Yeah, I’m ripping off one of my heroes, Martin Luther King, Junior. And, I agree that my dream isn’t as lofty and profound as his.
My dream is that one-day, real estate agents will understand who they are and why so few succeed wildly.
As long as websites such as Inman.com feel ok publishing advice for agents such as “7 tips for writing listing descriptions buyers can’t pass up,” agents will remain mired in, and live out, the persistent stereotype.
Until agents realize that they can, and should, get arrogant – get demanding – they’ll remain on par, in the public’s view – with used car sales people.
Whoa – where did this come from?
That Inman piece prompted this diatribe. After a full Saturday of writing real estate content for various clients, stuff on artificial intelligence’s impact on real estate, using social proof in marketing and 2018 tech trends for agents – in other words, respecting your intelligence — my Facebook feed assaulted my eyes with advice on how to write freaking listing descriptions.
It’s almost 2018 and the people behind a website that calls itself “the leading real estate news source for real estate agents … ” thinks that your most burning question has to do with writing listing descriptions.
Let that sink in.
Feeling patronized? You should.
Does your attorney worry about the trivial aspects of his or her practice? How about your doctor?
No, you don’t have an advanced degree, but you’re not a schlub either. You have knowledge and skills that the average consumer lacks.
You help people buy and sell the biggest investment they are likely to make in their lifetimes, for crying out loud.
You protect people’s money. THAT is important. THAT is significant. THAT makes you worthy of respect.
But, you don’t respect yourself
Maybe it’s the ultra-low bar for admittance into the real estate sales ranks — I don’t know. But as long as agents ACT like amateurs, they will be treated like amateurs.
Yes, even by those who are doling out advice to you. Those companies out there who make money off of agents THRIVE on the amateur. That group of agents are the proverbial “fish in a barrel.” So easy to shoot.
Think about this: do you suppose, for one minute, that those insipid articles on writing listing descriptions or how to take awesome photographs are meant for the mega agents? Of course not.
They’re meant for the clueless – the agents who feel they have to perform every single aspect of their small business themselves. The ones who feel they have so little to offer they actually give a gift to people who decide to work with them. The ones who feel so overwhelmed by all the crap they think they are supposed to be doing, they have no time to do what makes money.
And, because these so-called experts routinely dispense this information, these agents get the impression that it’s normal.
These “experts” are actually normalizing behavior that holds you back.
Ticked off? You should be.
Sadly, agents are so acclimated to being talked down to, to accepting everyone else’s assumptions about who they are and how they run their businesses, they just accept the garbage that is dished out to them.
Back to the dream
My dream, at its very core, is that real estate agents become so arrogant that the thought of them writing their own listing descriptions would be considered ludicrous.
My dream is that EVERY agent will someday understand that to take their business to the next level requires hiring people and delegating the mundane details and that, despite what they think, hiring assistance will actually MAKE them money, not cost them.
My dream is that agents will someday look back with pity on those agents who felt they had to gift their clients. That they will feel insulted that a company that makes their living off the backs of agents feels they can patronize them.
In the meantime, I dream of sites such as Inman and Realtor.com at least dispensing the truth. Or, at minimum, requiring their “writers” to perform a modicum of research.
And, the truth is, ocular studies prove that very few buyers read listing descriptions.
My advice is to spend your energy elsewhere.
I dream that real estate sites that act in your “name” — like Realtor.com – will stop telling consumers stupid garbage such as that appraisers use comps “sold within the past few years” (yes, they did). That a site that calls itself “your road” to becoming an expert in real estate won’t insult your intelligence by telling you that “Arguably the most important writing you do as a real estate professional is listing copy. ” Arguably, the writer is full of ca-ca.
That these sites will care about you and your potential clients so much that they will stop hiring writers who specialize in “decorating” to write real estate advice.
Occasionally, I write about the uber successful agents for my national clients. These are people who aren’t afraid to step away from the masses. Who take their ideas and run with them. Whether these ideas work or not, means nothing, other than that the agent learned something. These are agents who aren’t content to copy others or to stick with the status quo.
My dream is that all of you will someday be like them.