I liked this post submitted regarding Short Sales in response to that of Amy Jones'
Amy Jones sparked a couple of great debates this past week with her blog posts:
I was surprised by the number of Buyer Agents who insisted that the Listing Agents ought to do things the way the Buyer Agents want the Listing Agents to do things - or the Listing Agent is "bad", "unprofessional", "doomed to failure", etc., etc. The primary complaint had to do with whether or not a Listing Agent could be reached by phone, and what hours they could be reached.
Objectively, the purpose of a Buyer Agent contacting a Listing Agent should be to obtain information regarding a listing that is not ALREADY AVAILABLE IN THE MLS or ANOTHER RESOURCE that the information in the listing directs the Buyer Agent towards.
Where is it written that the ONLY way to make contact with a Listing Agent must be by phone, and that email, texting, and other commonly used means of communication are somehow inappropriate and therefore unacceptable?
One key element that technology provides is the ability for small organizations to be much more efficient and effective. If five Buyer Agents attempt to reach a Listing Agent at the same time, four of them will get voicemail if the Listing Agent answers the phone from the first caller. The other four callers have to wait until they hear back from the listing agent. If the information about the listing is included with the listing, all five agents can access the information on demand 24/7/365.
If after reviewing that information, Buyer Agents have questions that are not addressed, there is an email address to send specific questions, which is monitored during business hours and responded to by the Haven Express Support Team.
Questions such as "I know you have Seller Written Instructions not to......(fill in the blank).... but I need to know that information won't get (and don't deserve" a response of any kind.
I understand that some folks who have been in the business a long time are uncomfortable with the changes technology is bringing, and WANT to do things by phone. That doesn't mean that their way is the only "right" way.
These days, Buyers direct their Agents as to which listings they want to see. If the Buyer Agent advises the Buyer to scratch a property off the list because the Listing Agent chooses to provide information regarding a listing using technology other than being available 24/7/365 by phone, that Buyer Agent has just violated the REALTOR Code of Ethics.
Just writing this post has given me an idea, but means additional effort and only makes sense to implement if Buyer Agents see it as a value added service. We could have the information in Private Realtor Document 2 (which is attached to all our listings) available as an extension on our Proquest line, meaning that a Buyer Agent could hear my dulcet tones 24/7/365 if they wanted to. Perhaps a link in PRD2 to our website and they could download an MP3 of the same recording! (Screencasts are an upcoming feature of our web strategy going into place in February.)
More about Screencasts in a different post.
My philosophy is this. Real Estate, as with all industries, is continually evolving and integrating the latest and greatest technology. We design, implement, integrate and continually improve processes and systems to leverage technology to it's fullest, providing relevant and necessary information to those who need it, 24/7/365.
The concept is SCALABILITY! Whether there is one person or twenty people needing the information, they can all get it without having to "wait their turn".
it hasn't hurt our Sellers - every listing has Sold.
It hasn't hurt our business - it doubled in 2009 versus 2008, and is continuing at the same rate of growth so far in 2010.
All opinions and constructive criticism welcome!