Consumers give brokers a piece of their mind

flickr photo by kalavinka

At a recent conference for real estate professionals, a panel of buyers, sellers and renters got some concerns off their chest.

Among the qualities they said they appreciated in their agents and brokers, according to an account in Inman News of the Real Estate Connect event:

  • Being”upfront and honest;”
  • Supportiveness via the provision of professional expertise and advice on the process;
  • Trustworthiness;
  • Accessibility;
  • Responsiveness;
  • Understanding of a customer’s needs and wants;
  • Improved presentation of properties online;
  • Willingness to wait as long as it takes a customer to make a purchase decision;
  • Connections;
  • Flexibility to break out of long-standing industry models;
  • Professional marketing, including exceptional Web sites.

One panelist told of liking his agent from the outset.  He said it mattered to him that “she didn’t flinch” when he told her “I wasn’t in a rush — it might be a year or two.”  (His search turned out to last only six months.)

Averring that the real estate brokerage models “seems moribund, seems old,” another consumer complained about a volume of paperwork that could be eased through the use of E-documents and electronic signatures.

A retiree from Northern California agreed. Said she of the industry:

It feels very outdated, the whole structure of the transaction and the industry — everything from the (seemingly) fixed commission to giant stacks of paperwork that you must initial (on) each and every page.

I find it hard to argue with the panelists.  Why would I?

They reflect much of what I have been saying in my ongoing critiques of the industry and its practitioners in my irregular series labled “The High Road.”  Those of us who get what consumers want are sure to thrive.

The larger questions stemming from how hidebound is our industry have yet to be resolved, but inroads are being made.

Tomorrow: Weekly roundup

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Malcolm Carter
Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker
Senior Vice President
Charles Rutenberg Realty
127 E. 56th Street
New York, NY 10022

M: 347-886-0248
F: 347-438-3201
Web site

0 thoughts on “Consumers give brokers a piece of their mind

  1. It is interesting how a seller will criticize a broker for all the free information…perhaps interview 6 brokers and then might even try and sell it themselves or then call them if their ideas don’t work because they need the expertise reiterated, their customers or the web sites of the brokers.

    Now my mother had an expression “no good deed goes unpunished” and that is exactly what is happening here. How about paying an up front fee to the broker for their time and experience and decide later who will be the selling broker. After all the seller is asking for work without a minimum wage… which could be construed as illegal…perhaps yes or no but request a lower commission if the broker being paid for their time becomes the exclusive sales broker.

    I learned at a tough boarding school there are always two sides of a story. So perhaps there should be some new thinking in the real estate industry with advisers first for a fee and another brokers as an exclusive broker. The seller might want to do a FSBO using an advisor. Now the seller would smile, the brokers would smile and a happier buyer might even make for a higher price because of a happier sale! No one wants to hear a seller’s problems, a broker’s problem or a buyer’s problems. Everyone has their own agenda and angy people do not belong in this triangle. A home is where you go to live, laugh and love. Something to think about!


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