Monday, March 30, 2009

What's With All the Lazy Real Estate Agents?

What's with all the Lazy Real Estate Agents?

I work hard to give my clients the service they deserve. When listing real estate, marketing is one of the major concerns that a home seller has - exposing their property to the maximum number of potential buyers and enticing them to set up appointment to come see it.

That's why I don't understand properties I see listed with only one photo. Just as bad, a listing with multiple photos but with every one so out of focus you can't even make out any of the details (taken with a camera phone?) I can't think of any other reason not to have at least 15 to 20 quality photos on each listing other than the fact that the listing agent is just plain lazy. A loaf. A slacker. A hack. Take your pick...or use all of them when describing these agents.

It is well-known by anyone in the real estate industry (who keeps up on the latest trends) that multiple photos are the #1 reason that someone clicks on a listing when searching online. Might I add that according to the latest survey, 87% of home buyers now search online. So wouldn't you think that it was important to have the property well-represented with a nice photo array to this huge segment of the home buying population?

Maybe they do it on purpose? If they had multiple photos it might generate phone calls from buyers. Next thing you know they would have to interrupt their game of computer solitaire and actually get off their ass and show the property. Heaven forbid!

While I'm on the subject of lazy agents (you know who you are), here are a few other pet peeves of mine concerning real estate listings:

  1. Bad grammar - There should be a rule where you have to have a basic grasp of the concept of grammar. This includes punctuation. I have seen many listings where you would swear a 5 year wrote the copy. Actually, I apologize to the 5 year old because they can write better than some of the adults in the business. If you know you have bad grammar, have someone else check it for you before it is posted.

  2. Bad Spelling - No excuse here. I know MLS doesn't have a spell check program built in. So write the text in Word (other word processing program) and spell check it before you copy and paste it in MLS. I'm a decent speller myself, but when typing sometimes my mind goes faster then my (4.5 words a minute) hands. Don’t be lazy, run your copy through spell check!

  3. Poor descriptions of the property - "nice sf home w/2 br & 1 bth near train. nice yard. must see" - this was an actual description I saw on a property listed in Salem. First of all, get rid of the abbreviations! This description is going to be posted on the internet to be seen all over the world. Just because we in the industry know what they mean doesn't mean that the buyers do. The MLS allows 500 characters in the property description field. I never have a problem filling it to capacity with information about the properties I list. Keep your lazy-arse fingers typing until you have filled the field. Do the right thing for your clients!

There are many more similar issues I could write about, but I have clients to attend to. After checking the new listings this morning and seeing several properties that fit this description, I just had to get this off my chest. Evidently the sellers of these properties either don't bother to check to see how their properties are listed, or they don't realize there are big differences in marketing capability between agents. Most agents do a good job when it comes to listing a property. But if you were selling your home, wouldn't you want a great job?

By the way, I ran this through a spelling and grammar check and found 8 mistakes. I guess I am only human.

Jim Armstrong

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