Is the company name / brand all you should look at when selling or buying real estate? First and foremost, understand you may find the right agent for you “IS” at the big brand company but is that by design or chance? Lets take a look at whether you should be searching solely by brand name when moving real estate.
I see ads all the time pushing and promoting “brand matters.” I have seen this so often in various ad campaigns and in the Realtor magazine I browse through each month so I began to wonder, does brand really matter that much?
Now let me clarify, all companies have a brand from small to large but I am talking about the “BIG brands” in real estate, the huge Billion dollar companies with thousands of agents. Is their brand really the best because of the name? Is Edina Realty, Coldwell Banker Burnet (where I started), and Keller Williams really superior due to name brand?
Don’t get me wrong these are all great brands but here is the problem with this thought process, not one of these brands sells real estate, you heard me right, not one. Curious as to who does then? Licensed real estate agents do, that’s who. Just like most businesses it’s the people on the ground not the brand that does business.
I would be hard pressed to believe that the average consumer searching for a home is clicking thru the Internet click, click, click — “oh STOP, here is the perfect house because ABC Realty has it listed, it MUST be the one!” Consumers are not shopping for properties by brand, if they want to look at the house they will look at the house — period.
Another way to tell this is to ask the typical real estate agent where their business comes from, they will answer “family, friends, past clients” and so on.
You must use great care and scrutiny when selecting an agent. If the agent is just going on and on about how great his or her company is you may want to pass. It does not matter if the agent comes from an office of 10 or 100, other agents in the office don’t care if your homes sells, only your agent does. Some agents will claim the big brand is the best because they can network with other agents in their office, guess what, all offices can, it’s called the Internet.
I have been on both sides. I was with one of the biggest brand companies and it was, and is a great company no doubt. But, when I left 100% of my clients “elected” to come with me and my new company as they were doing business with me, not the logo.
Let me give you another example: in the western suburbs to Minneapolis where I do the bulk of my business, you can name the top agents without using their full name and most local people will know who they are: Al, Brian, Dave, Jeff and so on. In my area, the name is “Derrick Monroe.” That’s branding that matters. I often hear from people on the street, “what Brokerage do you work for?” or “what company does so and so work for?” this is what I am talking about.
Some companies state their agents are the best simply due to brand, I respectfully disagree. I have been involved over the last year in many on-line forums where I network with other agents across the Country and world. Many of which are top producing agents and many of those have smaller niche shops and beat out the big brands year after year in sales.
Now don’t get me wrong, brands and images all have their place. I brand myself as a business as do many others so there is a place for it. My point is if you’re looking to buy or sell don’t make the mistake of looking only at the “BIG brand” companies as you may just overlook the better agent.
This may go against your grain but being involved in real estate for years now I have learned many things and gained many great friends in the business that have opened my eyes to the “inside” of how things get done and the person is what matters not the brand.
So if you’re ready to buy or sell, look around at who is doing the business in your area. Ask friends who they used and how that experience was. In the end have 2 or 3 people over to see who you mesh with the best, who asks you questions to better inform themselves of your needs — yes that’s right. The agent should know what you’re looking for so he or she can be of better service. This is not a one size fits all business.
Aright too funny, I have a TV in my office for background noise as the Radio gets old and there was a commercial for Bacon on. The lady was saying “My husband only wants the big brand Bacon but with the economy I wanted to try something different and he refused so I bought a smaller brand and did not tell him. For breakfast I cooked the new Bacon and he loved it so I told him it was NOT the Bacon I usually buy and now it’s his favorite.” My point exactly!
Brand is not everything, people are, take the time to interview the people, the brand comes second. Focus on hiring the right agent, the one who gets back to you, the one who has a team, the one who knows the area, the one who has a great web site, the one with a track record rather than simply focusing on a large office and you will most likely save yourself money, time & aggravation.
I can be reached anytime at (612) 282-7653.
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