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Real Estate Scam No 1: Listing Properties 20 miles away

By
Real Estate Agent with Exit Realty Properties

This is the first of many observations that I have been making for a while as I utilized all the knowledge and skills gained from RE school. As I try to continue to respect this industry for its ethics, I can't help but accept the fact that there are many in this industry not for ethics, integrity and willingness to help people obtain and liev the american dream, but to make gobs of money and leave a bad taste in the publics mouth of realtors.

My question is this; Why would a realtor accept a listing that is 20 miles away from their "Farm" area? This question bugs me. You see, I specialize in the Coral Springs area which is in Broward County and I have had the opportunity of showing listings to my customers, only to find out that the realtor is not local. This is not the critical issue. The annoying reality is that a realtor located in the heart of Miami has a listing in Coral Spings (Distance in this case is about 35 miles).  In most cases, these listings are foreclosures or short sales. They never pick up their calls on the first ring. The office assistant is typically rude when trying to find the agent and they almost always know very little about the property.

In one instance, I needed questions answered about the property and got suspicious when the agent's cellphone number was the office number and vice versa. After a couple of days leaving messages with the office assistanT for the agent to call me, I never got a call and kept being told "she will call you". Guess what, the agent never called even after getting my Broker involved. My customer eventually had to walk away from the property. Why?

More to come!! Watch out for RE Scam II

Why do we have "Referrals" if we will accept listings 20 miles away? How do you do justice to that listing? How do you know who came to the property, what state the property is in?

Fellow realtors, please weigh in on this or maybe I am missing something.

Afie Makinde
EXIT Realty Properties
484.410.6569

Vickie Arcuri
Coldwell Banker Realty - Fort Lauderdale, FL
South Florida Luxury Real Estate
I too believe in the value of specializing in certain neighborhoods although, of course, that's only ONE facet of my business.  Obviously, strong Internet presence is very important.  In 2007, we know that snail mail is no longer the only way that Farming is accomplished, but neighborhoods are very relevant, hence, the recent launch of Facebook.com/Point2Agent's Neighborhood application, which already has many users.  Neighborhood websites are thriving as well and "Long Tail Searches" are all the rage in SEO (these are very specific search terms used by prospective Buyers and Seller and neighborhoods are often part of these Long Tail Searches). Neighborhood specialization is alive and well, but the Internet has diversified the way in which it's done.
Nov 19, 2007 04:28 AM
Karen Monsour
Coldwell Banker Fort Lauderdale Beach - Fort Lauderdale, FL
REALTOR, SSRS - Sells FL Waterfront, Short Sale Expert!

Vickie,

Afie and I work out of the same EXIT office in Coral Springs.  We just had 5  four hour training sessions with David Abernathy on Point2Agent and ActiveRain. 

Our broker does continue to recommend farming to some agents. Then there are other's like you and me who choose to "reach out".  Then again, you and I are full time agents.  I think "farming" works well for agents who are part-time agents.

I agree, the Internet has certainly diversified real estate.

Nov 19, 2007 04:40 AM
Vickie Arcuri
Coldwell Banker Realty - Fort Lauderdale, FL
South Florida Luxury Real Estate
Hey Karen, thanks for the comment.  Yes, being full-time does allow greater flexibility for scheduling Real Estate activities. Actually, I think that "Farming"/Neighborhood Specialization can work well for any Agent, but that it should only be 1 piece of their overall plan.  I know Full-Time Agents who are Top Producers in listings and sales who "own" at least 1 great neighborhood and have experienced phenomenal results because of it.  Of course, they don't limit their activity to those areas, but it's definitely a big part of their business.
Nov 19, 2007 06:12 AM
Karen Monsour
Coldwell Banker Fort Lauderdale Beach - Fort Lauderdale, FL
REALTOR, SSRS - Sells FL Waterfront, Short Sale Expert!

Vickie,

I do as well. In this market, as you know we need a broad and flexible "plan"!

