Nobody Gives a RA

I Give a RA About You

I Give a RA About You

Today is my 5th Anniversary of writing here at Rain City Guide. Not that I expect anyone to give a RA about such things.

It’s been a pretty wild ride for me since I first started mouthing off around here on 1/14/2006. Some things in the Real Estate Industry have changed for the better, from a consumer standpoint that is…many really.

In the next 5 years, because I really DO give a RA about the consumer, let’s work on one thing that hasn’t gotten better. That is “selling people” for 25% of the commission without their knowledge or express consent. Let’s make it a goal to END “selling leads” and giving away people’s money without asking them first if it is OK with them for you to do that.

Five years ago when I started writing here I said it this way and even more succinctly in this comment to that post:

The problem with the lead generating site is not that an agent pays for the lead, but that he pays for it with the consumer’s money (the way I see it anyway).

If you are a consumer and don’t quite understand what I am talking about here, watch this video…and refuse to be “a lead” and refuse to be “captured”. If you are a home buyer, take the extra time to think about whether or not you will be using an agent to assist you. Put a LOT of thought into what you will be paying that agent as part of the sold price of the home you buy, and take the time needed to make a wise choice. It’s your money and it’s a LOT of money.

Don’t just trip over the next body willing to open a door for you and trust them with this important step in your life because you just wanted to “see a house”. That’s both childish and irresponsible. Take the time to choose your agent wisely. You owe it to yourself…you owe it to your family, to get the best your money can buy…because you are going to pay for it either way.

If you are an agent who refers their “leads” out or a bottom-feeder site, make a pledge to FULLY DISCLOSE what it is costing the consumer to go that route. Give the user of your site the information they need to know before they hit that “find an agent” button or the “schedule an appointment to see this home” button. Let them know that by doing so they likely will be picking an agent AND paying 25% of their commission paid, to whomever owns the site or calls the other agent who meets them at the house to open that door.

There are thousands of stories about “worthless agents” and not enough stories about the people who CHOSE them. There wouldn’t be “worthless agents” if people didn’t hire them. There wouldn’t be so many “traps” to “capture” you as a “lead” and sell you…if more refused to be sold.

Here’s hoping that 5 years from now I will be able to report on my 10 Year Anniversary, that this practice has either stopped completely, or at the very least is not happening without the express consent of the consumer.

This entry was posted in Industry Talk by ARDELL. Bookmark the permalink.


ARDELL is a Managing Broker with Better Properties METRO King County. ARDELL was named one of the Most Influential Real Estate Bloggers in the U.S. by Inman News and has 33+ years experience in Real Estate up and down both Coasts, representing both buyers and sellers of homes in Seattle and on The Eastside. email: cell: 206-910-1000

18 thoughts on “Nobody Gives a RA

  1. Ardell,
    I give a huge RA about you! 🙂 I love this and feel it’s relevant to the selection of the mortgage professional as well (although I’m sure many you and many agent prefer to control this):

    “If you are a consumer and don’t quite understand what I am talking about here, watch this video…and refuse to be “a lead

  2. Thanks Thesa! When I first started blogging about industry changes and greater consumer focus, I felt like John the Baptist crying out in the Wilderness. No More! There really have been a lot of positive changes in these last 5 years. Here’s to many, many more.

    Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Ardell – I give a RA. You may have felt like John the Baptist then, but hopefully now you’re preaching to the now-thanks-to-you-more-educated choir.

    Consumers need to understand that they perpetuate the existence of worthless agents by continuing to hire them.

    Thank you. Thank you for your years of writing and thank you in advance for the years to come.

  4. Thanks Jim. Great to see you!

    I would say 95% of the good changes, at least in the Seattle Area, are thanks to Redfin. My mouth just helps reinforce the good messages of others at times.

    The #1 message that is fairly solidly changed in our area, is that the buyer is paying for their agent and deserves the dignity of the conversation about cost that the seller has always received. Clearly not an overall change automatically, but at least agents (most I think) in our area are getting used to the idea that a buyer is not getting a free ride and treated accordingly.

    The biggest issue now are the hidden costs to the consumer or the misrepresented costs to the consumer. Instead of explaining where all that commission goes, it’s time to disclose where it really goes. I will try to do more writings on that in the coming year(s).

    Thanks for stopping by!

  5. Thanks Honey! (Kim)

    Sometimes I don’t realize how consistent I am until days like this when I go back and read my first blog posts. Not something I do unless it is an “anniversary”. 🙂

  6. Great post, Ardell. I think we owe it to our clients to let them know exactly what is going on. If I must refer a lead due to location constraints, I not only tell them the referral bit, but I also help them line up a few agents to interview. I ultimately want them to choose who they feel most comfortable with.

  7. See the irony of life? If you did not post that no one gave you an RA they won’t even comment on it. Well, just accept the reality. Still, cheers to you to have so much subscribers and thank you for tracking down the trends in the real estate business.

    • One of the changes in blogging is that some respond on facebook or on twitter vs on the blog. For some reason people feel more comfortable in those spaces. It’s part of the evolution of Social Media.

  8. A great reason why you should always do your homework first… a little research online never hurt anyone… I am constantly surprised at how many home buyers refuse to “invest a little time” before selecting someone for this huge purchase. Nice article and congrats on the 5 year mark!

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