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Archive for October, 2011

How is Congress Realty different from other “Discount Brokers”

J. Andrew English J. Andrew English
Thursday, October 20th, 2011

Many times when customers are considering which Real Estate brokerage to go with, they fail to ask what I think is the single most important question…. “What have you actually sold”? Not, what have you listed… Not, what is your flat fee listing price…. Instead, what have you actually sold through your Flat Fee MLS service?!

You will notice that many other “discount” brokerages on the internet will try to get your business by making claims that can not be proven to be true or false. For example, you will see other companies claim to be the “original flat fee company”… or the “leader in flat fee”, etc…. With many of these companies, it’s all about the advertising and not about the results.

Congress Realty is different from every other flat fee company out there in that we will gladly provide our sold data to our prospective clients. Not only will we provide the data, we will provide it to you directly from the MLS so that you can even verify it is accurate/honest data. Anyone can put up a website with ridiculous claims and promises. Congress Realty can actually prove our program works.

To prove my point, I ran our data versus a competing flat fee firm who advertises themselves as the lowest cost provider. You can quickly see why they don’t advertise themselves as the leader in sold properties.

Las Vegas and Omaha.

In Las Vegas, Congress Realty has been credited with 80 closed sales in the past 12 months. The competing firm has been credited with 7.

In Omaha, Congress Realty has been credited with 53 closed sales. The competing firm has been credited with 6.

Upon request, we can provide the MLS printouts showing the sales referenced above and the names of both Congress Realty and the company referenced in the above comparison.

Congress Realty operates under the belief that the goal of any listing brokerage is to sell the property at a fair price acceptable to the seller.  Whether you are paying $100, $300, or 6%, the goal is to sell your property.

Should the public have access to Agent Data?

J. Andrew English J. Andrew English
Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

How do Realtor Associations protect their data? Well first off, what they call protecting their data…. I call hiding it from the public. Redfin recently decided they were going to publish agent performance data from 14 local Association of Realtors(R). What this means is Redfin was going to post to the public exactly what agents are selling properties and what agents are not. In short, Redfin was going to tell the public exactly what agents in their area are productive and what agents are not. They were going to use the factual MLS data from each area to produce this information. What happened next? Realtors and local associations cried bloody murder. Why would they care? Simple, Redfin was going to expose to the public just how few properties that “local Realtor”(R) down the street from you actually sells. (The Realtor(R) who calls himself the neighborhood expert) They were going to arm the public with knowledge that the public had never before had.

Everyone has heard the rumor that 80% of the Real Estate is sold by 20% of the Realtors(R). Redfin was going to tell the public the names of the 20% of the Realtors who are selling the Real Estate. The local board of Realtors(R) has a vested interest in keeping as many members as possible b/c each member pays dues to the association. If the public figures out that “Ricky” Realtor(R) from down the street has accounted for a total 3 real estate sales over the past 2 years, they are going to reject his listing presentation when he tries to sell himself as the neighborhood specialist. However, if the public doesn’t have the info, they have no idea that “Ricky” Realtor has next to zero real estate experience in negotiating contracts, marketing, etc… Hiding the data helps “Ricky” Realtor.

Why would companies like Congress Realty want this data to be published? Simple, we sell a ridiculous number of properties and want the public to know about it. I always laugh when a local Realtor(R) tries to sell his/her service to the homeowner by trying to explain that the owner needs a local specialist or their home won’t sell. If only the homeowner could be given the factual data to compare the agent performance data…. it would make life on the homeowner so much easier….