Selling a house is stressful.  Buying a house is exciting.  Either way, those involved have a lot of things on their plates.  Moving creates a hurried up “to-do” list.   Sellers on average spend $7K to prepare a home for sale.  Buyers on average spend $15K immediately fixing up what they just bought. 

In Sales, rule number one, follow the money.  Homes are expensive.  But what we do to them is also expensive. 

Navigating the gauntlet of independent contractors is not something the average consumer is good at.  The volume is daunting.  Painters, caulkers, tilers, electricians, carpenters, plumbers, landscapers, and arborists.  How would a consumer know who to call much less how to spot a good deal. 

The real estate industry dropped the ball, big time, when they allowed Angie’s List and other like companies to carve out a niche right from under their noses.    Don’t go to Angie’s List looking for a carpenter, call a realtor instead!   Remember, NAR had little interest in what’s good for an agent, as their primary focus was on themselves and their way of life.

“I need to put in a walkway.”

Does the consumer call a construction company? A handy man?  A mason?  Or do they punt and call their Aunt Karen’s cousin?   Why NOT call a realtor?  An agent will recommend a contractor they have used before on other projects.   And no realtor will ever recommend someone that won’t make them look good, so it’s a pretty safe recommendation. 

If sales agents are trying to find an expanded role for realtors to play, consider this fact.  A realtor is a natural sales channel for all things associated with home improvement. 

A homeowner needs A, B and C done.  Wouldn’t it be nice if the consumer could make a single call and have all three issues managed and taken care of.  That would be a great service.  And it would offer tremendous value to the consumer as well.  Saving the client hours of time puts the agent in the most favorable of positions.   

Our idea is to position the sales agent as the in-between for the homeowner and their home improvement plans.   For this to happen, we need to create a story.  A compelling story that answers why a homeowner would you want to call a realtor.  The good news is most sales agents already have this story.

Every sales agent can recall a time when they saved their client money.  Every sales agent can recall a time when they saved their client time.  And what about all the times sales agents act as an advisor.  Prepping a home for sale is the most obvious.  But our goal is to get the consumer to call when a sale is NOT involved.     

Should I redo the bathroom?  Put in a fence? Upgrade the landscaping?  Add a room?  Screen in the porch?  Add a tennis court – (Buckhead Only

Realtors have seen it all.  They have seen home improvements that worked.  As well as the home improvements that were epic fails.   A few hundred spent on landscaping can add thousands to the overall value of a home.  Conversely, the tens of thousands spent on a new bathroom, that kind of looks like a spa, but lacks any sort of practicality, actually decreases the value of a home.   

Does anyone think Bath companies selling upgrades have the “home’s” best interest in mind?  And that is also part of the story we need to create.  Realtors are agnostic to the contractor community.  Whoever can do the job that best suits the needs of the home and its owner.  Contractor management has always been the keystone to being a successful real estate agent.  But this critical element was never an agent’s focus.  It wasn’t part of NAR’s plan.   

All this changes in the new real estate world.  Over the next several blogs we will be focusing on the “story” of a realtor that adds value.  A new vision of what a realtor could be.  A vision where it becomes normal for a consumer to call a realtor when home sales are not involved. 

Stay tuned.

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