A post in a popular Facebook group brought up this article that says the BuyOwner.com CEO has hired a real estate agent to sell his home. If you aren’t familiar with BuyOwner.com, it is a site dedicated to helping For Sale By Owners sell their home without the help of a real estate agent. Ironic? Absolutely. What struck me, however, was a comment by one of our clients on that thread that called out the hypocrite real estate agents that were bashing the BuyOwner CEO for being a hypocrite. The pot was calling the kettle black.
Real estate agents make a living by telling people that they will always get better results when they use a professional. When it comes to their own business however, many hypocrite real estate agents don’t hire professionals. They take the Do It Yourself route, just like the FSBO is trying to do, but they are doing it at the risk of themselves, their broker, and their clients.
Hypocrite real estate agents shoot their own photographs instead of hiring a professional photographer. Everyone agrees that photos are the first thing that a potential buyer sees and can be the difference between getting a showing or getting passed up. Why are agents risking their client’s listing and risking loosing a sale by shooting their own photos? To save money, just like the FSBO is trying to do.
Hypocrite real estate agents build their own website instead of hiring a professional real estate website designer or company. These agents aren’t proficient at HTML, CSS, Java, and other critical coding languages needed to create an awesome user experience. They don’t understand how critical calls to action are or how placement of certain elements will make a drastic difference in their lead generation efforts. Why do agents think they can design a website when they have no website design experience? To save money, just like the FSBO is trying to do.
Hypocrite real estate agents do their own SEO instead of hiring a professional SEO company. They think that a WordPress website or a template site like MarketLeader or any of the others out there will instantly start to generate leads. They don’t realize that content is king, and that they have to continually update their site with new content that is well written, has good internal and external link structure, or that long tail keywords may not generate as much traffic, but will generate many more qualified leads and transactions. They don’t keep up with what’s going on with Google algorithms and may not be aware that some of the things they are doing are actually hurting their efforts more than they are helping. But hey, they are saving money right, just like the FSBO is trying to do?
Hypocrite real estate agents will whine about how Zillow is destroying the real estate business, yet happily syndicates their listings to ZTR. They don’t address the solution that Zillow has provided to the real estate consumer and attempt to build a better mousetrap. They don’t want to buy their leads back from Zillow when they provided the listing. They think Zillow should provide those leads to them because they want to save a few extra bucks, just like the FSBO is trying to do.
This list is not a condemning of all real estate agents. There are some real estate agents that have put a significant amount of time and money into learning photography, website design, SEO, or any other business practice that they choose not to hire out. I’m talking about hundreds of hours and/or thousands of dollars that actually teach you the art and science behind some of these technologies, not some 2 hour MCE course that teaches you about lighting and angles or an online webinar that teaches SEO best practices. Yet hypocrite real estate agents will jump in thinking that they can save a few dollars or a few hundred dollars by doing it themselves without the education, training, or experience needed to do the job right.
Next time you think about telling a FSBO that they can sell their home faster and for more money by hiring a professional, look at your own business and make sure you aren’t being that hypocrite real estate agent. Either take the time and spend the money to receive in-depth training in the needed field or consider hiring a professional. Don’t be a hypocrite real estate agent.