How to spot a Realtor who has lost touch with the industry and their own business

Services for Real Estate Pros

During my daily 'Expireds Watch' I came across a perfect example of just how inept some Realtors have become within the current world of Real Estate.

This simply blows my mind.

Property Description:

Roomy, updated cape cod home on over an acre. Large ultra modern eat in kitchen. Huge LR/DR area plus extra LR/FR. 1st floor bath & bedroom. Air conditioning and furnace 2 years old. In ground pool off of kitchen. Replacement windows, 2 car detached plus 1 car detached garage, plus an attached carport. Country living at an affordable price.

The home was on the market for 190 Days.

And...*drumroll*... the pictures with the listing at the time it expired:


Unreal   Unreal2


Surely...once it's relisted, they'll add more photos??? The description SCREAMS out in despair for more pictures!!!  They MUST get it right second time around??? RIGHT??? Let's see what's there now!!!

24 Hours the SAME agent:

Unreal Man Unreal23

WOW...what a change!

Where are the pictures of the LARGE ULTRA MODERN kitchen????  How about the HUGE LIVING ROOM AND DINING ROOM???  Let me see the EXTRA LIVING ROOM AND FAMILY ROOM!?!?!?!  What about the 2 DETACHED GARAGES?!?!!?!  What about BEDROOMS????  Umm..most people want to see them too, right???

Looks like another 190 days awaits.    I tell ya, if it wasn't relisted immediately, it would have been a primary target in my books.

How this type of stuff continues is mind-boggling.   Open your eyes if you are looking for new business, especially with expireds.  Sometimes all you need to do is look for photos, or should I say, LACK OF PHOTOS!!!

What do you think the first thing to go through the consumer's mind will be when they see this???  

'Hmmm...the house must be a total MESS to not show the inside.'

I know I would definitely come to that conclusion and I've heard many people state the same exact thing when they are telling me about properties they have looked through.  I can't believe how many experienced agents still let this stuff happen.  This example is from someone with close to 30 years in the business.   It is quite amazing....and quite sad.

If you can get to a listing like this, before it've got one helluva advantage right at the door.  Explaining the need for photos should be a no-brainer.  Documentation is all over the Internet about the importance of photos and Real Estate listings. Find those sources, use them, and wake up these sellers!!!!

Finally, all I can say, from what am seeing in our MLS,  I can only assume it's a national example as well.   Keep your guns ready, and spot these targets...because you're going to have plenty of opportunities coming your way if this trend continues.


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Ed Bisquera
Ed Bisquera Digital Marketing Consultant SEO (971) 266-0226 - Portland, OR

LOL - Amazing.  And there's so much credible research and data showing just HOW IMPORTANT pictures and now video is, to marketing a property.  I have a marketing background, worked in event marketing for over 15 years before becoming a Mortgage Consultant and a day doesn't go by that I don't think what the heck??

Anyway, if anyone wants to get in touch with the industry, they'll see the results soon.  Good luck with your marketing Nick!


Jan 15, 2009 08:45 AM #1
Michelle Handler & Jack Apple
Ashe High Country Realty - West Jefferson, NC

We have this experience in our market all the time.  If a seller is paying us six percent, and we can put 40 pictures or more on our MLS, there's no excuse not to add more pictures.  Then there's the grammar, the misspellings, the photos with the house on a tilt like it is falling down the mountain....  As our clients have told us, there are agents, and then there are agents.  What amazes me is how some of them stay in business - but I think that the public often doesn't know better.  But just as a "bad" agent can spoil things for all agents,  good agent can turn around public perception of our industry.

Jan 15, 2009 10:12 AM #2
Patrick Johnson
Windermere - Bellingham, WA

Stuff like that kills me Nick. It happens alot too!

Jan 15, 2009 10:22 AM #3
Greg Miller
Ruoff Home Mortgage - Sarasota, FL
Florida Home Loans - Conventional,FHA,USDA,VA

Amazing Nick. Great observations. The 3 P Plan

  1. Put on MLS
  2. plant a sign
  3. Pray                               Greg
Jan 15, 2009 11:14 AM #4
Christopher Bonta
The Bean Group - Londonderry, NH
Realtor, Integrity and Honesty

Nick, I agree that the Agent made a mistake not having more pictures. With that said I will make this point, I am one of the Realtors that believes in having less photos rather than more and I won't due a video tour of the home unless its exceptionally good.

The reason is that sometimes having to many photos etc.. can actually stop a Buyer from viewing a home, because they think they have seen the whole house and make a decision not to view it because of something they think turned them off in the photos. My answer is to try and show enough of the house to tease a Buyer to want and view the property.

Jan 15, 2009 11:37 PM #5
Bryan Anderson
Bryan Anderson at RE/MAX River City - Lakeway, TX
Real Estate and Waterfront Property In Austin Texa

Man, You are SO Right on. It's astounding what some agents do to their clients.

Jan 16, 2009 12:12 AM #6
Nick Ruta
Whitehall, PA

Thanks for all the great comments.  I'm glad to see I'm not off my rocker noticing this.   It blows my mind!

Chris- Thanks for the recent posts and yeah, I've been dabbling back into the blogging world lately.   As for your theory on 'teasing' the buyer, I must disagree. That tactic, while it may still be successful for some, I don't think that's the right attitude for today's Internet savvy buyer.

