5 ways to fight the good fight in real estate

The “golden age of the customer” is upon us. What does it mean for the real estate industry? A lot.

Coupled with unprecedented amounts of information, fully-empowered consumers are directing their own home buying experience, beginning with online searches. More than 90 percent, in fact, will use the internet to research properties (listings, valuations, etc.), with some calling into question the value of using a Realtor® in the transaction. Yet, the accuracy of the data obtained by consumers, and the availability of the most up-to-date data, is ultimately the issue.

Since it’s unlikely the hands of time will revert back to the golden days of agent-controlled data, it’s best to fight the good fight, says Paul Lundquist, a Realtor® with Coldwell Banker River Valley Realtors, Minnesota. Here, Paul describes how he finds new opportunities to reinforce his value to consumers while leveraging challenges brought on by real estate’s “age of information.”

1. Play where your puck is going

“I don’t understand why so many of us fight over [consumer real estate portals]. Even though the average homeowner or buyer might be getting incorrect data and there is frustration on both ends of the spectrum, it still presents an opportunity for agents to effectively showcase their value beyond home searches.

Unlike Realtors®, consumers do not have access to the technologies that support the transactional nature of real estate from concept to closing table. We talk about finding homes for people but now consumers believe they can do that on their own. But what comes after that? A whole host of continuous transactions that lead to a successful closing.

Let’s fight for getting information out there about our real value: A professional who creates a seamless transition from decision to buy/sell to completion.

Wayne Gretzky, the NHL’s all-time leading scorer, once said, ‘A good hockey player skates where the puck is. A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be.’”

2. Why throw a penny into an already full pool?

“Advertising on billboards and radio is like throwing a penny into an already full pool. Our team chooses to protect our time and resources by using social media sites like Facebook. Besides being easy to create and low cost, the ads can be customized to get your offer, such as a newsletter opt-in, a request for a free home valuation, or a local market activity report, in front of potential prospects. Again, proving your value as a market expert.

RPR has written a series of articles on how to use Facebook to create lead forms and ads that you’ll find helpful.”

3. Choose to move your own cheese

“I use RPR exclusively but I had to take the time to learn how to use it. It can be daunting and even a little intimidating to adjust to a system like RPR due to its extensive amount of data and tools, but nowhere on the planet will you find a better real estate data platform. Everything you could want to know about a property or area is all in one place.

Move your cheese. Sign up for an RPR webinar, check out their easy on-demand video tutorials, or just stand over the shoulder of a co-worker as she’s using the site. Then use what works and don’t use what doesn’t work. It’s that simple.”

4. Our value proposition

“In my market, I regularly work with buyers who have checked out the subject property online as well as other homes in the neighborhood that have sold. I actually appreciate it when they do, believe it or not. It gives me an opportunity to educate them about RPR’s Realtor Valuation Model® (RVM®), which is vastly different from the sites our clients use. The nice thing about the RVM is that it takes into account actual sales data plus public records. It even provides a confidence score.

So when my clients say they like the house but question the list price, I can immediately pull up RPR on my phone, show them the RVM, give them more data about the property and neighborhood, and even send them a report, in just a few clicks. It’s inarguably the best valuation tool on the market, and one that only Realtors® can access, again proving our value.

5. They’re still technically apples

In this part of Minnesota, we don’t have tract subdivisions so we pull comps for 10 miles around. We drastically move around the quality of other comps, refining value based on our market knowledge. It’s like comparing Granny Smith to Red Delicious to Jazz apples. Still technically apples but you’re not going to want to take a bite of a Granny Smith when you want a Red Delicious.

So using RPR to do my CMAs helps clients understand why the comps I’ve pulled make sense. And sitting right there with them at the table, I can learn more about their home and make those value adjustments using the RPR app. RPR might be my go-to tool but I am the Realtor® that makes it all happen.”

Paul Lundquist – Coldwell Banker River Valley

Paul, half of the team of Paul Lundquist and Angela Thompson with Coldwell Banker River Valley Realtors, lives in Winona, Minnesota with his wife, two kids and dog. Being a Realtor® is a second career for Paul after spending 17 years in the radio industry. He enjoys being involved in the community and has been involved with the Local Humane Society, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Historical Society, Chamber of Commerce and Steamboat Days (The Local Town Festival). Reach Paul through his website at makewinonahome.com

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