Top 9 Things Customers Don't Care About- From A Gen Y-er's Point Of View

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Today RIS Media ran an article entitled The Top 9 Things Customers Don't Care About.  The list was pretty on Who's filling Gen Y's shoes?target.  But I thought what would make it more helpful is comments about each statement from a real, live Gen Yer, who this year went through the process of hiring a Listing Agent- ME!  RIS Media's list is below.  Followed by my comments. 

The Top 9 Things Customers Don't Care About:

9. How good you are at what you do. They only care about how good you are at who you are and how you can help them get what they want.   [SB] I DO care about how good you are.  Obviously I want to hire a GOOD agent.  However, I will not decide how good you by you telling me.  I will decide based on how I feel about you when I meet you and what other people say about you.  The 'other' people's opinions on you will not come from a testimonial sheet you bring in.  I will read what people are saying about you, unsolicited, on message boards or any 2.0 site that I can find. 

8. Your education, your certifications or your designations. They only care about how what you know can help make their lives more enjoyable, simple and prosperous. [SB] I have been seeing these designations for 10 years now and still have absolutely no idea what they mean.  If you can show me how your designation now affords you some skill that others without it may not have, then mention it.  The only designation that means something to be when I see it is EPro.  From this my guess would be that you are somehow more Internet savvy than others, which means you will be more likely to communicate with me via email, my communication method of choice. 

7. Your brand. They only care that the experience of doing business with you is sensational. [SB] I go 50/50 on this one.  Initially I lean towards a national brand because I think a larger corporation is going to have more Internet partnerships in place and more resources.  But I could be sold by someone under an independent label, if their marketing plan was stellar.

6. You saying you have great service. They only care about getting great service. [SB]  You don't have to tell me about your great service.  I will already know what type of service you provide the minute I send a request for more information.  After I do that, you have about an hour to show me your 'great service'.  If you call me the next day, no service statement in the world is going to convince me otherwise.

5. How much you charge. They care about getting value for their money. [SB] This is true, to a certain degree.  You will have an opportunity to present to me, tell me your plan and tell me your rates.  If I think you are the best and will get my home sold the fastest, commission is irrelevant.  If I like two people equally as good, I will probably go with the lower commission.  So two points here, 1) Be the best and 2) At least be in the ball park of commissions your market is baring.

4. How you feel today. They care about feeling good themselves and having a positive day. [SB] Not saying you don't earn your commission, but at the end of the day, that is still a large chunk of change out of my pocket.  If I am paying someone that much money, it is going to be about me, me, me! 

3. Why you can't do something. They only care about fast, easy solutions. [SB] However you deal with me, is how I assume you are dealing with other agents.  If you tell me you can't do something, I am going to assume that you are telling other agents you can't make things work for them, which doesn't get my house sold.

2. How long you've been in business. They only care about how you can solve their problems under today's conditions. [SB] This is very true, especially because how homes are marketed has evolved so much over the last few years. 

1. How cool or slick your marketing looks. They care about how your product or service can save them time, relieve them of pain, help their family or put money in their bank account. [SB] 100% true.  Show me all the cool and unique ways you are going to market my home.  Show me the back-end systems that are in place where I can get information about what is going on with my home at all times.  Regularly show me Internet statistics as to how my home is performing online and how you are adjusting the plan based on these facts.  I need to hear from you regularly, even if you have nothing to tell me.  Once a week minimum. 


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Micheal St. Peter
The Bayshore Group - Traverse City, MI
I'm going to staple your post on the wall in our office. I have been telling these same things to the older generation folks for years now and they still are not buying it. You hit it right on the head. Great post!
Dec 14, 2007 06:23 AM #60
Erin Stumpf (Attardi)
Coldwell Banker - Sacramento, CA
916-342-1372 / DRE# 01706589 Sacramento, CA
You hit the nail(s) right on the head(s)!  Our business is just not about is about our clients, and that should be the focus. 
Dec 14, 2007 10:19 AM #61
Susannah Schenskie
Prudential Homesale Services Group - Ephrata, PA
Realtor, Lancaster, PA- Prudential

Sara, great post.

As a GenX/GenY straddler, I can totally relate to what you're saying. 

I'm getting my E-pro ASAP as I'm already doing these things but hey, if you can have the designation to back it up, more power to ya.


Thanks for the info!



Dec 14, 2007 10:33 AM #62
Allison Stewart
St.Cloud Homes - Saint Cloud, FL
St. Cloud Fl Realtor, Osceola County Real Estate 407-616-9904
I enjoyed reading this article.  Interesting how the designations are of little interest to them. I agree completely they are very service oriented.  Take the VIP lounge in any club- they will pay a premium to be in there.  Thank you for the look into the mind set of a Y-er generation
Dec 14, 2007 10:01 PM #63

Agree with most of your thoughts...



