Sorry that it’s taken an extra day, but I really wanted to digest the Sunday Kansas City Times article, Endangered Species by Freakonomics authors Stephen Dubner & Steven Levitt. The article amplifies several themes that we’ve covered in depth in this blog. To some extent, my post, Realtors — A Manifesto For The Future, serves as a pre-emptive response to Levitt & Dubner.
What interests me about the Times’ article is not the overly-simplified arguments about why real estate agents are next on the list of Those Who Have Been Disintermediated By The Information Age, but rather the overt hostility contained within the article. Consider the opening sentences:
“It is hard to think of an occupation that garners less goodwill these days than the real-estate agent. More often than not, agents are portrayed as hustlers or sharks, unimaginative opportunists…”
Harsh words. And the sentiment driving this hostility has nothing to do with the lure of real estate websites. It has to do with something that most every agent talks about and too few really know how to deliver — outstanding….better make that outrageous…service. It’s important…especially for real estate agents… to understand that we’re under fire about our commission rate because our clients don’t perceive value in the work that we do on their behalf. And if all we’re doing is some basic advertising and holding an open house or two, those clients probably have a point.
But it’s also important to understand that hardly anyone ever complains about the room rates at The Four Seasons. And Mercedes dealers are rarely portrayed as, “hustlers or sharks.” The reason? Service. Quantifiable, easy-to-understand and appreciate, knock-your-socks-off service. And until our industry learns this simple truth, all of those expensive-to-make SMILING REALTOR TV commercials that the NAR seems to have fallen in love with won’t do a damn bit of good. The public is just too smart.
When Ford & General Motors offered 0% financing on top of cash rebates last year, you didn’t see BMW and Mercedes try to pass legislation against them. Instead they continued to offer a better (not cheaper) product with a superior level of customer service. And now, which of these car manufacturers are facing grave financial pressures? Has anyone from the National Association of Realtors been paying attention to these very important market dynamics? It appears not, because any time that they can, the NAR seems to be completely caught up in trying to legislate discount brokers out of existence…or at least make it tougher for them to compete in an open marketplace. And the public has an uncanny ability to smell desperation and defensiveness from a mile away. And this type of activity smells bad.
Agents as an endangered species? As I’ve said before, if you’re doing the bare minimum on behalf of your clients, then there will always be someone ready to do the same job for less money. You deserve your spot on the endangered list. You’ve earned it. But if you’re actively finding creative and meaningful ways to add real value on behalf of your clients…and no, that’s not an easy thing to figure out…then you can look forward to a future landscape with far fewer agents and far more appreciative home buyers & sellers. Which do you choose?
If you view a piece of housing or real estate as an individual property, you can see why it can be so difficult to come up with flat pricing. How a piece of property is priced depends on so much. The value of it isn’t necessarily the price, though value will add something. Each building, each home is a unique and separate entity. Each one has its own character and flare. And much of its worth depends on where it’s located, what it has to offer, how easy can it be changed and of course the value of the properties surrounding it. To a person wanting to buy it to live in, they look for what it can give them that moment. To a renovator, investor and developer, they will look at the potential of how it can possibly changed.
Furnished apartments are probably the most costly investment most people will make. When you buy real estate you’re not just paying for the physical property, you are paying for a whole other slew of things that goes along with such deals. You have title searches, legal fees, land transfer fees, real estate fees, deed registration fee and moving costs to fact into it. You can safely add up to six percent to the purchase price to come up with the real cost. Much of the extra fees depends on whether or not this is being paid for with cash or a loan.
Time is a factor too when investing in real estate. There is no such thing as walk into a realtor’s office, plop down the cash and walk out with the deed on the same day. All the fees from above takes time to process. If you are building new, then time it takes to actually possess the property is even longer.
The security of your home is an important factor to consider, and most people around the world are very conscious of the fact that there is a risk of their home being broken into. Crime is always on the rise, and more and more burglaries are occurring every year. Even in the U.S., a higher number of break-ins happen as each year passes, and it is important that you do your part to keep your home safe.
One of the best ways to keep your home safe is by installing a fence around the edge of the property. There are many types of security fencing that fence companies provide, or even that you can install around your home, and you will find that each type of security fencing will help to make your home a safer place for you, your family, and your pets.
Backyard pools can be a good deal of fun, but they can also be dangerous if not properly fenced off. Children or adults can wander into the pool if there is no fencing, and small babies are more than likely to drown if they fall into the pool. Pets may pee or swim in the pool, which is why installing security fencing around the pool is so important. Chain link fence is the best choice for your pool fence, as it is solid and sturdy yet still allows you to see if there is anyone or anything in the pool.
Protecting your vegetable garden from your pets and children is one consideration, but wild animals pose a threat to your garden as well. Using chicken wire fencing around your garden is the best way to keep animals out, and you will find that the lightweight fencing material allows you to even put a roof on your garden that will keep even the most dexterous animals out.
Privacy is an important part of being a homeowner, especially if you live in a busier part of your city or town. Using wooden panel fences is one of the best ways to ensure that no one can see into your home. The wood panels provide a solid barrier that will protect your house from curious eyes, and will afford you complete privacy.
You can install wooden panel fences up to 6 or 8 feet in height, and these fences are a good deterrent to thieves who would seek to climb over your fence. Seeing as there are no foot or handholds other than at the top of the fence, you will find that a wood panel fence can help keep your home same.
Protecting your home is important, and a chain link fence may be exactly what your home needs. Chain link fences are easily connected to a power source and made into electrical fences, and you can easily run string of barbed wire across the top of the fence to keep any intruders out.