Don't be a Used Car Salesman

Written by Posted On Monday, 18 April 2016 13:44
I have worked in Real Estate since late 2008 and I have seen a lot of changes in the real estate market over these few years.
One of the most encouraging changes that I see today is the amount of knowledge that buyers and sellers have access to.  The ability to search registry of deeds, local GIS services, public records, and every other aspect of the real estate market has changed our business in ways that we cant even yet understand.
As access to, and ease of use for the internet becomes more and more common place we are watching our business change right before our eyes.  It is not uncommon for buyers and sellers to sign only digital documents and never touch pen to paper when buying a house.  People can drive through neighborhoods with their smart phones and see all the homes for sale over-laid on a google map.  I have realtor friends that have gone through the entire process of selling a house without ever having met the seller face to face.  It wont be long before almost all real estate related processes are completely paper free.
These powerful tools that streamline the real estate sales process threaten to take people, paper and handshakes out of this business.  As we become more and more dependent on internet and all the good and bad that comes with it, this business is still and must remain a people business.
It is awful tempting as an agent these days to just sit back and pay some huge information gathering website for all the leads you could shake a stick at.  Database management systems can be set up on automatic drip services that don't even need you to hit the send button to "stay in front" of your sphere of influence. There are marketing companies out there that will print and mail anything you can imagine to anyone you prospect to with just the swipe of your credit card.
As our industry become less and less personal I can only imagine what the "typical" realtor will morph into.  I tend to be critical of other agents that I find abrasive or overly pushy with people they encounter.  I don't like them.  In fact they more often teach me exactly what I refuse to become; "a used car salesman".  You know exactly what I mean.  As a matter of fact when you read that last statement someone you know in real estate just popped to the top of your mind, and not in a good way.  In some ways they are part of the reason I do this for a career.  I have endeavored to be one of the good agents that can show people that there are some of us that do care and wont sell any house at any price just to get a pay check.
In most areas of my life I have chosen to run counter to the main culture.  I was the black sheep of the family, I was the Soldier in the Army that would willingly call people out for messing up, and I am "that" agent in the office.  You know me, I'm the guy wearing jeans, boots, and a flannel shirt to a listing appointment.  I'm not afraid to buck the going trend.  
Now, I am wise enough to know that my approach isnt the right fit for all clients.  There are some people who want someone with a BMW and $1,000.00 suit to be their agent.  There are some others who would rather eat broken glass than watch a realtor with $1,500 Italian leather shoes tip toe around a dirty yard for fear that they might mess them up.  
What I have learned over the years is that as our business is becoming less interactive with actual humans we must find a way to stay human and stay connected.  Maybe we should stop buying leads on-line and go have a coffee at the local donut shop.  Maybe instead of shooting out a quick email to the 1,200 people on your contact list you should stop in and visit the elderly widow down the street from you.  Maybe we should stop attending the Self Improvement seminars and find a way to improve the lives of the people we love.
Now, I am not suggesting that we abandon the powerful tools at our disposal because in full candor, I use them.  What I am suggesting is that as the world pushes our industry towards convenience, speed, and fewer interactions that we push back and find ways to stay connected with the people we serve.  I think that we need to be purposed in being connected to and providing our clients, not only, good service and quickly closed deals but that we stay human and real.  For most of us real estate is our livelihood and we should work hard and be as efficient as we can for ourselves and our clients.  However, we owe it to our fellow humans to be real relate-able and honest.  At the end of the day if you have to be a "used car salesman" to be successful in this business you should probably reconsider if this is the right career for you.
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Todd M.Crevier

I started working in the real estate industry in 2006 as a mortgage broker and then became a real estate agent in 2008.  In 2011 I returned to the US Army to finish my active duty career.  I retired from the US Army in 2014 and worked briefly in the logistics industry before my return to real estate in 2016.

I am a full time real estate agent for Keller Williams Realty of Pioneer Valley in Western Massachusetts.  I specialize in working with current and former military members helping them use their VA benefits to buy homes.

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