I find that answering these questions is a great way for free marketing. I have been on Trulia since Jan 09 and I have 3 Buyers Under Contract who found me on here. I am not using Trulia pro and am reaping the benifits of giving out free information. It costs me nothing to answer a question while I am working on contracts or talking to clients on the phone, but the payback of my phone ringing is priceless. I hope this helps.
What a great question. I have always subscribed to the the theory that we get paid for what we know. In a market such as ours the more information that you have at your disposal, the better your opportunity to earn. But here is the problem, if we are not willing to openly discuss the issues and concerns that buyers and sellers have how do we demonstrate our knowledge base. I would contend that this is a terrific opportunity not only to share information with the public but to educate and learn from our counterparts across the country. If you think about it there is not another industry that that I can think of that gives away so much for so little. And yet those of us who have survived do quite well. So please continue to share with (and learn from) us. This is how we grow as professionals.
I enjoy reading what other agents have to say because I may or may not someday be in that same position. I feel that providing accurate sound advise will help everyone learn and be better more professional knowledgable agents, buyers and sellers.
Yes, There is the posibility that so much information is posted about a question that seems to be facilitating a sale without the remote possibility of getting paid, but our business shouldn't be all about the paycheck its about bringing buyers and sellers together when they can't do it themselves.
I LOVE what I do and if I can make a good living at helping people work through one of the most important decisions they'll ever make. Sweet!
Wilkinson & Associates
P.S. I too have Sold homes to people directly from Trulia, not only that, I have met some outrageously nice people here. Two of you nice people know who you are...I can't wait to see your new home tomorrow with all of your furniture in it! :)
I think its a beautiful thing. Buyers today are more informed than ever. If an agent thinks that witholding informating is the way to go, I'd like to introduce them to a little thing called the internet. Darn near all the information we give on sites like this are available elsewhere for free. The one HUGE advantage that we have above any internet savy buyer is experience. We do this day in and day out, transaction after transaction and we hone our skills while the average person deals with real estate maybe once every 10 years or so (not sure of the exact statistic but I'm sure I'm not far from the actual number). We deal with markets as they change and keep up with local stats. We have to in order to survive. Heaven help a potential buyer who goes into a multi thousand or million dollar real estate transaction solely with the information they learned from the internet and knowledge they got from an advice column. It takes a whole lot more than that. Thats why I go to WebMD before going to a doctors appointment. I just want to know what to ask relative to my situation. I'm not looking to perform the surgery myself.
I believe these advice columns should serve as a starting point for potential buyers or sellers to get information they may not have considered or known. Hopefully, they'll take what they learned, find a professional and expand on it. I think its a great thing.
Viva la Internet!!
Daniel A. Ovalles
Prudetial Douglas Elliman
http://www.bloodhoundrealty.com/BloodhoundBlog/?p=6849 , how to best utilize these 3rd party vendors sites & integrating your own site into the mix. Alot of it also translates over to ActiveRains new policy to charge for new blog members who want to feed their blogs out to the public & charging $$ to do so.
Personally I use Blogger (Owned by Google) to host my blog http://www.MedfordHouseBlog.blogspot.com and have started to implement the suggestions I found in that article. Here's the rest of my discussion on the topic: http://medfordhouseblog.blogspot.com/2009/02/bloodhoundblogc
I purchased my first home FSBO from a husband and wife mortgage broker/real estate broker team who handled the sale and the mortgage. Later, when I had a little knowledge and hauled out my closing package, I found they not only gave me a great (but fair) price, but also an excellent, low cost mortgage - my wife and I were well-served by professionals who didn't take advantage of our ignorance as first time buyers and borrowers.
To this day, remembering the fortuitous value I received from those honest pros, I try to "pay it forward" on mortgage related questions... with no expectation of gain (even in states in which I am licensed to originate).
Back then there was no internet to turn to for advice. I think Trulia provides an invaluable service in enabling buyers and borrowers to obtain free advice before making the biggest purchase (and debt) decision of a lifetime.
I write market condition reports for various web sites and I think it's good for consumers to have access to information that is from a local source who is actually in the market on a daily basis rather than from national news reporters who sell headlines. But, I think it's very risky for agents to give advice about specific transactions and some of the advice is definately outside of real estate. As licensed professionals we are liable for the advice we give whether we are getting paid or not.
Many of the people asking questions appear to already be in the middle of a transaction so they must have some type of relationship with an agent - my question to them is where is your agent? Like you, I wonder why real estate agents continue to give the store away!
In the spirit of giving and providing service, it makes me feel great to know that I can share my knowledge with folks that make the effort to ask the questions!
The information highway has come along way and there are many professions that are providing this service, I believe it is the "American Way" to educate, share and also benefit from the contributions made by others.
Our industry has taken it's lumps when it comes to subprime lending - how many of you knew that your clients were pushing the envelope when qualifying for a home? While I am not saying we are not to shoulder the blame for Lender's practices, some of us had to know the reality of what was going on.
It is time for us to present ourselves as individuals with integrity and sincerity in serving our customers.
Being asked for advice puts us in the position we need to seen in, as the professionals that home buyers and sellers seek before making, for most, the most expensive decision in their life!
Floyd Realty Group