"Frank"-speak on "broads" and the mls' lame 24 hour rule

[photopress:bgrable.jpg,thumb,alignright] This broad is lonely. You know, the kind of lonely that just has to be scratched…like an itch. So she says to me, she says, Frank, I just gotta get out there and get a man, and she starts putting on her coat. I say Whoa there…hold up, Babe. You ain’t gonna get the right man that way. Go in the toilet there and fix yourself up a bit first. Pin up your hair like Betty does, and put on that fancy armored under-stuff that makes every woman look like a Betty Grable pinup at first look, till you get up real close and see the spines on ’em. That’s right. Take your time, honey. The better you look, the more successful your gonna be at this venture. Now put on that lipstick and pull down that thing over there and hike up that and stand up real tall, like you don’t need nobody! That’s better. If youse goes out lookin’ like a loser, that’s exactly what you will end up bein’ at the end of the night…a loser!

Now someone please tell me who came up with that stoopid mls rule that says a seller HAS-TA put his house up for sale within 24 hours after he signs a listing contract? Hell man, da ink isn’t even dry yet! Do yus really think an owner can get his sh-t together that fast and spif up da joint in 24 hours?! Heck…he barely has time to pull up his pants and douse his tonsils with his “Jack”. Are you guys kiddin’ me??

And what agent worth his weight in peanuts is gonna have a fancy, glossy, snappy flyer ready in 24 hours? Heck, can ya even get a sign up that fast? Who made up that rule anyways? You guys better stop drinkin’ that NAR Koolaid and get da F outta here pronto! Cause I ain’t puttin’ my house on the internet for everyone to peek at until it’s good and ready! Ya hear dat! GOOD and ready. And youse guys can go pound sand with your lame mls rule dat says udderwise. I don’t give a rat’s behind if you guys stab each other in da back or in da front or any other ways. Dat ain’t MY problem! You can’t tell me what I HAVE to do and you sure as hell can’t tell me that I ain’t got no say in it. So what that I can give you some letter saying “hold up, pal”, what about da poor slobs dat don’t know any better and have their underwear hanging over the shower curtain in the mls photo. Scratch that rule…scratch it now…cause it’s lame. Like my pal Robbie says…Lame, Lame, Lame MLS Rule! Trash it, cause it’s garbage and its stinkin’ up da place!”

I’m signing this here contract to get me the best damn agent there is and I’m sure as hell payin’ him plenty of dough! So’s he better damn well work his butt off for a whole lot more than TWENTY FOUR HOURS before HE pushes that button that sends me LIVE into the cyberworld.

I thought it was jes dose NAR Koolaid drinkin fools spoutin’ this garbage. But when I saw David Barry sayin’ his NEW Consumer Oriented Free Public mls was gonna go and copy that same stoopid lame mls rule, I said dat’s IT. I’ve HAD it. Jilly…go knock some sense into dos guys before the whole planet goes koo-koo on dat koolaid! Knock some heads together if ya has to…but don’t let the poor public be fooled into thinkin that they have to go out in public lookin’ like a LOSER! It ain’t dare right to say so…cause I say so and it just ain’t the right way to treat people and their most valuable asset. Heck, a girl takes longer than that to spruce herself up to find a guy. How da heck is a fella supposed to spruce up his whole house in 24 hours! It ain’t right…it just ain’t right.

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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: ardelld@gmail.com cell: 206-910-1000

14 thoughts on “"Frank"-speak on "broads" and the mls' lame 24 hour rule

  1. Walmart is great, in the short-run (lower prices help the people that shop there). Seriously. But don’t use them as an example business for RE to model itself on, because the long-term impact is extremely negative. In the long run Wal-mart does a “great” job of lowering the economic standard of living for people that work there, because the wages they pay are lower than the wages those people made before, and most have to get government assistance for healthcare (further burdening the least economically secure states where Walmart has the biggest presence).

    Moreover, this article in Fast Company points out that Walmart often drives their own suppliers into bankruptcy by insisting they lower your prices every year and threatening to stop doing business with you if you don’t comply. In the short-run, many companies respond to this pricing pressure by outsourcing labor (and laying off Americans), but achieve a bump in sales (usually not profits). In the long run, many go bankrupt or realize they can’t make any money selling at Wal-Mart and are replaced by other suppliers willing to enter the low-low-cost death spiral for a while.

    You can be a “low cost” store and not have these issues. Target, Costco, many online only merchants, etc. All of these places offer reasonably priced merchandise and lower the cost of goods for people buying them, but they resist the urge to drive their suppliers and workers into bankruptcy just to squeeze out the last bit of sales growth or quarterly profits. None of these are non-profits, to be sure, but they’re not single-mindedly focused on “low low prices” as a driving principle.