Nov 19, 2007 06:35 AM
Simon Conway
Orlando Area Real Estate Services - Orlando, FL
I am sure the "owning" of a neighborhood is still out there, but my point is that I don't think it will be out there for very long. The public is smart and it will soon realize that strong internet presence is what you need these days to sell a house.
Nov 19, 2007 06:41 AM
Simon Conway
Orlando Area Real Estate Services - Orlando, FL

UPDATE: I just received confirmation that I have been awarded a $1.65m listing 49 miles away from my base. I was in competition with three "local" agents including the one who "owns" the neighborhood. The seller is a retired real estate broker who found me on line. I did my presentation last Wednesday and was the first of four that he was interviewing. I literally just took the phone call telling me I was being given the listing. If anyone is interested it is in the Mount Dora/Eustis area and is a genuine Southern Colonial Mansion with lake views from every room in the house except one, a large area of lake frontage and a fully wired dock. Give me a call if you think you might have a client for this wonderful part of Florida.

Nov 19, 2007 07:00 AM
Vickie Arcuri
Coldwell Banker Realty - Fort Lauderdale, FL
South Florida Luxury Real Estate

Very good for you, Simon.  Best wishes with the Listing!

Nov 19, 2007 08:46 PM
Vickie Arcuri
Coldwell Banker Realty - Fort Lauderdale, FL
South Florida Luxury Real Estate

Hello again, Afie.  Another AR Member just posted a video link discussing Realtor.com's new launch of a neighborhood search tool, which maps 50,000+ neighborhoods across the United States.  Sounds like a really cool tool.  Here's the Realtor.com search link: http://www.realtor.com/FindNeig/Default.asp?poe=realtor  As you probably already know, Google just added neighborhood search capabilities to its maps, so we know that consumers are definitely interested in neighborhoods and, with so many of their searches starting online, it's great that we're able to reach them.  By the way, did you notice that our MLS just added 3D Maps from Microsoft Virtual Earth?  I can think of so many possibilities for enhancing listings with this.  I downloaded it yesterday (you have to download the plug-in into MLS).  It is SO cool.  You can tilt, rotate, etc.  I love techie toys :)   

Nov 19, 2007 10:58 PM
Simon Conway
Orlando Area Real Estate Services - Orlando, FL
Vickie - I have had great mapping capability on my website (including hybrid and zoom) for more than a year now. That is what I mean about being at the cutting edge of the technology that's available.
Nov 20, 2007 12:08 AM
Eric Kodner
Madeline Island Realty - La Pointe, WI
CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -

Here is an example of what the Web has enabled in today's real estate marketplace.  If you go to www.vladi.de  you'll see a website called "Vladi Private Islands Worldwide".  The broker and owner, Farhad Vladi, sells private islands all over the world.  His company has marketed listings that were 11,000 miles away from his office in Hamburg, Germany.  Considering that the circumference of the planet is around 25,000 miles, that is almost as far from one's office as you can get!

Vladi is a world-renowned seller of island properties, not a scam artist.  While this is an extreme example, it nevertheless demonstrates the power of the Web to make real estate global as well as local.  It also demonstrates that a broker who has superb marketing capabilities can serve a client well, even if the property is far from the broker's office location.

One of the good things about Active Rain is the opportunity for members to open their eyes to what is going on in the world, rather than merely focusing on what's going on in their backyard. 

Nov 20, 2007 12:09 AM
Simon Conway
Orlando Area Real Estate Services - Orlando, FL
Oh Eric - this is a wonderful example of what we are talking about. It was the fact that the headline of this post includes the word "scam" that upset me so much. There are plenty of scam artists out there without having that word thrown around at people doing legitimate business.
Nov 20, 2007 12:43 AM
Vickie Arcuri
Coldwell Banker Realty - Fort Lauderdale, FL
South Florida Luxury Real Estate
Simon and Eric, exactly!!!  Sites with neighborhood and mapping capabilities are great!!
Nov 20, 2007 01:06 AM
Eric Kodner
Madeline Island Realty - La Pointe, WI
CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -

I don't mean to attack Afie in any way and I understand the point she was trying to make, althought the word "scam" may be a bit over the top.  Many new agents today are trained by their broker to stick to one area and work that area.  That may be fine for a newbie in the business, but it doesn't necessarily make you successful. 

