young whipper snappers from LA who may or may not be REAL agents!

I just took a show that I watched once, realized that thos in the business would view the show as a negative one and built on that--writing sellers tips is not an exciting read--but, mission accomplished, right?!  The TV show got your attention!  Now take the REAL meaning of this post, put it into action and SELL, SELL, SELL! 

And, have a wonderful weekend...

Jan 29, 2010 05:40 PM #72
Cheryl Ritchie
RE/MAX Leading Edge www.GoldenResults.com - Huntingtown, MD
Southern Maryland 301-980-7566

Cute post. I have started asking some of your five questions and then gear the ads and verbiage that direction on my listings.

Jan 29, 2010 06:15 PM #73
M. Suzi Woods (Gravenstuk)
NOW Sharing the life and spice of the GC one day at a time - Grand Canyon, AZ
Suzi Woods, Prior Independent REBroker in MS

...So, what to you tell the listing REALTOR of the homes you are showing your sellers to orient them to the market? 

Jan 29, 2010 10:38 PM #74
Tony Grego, 317-663-4173 #1 Trade Association for Alternative Inv
REISA - 317-663-4173 - Indianapolis, IN

Great post. It is all about your niche. I tend to find that folks can't represent or sell things that they personally could not afford so they tend to be intimated by big dollar listings or mortgages. To me it is just about helping the client and 8 digits or 5 digits I just want to keep them happy 

Jan 29, 2010 10:51 PM #75
Bill Wallace
Bridge Realty - Bloomington, MN
William Wallace

Does anyone else feel it's slightly wrong to do "Agent Previews" with a seller along?  Doesn't that seem a little unethical?  I mean, why would another seller allow you in their home if they knew your intent was to try and use the preview as a means to make your sellers home sell faster than the one you are previewing?

Jan 29, 2010 11:50 PM #76
Mike Jones
SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) - Tucson, AZ
Mike Jones NMLS 223495


Focus on the positive!  Yes, yes, yes!  Today, you're my favorite blogger.

Mike in Tucson

Jan 29, 2010 11:58 PM #77
Andy Chaudoir
Professional Inspection Services - Georgetown, Texas - Georgetown, TX
Your Home Inspection Connection in Central Texas

Hello Debe - Great blog.  As some others have mentioned I think it is a great comedy.  At least for me.  I do especially enjoy the times when they have a home inspected.  I wonder if there will ever be a show called "Million Dollar Inspections"?  That would be right up my alley!

Jan 30, 2010 12:00 AM #78
J. Philip Faranda
J. Philip Faranda (J. Philip R.E. LLC) Westchester County NY - Briarcliff Manor, NY

High end listings are great to sell, but I would counsel new agents to search for krill, not blue whales. You can go broke chasing big fish, but working with regular folks will pay your bills just fine. 

Jan 30, 2010 12:18 AM #79
Debe Maxwell, CRS
www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

Suzi:  That I'm previewing for a listing in the neighborhood--on rare occasion, the seller will decline but, most of the time, they want my opinion of how their home 'shows.'

Bill:  They know you're previewing for a listing in the neighborhood.  When another agent phones me about those, I ask that they please give me a few minutes to discuss following their preview.  I want to know their honest opinion, which we don't often get from buyer showings (many are afraid that if theyr buyer comes back and makes an offer that somehow they may have 'tipped the sellers' off with previous feedback comments).  It also helps to discuss the merits of both homes--makes for great relationship building among the REALTOR community too --if my 5th BR/bonus is just not what a buyer who happens to be coming through--doesn't have the floorplan that the buyer is seeking, then I can send them to the other agent's property.  If the buyer isn't going to buy my listing, I'd still rather keep that buyer in the neighborhood to keep the homes moving in our own hyperlocal area.  And, the other agents will do the same for my sellers. 

If you're not previewing, you're missing out on peer relationship building and neighborhood/market knowledge.

Mike:  Thanks!  That's just the way I roll!!  ;-)

Jan 30, 2010 12:21 AM #80
Patricia Aulson
Realtor - Portsmouth NH Homes-Hampton NH Homes

Hi Debe, as usual...another great post today.  I think there are lots of good  comments above for sure. I like Dorie's idea about asking the prospective buyer what the 10 best features of the house are, in their opinion.  Thanks for getting this out to us today.

Patricia/Seacoast NH

Jan 30, 2010 12:22 AM #81
Bill Wallace
Bridge Realty - Bloomington, MN
William Wallace

Hi Debe - thanks for the response.

