It should come as a surprise to no-one that real estate is a highly competitive business. That said, once a property is listed, 95% of real estate agents are respectful of the rules against trying to solicit the business of homeowners who have listed with another agent. We will occasionally hear from our clients about brokers from other firms using scare tactics to talk them out of working with RealDirect. Often, this is just a lack of awareness on the part of agents who haven’t worked with us yet. We understand. We haven’t been in business for decades like many of the larger NYC brokerages and it takes time to build a reputation. As we’ve sold an ever increasing number of properties, we’ve continued to earn the respect of our peers in the industry (we’ve even had a few brokers from other firms use RealDirect to sell their own home), and we hear less and less about other brokers attempting to poach our clients. But, every now and again, we hear about something like this gem sent to one of our sellers by a Senior Vice President at a traditional brokerage (excerpts pulled directly from the email are in bold and italics, with our responses below):
Now sorry but realdirect is that an online grocery seller?
Oh, I get it. You’re pretending to confuse us with a popular online grocery delivery service. Clever. While we don’t deliver food, much like Fresh Direct, we do use smart technology and stellar customer service to remove an unnecessary hassle from the lives of our clients.
How many agents they have?
What is the experience level of their agents?
It is interesting that this question is raised by someone from a traditional brokerage, where agents compete with each other for listings and commissions. In the traditional brokerage setting, the commission structure sets up an “every agent for himself” environment, so regardless of how many agents they have or how experienced they all are, the client can only count on the expertise of their individual agent. Because RealDirect functions as a team, our clients benefit from the support of ALL of our experienced agents and our marketing department, our design department and our tech department. In a traditional brokerage, those other departments (if they exist) are dedicated to promotion of the brand, whereas at RealDirect, the entire team works for the benefit of each client.
It seems more like a gimmick probably predicated in low fees
RealDirect is a REBNY firm with licensed agents and a proven track record of successful sales. In fact, while the average time on market for listings in Manhattan and Brooklyn for 2011 was 134 days, RealDirect’s listings sold in an average of 83 days. Additionally, because of our low fees, RealDirect sellers saved an average of $32,000 by working with us instead of a traditional brokerage with a 5-6% commission structure.
50% of our listings sell to buyers who are represented by a broker from another firm (the other 50% sell to unrepresented buyers, resulting in even greater savings for our clients). We work with agents from other firms all the time and most are professional, courteous and knowledgeable about their business. But for the small percentage of agents who think unethical scare tactics are good business, we’d like to point out that the numbers don’t lie. Our listings sell faster and our sellers net more money. That’s not a gimmick, that’s the future of real estate.