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8You Have a True Friend in Top 5 - Page 72

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Your Real Estate Needs Covered

Don’t Settle for Less Scott MacDonald Top 5 in Real Estate Member RE/MAX Gateway The Results Realty Group

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You Have a True Friend in Top 5 Scott MacDonald Top 5 in Real Estate Member RE/MAX Gateway The Results Realty Group


If you still think that all real estate agents are essentially the same, prepare to become enlightened. By Allan Dalton

I have often been asked throughout my 30-plus-year real estate career the following thought-provoking question: “Allan, if you could change one thing about the real estate industry, what would it be?“ After years of rigorous introspection regarding this seminal question, I am absolutely convinced it would be...to have the real estate industry better educate consumers regarding the significant difference between true real estate professionalism and the all-too-common alternative. This unmet consumer need is the very basis for the formation of the Top 5 in Real Estate Network®.

Allan Dalton is the Co-founder and President of the Top 5 in Real Estate Network®, the former CEO of Realtor.com, and 20-year president and owner of a 50-plus office, full-service real estate brokerage.

Perhaps in years past, home sellers could afford to approach the selection of their real estate agent in an unilluminated or less-than-vigilant fashion, but given today’s economic times, along with the increasing importance that needs to be placed on both transparency and fiscal prudence, real estate consumers, in my view, can no longer afford to take as casual an approach to the selection of their real estate professional. I fervently hope that my following comments, including my fictitious (although, based on reality) story of the beloved Hammersmiths, will help make my point…and thereby further reveal my Top 5 in Real Estate Network® mission. But, first, the Hammersmiths. ...When Gloria Hammersmith received her employment termination notice late last summer, it triggered for both Gloria and her husband, Lawrence, their unplanned decision to sell their large, suburban,

Boston-area home and, as they say today, downsize. Given their surprising and disconcerting news, the Hammersmiths felt they had no other viable alternative than to sell. Accordingly, they sprung into immediate action. Unsurprisingly, as millions of other North American home sellers are prone to do, they followed the ritualistic practice of calling on the ubiquitous “friend in the real estate business.” Happily, they managed to do this with very little effort because, as has often been said, “if you don’t have a friend in real estate, chances are, you are friendless.” Besides, what’s wrong with just calling in a friend in real estate? To the Hammersmiths, the answer was, “nothing,” especially since their friend, Doug, although inexperienced, was trustworthy and quite popular in the community. And, of course, rounding out their decision was the fact that their children were good friends with Doug’s.


If you still think that all real estate agents are essentially the same, prepare to become enlightened. Top 5 Difference in Numbers—You Do the Math* -Average Top 5 Member transactions - 44.5

31% of real estate agents average 1-5 transactions 21% of real estate agents average 6-10 transactions - Professional Websites Top 5 Member - 92% Real Estate Agent - 60% -Real Estate is a full-time job

“Past results and experience are no guarantee of future results…but what else is there to go by?”

Top 5 Member - 100% Real Estate Agent - 50%

-John Featherston, President & CEO, RISMedia; Chairman & Co-founder, RISMedia’s Top 5 in Real Estate Network®

-Median sales volume Top 5 Member - $17.85 million Real Estate Agent - $1.2 miillion -Top 5 Members out-produce 96% of all real estate agents.

Regrettably, one year later, the only “downsizing” the Hammersmiths experienced was the depreciating value of their home and their diminished respect for Doug, professionally…although they still liked him personally. What led the Hammersmiths to regret their decision to select Doug? Well, it wasn’t the three price reductions nor the several botched negotiations. And it wasn’t Doug’s inability to create proper marketing solutions or his lack of deft staging strategies. It also wasn’t the series of smaller, yet nevertheless frustrating, points, like Doug’s neglecting to turn off the lights or lock the doors after showings…or the time he opened their closet door and said to buyers, “I think this is the family room.” It wasn’t any one of these things alone, but rather, everything combined. Like many other frustrated homesellers, Doug’s lack of experience, marketplace knowledge and skills became increasingly problematic. In fairness to Doug, and his like,

*All statistical information is deemed accurate based on individual responses to surveys. RISMedia’s Top 5 in Real Estate Network® is a membership organization comprised of individual real estate agents, not a real estate brokerage firm or franchise organization, and, as such, Top 5 makes no representations or warranties about individual member results or professional capabilities.

