I’m both a millennial and a real estate agent, so I have the unique viewpoint of witnessing first hand the differences between how the more mature real estate agents run their business compared to how today’s younger, newer agents manage their business. I get a weird feeling when I am exposed to the generation of real estate agents who are still using these ‘old school’ tactics within their business. It’s awkward, embarrassing and I feel obligated to do my part to bring them into the 21st Century. Here are the top 6 ‘Old School Tactics’ which need to cease immediately in order for our industry to salvage any credibility.
1. Stop wearing the name tag – This is the worst. Even though I secretly wish everyone would wear a name tag since I am terrible with names, you gotta ditch this. It screams “Brand New Agent” and salesperson. I will go out of my way to avoid these people since I know they have an agenda in their mind. If you’ve ever been roped into an awkward conversation with someone trying to get you to join their Amway team, you know exactly when I am talking about.
2. Update your picture – The average age of real estate agents is 56 years old. But if you looked at everyone’s photos, you’d think the average age was 35! Just like in online dating, nobody likes a bait and switch with the profile picture. There are benefits to looking older and more distinguished. Your sphere likely has more money than hipsters so embrace your social status and your age.
3. Lose the 2 minute voicemail commercial about how you were born to sell homes – Fortunately I know how to bypass voicemail messages (7 for Verizon, 1 for AT&T, etc) but some agents love to leave a custom, long winded message about 1) how beautiful of a day it is, 2) how hard the “Go Sell Homes Team” is working for you, or 3) a list of recent awards. Just tell me you are away and let me leave a message.
4. Remove your witty slogan – I realize the fact that since your name is “Jim Sells”, you were made to be a real estate agent. If I see one more “Make the Wright Choice” slogan I am going to puke. I can promise that not “Everything You Touch Turns to Sold”. Let Modern Family be witty with real estate, you should focus on being viewed as a professional.
5. Take down the listing from 2004 which is still showing “for sale” on your website – Realtors are notorious for having terrible websites. Back in the day, there wasn’t MLS integrations so most listings had to be entered manually by the agent who purchased the website. This manual entry of listings lasted a good 30 days before agents realized that maintaining a website that no one would visit was a waste of time. Now, a large number of agents not only have a crappy website, but the properties listed under the “Featured Properties” section are over 10 years old. Part of me actually doesn’t want these listings removed because I think it’s hilariously awesome, but technically it’s a marketing violation.
6. Do not re-register the vanity plate – “I SLL HMS”, “OUT SELN”, “I LIST EM”, “NO1 AGNT”, “SOLD FST”, “BUY NOW”, “NO FSBO” These are only a sample of vanity plates that exist. These are super lame and plays right into the stereotype of cheesy real estate salesman. I can promise you that your license plate name will immediately become your new nickname if I ever become aware of it. If you want to put your team name or company name on a plate, go for it. A single statement about how you eat, breathe and sleep sales might not send the right message to a new client.
Follow these 6 tips, grow a beard and start drinking your water from a mason jar – and soon you’ll be the coolest Realtor on the block.
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