    Back on topic, what you’ve mentioned is a nice thought exercise, but I’d bet that a significant percentage of the “mega” agents you mention spend almost all their time getting new leads, and almost no time handling their clients or getting referrals. They’re focused, as you point out, on “scaling their business”, not servicing their clients. I sincerely doubt most of them subsist on positive referrals , which is why they advertise so heavily. To be sure, if they don’t service their clients at all, they will fail to scale their business. But as the Wal-Mart example points out, you can “get by” doing the minimum to service your clients for quite a while before your poor business practices have any effect on your bottom line.

    In anecdotal conversations with my friends, everyone I know who went with a mega-agent felt like they were in a “RE assembly line” and has mildly negative opinions, even though they got the place they wanted/sold their house eventually, of the entire RE industry. Is that what you want? Sales at the expense of long-term viability? It’s these type of agents, IMHO, that convince customers they might as well be doing much of the work themselves and using a discount/online brokerage.

  2. Great points. Substitute Target or Costco in place of Walmart, and can’t a scaleable, client service business work? If a super agent were to put client service as his business’ most important value, wouldn’t this work? I worked for an Internet advertising agency for 9 years. As a start up, we could give clients lots of attention. As we grew, client service remained our company’s number one value, and we were able to scale while providing good service (there were hiccups, of course, but the problems were quickly corrected by focusing on our core values.

    I agree. There are some super agents that you see on billboards and that seem solely to be marketing machines. However, I have to believe that there are many who have succeeded in keeping a focus on client service as they grown.

    Just as there are individual agents who are both good and bad at client service, the same is probably true at the super agent level.

  3. Eric makes some good points here. I basically learned the ropes of the business by working for one of the so-called “superagents” and in terms of a training ground, that was probably the best way to learn – total immersion into all aspects of the business, high volume of deals being done by the team on a monthly basis equated to lots of transactions to learn from, the opportunity to learn more in a year or 2 than a normal agent might learn in 5-10 years, hands-on training from a top producer, the excitment of doing a lot of deals and making a little money along the way, etc.

    It was the education of a lifetime in a way, and I’ve frequently advised new agents that it’s one of the best ways to learn and learn fast. But in my case at least, it also led to burnout, resentment, and ultimately separation after I got enough experience and insight to start questioning the way things were being done.

    And as jcricket pointed out, the level of service often suffers because the superstars frequently spend most of their time, marketing, and attention trying to generate new leads/clients rather than taking care of the existing clients. As a result, the team I was on got shockingly few referrals or repeat business when compared to the overall numbers we were generating.

    In the end, it was as much about learning what NOT to do as it was about learning what TO do. I couldn’t stand that constant dissonance, and eventually decided to go it alone. Certain ethical issues and challenges also contributed to my leaving, but that’s another story for another day.

    But the education in itself was priceless.

  4. Eric,
    I think you guilty of that which you accused Ardell, which is lumping together an entire category and generalizing on its individuals’ character, motivation, beliefs. Greg and I are indeed a ‘mom and pop’ brokerage, but not for the reasons you mention, nor do we share the point of view you ascribe to businesses our size. You are comparing the traditonal business model to a scaled super agent business, as if consumers have only two choices. We entered this business probably like you… recognizing that we can use technology to create a different business model, one that is client focused and scalable. You describe your vision of this here… now go create it! That’s what we’re doing.

  5. Cathleen:

    I never meant for ‘mom and pop’ to come across as pejorative. In the context of my Walmart analogy, ‘mom and pop’ is an oft used term to describe the smaller businesses. Sounds like you and Greg are more like McLendon Hardware….multiple locations, but not big box. 🙂

  6. I’m assuming you’re speaking mostly of brokerages that are “100%” companies? I’m in the Naples Florida real estate market and I have had nothing but positive support from my brokerage. The culture at our company is to support those around you, lend a hand when your colleagues need it, and make sure everyone is well informed. By doing these things as a team, our reputation as a brokerage rises in the community.

  7. Eric, A little surprised you didn’t ask how I sold and closed it with the owner dying in the middle of the listing. Just want to know how to “lead an orgainization, model it for success, and get paid handsomely for it.” Maybe I need to do 100 ways “it’s broken…” Like when an Office Manager tells me I sell my listings too well because she needs some lingering on market ones to advertise the company with…only time I was ever “fired” in my life, and because I did my work “too well”…the owner hired me back in 10 minutes as soon as he heard what happened, but…

    We make the big bucks to work for the client, not to hire a bunch of people to do our work for us.

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