I found this image last year, and it has stuck with me ever since.
Whether or not it is wholly accurate, it is certainly valid. Real estate agents do have a reputation problem. They are the first person to be blamed when something goes wrong, and the last to be credited for success.
When I purchased my first apartment in NYC, I had this feeling of helplessness — that my fate was lying in the hands of a lot of amateurs. I mean, anyone can get a real estate license, right?
But even I knew I was being unusually harsh, especially on someone who had yet to have the chance to prove (or disprove) himself. So where did my feelings come from?
A few ideas:
1. I want to buy, not be sold. Buying a home isn’t like buying a pair of shoes, or even a car. Your home is a deeply emotional, even sacred space. But the process of doing so can feel confusing, convoluted, and chaotic – that one emerges not feeling happy to have a home, but relieved it is finally over. That puts the agent in the unfortunate position of personifying all the bad parts of the process, even though she/he actually controls very little of it.
2. I want to understand what you do. As a former consultant, I know that there are many things that the agent needs to do to complete the transaction that often go unnoticed and therefore unappreciated. There was always a part of me that wished I knew what the process looked like – what my agent was actually doing and what was coming next. Have they really earned that 6 or even 3%? How could I possibly assess their worth when I really don’t know what they do besides turning a key?
3. I want to believe you’re in it for the right reason. For a brief while, there was an influx of people looking to cash in on a seller’s market. And in a sales based industry, the longer term is often sacrificed for the sake of getting some deals done today. That is recipe for disaster. Especially because while being a real estate agent is one of the easier jobs to get into, it is one of the hardest to stay in over time.
Many of these whys inspired the design of ABC. Our tools and features coordinate agents and homebuyers seamlessly together, recasting the agents as the indispensable experts they are - and supporting them in operating efficiently in an increasingly inefficient business environment and broken system. It also takes care of much of the administration, so agents can focus on sharing their expertise of a certain area, and putting best practices to good use – rather than filling out paperwork. We also coordinate all the other players – like attorneys, inspectors, even lenders – and clearly spell out their roles and responsibilities along the way.
Many of the agents I have recently spoken with became agent’s because finding someone’s perfect home is important, rewarding work. They believe in the power of home to transform people and places.
The truth is, there are some very good agents out there. ABC helps them become great ones.