some of our Top 5 Members may have also employed these and other, less-than-effective practices when they first started in the real estate business. Less-than-stellar professional ability is often the case before a real estate agent gains either tremendous experiential knowledge or the development of high-level professional skills. Expectedly, most real estate agents become more proficient with increased experience. This typically leads to their becoming much more valuable to real estate consumers and their clients than before they developed this greater professional excellence, which is also the case in most other vocations. Unfortunately, many real estate consumers overlook the critical distinction between real estate agents who have become significantly more accomplished and those who have not—and, resultingly, suffer the consequences. Interestingly, Doug, like many real estate agents, was left feeling somewhat miffed regarding the home-seller criticism directed at

him. Herein lies an often-repeated paradox. Real estate consumers in great numbers feel that they must select a friend in the real estate business because they do not want to hurt their friend’s feelings. Ironically, these same consumers usually end up seeing their friend’s feelings devastated because of the real estate agent’s inability to live up to the home seller’s expectations. This “home seller and real estate friend shared-angst syndrome” continues because most disappointed real estate consumers typically seem to focus more on what their real estate agent didn’t do and not enough on how they came to select their agent to begin with. In selecting a real estate agent, some consumers fail to realize upfront that not all real estate agents possess the requisite professional skills or talent to satisfy their expectations as consumers. Due to the material difference that does indeed exist regarding levels of real estate professionalism, there is absolutely no doubt in my


In selecting a real estate agent, some consumers fail to realize upfront that not all real estate agents possess the requisite professional skills or talent to satisfy their expectations as consumers. mind that had the Hammersmiths called upon Top 5 Member Scott MacDonald, their results would have been significantly better. We all recognize (or should) that there are skills and talents that most of us do not possess (for example, I’m not expecting a call from the Boston Pops or New York Yankees any time soon). Interestingly, many consumers have mistakenly concluded that all real estate agents—including their friends in real estate—possess the necessary talent or skills required to satisfy consumers’ real estate needs. Additionally, many consumers are of the impression that real estate brokerage does not require great skills and, therefore, anyone will do. Now, of course when home sellers or buyers have a friend in the business who is also highly competent, like Scott MacDonald and other Top 5 Members, they can now enjoy the best of both worlds. Regrettably, rather than pursu-

ing excellence, many consumers, because they expect less, settle for less. And when consumers are willing to settle for less, it signals to the real estate industry that their need to do more is not a consumer mandate. Unfortunately, when consumers settle for minimalistic expectations, it engenders in them a negative and inaccurate perception of all real estate agents...including agents who are truly deserving of respect and gratitude. Home sellers benefit when they learn how professionals, like Scott MacDonald—who have developed vital skills such as marketing, merchandising (staging), networking, negotiating and information technology (the five skills that contributed to the Top 5 brand)—are better equipped and dedicated to help them achieve their real estate goals. Considering the complexity of and potential for litigation in a real estate transaction, I feel duty-

Top 5 Members Have Your Real Estate Needs Covered

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ringing together a “Real Estate Dream Team,” Top 5 gathers the best of the best from every real estate company throughout North America. By working with a Member of RISMedia’s Top 5 in Real Estate Network®, consumers now benefit not only from the full-service resources of those companies and brands that fostered Top 5 Members, but also from the rich array of informational resources produced exclusively for Top 5:

- First-Time Buyers – Top 5 Members are prepared to guide first-time home buyers through the details of choosing the right home. -M  ove-Up Assistance – Today’s market represents great opportunity for those homeowners who wish to move-up to a larger home, a vacation home or purchase an investment home. - If Your Home Isn’t Selling or Hasn’t Sold – The Top 5 publication, There’s Only One Reason Why Your Home Didn’t Sell…and It Isn’t Price, shows homeowners that the real reason why their home isn’t selling is ineffective marketing.

bound to emphatically suggest that real estate consumers now look to Top 5 Members for all their real estate needs. To be deserving of such high-level consumer confidence, Top 5 Members must meet a stringent and well-balanced set of criteria. These prerequisites include noteworthy experience, results and education, along with an ongoing commitment to provide leading real estate information and to serve the community. The acute and longstanding disparity between what all consumers want, but not all real estate agents can do, has led RISMedia, the leader in real estate information systems, (John Featherston, Darryl MacPherson) and me to create the Top 5 in Real Estate Network®. Accordingly, I respectfully encourage all real estate consumers to contact a (your) Top 5 in Real Estate Member for all of your real estate needs. And please remember, you do indeed have a true friend in Top 5 in Real Estate. RE For more information, please visit www.TheResultsRealtyGroup.com, e-mail ScottMacDonald@remax.net or call 703-727-6900.

-W  hat You Should Demand as a Home Seller – The Top 5 publication, What Every Home Seller Should Demand…of Their Real Estate Agent, helps homeowners identify the best agent to work with. -C  andidates for Short Sales or Distressed Property Resolutions – The Top 5 in Real Estate publication, The Four Rs of Short Sales, takes distressed property owners through the many

options that are available to them. -W  hat Your Home is Worth - Investment or Commercial Real Estate Information

-H  ow to Make Your Home More Valuable – Top 5 Members can guide homeowners through strategies to increase their home’s value. Editor’s note: RISMedia’s Top 5 in Real Estate Network® is not a real estate company or franchise. If you are currently working with a real estate agent, please disregard this information. All members differ regarding the information they provide.


Top 5 in Real Estate Network