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What to Do About Terrible Agents....

THAT Is the Question

Well.  The issue raises its ugly head again.
The last post I wrote was a suggestion of possible steps to take to eliminate incompetent, untrained, lazy, and just all around BAD real estate agents from the profession.
There is a blog I follow, the Notorious R.O.B., by a gentleman named Rob Hahn, a consultant to the real estate world and another "recovering" lawyer.  His content may be a bit too wonky for folks just looking for a light read, but I always find his stuff to be fascinating.  And as a "mere civilian," and a non-real estate agent, but a deep thinker about the industry, his perspective is always thought-provoking. 
So I thought I would post his latest blog post, titled "Brass Tacks:  What to Do About Marginal Realtors."  In the post, he gives an overview of the issue - bad real estate agents as a danger to the profession - and then several specific, concrete examples of what he perceives to be bad agents vs. good agents, pulling from his own home market.  
His post is interesting as a deeper dive into what he, and by extension, possibly consumers, see as "bad" agents vs. "good" agents.  But equally interesting are the comments by his readers, who overwhelmingly appear to be practicing agents and brokers.  Many seem to be saying the things he perceives to be "good" - more professional photography, better descriptions of properties, a more detailed agent profile - at the end of the day don't really matter.  What matters is who is selling more houses, and there are factors that can't be measured just by looking at an agent's listings, like whether that person is a better negotiator, sells houses for more money, is more aggressive, etc.
I agree that the issue is more complicated than photography and property descriptions.  But I also agree with the comment that top producers are often not the "best" agents, even though they may sell the most houses.  And I agree with the commenter who noted that in every locale, there are top producers who run afoul of the ethical rules, and may have been disciplined on multiple occasions.  But either consumers don't know, or they don't care.  Many consumers seem to want only a few pieces of quantitative information, like how many houses an agent sells a year, and what the average time on market is.
I think the secret to having only "good" agents in the business may be something that Mr. Hahn alluded to.  The best agents CARE.  The worst agents DON'T.  In my opinion the "better" agent doesn't underprice a house for a quick sale, unless that's specifically what the seller wants. The "better" agent prices it right, and works to make sure the seller gets the maximum value for his or her home.  The "better" agent WILL use professional photography, social media advertising, and other advanced means of marketing the property, even if it costs them some money, because that is the right thing to do for their client.  The "better" agent wants to build a relationship, not just complete a transaction.  
Shameless plug coming.
And for some specific, concrete suggestions on how to ensure you have nothing but the "better" agents, check out my previous blog post.  I think I might post it over on Notorious R.O.B. and see what folks think of the suggestions.
As always, your thoughts, suggestions, and comments are welcome.

- Melissa

(804) 986-3993

Email:  melissa@mikemelissa.com
URL:  www.mikemelissa.com
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Twitter:  @mikemelissarva
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