Let's Analyze Agency Signs and Riders for a Second.

By
Real Estate Agent with Bill Cherry, Realtor 0124242

 

 

Next summer I will celebrate my fiftieth year of continued service as a licensed Texas real estate broker. And in the main, it is how I've earned the major part of my living, and still do, now as a Keller Williams agent in Dallas.

 

It's interesting how real estate brokerage has allowed itself to be watered down during those years.  And like a string on an in-tune piano, it was probably creeping toward flat from the very beginning.

 

Yard signs, for an example, used to have only the listing agency's name, address and phone number on them; and, of course, that the property was for sale or for lease. 

 

There were no riders telling who the listing agent was or how to get in touch with them. 

 

If you were driving by and were interested in knowing more about the listing, you called the real estate office,  That gave the agent who had agreed to take calls the opportunity to pick up a client, but more importantly, it gave a new agent the chance to get both experience and a pay check.

 

But somehow name riders crept in.  They told who listed the property, and they gave someone interested a name to ask for when he or she called the agency's number.

 

Of course, if the agent wasn't there when the phone rang, it was an unwritten rule that the agent taking calls would, and again, maybe pick up a client and a pay check.

 

That lasted for a few years, and then lo and behold, the listing agent's phone number got added. which began as the home phone number, but with new technology, worked its way into being the agent's cell number.

 

Direct calls from the public's inquirers dramatically diminished.  New agents manning the office phone and hoping for a productive day, found themselves with few calls, sometimes no calls throughout their phone shift.

 

A lot of new agents who would have been outstanding, began leaving their new profession because they didn't have the capital or didn't want to take the risk that they could or would survive.

 

Law suits about representation began to emerge for those agents who were both the listing agent and the selling agent, so the conventional wisdom was that it was best for the listing agent and the selling agent to not be the same person.  Dual agency, that practice is called.

 

So exactly how does a rider giving the name and phone number of the listing agent serve the guy whose hired him or her to sell his home?

 

BILL CHERRY

Realtor-Broker

Keller Williams, Dallas Premier

214 739-5500

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Rainmaker
1,854,625
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

So glad that you are about to celebrate 50 years of business as a real estate agent - and so glad that you are a Keller agent.

May 21, 2015 10:07 PM #1
Rainmaker
393,656
BILL CHERRY
Bill Cherry, Realtor - Dallas, TX
Broker & Wealth Coach

Thank you, Lise.  I did a lot of research on francises as well as the large private companies.  And I did it from time to time throughout the last thirty years or so.  For what I was looking for, Keller Williams best fit the bill.  I'll bet you've found that to be true, too.

May 21, 2015 10:11 PM #2
Rainmaker
719,234
Bill Roberts
Brooks and Dunphy Real Estate - Oceanside, CA
"Baby Boomer" Retirement Planner

Hi Bill, I just celebrated 40 years in the business. It could have been 50 but I dragged my feet. My mother was a broker and wanted me to be in the business, but I "knew" better what was good for me. Ten years later I relented and have never regretted it.

Bill Roberts

BTW I would comment on your signs but that would end up as a complete post for me. In fact I've posted several times on the change in the business.

May 21, 2015 11:24 PM #3
Rainmaker
777,238
Jill Sackler
Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500 - Long Beach, NY
LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate

I love hearing what someone with so much longevity in the business has to say. Congratulations.

May 22, 2015 05:49 AM #4
Rainmaker
908,388
Pamela Seley
West Coast Realty Division - Murrieta, CA
Residential Real Estate Agent serving SW RivCo CA

Congratulations on 50 years. Brick and mortar real estate offices are going by the wayside. When listing agents have their cell numbers on their signs, why would brokers have a need for agent desk duty, or office time?  The office phone is not ringing. 

May 22, 2015 10:41 AM #5
Rainmaker
393,656
BILL CHERRY
Bill Cherry, Realtor - Dallas, TX
Broker & Wealth Coach

Pamela, I assume that West Coast Realty operates without a manned bricks and mortar  office, or it soon plans to.  I spoke at length, awhile back, with a broker whose expertise is building real estate offices for large companies.  He was hired to build a franchise based on the concept that it would be totally virtual.  Try as he might, it didn't do well, and he left.

Extrapolating for a minute.  Do you also see large law firms abandoning their expensive, high above the city downtown offices and each attorney meeting clients at Starbucks? Or how about family practice doctors not having offices, instead telling patients? "Stop by my house and I'll check you over."

Working out of ones home is convenient for the agent, but the facts are the public prefers to see a brick and mortar office behind you.  The other conjures up worries about fly by night.

I appreciate your thoughts.  It'll be interesting to see how this develops.

May 22, 2015 08:39 PM #6
Rainmaker
393,656
BILL CHERRY
Bill Cherry, Realtor - Dallas, TX
Broker & Wealth Coach

Bill Roberts is one of my very favorite ActiveRain members.  He's had a very interesting and productive career.  I look forward to his comments.

May 22, 2015 08:41 PM #7
Rainmaker
908,388
Pamela Seley
West Coast Realty Division - Murrieta, CA
Residential Real Estate Agent serving SW RivCo CA

Bill, West Coast does have a permanent office location, but the intention is virtual, paperless office. As for attorney offices, no, they will not be meeting their high-end corporate clients at Starbucks, but they will be down-sizing. I recently read an article that many of the tasks, such as research, that newbie attorneys used to do will be done with automation, so large law firms won't have the need to hire as many new lawyers. 

True, about doctors, but I don't know if making the comparison of agents to doctors is fair. Real estate is not life or death, and sanitation is important when visiting a doctor, but I also read that many people get infections and pick up viruses from visiting the doctor's office, or hospital. 

I also share your concern that consumers do prefer a brick and mortar office because not having one conjuries up images of fly-by-night. I had that problem at an employing broker whose office address was a P.O. box. 

It will be interesting to see if the virtual office succeeds. My current employing broker seems to think it will. It's an alternative for agents who have actually sold homes/real estate; it's not for the newbie agent. 

When I was at Keller Williams, I enjoyed my time there, but I was eager to move on to expand my knowledge and experience, and KW could not offer that opportunity for me. Because of the training at Keller Williams, I would recommend a newbie agent start there. However, in my opinion, KW needs to work on agent retention -- agents join, but I've noticed not many stay for long. 

Thank you for the opportunity to respond. Wish you continued success,

May 23, 2015 05:53 AM #8
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BILL CHERRY

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