A Brutal Apology to Consumers from the Real Estate Industry

Education & Training with Sell with Soul

I know this blog was featured today so the author certainly doesn't need my re-blog but I wanted to honor the message of the blog which is such a refreshing break from the incessant celebration of prospecting prowess over competence and exceptional service. 

Thank you, Bryan... 

Dear Home Buyer or Seller,


You've been so patient with the real estate industry and for that, those of us who know what we're doing, are eternally grateful. You've been suffering through poor performance for so long that you now trust a website more than the agent you meet at an open house. We understand, really, that it's hard to put a major financial and legal decision in the hands of someone who clearly lacks the expertise, experience, or care to be helpful.


What nobody told you is that most agents will not sell one single property this year. Shocking, right? Not really. They didn't sell one last year either. You should be concerned when the person you hire knows less than you do, right? The Internet has made you pretty smart. That's a good thing, for the good agents.


You see, like many other industries this is a numbers game.  The more we have, the more dues we get, and that's good for us...but not so much for you. Unfortunately, the professionals who do offer knowledge and experience in finance, law, negotiating, contracts, disclosures, and marketing - are far outnumbered by those who...don't.


The overwhelming poor service you've experienced comes from decades of some agents being "commission chasers". We're truly sorry about that! To stop this practice all you have to do is...stop hiring them. It's a vicious cycle and we need your help. Resist the urge to hire someone because you have a tenuous personal connection. Hire someone who actually knows what they're doing and can prove it. Research, interview, and hold to a high standard.


The REAL real estate professionals...

  • care
  • work hard
  • have deep knowledge
  • have extensive experience
  • ...all of which you can't get from a website.


For example, a good listing agent will ...

  • Create a marketing plan that involves more than just the MLS
  • Explain the marketing strategy to you and answer your questions
  • Help prepare your house for market; cleaning, repairs, staging and more
  • Take photos that highlight the best your home has to offer (no date stamps and dark halls!)
  • Write a nice, thoughtful description of your home (more than just a single sentence)
  • Make sure all the major benefits of your home are known to buyers
  • Create a high-quality brochure suitable for selling a home (on good paper too!)
  • Take the time to explain the contracts, disclosures, and other legalities
  • Focus on your needs and not the commission
  • and so on...


A great buyer's agent will...

  • Guide you through comparing towns, neighborhoods, and homes to help you decide
  • Point out pros and cons of the decisions you make
  • Recommend properties before you find them on Zillow, Trulia, or other portals
  • Explain the purchase contract, disclosures, and other obligations
  • Show you property personally (instead of relying on open houses or listing agents)
  • Inspect the property themselves to point out any issues
  • Never "throw you under the bus" during negotiations
  • Follow up after the sale because good agents want lifelong relationships
  • and so on...


You've grown too accustomed to agents who list your property with a single photo and one sentence description. You've been hurt by agents who can fill out an offer, barely, but can't advise you if you're making a good decision. We're truly sorry for those experiences.


Selecting a good agent is just like selecting a good lawyer, doctor, or accountant - ask detailed questions and get detailed answers. Look at what they do, how they do it, and how well their work was done. In the end, the money we earn is done through hard work to make a very complex financial and legal transaction take place as smoothly as possible.


In conclusion, we'd like to thank you for your ongoing support and hope you'll help us as we trim the cancer that has infected our business and your lives. When we do, everyone one of you will finally get the wonderful real estate experience you so richly deserve.



The Real Estate Industry











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 Bryan Robertson, CEO | T: 650.799.9951 | Email: bryan@catarra-re.com | Website: http://www.BryanRobertsonHomes.com |CA BRE# 01191946 | Catarra Real Estate, Inc  | 171 Main St #220 | Los Altos, CA 94022



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Bryan Robertson
Los Altos, CA

Jennifer - I'm honored by the reblog.  It's definitely raising awareness.  Hopefully we'll see some change.

Sep 16, 2014 03:37 AM #1
Wayne and Jean Marie Zuhl
Samsel & Associates - Clark, NJ
The Last Names You'll Ever Need in Real Estate

Hi Jennifer,

Great reblog! I missed the original post. 

Jan 05, 2015 11:01 AM #2
Karen Ann Martin
Safe Harbor Realty - Westport, MA
Realtor Fall River Westport MA Real Estate Agent

Thanks for re blogging   this is well written


Feb 07, 2015 08:57 PM #3
Bill Saunders, Realtor®
Meyers Realty - Hot Springs, AR

Jennifer, Thanks for the re-blog. It echos a lot of what why I resonated early on with your sws philosophy (and it is time to get back to those roots). Brian's apology is "spot on". Thanks again!

Feb 23, 2015 10:07 PM #4
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Author of Sell with Soul
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