Not all, but many real estate agents put their smiling face on the For Sale sign they put up in the yard when they represent a home owner in the sale of their home. I see this most often with the national brokerages, such as ReMax and Keller Williams, and less so with small, independent brokerages. And the question I want an answer to is why?
Normally, when you want to sell a product, you try to entice prospective buyers with a beautiful photograph of the product itself. You know, to whet their appetite. Today, most home buyers start their home search on the internet where they can easily get an idea of a home’s interior with the posted photographs. But, there are still plenty of home shoppers who drive around searching for homes the old fashioned way: by looking for For Sale signs. Why else would you put up a For Sale sign?
It seems to me that if a real estate agent really wanted to take advantage of every marketing opportunity they had when selling someone’s home, rather than put their picture on the For Sale sign, they would put a gorgeous interior picture of the home instead. You know, to whet their appetite. But I guess that is the point.
When an agent puts their image on the For Sale sign they are communicating loud and clear what they are really selling with that For Sale sign: themselves. Because of the crazy way the real estate industry is structured, where almost no real estate agents are actual employees, and are therefore perpetually unemployed, they always have to be on the lookout for their next customer. And what better way to do that than with a nice portrait of themselves on a For Sale sign. I cannot think of another profession that so blatantly self-promotes with their own mugshots. Have you ever seen plumber’s face advertised anywhere?
If you want to know why real estate agents often rank low in consumer surveys, this is why. It is not that they make their self-promotion a top priority. Is it that they say that they don’t. If you tell me that I am your top priority, then put a damn picture of my home on the For Sale sign and not a picture of you. Or, just be honest about it. Tell me that because of the crazy nature of the real estate industry, you always have to be promoting yourself, and while you promise to give me 100% effort when helping me sell my home, you will also use that opportunity to advertise yourself. I can handle that.
I still wait for the day in the real estate industry when honesty and transparency rule the day. Where consumers are not treated like acquiescing buffoons, but rather as equal partners in the home selling process. But until that day arrives, check out ReaListing for tips on saving money when you sell your home.