Wednesday, May 23, 2007

What's The Difference?

Buyers and sellers of real estate often think that all real estate agents, and real estate companies, are the same. The very people who see vast differences between a Mercedes and a Toyota, or between WalMart and Nordstrom, see little or no difference in the Realtors they interview. And I am the first to admit that the fault lies with the Realtor. In point of fact, there are differences -- and you would do well to recognize them.

In the first place, not all real estate agents are Realtors. Realtors are agents who have agreed to abide by a strict code of ethics. By becoming a Realtor, one demonstrates a concern for the well being of one's client, and the reputation of the industry. At Coldwell Banker The Real Estate People, all real estate agents are Realtors. In the common vernacular, the two terms may seem synonymous, but there is a difference.

Whether a Realtor, or just a real estate agent, most of us provide very similar services. But just because the services are similar, don't make the mistake that they are, therefore, equal. Personal service providers (look at lawyers or doctors as the most obvious example) don't get paid on the basis of what they do, but rather for how well they do it.

Unfortunately the level of competence in real estate today is not what it should be. Consequently, many consumers have legitimate complaints about their representation. I don't believe the problems exist because real estate is too difficult to comprehend. It's not rocket science. But there is a lot of learning that needs to take place. And training is woefully attended throughout the industry. Add to that the ease of entry into the business, and the result is a lot of people licensed to sell real estate, wanting to help people, but with little training and few skills.

Too many agents are ill prepared to lead a buyer or seller through today's complex real estate transaction. The home's value, property investigation, loan options, seller disclosures, escrow coordination, contractual performance and closing must all be handled smoothly and to the client's satisfaction. Too often, agents are as surprised as the client's when unanticipated issues complicate the process. Clients with those agents experience a lot of frustration and anxiety -- and usually at some financial expense.

At Coldwell Banker The Real Estate People we employ a full time time Training Manager. All new agents go through a curriculum of courses designed to train them how to anticipate potential problems and avoid the delays, anxiety and expense. Additionally, the Training Manger acts as a mentor to oversee the transaction and ensure that the clients experiences a smooth and pleasant purchase or sale. Experienced agents also, meet twice a month to discuss current real estate issues and problems. All designed to improve client service and "Make Real Estate Real Easy For You".

We may not be the cheapest in town, but nobody delivers better service. Consumers always have a choice between cheap and good. Too often "cheap" turns out to be more expensive in the long run. Just remember... you get what you pay for.

1 comment:

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