I don't mean to draw attention away from Afie's post in any way, but I've just uploaded a related post to my own blog. 

Simon is 100% correct above when he states "the farm is now the world".  The Web has certainly caused real estate to move in that direction.  I do think a lot of brokers teach new agents the same old stuff over and over again.  Many brokers are not up on technology or the rapid changes in our industry and it shows in their training.  I see this particularly in franchise firms and "nationwide" companies.

Nov 20, 2007 01:24 AM
Eric Kodner
Madeline Island Realty - La Pointe, WI
CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -
I find it offensive when an agent claims to "own" a neighborhood or community.  Most of the time, that is a gross exaggeration and it is the kind of puffery that diminishes us as agents in the eyes of the public.  America was built on competition and there are far too many competent agents out there for anyone to legitimately claim ownership of a marketplace.
Nov 20, 2007 03:28 AM
Simon Conway
Orlando Area Real Estate Services - Orlando, FL

Vickie  - Thanks for your comments. I agree with you entirely.

Eric- I too did not wish to offend Afie, but I was in fact offended by the use of the word scam to describe legitimate business. I also agree with you on the "own" thing. Crazy world.

Nov 20, 2007 07:29 AM
Afie Makinde
Exit Realty Properties - Coral Springs, FL
Realtor, Broward County, FL

Simon - Please don't let anything especially things I write upset you. To me, I called it a scam because of everything that ocurred. I didn't complete the story and on its own sure looked like I was being spiteful to realtors and that was not intent, Notwithstanding, you surely have provided a good insight into this and I truly appreciate it.

 Vickie - Thanks for your input and constructive criticism/recommendations. Thanks for the website sugestion. I will heed your advice.

 Eric - Point definitely taken.

 To all of you, how about a response to the other side of my story? Did you miss the dog poop crap and stuff in the home. Now, that was what got me pissed.

 About owning an area, I do agree with you Eric but the reality is that it is happening, alot. There is no doubt. It is also true that these are what make this inductry competitive and I am all for it. Let us face the fact that these things are evident and won't change tomorrow.

Ciao People until the next Sccccc... Oh I better not say it before somebody uts my neck off. I am "upset" enough people and that's not good for the soul...

Happy thanksgiving all of you

Afie Makinde
EXIT Realty Properties

Nov 20, 2007 10:49 AM
Simon Conway
Orlando Area Real Estate Services - Orlando, FL
Afie - I did in fact ask about the dog poop about six comments ago. Obviously a house in that condition is not good news. I think the controversy has been caused by the headline you gave this more than anything else. "Real Estate Scam No 1: Listing Properties 20 miles away". Listing properties 20 miles away of further is simply not a scam. Happy thanksgiving to you and your family.
Nov 20, 2007 12:01 PM
Afie Makinde
Exit Realty Properties - Coral Springs, FL
Realtor, Broward County, FL

Thanks Simon. I understand now. Y'see I put a word before the new one:) Possible??

 

Cheers,

Nov 20, 2007 12:06 PM
Eric Kodner
Madeline Island Realty - La Pointe, WI
CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -

Afie, I'll share with you a story about an agent I met who seemed to believe he "owned" an area.  I listed a property in an upscale Twin Cities suburb a couple of years ago and one of the area agents who brought a buyer told me he thought it was unfair that I was listing a home in "his" territory.  The neighborhood was about twelve miles from my office.  And he was extremely irritated when my listing received multiple offers and sold for well over the listed price. 

From my perspective, the agent who growls "stay out of my neighborhood" is being insecure and anti-competitive.  And if one agent truly "owns" a particular community or territory, that is an area that needs competition!  I don't like monopolies.  They don't serve the public well.

Nov 20, 2007 07:02 PM
Simon Conway
Orlando Area Real Estate Services - Orlando, FL
Monopolies eventually lead to the destruction of the market. Eric could not be more correct about that and I have heard similar stories before from other agents.
Nov 20, 2007 11:05 PM