Active Rain December 18, 2008

Real Estate is a Business

This is a rather strong opinion and I welcome an opposing point of view, but I can’t see losing the argument.

First, a question:

Would you choose a surgeon because he has a yellow Labrador? No? Why not?

Would you invest your money with a stock broker because he wears a cowboy hat? No? Why not?

How about choosing a babysitter- would you entrust your Most Precious to someone because they can’t peel a phone off their ear long enough for someone to snap their photograph?

Surely your criteria for choosing a professional has more substance. However, we have colleagues out there that think that they are going to get lots of business from being the Cat Lady, the 10-Gallon Hat Guy, or the Dude Who is so Busy he Can’t Hang up the Phone Long Enough to Say Cheese.

I know that marketing ourselves is sort of like running for office. And I appreciate that it isn’t easy to stand out from the crowd. But I also know that ours is a profession, and we should comport ourselves with the same dignity as physicians, CPAs or attorneys. Does mean we have to be bland? Of course not, but there is a vast divide between being boring and a cliche cheeseball.

I truly believe that the biggest PR issue the brokerage community has is the public’s difficulty in reconciling our typically amateurish hype with the anecdotal examples of incompetence floating around out there, and cheesy marketing is part of the problem. We are in business, as a matter of fact a real and profitable one when done right, yet we act like we are running for office or auditioning for a reality show. That’s not business-like. If I overhear a guy in a waiting room flip a page and mutter “I would never do business with that idiot” I know he’s reading a real estate magazine. You might think that some people do business with you because your cat is cute or you angle your Blue Tooth in every picture, but I’ll bet that for every deal you think you get because of those things, you are losing far more. And it is my view that you aren’t losing business just for yourself, but that you are making it that much harder for the rest of us.