Are real estate agents serving the public – or merely self-serving hacks?

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Serving or Self-ServingThe short answer some do serve the public admirably and others don’t. Admittedly, I’m in sales and perhaps this is  something of a catharsis, but as a real estate agent, I read a lot of blog posts regarding the market and have become more than a tad perturbed about the percent of industry posts dedicated to the one topic – and one topic only – LEAD GENERATION!  Now being in business – of course a good part of my time is spent generating leads.  That’s why I blog.  I’m not putting five hours a week (yes it takes that long) for my Westchester Events calendar out of the goodness of my heart.  OF COURSE I expect it to eventually reel in clients.   But where is the line between being serving vs. self-serving?

Small wonder the public feels bombarded:

What I’m seeing now within industry sites is post after post about lead generation….marketing….prospecting….more lead generation..and the biggest one – MAKING IT HAPPEN!!  The one thing that is hitting me in the face is the sheer percentage of posts that relate directly to lead generation.  The emphasis placed on this one topic on many forums  leads to only one possible conclusion:  Agents are spending about 80% of their time lead generating.  This may not sound like a problem if it is working for you.  But even if it working – its a problem.  An industry that ceases to be a service industry and morphs into a throng of self-serving hacks is sealing its own fate.

Why I don’t spam and don’t show up at your door.

One of the reasons people who sign on to The Westchester View do not get endless spam, tons of phone calls and pop-bys or door knocks by yours truly is because I do respect the public’s privacy and do not wish to exploit the information that I am given in order to grant access to Listing Book.  I don’t like it when people “pop by” my home and I’m positively rude to those who engage in cold calling.  I don’t feel it is my right to do to others what I myself find objectionable.    Do I lose clients that way?  Certainly – in fact about 60-70% I estimate.   It’s unfortunate that so many choose to utilize my site for its content and then use the carefully crafted reports so they can go to their cousins, sisters, best friends bridesmaid for the transaction.   But there it is.

In some ways the public gets what it deserves?

In large part – the public is responsible for a lot of the more base behavior that agents engage in.   Sadly – the hard-core sales tactics work all too well, which is  why they prevail.  If the public thinks of us as a dime a dozen and “all the same” and never gives a thought to who the hire  then they  only have themselves to blame when things go badly.   When the public goes with the agent that is “in their face”  wearing them down by calling and by showing up at the door, sending cookies and pumpkins  rather than the agent who has patiently supplied them with massive neighborhood stats  – they are getting what they deserve.  By following the line of least resistance, rather than using their heads they are more likely ending up with a self-serving hack.   Yes, that person may well be a go-getter – but for whom?  Themselves or the client. Chances are its the former.

Sadly, this behavior effectively rewards the agents that the public loves to hate and forces many who do provide service without making our “leads” miserable in the process out of the business. Thus cementing the hard-sell mentality of industry survivors.

Serving the public or merely self serving:

How much service are we to the public – if 80% of our time is spent creating bait? Seriously….are we serving the public or are we merely self-serving?  I had an agent (who is doing fairly well) say to me that he didn’t even know who he was any more  because he kept telling sellers what they wanted to hear.   I don’t do that and when I lose a listing its because I told the seller what I felt the home would sell for rather than telling them what they were hoping their home would sell for.   If I did the latter – then I would be forced to jawbone the price down later.  Agents are then say to me “but I have to survive.”  When success is defined by survival – then all bets are off with respect to authenticity.

So think once, think twice, think three times before you hire the agent that has been bombarding you with self-promotion ad nauseum.   Contrary to popular belief we aren’t all alike

© 2010 – Ruthmarie G. Hicks – – All rights reserved.

Please feel free to contact me anytime to request additional information or to set up an appointment so we can explore your listing or purchasing needs. I am easy to reach by phone, text or email. Or, if you just want to continue your search online, the links below will help you get started.

Phone/Text: 914-374-5529


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