Dec 16, 2007 02:06 PM #64
Bonnie & Terry Westbrook
Westbrook Realty - Ada, MI
Grand Rapids MI Real Estate
Sara, I think it is important to understand the GenY perspective. Being a Baby-Boomer, we just don't get it sometimes.  Thanks for the post and being brutal.....we need it.
Dec 19, 2007 02:44 AM #65
Raj Rajpal
Wells Fargo Home Mortgage - Staten Island, NY
Great post and so true all the customere cares is can you deliver , how you do it ,does not matter
Dec 19, 2007 08:09 AM #66
Diane Cohn

Sara, fabulous post. As an aging Gen-Xer I've printed it out for future reference. Some comments:

#8: Interesting, I never bothered with this designation because what could it possibly teach me? I grew up on the web.

#6: I guess I might lose you on this one. Until I get a 24/7 call center/email response system under my belt, I may lose you when I'm out all day with other relo clients looking at houses. Sorry, but I'm not going to interrupt my appointments with them until the end of the day or next day if we run late looking at houses.

#2: Good thing, as I've only been in the biz for three years now.

 #1: Another good thing, as I can deliver all of this.

 Sara, again, thanks for the insight!


Dec 21, 2007 12:45 PM #67
Marzena Melby
Coldwell Banker Burnet Realty - Richfield, MN
Realtor, Twin Cities Minnesota Real Estate

Hi Sara,

Thanks for this post.  It will help me in my RE business as well as in running my office.  I am a Managing Partner for a local agent-owned company where most agents are "experienced" in real estate.  What that really means is that most of them have been licensed for 10 or more years, but first of all that they are older (50s and up).  So, I always look for ways to present this kind of information to my agents to open their eyes on the reality of life today.

Have a Wildly Successful 2008! 

Jan 05, 2008 03:46 AM #68
Brian Burke
Kenna Real Estate - Englewood, CO
Broker & Advising Expert-Denver Luxury Real Estate
I just ran across today a marketing piece from an agent that kept on repeating "Jim" can do this, "Jim" has the knowledge... "Jim" will send you, I was cracking up. Never did I feel like it was about the seller or the buyer. ~Rita 
Jan 05, 2008 09:21 AM #69
Maria P.
Omg - thank you thank you. You said it all.
Jan 07, 2008 01:30 PM #70
Vincent Coccia
Construction Services Integration - Paoli, PA
Thanks for this post as I can use it in my
Jan 08, 2008 01:55 PM #71
MyMortgage MyChoices - Hayward, CA
My Mortgage My Choices

As one of the first Gen Xers (Feb 65) I want to say that you, Sara, added tremendous value to the original RIS Media articel. I'd also like to comment that this would have been a completely different artice just 5 years ago. If any of you, as Realtors, take only one thing away from this blog, it's that EVERY generation is starting to expect what the Gen Yers want (specifically proven referrablity - not just marketing yourself). More and more Boomers are learning about the Internet and even 2.0. I think this article applies to Gen X as much as it does Gen Y - not a big difference when it comes to expectations.

Bottom Line: Show your clients who you really care about - if it's not them then you should find another business.

Jan 11, 2008 04:08 AM #72
Lori Turoff
This post was an excellent tool to use to rewrite my listing presentation materials.  Maybe Realtors need use different 'versions' of marketing proposals for different age audiences? 
Jan 29, 2008 09:48 PM #73
Misty Thomas
Houston Realty - Crosby, TX
Realtor Crosby, TX
This is a really great list. I think I will condense it and put it somewhere to remind me on a regular basis! Thank you!
Apr 29, 2008 12:02 AM #74
Christina Cavins
Irongate Inc. REALTORS - Centerville, OH Search Ohio Homes For Sale

Great list, but I disagree with #1. Good, cool, professional ads sell!


Jul 13, 2008 06:10 PM #75
Gen Y

FANTASTIC post and FANTASTIC detailed comments. As part of the Gen Y group I agree 100% with your statements.

Regarding item #1 - I think being technical and showing how the marketing is going to work is HUGE. If I saw all the back-end functionality of my house being marketed online, and was constantly fed the statistics I would be one happy seller! GREAT stuff. So on target!

Aug 04, 2008 06:18 AM #76
Russell Lewis
Realty Austin, Austin Texas Real Estate - Austin, TX

You are so right. I think it'e more of a me only attitude. I recently worked with two highly paid software people who just wanted to tell me everything they knew about everything.

It was not really that bad as I am rather curious and I actually enjoyed listening. WQe found greta properties for both and they have both recomended me to others. I am learning to just let it go, give as much information and advice that is willingly accepted and that i feel is my obligation as a professional and just do it.

Aug 04, 2008 09:30 AM #77
solomon hailu

thank you artichect and also i have idea

i m student of computer science now but after a time  i want to study architectoral fields so i expect some interesting ideal to share with you .from now on wards i will search my email account to read your contribution

May 28, 2009 01:58 AM #78

Hi Sara,

I was just sent to your website by one of my friend to learn from you and wow, it is very impressive, i agree with most of your thoughts. Thanks for sharing all that awesome information.

Here's a interesting website that I came across, It is also helpfull to those who dont know any thing about Internet Marketing. For Online CRM and email Marketing Solutions

Thanking you in Advance

Warm Regards

Mar 25, 2010 12:16 AM #79
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