It’s 2018 and some people are finding real estate agents like it’s 1988. The way we communicate and find information has changed dramatically and our methods for finding an agent should evolve as well. However, many people find their agent using pretty antiquated methods.
While these methods can be effective for the agent finding new clients, it’s a completely outdated way for you to determine which real estate agent will work best for you. Stop finding real estate agents using these four archaic methods:
1. Talking to a stranger who knock on your door
Let’s face it, door-to-door sales are dead. It’s been dead for a long time. However, some real estate agents are finding homeowners out there willing to hire a random person, just because they were outgoing enough to knock on their door. Sure a person who has the nerve to knock on hundreds of doors until someone says yes, does have a certain level of determination that’s undeniable.
On the other hand, why are you still opening your door when you’re not expecting a visitor in this day and age? The most frequent knock I get on my doors nowadays is that UPS, FedEx, or USPS person dropping off something I ordered online. If someone else is going to knock on my door, I usually am expecting them at a certain time. I wouldn’t recommend buying a magazine subscription from a door-to-door salesman, so hiring someone to buy what will likely be your largest purchase ever just because they knocked on your door sounds crazy to me.
2. Contacting someone who mailed you junk
So let me get this straight… An agent buys a list of addresses – or gets one from their favorite title company – and sends out a countless amount of cheap calendar magnets to these people. Then, someone opens their envelope, unpacks their 75 cent calendar magnet and says, “Hey, I like the cut of your jib Mr. or Ms. real estate agent. This is all I need to know, before hiring someone to sell my home!” I don’t know anyone personally who has done this, but it must work enough for calendar magnets to still be for sale.
I get it. It’s advertising and it works, but is this really the best impression to be making? In an age where we are doing our best to recycle and limit waste, we’re okay with someone using this method where 99% or more of the magnets – or brochures, flyers, etc. – get thrown out? A better way to market ones business is to send something that has meaningful value to that specific person. A generic item like your typical junk mail, just won’t cut it.
3. Looking at a magnet on a car
This is even crazier to me. You saw a car with a magnet on it and thought, “Look at that removable sign on the side of that car. It has a real estate agent’s contact information on it. I want to buy a home. They can help me buy a home. Let me call them!” If you’re going to make your car a billboard, you better commit. Go for the full on car wrap, not some 12″ X 18″ removable magnet. (I’m just realizing how anti-magnet this post is turning out to be. I have nothing against magnets, it just happens to be in two of my examples.)
4. Calling that person who put their face on a bus stop bench
Nothing says, “you’ve made it!” like having your face on a bus top bench. Sure someone is very likely to vandalizing it and draw an outline of genitals directed at your face, but until that day comes enjoy the glory.
A billboard is usually out of the marketing budget for your typical real estate agent. A bus stop bench is sort of the same thing, but just lower to the ground, harder to see, and easier to vandalize. Are we really looking to a bus bench to tell us who the best agent is in town? I hope not.
Okay, these ways of finding real estate agents do work, but…
Look, I’m not saying you won’t find a perfectly good agent using one of these ways listed above. What I’m saying is we can do better. As a society, we can do better. Let’s respect each others privacy and not knock on their door uninvited, send them unwanted junk, or litter our cities with bad signage.
If I were looking for an agent – and we’re one myself – I’d gravitate towards ones who use what Seth Godin calls “permission marketing“. He describes permission marketing as, “the privilege (not the right) of delivering anticipated, personal and relevant messages to people who actually want to get them.” Send me something I actually want of value, then I feel connected to you. When I need the product or service you are selling, then I will gravitate towards you. Simple. Build a meaningful relationship with people and good things happen.
One tried and true method of finding real estate agents that holds up today is to ask for referrals from family and friends who have had good experiences with an agent. Get that firsthand experience. Another way that works well today is to read testimonials or reviews of the agent online.
However the universe sends you your real estate agent, just be sure to meet with them in person first. Sit down and talk to them. You’ll want to make sure that they are qualified, but also make sure you like this person. The home buying and selling experience should be enjoyable. Sure there will be stresses, ups and downs, but find someone who gets you and will be able to problem solve in a way that works for you.