In a recent search, I noticed a post by another brokerage firm about a relationship with RealtyTrac that was promulgated by their national franchise. .
It reminded me why I hate salespeople sometimes.
This post would indicate to a real estate consumer that the agent and firm had some benefit through the publication of their third party information, and that this would make them some kind of foreclosure experts. And while the writer is a pleasant enough person, and just trying to create a business advantage for themselves, its just nonsense, and its frankly misleading – though I will give them the benefit of the doubt and assume that it is unintentionally misleading.
I have been selling foreclosures for 21 years in Philadelphia, Bucks, Montgomery, Delaware and Chester Counties, and for the past year or two also in Burlington, Camden and Gloucester counties in New Jersey. I have also been an active real estate investor for even longer than that, so I think that I would be considered an expert in the marketing, purchase and sale of foreclosure properties. From my experience I know that , for the most part third party relationships like the one touted by this broker don’t work. And I know that for the past 21 years, most of the calls from services like these that I received were from people that were calling on outdated properties that were published long after they were sold and settled.
Third party listings of foreclosures have a number of problems. As I mentioned, their information is often outdated.They often provide too much information seeming to provide value but muddying the waters for most consumers – for example “pre-foreclosure” data which is useless to most of their subscribers. The source of the information is not disclosed in many instances, and is therefore questionable. For real estate professionals, the third party information is less accurate than the Multiple Listing Service .
I understand the need for the third party company to sell subscriptions, and their right to advertise and boast about their services to do so. And I understand the need for the national franchise to create affiliate relationships to obtain income opportunities and to position themselves as providing value to their franchisees, I even understand the writer pimping this out as a benefit to the public – but it is indicative of their lack of understanding about the product and the foreclosure product that they even do so. It just burns me up that they are so busy posting something to appear at the front of the pack, that they don’t take the time to actually determine if it accomplishes that before they publish.
As salespeople I think we have an obligation to balance our need to market with the need to be genuine and transparent. Its too easy to lay claim to expertise when you’re writing alone in your home or office. Don’t just claim a position, have the position. Be the expert you claim to be – or claim to be the expert you are.