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Up to now I have done just fine relying on referrals from realtors and past clients; so why change?

In the past couple of years I have heard grumblings from agents concerning the ever growing FSBO and find it yourself people using the internet to search for a house.

Kurt has mentioned something going on at the FED level to disarm the NAR; something I not understanding yet.

My interest in thinking more independent is because it looks like there will be a substantial shift in the way people go about doing the house buying thing and those who presently depend of realtor referrals might get left out in the cold.

Am I just imagining things?

Chris, Oregon

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Originally posted by Chris Bernhardt

My interest in thinking more independent is because it looks like there will be a substantial shift in the way people go about doing the house buying thing and those who presently depend of realtor referrals might get left out in the cold.

Am I just imagining things?

Chris, Oregon

No, I personally don't think so.

Buyers and sellers are becoming more and more sophisticated and with computers and the internet they can do things now in just a few hours that used to be reserved only for the agents and previously would have taken agents many hours, sometimes days, to accomplish. People are realizing this and, with that realization, are questioning why they need to deal with agents. Around here, Redfin and Zillow are making some real gains in the real estate market and other untraditional brokerages are starting to pop up. With their online real estate "communities," Zillow lets people find out about all of the stuff that agents traditionally don't want them to find out about and Redfin just shuffles the paperwork and puts an experienced negotiator in the mix. I love Redfin deals. The Redfin folks show up, open the door, and then go sit down and read a book. They get paid whether the house sells or not, so they aren't concerned with doing any damage control. When the client is concerned about an issue and asks the Redfin folks what they think they ought to do about it, they don't feed the client a lot of bullshift; instead, they give them good direction and ultimately allow the client to make up his or her own mind without pressure.

As for this whole idea that we have to rely on reel-tours to make a living because most of the profession does, I have to say poppycock. I've been in the business nearly 12 years. I stopped going into reel-tour offices about 9 months after I got into the business and I promised myself then that I would no longer pander to agents. I've been true to that since. The only referrals I get from agents now are from those agents who've been referring me for more than a decade or those who'd initially met me at inspections where the client had found me. I don't market to the real estate sector at all, and don't believe I need to. The problem is that we still haven't figured that out yet and neither have many of the agents.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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As for this whole idea that we have to rely on reel-tours to make a living because most of the profession does, I have to say poppycock. I've been in the business nearly 12 years.

Well like every other monkey, for a long time it has been monkey see monkey do for me.

I can't remember the last time I went around with the intention of drumming up biz at realtor offices. Maybe about 7 or 8 years ago.

Mike you have done well without a website. Whats your opinion on them for newbies without an established biz and old farts with a well established biz?

Chris, Oregon

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Originally posted by Chris Bernhardt

As for this whole idea that we have to rely on reel-tours to make a living because most of the profession does, I have to say poppycock. I've been in the business nearly 12 years.

Well like every other monkey, for a long time it has been monkey see monkey do for me.

I can't remember the last time I went around with the intention of drumming up biz at realtor offices. Maybe about 7 or 8 years ago.

Mike you have done well without a website. Whats your opinion on them for newbies without an established biz and old farts with a well established biz?

Chris, Oregon

I dunno, I keep meaning to get one, but somehow never get around to it. Every once in a while I'll click on someone's signature link to see what their website looks like, but they all seem to be the same ol', same ol'. I guess I won't really know the answer until I get off my duff and get one.

OT - OF!!!

M.

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What is beaten into the consumer's head is PRICE. Skip the Realtor and save money. Shop, shop and shop for price. Seldom do buyers ask for my qualifications. We just lost a job on a 4 flat over price - buyer found someone to do it for $300. Even when a previous client refers a friend because of the job we did for them we're still badgered to lower our fee. People are short sighted, they see a $50.00 saving with the cheaper inspector but can't see the potential savings in what the more costly inspector may find.

Based upon the buyers I run across, I don't see them becoming more sophisticated. They ask very few questions and seem to have little attention for the issues that they should be considering when buying a home. People are being royally screwed by this price mania. Sometimes I wonder if I could make more money performing crappy 1 1/2 hour inspections and charging less. But where's the true satisfaction in that?

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Originally posted by Erby

Something I heard recently and have begun using.

If you think hiring an expert is expensive, wait until you hire an amateur!

What he said! My take on this growing trend is that consumers believe they can "Google" a subject and become an instant expert. This generally is not the case. The problem is that, in our world, the information found on the internet will put the average Joe on par with the average "professional" as often as not.

Take one part abundant access to information for the consumer, combine with the low threshold required for most so-called real estate professionals, add a dash of minimal accountability for so-called professional, and top with the lure of saving a few c-notes. Viola, do-it-yourself Home Buyer Hash!

I hear horror stories (about four a week) where some bonehead inspector, or agent, or mortgage broker, or title company, or fill-in-the-blank, has screwed the home buyer that put their trust in said professional. These stories circulate quickly in today's digital media. Can you blame the consumer for thinking they can do as well- and save a few buck to boot? I'm sad to say, in many cases they can.

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I also blame the do-it-yourself shows on TV. What they show appears easy and quick. But as you know, they leave out the small details that are involved with properly done projects. The other night I saw an episode where they were flipping a home. In a quick shot they showed vinyl going over plywood with no prep discussion.

What was that H.I. series? They followed some guy around as he pointed out issues. The conditions found were exceptionally obvious. I don't remember their finding things that required much experience. People see this junk and think "Hey, that's easy. I can do that".

How many times have you guys and gals had some "contractor" call you up about some problem you pointed out in an inspection. Even if they have a copy of the report they often still can't find or understand what you were referring to.

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How many times have you guys and gals had some "contractor" call you up about some problem you pointed out in an inspection. Even if they have a copy of the report they often still can't find or understand what you were referring to

That use to happen to me to often. I am not sure how I cured it. I think it was combination of writing the report better and taking better pictures for example an up close pic detailing the problem and a further away shot putting its location into perspective.

Chris, Oregon

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Don't think that TV how-to shows are anywhere close to real. I ghost-wrote for one of the hosts back in the day (mid-80s), and my editor attended the shoots.

Here's how it works: On-air talent don their vests, tool belts, etc. for product-placement purposes. Then, talking to the cameras, on-air talent describes the job to be done. Next, on-air talent steps back, cheap labor comes in, does the job. Cheap labor goes home. On-air models, with products placed and hair and makeup freshened, re-enter set, cameras roll, and the on-air talent pretend they did the work. Roll credits.

As for me, the ghost-writer: I call the lead guy on the job, ask him what they did and how they did it. Then I write it all down and send the article to my editor. Check comes in mail, check clears bank.

WJ

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