This Brokerage Has 750 Listings…..So they must be the best! (Part 1)

Hartsdale NY Housing Market Statistics – Third Quarter 2009
October 26, 2009
Happy Halloween Pumpkins
Happy Halloween to all…from the land of the Headless Horseman…
October 31, 2009

Does size really matter?  Do the number of listings or the size of the brokerage have anything to do with the ability of the agent to market and sell a home successfully? Is it the brokerage or the agent that is the determining factor?

What Does the Brokerage Bring to the Table?Blowing smoke

With the Westchester NY real estate market in a downward trajectory,  sellers realize that they need more than a sign in the ground to move their property.  In truth, this was always the case, but these days I’m getting more and more questions about marketing the listing. One of the biggest issues  I encounter on listing presentations  are questions regarding the brokerage itself.   Most questions revolve around marketing.  What does the brokerage do in terms of marketing  for the listing?

I think that most sellers assume that since the brokerage is “big” and has capital behind it, that they are the ones spending  big bucks on marketing the home.  But this is rarely the case.   Many big-box national brokerages build on that confusion and perpetuate the myth that their brokerage “brand” makes a significant difference in selling a home for top dollar.  They also tout their “marketing package” in terms of the amount of support they offer.  Some actually stress that the number of agents in the brokerage somehow makes that brokerage better or somehow more able to move the property.   With all the hype and misinformation out there it is small wonder that sellers are confused.

I  would challenge these large brokerages who claim that their numbers speak for themselves  to enumerate exactly WHAT  they do to justify their claims?  And while they are at it, I would like to have some hard numbers to back up their success stories.  I haven’t seen any of them come up with any marketing advantage that holds up under scrutiny.  Most of the time they appear to be blowing smoke.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not slamming big brokerages. That would be rather foolish since the brokerage that I am currently associated with is quite large.  What I am trying to do is cut through the hype.

Follow the Advice of Deep Throat:

Who actually sells the listing? The agent or the brokerage? To figure that out you have only to listen to the words of “Deep Throat” in All the President’s Men.   He told Robert Redford to “Follow the money!”

If a brokerage has  hundreds of agents, it is likely that they have close to 1000 listings.  Brokerages are business to make money on sales.  For a big brokerage like this – the listings are a numbers game.  Throw 1000 up against a wall and maybe half will “stick.”  So how important is your individual listing going to be to that brokerage?  Answer: not very.

But what about the agent? Most agents have just one to two listings at a time.  Others have more like 20-30.  Agents are paid on commission.  If the property doesn’t sell – all the work they did is down the drain….and  there is a lot more to than sticking  a sign in the ground.  When a listing fails to sell an agent is out usually well over 150 hours of time AND they are generally out a good deal of marketing money as well.  Do you think that agent cares if your home sells?  You better believe it.

Take Home Lesson:  Look to the AGENT to market and sell your home.

Stay tuned for part 2 – where some major marketing myths will be revealed.


© 2009 Ruthmarie G. Hicks  All rights reserved.

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