My issue isn't as much Agent Previews as it is with bringing my seller along to view their competition.  Typically, when I do an agent preview I tell the owner they don't have to leave.  I'll only be in the house for 5-10 minutes and I don't want them to feel obligated to vacate.  That would be very awkward if I was bringing my own seller and I think the owner of the home being previewed would more than likely object if they knew I was bringing their "competitor" to the house. 

Let me ask you this - when you schedule these agent previews with your seller along do you make this clear when scheduling the showing?  If not, then it seems like it deceptive and it's not disclosed for a fear that it wouldn't be approved.

Jan 30, 2010 12:41 AM #82
Debe Maxwell, CRS
www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

Hi Bill!  Yes, they are aware--some stay, most don't.  When they're there and get to chatting with my seller, it can make for a long outing though!!  Like with buyers, I have to remind them that we're on a time schedule!  I did have one seller who was working from home and asked if she could join us to see the last two that we had to view--"Perhaps I'll find that I need to drop the price on mine!"  Her agent was her sister so, I told her to please give her a ring and let her know that she was joining us--I didn't want any backlash from her joining us!

As for the competitor comment--I try to present it such that they feel like we're a team working to sell their neighborhood--not one home against the other.  They typically 'get it' and have a more positive attitude when and if we do meet.  It also helps the other agents when it comes to asking to have neighborhood open houses--we get nearly 100% participation every tmie because we've built and fostered those relationships over the years.

Hope this helps!

Jan 30, 2010 01:11 AM #83
Ruthmarie Hicks
Keller Williams NY Realty - 120 Bloomingdale Road #101, White Plains NY 10605 - White Plains, NY

I don't get that show at all.  Why are these people hiring these "children?"  Also they are insufferably arrogant.  It also makes selling real estate look easy. it's not.  Look at it this way.  I set up my entire day around a client who needed to see many homes all at once because he was from out of town. Yes, he's been qualified and jumped throught my hoops.  I pushed a couple of other buyers off until tomorrow....and he cancels at the last minute.  I should be out showing now.....Oh well.....

My point is that things rarely go the way you expect them to and you have a lot of juggling to do. And don't start on unreasonable buyers and sellers. That show is NOTHING like the reality of selling real estate.

Jan 30, 2010 02:54 AM #84
David O'Doherty
Raleigh Realty Inc - Clayton, NC
Clayton NC Homes, Raleigh, NC

Hi Debe, I'm not a fan of the show, but I do have two listings with these gems.

Do they have a separate well for irrigation?  Is that HVAC new by chance? 

Great Post as always

I had a coffee with Eleanor Thorne just after she spoke to you, ain't ActiveRain great

Jan 30, 2010 03:12 AM #85
Sajy Mathew
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Lancaster, PA
Making your real estate dreams become a reality!

I enjoyed that show.  Some parts were very similar to what we deal with in clients that need educated but then alot of it was for tv.  I kept reminding myself of that as I watched.

Good information above.

Jan 30, 2010 03:59 AM #86
Maria Tobin

Another great key to selling your listing is to have it staged!  On one episode of MDL, one of the Realtors had a multi-million dollar listing staged and it cost $30,000!  As an Accredited Staging Professional (ASP) in the greater Charlotte area, I can tell you I get great results for much less!

Jan 30, 2010 04:55 AM #87
Maria Tobin
Staged For Success - Huntersville, NC

Another great key to selling your listing is to have it staged!  On one episode of MDL, one of the Realtors had a multi-million dollar listing staged and it cost $30,000!  As an Accredited Staging Professional (ASP) in the greater Charlotte area, I can tell you I get great results for much less!

Jan 30, 2010 05:01 AM #88
Lisa Moroniak
Keller Williams Realty | Northern Virginia | 703.635.0388 - Leesburg, VA
SFR - Short Sale & Foreclosure Certified

Hi Debe!  That show cracks me UP!  I've never seen so much whining in real estate.  And you've given me some shameless thoughts for marketing future listings...;).  But seriously...excellent reminders for best practices - especially the "Real Estate Intervention" tactics for seller reality checks!

Jan 30, 2010 07:12 AM #89
Stephen Garner
Hub Media Company - Tempe, AZ
Hub Media Company

Love this post, that show is awesome, its comical. If only selling real estate were actually that easy.

Jan 30, 2010 07:54 AM #90
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