Fort Lauderdale Real Estate | Real Estate Articles

Selecting the Realtor with the right tool box !

The world is changing so quickly, technology is transforming communication methods so quickly, and in the world of real estate, where many were a bit slow to embrace the change, the change is happening fast. The “old guard” may be group of professionals who only started no more than 15 years ago, if they haven’t embraced the change. Just 10 years ago we still had the last few real estate Multiple Listing Books floating around the office. Many offices still had one typewriter, and realtors were unknowingly developing their last photographs or having their local board of realtors take one photo of their newly listed property for just about the last time. The primary tool in getting your home sold was hiring a realtor with the right toolbox.

The marketing efforts included ads in the local newspaper. A just listed card mailed to your community by your realtor. A great sign in front of your home resulting in sign calls from people driving by. A leaflet box provided information for the cars that stopped; we all know they were often neighbors. A brokers open showcased your home to local realtors who could bring you a buyer. An office meeting occurred where your agent got up and spoke about your home, followed by a caravan where all the new office listings were showcased. They there was of course the open house – where everyone left (including the pets), the house was staged the way it looked the day you first decorated it and everyone waited for the next homeowner to walk through the door. None of these tools as we know them have totally gone away (except maybe the typewriter) but even there, I know an office that still uses one. However, the positioning in your realtors toolbox has simply changed.

Technology knocked on the door when we first saw homes with AM broadcasters inside with realtors talking about the home on a loop. Potential buyers pulled up sat in your front yard listening to the story of your home, while often the seller sat inside wondering who was sitting in front of your home. These broadcasting homes were a great way to tease a buyer to call for an appointment, unless of course there was something on the tape that they heard and didn’t like. There was also the occasional neighbor who called the police to report there was someone sitting in your front of your home and circling the street that sometime turned a few buyers off.

Virtual tours came into being and we got to see the homes we were thinking of looking at in person as the rooms spun around in front of our faces. It was very cool and real estate professionals quickly began to realize that homes with photographic tours were getting more attention than homes without. To many this was the sign that potential buyers wanted to buy a home they just didn’t want to be sold a home, and exploring without their realtor, was the way they wanted to begin.

The real estate section of every major newspaper became smaller and smaller and what once was a Sunday ritual in many homes across America was disappearing. No longer did family members take turns circling the homes they liked, to be vetoed by the next person with the paper until the hunting plans for the day were finalized and everyone was in the car. Now buyers were starting to use the internet and mainly websites that realtors provided them with to start their hunt.  Today, the numbers are out and the fact is that 80% of real estate buyers search the internet before they ever contact a realtor. They search real estate web sites for information about schools, demographics, employment, leisure activities, and everything that they once relied on their realtor to provide. Now they get to explore, develop detailed questions, and then reach out to their Realtor. Your realtor remains the best source of information and the best introduction to any new community, this has not changed, simply the bar has been raised and tools required to be a great realtor have changed.

There are a limitless number of websites that make information available to potential real estate buyers. Many of the larger websites even include disclaimers (if you can find them) that certain statistics may be as much as 40% off. Your realtor has actually become an even more important part of the buying and selling process as they are the ones who are on the ground everyday and can help you interpret all the information you have found into a format that will allow making a decision.

When you are hiring realtors to sell your home you need to be diligent to look in their toolbox. Is there a digital camera, is there a video camera ? What is their internet marketing strategy to get your home in front of the 80% of buyers who would rather not call a Realtor till their ready to buy? If you hear things mentioned in my paragraph about old tools, chances are you have a very nice realtor in front of you who has not yet embraced the new technology needed. If you start to hear words that are a bit foreign to you and the realtor starts talking about their new tools with excitement, you may have found the person who can sell your home.

Last but not least, think like a buyer, type in your zip code, type in your city, search your neighborhood, type into a search engine exactly what you think a buyer looking for your home may do. In my community an example maybe “Fort Lauderdale Real Estate condo with a water view with three bedrooms and two baths”, find the top few agents and from those decide who you may want to meet to show your home. You may want to try this at different times of the day, with a few sets of words, because as this story started, the primary tool to getting your home sold is selecting the right realtor with the right tool box. 

Eric Miller is an award winning Florida Realtor, salesperson and broker. His website Fort Lauderdale Real Estate provides the most complete buyer, seller and investor information for the Fort Lauderdale Real Estate Market. 

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