I'd much rather overwhelm their senses with photos and videos than risk them being 'curious' due to the lack of details or gut feeling to see more.   With so many homes on the market, you need to give your listing the greatest advantage, and LOTS of photos will do that. 

Besides, I don't know about anyone else, but driving out to the house only to have them take 3 steps in and say 'Ok we've seen enough' is something I'd rather them know BEFORE they call to see it.   Taking multiple pictures of every room, every corner, ever outside angle, all the features, with a quality digital camera should be expected from today's agent.   A house with only 5 or 6 pictures, that seems to deserve more would again, get me wondering...why isn't there more?  Is there something wrong?

I'd much rather the client figure that out on their own, with plenty of pictures, before they waste my time with a physical trip.  Maybe I'm crazy, but I actually take pictures of the heating systems, unfinished basements, attic space....etc.

Jan 16, 2009 01:56 AM #7
Christopher Bonta
The Bean Group - Londonderry, NH
Realtor, Integrity and Honesty

Nick, read what you said and I see your point, but I don't agree. Having a Buyer decide before they even see that house whether they will buy it or not is a disservice to your Seller who is the Client.  I have never had anyone buy a home from the pictures they see and in essence that is what you are doing with all the photos you take, your giving the Buyer the opportunity to by pass your house based on something they saw and did not like in the photo or tour.

The purpose of good marketing is to draw the public in to want more.  Now I'm not saying don't take photos but 6-10 pictures of any house should show it off well enough to entice a Buyer to want to view it more.

As for having them step a few feet into a home and say "its not for me" would happen on a house that they saw only outside photos on, what is good for them and you is when they see a house and can tell you what they think. What I mean is that a couple needs to experience a home and be in it so they can tell whether they like it or not photos don't due this. I've had lots of Buyers fall in love with a house they initially resisted because of the photos and only loved it when they actually went to the house.

You don't sell homes from pictures or videos, its taking the Customer/Client to the home and finding out what they want from what they see.

It's nice to discuss differences, sorry this time we don't see eye to eye.

All The Best

Jan 16, 2009 02:50 AM #8
Blowing Rock Real Estate Boone Real Estate
Blowing Rock Investment Properties - Blowing Rock, NC

I see that all the time in my community as well. Our area is so spread out that I rarely show a property without any interior pictures, it's just not worth it. I assume that if there aren't any then there's something wrong with the inside. Usually if I go against my gut and show the home I find that my hunch was right and the house is a train wreck on the inside.

Jan 16, 2009 06:00 AM #9
Tucson Real Estate Experts Anne McKechnie
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Tucson, AZ
Previews Property Specialist

It is amazing to me that home buyers do not check the pictures that are taken of their home and put into MLS.... we even retake pics for our sellers if we feel that they are not just right, and always have a least 10 pictures :)

Jan 17, 2009 12:35 PM #10
Trevor Elliott
RE/MAX Integrity - Salem, OR

Statistics don't lie. Pictures tell the story. In this case the agent either does not like their camera or is not trying very hard. What baffles my mind is listings without pictures.

Jan 20, 2009 08:56 AM #11
Nick Ruta
Whitehall, PA

Chris - I definitely see your point, but we'll have to indeed disagree on this topic.  Your marketing point is very true, especially for things like TV and magazines and McDonalds, but I think with 8 bajillion listings online today, even the slightest lack of information or photos or finer details risks having the buyer simply move onto the next house with the 25 pictures.  But hey, if it works for ya, great!

Meris - Agree 110%

Anne and Eddie- Careful, that mindset is slowly changing.  As more people become computer savvy, they often times embarrass the agent.   I've gotten plenty of calls in the past where the agent says 'My client saw that their home was on '' and had no pictures, misspellings, or simply didn't show'.   My first thought is, 'Why didn't YOU the agent notice that BEFORE the client!!!'   Ugh...amazing.  After we post a listing, I'm all over the Internet for the next few days making sure it's where it should be with all of the relevant information so the client can't call me up and make me feel like an ass.  That paints a HUGE picture if your client catches that before you.

Trevor- Nope, no they don't.   Newspapers are the perfect example.  The ROI (return on investment) of newspapers is lower than ever, but people still insist they advertise there.   NAR just released stats and the Internet home buyer (80+% of buyers) finds their bought home a whopping 3% from a paper. 

Jan 21, 2009 02:57 AM #12
Amy Gooden
Allen Tate - Charlotte, NC

I can't imagine any of my clients being OK with us only putting up 2 photos. My phone would be rining off the hook until I uploaded more, as it should if I was dumb enough to only put up 2!

Feb 02, 2009 12:17 PM #13
Nick Ruta
Whitehall, PA

Amy - The shame of it is many clients are not tech savvy or they are too trusting of their own Realtor to check up on their online marketing abilities.  Maybe those types of sellers still think newspapers sell houses?  The good news is that's a fading problem, especially as more and more buyers and sellers come up from the Internet generation.   I know for a fact that if I was to sell my house tomorrow...INSTANTLY after my Realtor said everything was done and the property was on the MLS....for the next 24-72 hours I would be verifying the listing was EXACTLY where it should be, or at least where the Realtor promised it would be, online.   Hopefully agents are learning, because in the near future, that's how EVERY client is going to be. 

Feb 03, 2009 12:35 PM #14
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