Before I bought my current place, Jen and I talked with a handful of real estate agents. We didn’t purchase from any of them. In general, they didn’t feel authentic, connected, credible. Felt like the stereotypical used car salesman. With a housing boom like this – I don’t blame them. Problem is, demand won’t always be this strong, interest rates this low, and the need for agents will only diminish.
At some point in the next year or so, there’s a very good chance I’ll need their services. This is what I’m looking for in the next real estate agent I work with:
- A weblog that’s about 60% ‘business’ – properties, housing market, interest rates, mortgage stuff. With the rest of it more personal and hopefully completely off topic. Ideally, some posts will cross both sides – likes restaurants and events in the neighborhoods they really like.
- Yes, the weblog needs to have an RSS feed filled with photos so I can automatically stay up-to-date on the home sales in the area.
- I’d also like an iCal calendar available, so open houses can be loaded into my things-to-do this weekend.
These 3 items help me build a relationship with an agent, on my terms and without the risk of spam and unwanted phone calls. While at the same time, building the agent’s reputation, credibility, and network. This is very much the agent equivelant of Alex Stenback’s Behind the Mortgage.
Historically, real estate agents have operated in a world where market information is difficult and inconvenient to consolidate. Google Maps mash-ups like DC Homeprices, HousingMaps.com, and ChicagoCrime.org bring buyers, sellers, and agents closer to the same level. Not to mention neighbors with blogs.
Anyone out there doing this today?
Elsewhere: 20 Aug 2008: