Why do real estate agents take the time to answer questions here?

Asked by Nikeshp, Bellevue, WA Sun Dec 9, 2007

It is wonderful that so many people are answering consumer questions on real estate. Why are so so many taking the time to answer questions:

1) For the good of the community?
2) To build my brand as a local expert?
3) To drive leads and more business?

Thanks for your insight!

Help the community by answering this question:

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Darin Provost, Agent, Portland, OR
Mon Dec 10, 2007
I enjoy answering questions here. It exercises my mind and keeps me engaged in a profession I really enjoy.
Web Reference:  http://www.darinprovost.com
4 votes
Sylvia Barry,…, Agent, Marin, CA
Mon Dec 10, 2007
I was introduced to Trulia at inception by my brokerage - one of the founding companies for Trulia. We are also the first ones to provide Trulia feeds from our website and have continued to do so.

Trulia Voice is meant to be consumer based - where real estate pros (Realtors, Mortgage Brokers, Appraisers, Architects, Inspectors, etc) come and ask questions on real estate related questions. They might ask questions as a brand new buyers and sellers or just feel the water, they may just want to get some opinion, some confirmation, or they may ask questions about specific area or may have very specific questions about what's happening on their current real estate transaction; or just a palce to get things off their chest.

My main reason for participating in Trulia Voice; at first, I thought it's a good place to get leads. Pretty quickly, I found out that's not the case. I started to see that there are consumers or real estate pros who really need a forum to address their concerns or qustions. That's when I really got going - to help and hopefully, to make a difference.

The spectrum of questions is really interesting and turns out to be what draws me in and makes me stay on. . If a lead comes from this, it's icing on the cake. .

Kind of like my Rotary club - when checking out the club, they made it very specific - this is not a place to get referrals, this is a place to help and make a difference. Maybe you make great friends, build wonderful reputation and get a few referrals along the way; but you just don't join Rotary for that!

3 votes
T.E. & Naima…, Agent, Dallas, TX
Sun Dec 9, 2007
I would rather have consumers get the answers from professionals in the field that do this every day instead of getting their answers from other consumers that have bought/sold once or twice..

In addition, although I have been in business for about 15 years , I can still learn a thing or 2 from my peers and customs in other markets.
3 votes
Ardell Della…, Agent, Kirkland, WA
Sun Dec 9, 2007
For some reason the questions on Trulia are predominately helpful to anyone who may be buying or selling real estate, and are generally respectful of people's time and talents. I do not find this to be the case on all sites attempting to have a Q & A segment. I am more inclined to answer question on Trulia than on other sites. So I think the credit goes to those asking the questions more than to those answering them.

Trulia sends me an email when someone asks a new question. To me it is like answering an email. I wouldn't ignore someone who sent me an email asking a real estate question. So Trulia's methodology is also greatly responsible for the success of the Q & A here.
3 votes
Irena, , Newton, MA
Sun Dec 9, 2007
I do not mind it. Personally I got into the business because of previous bad experience in real-estate, and I love to be able to help. I do not want to see anyone go through what we have been.
Another thing is that you kind of get hooked and can not stop. Like now, it is 2am and I need to be up at 6, and get ready for the office but just can not stop typing….
2 votes
Lara McHenry, Agent, Spokane, WA
Sun Dec 9, 2007
Thumbs up Ardell! I agree with what you said about answering an email from a client or anyone for that matter. It is important!
On another note, I feel that in Real Estate it is imperative to be involved in your craft and in the community of your profession. When I answer or review questions on Trulia I find that I am putting my knowledge to work for the benefit of the community on Trulia. If I have helped one buyer or seller or fellow Realtor with my knowledge base that is a plus for them and for me. It is my nature to help people and to evolve as a person to be the best I can...I do this by research, learning new things, and application of the knowledge I receive.
I have found that sometimes many of the replies or takes on a question sometimes share insight on a subject that maybe I had overlooked. It's amazing how much we can learn from one another and give back to those that make our business what it is. One answer or opinion is not enough when you are dealing with so many geographic areas, demographics, and areas of expertise. Many insightful opinions offer so much more punch for those seeking answers.

It is important to brand oneself as a local expert too and it does add credibility when you are known in your area as the local voice.
Personally I have yet to have any leads from responses I may have given on this site, however if you google my name you will pull up pages and pages of information about my listings and my responses to Trulia questions and so maybe it is driving some people to my website....but only if they knew how to find me in the first place. It's still a good idea to brand yourself as a local expert in Real Estate no matter what. Hope that helped answer your questions.
2 votes
Mr.P, , Arizona
Sun Dec 9, 2007
Hey Nikeshp,
This question has been asked before
Here`s the link, http://www.trulia.com/voices/Using_Trulia/RE_Pros_Why_do_you…

Not to be said ,that it doesnt need to be asked again. Those are just the previous answers.

To answer your questions.

1. NO.....There`s no helping this community. Sometimes it reminds me of a "B" rated Horror flick.

2. To build my brand as a local expert? I have many brands. I think with the changing market we have all shifted brands. Local expert, a true local expert is what other people say of you, after you have answered their questions. Interesting question, because my brand has shifted to Foreclosed/ REO property`s. Before in the good Ole days I was sexy Realtor guy, with waterfront property.

3. That would be the reason I first came to trulia. Now it is more important to develop a social media presence, which in turn will drive leads, and more business. Trulia will keep you competitively sharp with local professionals

I hope this helps, it sure has helped me.
2 votes
Leanne Finlay, Agent, Kirkland, WA
Sun Nov 29, 2009
I can only speak for myself, but reading these other comments I see that people really are enjoying the ability to connect, and the ability to have some very good discussions.

I've always been kind of a mentor thruout my real estate career, both to other agents, and to buyers and sellers. Education is always part of the process whenever I'm working with buyers or sellers, and truly, while our legal responsibility is to represent the best interests of our clients, I also consider what I do to be a form of mentoring with my clients. Real estate isn't 'just driving around neighborhoods all day long', it's hard work, rewarding work, and sometimes, very emotional work.

As a real estate agent with more than 20 years of experience, I feel that many consumers are getting information that isn't always correct from their internet passions. There are many sources of information, and certainly, the internet is the first place many of us turn to when we need to research just about anything. But - the internet is only part of the equation to making a good decision.

It's a lot of fun to be able to talk with people all over the country, and to read what my fellow agents and business associates have to say - but I also want to help buyers and sellers understand how a good agent can really help them. Buying a home DIY isn't for everyone; there is a lot at stake, both financially, and in terms of nuiances of quality of life.

We're coming out of one of the most severe recessions since the 1930's depresssion, and not to sound trite ... but today, more than ever, buyers and sellers will do well to ask lots of questions, and find a good real estate agent to be their trusted advisor. I definitely believe that a caring, intelligent and skilled real estate agent can mean the world of difference to any real estate transaction.
1 vote
Bill Brannon, , Hilton Head Island, SC
Fri Mar 7, 2008
It beats waiting for Godot!

Bill Brannon
1 vote
Melanie Nard…, , San Francisco, CA
Thu Jan 10, 2008
Thanks, Seattle!
In my case it's all 3, but the best is that I also learn from all the other professionals here. Thanks everybody!
1 vote
Rhonda Porter, , Seattle, WA
Thu Jan 10, 2008
All the above and it's just good karma. I'm not a real estate agent, however I am a mortgage professional with my own blog. It's just part of hopefully helping out a few consumers and sharing your knowledge. If you do what's good to others freely without expectatons, you never know what good may come in return.

Inman News just posted an article about your question in their blog...I'm linking it below for your reference. I'm almost wondering if your question spurred this post to be written!
1 vote
Joe Spake, , Memphis, TN
Mon Dec 10, 2007
Of course, all 3, BUT i find that a majority of consumers are misinformed about what REALTORS really do and their value in the real estate transaction. Knowledge always gives you an edge in any endeavor, and that is why i take my time reading and responding in Trulia Voices, reading numerous real estate and financially oriented blogs, as well as networking with online colleagues. I am happy to answer questions and give insights.
Web Reference:  http://www.spake.com
1 vote
Jessica Klein, , New Rochelle, NY
Mon Dec 10, 2007
Hi Nikeshp,
Great question...I like to think to think people are doing it for the greater good of the community. The info is out there and the next generation of buyers is tech savvy and uses forums like these to communicate for everything. As a realtor, I've learned so much from trulia voices and I love hearing the different answers and ideas other professionals have. This is a great place to bounce ideas around and to ask those burning questions you might not ask in your office. To me this forum is far more telling of real estate around the country than the media.

Besides, it really gets addicting! :)
1 vote
Diary Of A R…, , New York, NY
Mon Dec 10, 2007
I wrote a real estate book that is of interest to homebuyers and realtors, and I have found answering Q&As like this one is a good way to let people know that the book exists.

Plus, I like reading other agents' answers; it's like painless continuing ed.

Since my leads all tend to be referrals, that makes me #2, a brand-builder, I guess.

Alison Rogers
author, "Diary of a Real Estate Rookie"
Insider Real Estate Tips with a Twist of Humor: http://tinyurl.com/2ag28z
Web Reference:  http://tinyurl.com/2ag28z
1 vote
Francesca Pa…, , Monmouth Cty NJ
Mon Dec 10, 2007
Realtors are competitiors by nature . . . while some like to help, others prefer to compete for the "Top Voices" spot rather than playing online poker (I prefer poker) .

I'm with Duke, I'm dumbfounded how/why someone would answer question that could potentially be a future liability to their business.

Oh, and watch the TD's on this post go up, up, up! Reality bites!
Web Reference:  http://www.PatrizioRE.com
1 vote
Samuel Hilbe…, , Woodinville, WA
Sun Dec 9, 2007
I personally really like all of the answer below. There are so many factors involved in my reason to join Trulia and work actively in it. I have learned so much from reading answers and threads on here. I personally have a lot to learn...especially when it comes to the mortgage industry so really enjoy reading questions on here that pertain to that topic. However, I do not usually post on those threads becaues frankly, I do not consider myself well versed in the mortgage industry.

However, when I can contribute to the Trulia community and to my local community I love to. One of my passions is to be actively involved in my local community and this is just one what that I work to accomplish that. I am glad to see more and more people in this region beginning to embrace that so that our local information will grow better.

Yes, I do have selfish reasons for being on here to. Honestly, I do post my website at the bottom each time which is an indicator that I want leads....it also helps my website gain in popularity and in search engines....this is just another avenue for me to do that.

But, no....that is not my primary motivation. Trulia has not brought me any business in the past and I really doubt that it will in the future...however, it has helped me in the building of my business in more ways than I could ever describe.
Web Reference:  http://www.agentsamuel.com
1 vote
Duke Hayes, Agent, Vancouver, WA
Sun Dec 9, 2007
Hi Nikeshp,

For me it's all of the above and more. Please join us and add your expertise. But PLEASE don't be like many that answer questions about local issues if your not local to the question. I believe there are respondants here that do so just to gain position and don't have any clue as to the nature of the question. As an example, I have had questions forwarded to me that have asked questions about specific addresses or neighborhoods only to find someone from across the country gave a generic response that had no bearing on the question. This does nothing for the credibility of the customer, this forum or the respondant. Please do join us and add to all our knowledge and your personal success.

1 vote
Donald J. Le…, Other Pro, Tacoma, WA
Sun Dec 9, 2007
I agree with Todd...,

Personally I love to help people and probably should have been a Minister as I was trained to do.., or a teacher. Neither get paid much in general, with some exceptions naturally. :) Its also a way to learn.

Take care,
1 vote
Todd Norsted, Agent, Maple Grove, MN
Sun Dec 9, 2007

One of the reasons why we are all in this business is our love for people and helping them! That, three possible answers and probably a love for the business has all that answer questions answering them!

:-) Thanks, Todd
Web Reference:  http://www.toddnorsted.com
1 vote
Wendy Hughes…, , Seattle, WA
Tue Jan 22, 2013
I like seeing what kinds of questions people are asking - the market is always changing and it brings up new questions. I have a previous background in property management so I have answered questions for people who are moving to Seattle for a job and need help finding a rental. The Craigslist way of finding a place to live, especially when you are on the other side of the country, just doesn't cut it (even when you are local). Too much competition. So I see my mission is to help people get relocated and into a rental in a community they are going to enjoy in SAFE AND SANE manner. It doesn't pay hardly any money, but a couple hundred bucks for my expertise via email is something i don't mind. Ironically, my husband is now considering a job in California - and the first thing I did was reach out to real estate agents I know down there and I have been working with someone for 6 weeks over email - not taking up too much time, but I am flying down there in a couple weeks and she is picking me up at the airport and going to take me to see some rentals in person. I would do the same if someone was coming from another state and needed my time and expertise. Honestly most agents won't take the time to do rentals since the paycheck is so small. But there are some of us out there, all you have to do is ask!
0 votes
Mack McCoy, Agent, Seattle, WA
Sun Nov 29, 2009
There are correct answers, and and they're correct whether we're trying to improve our station or not!

Many of us are local experts, regardless of how narrowly-spread our fame may be.

Ultimately, things in life work better when people have the correct answers.
0 votes
Linda Carroll…, , Lacey, WA
Mon Jul 7, 2008
I like to see what the consumers are asking, to stay current with their understanding and concerns as the media churns out market information & mis-information.

I like to read the other agent's posts. I also like learning how things are done in other parts of the world.

I like it when I can answer a question. It makes me feel good, and it is good practice for knowing how to answer my clients.

It helps me to "think like a client."

Sometimes I get a little lonely, and its a way to reach out and connect.

I might meet an agent online to whom I would like to send referrals.

It would be great if this did lead to some leads! But mostly it seems to be gratis. That's OK, I like it!

Warm thoughts to all! Linda
0 votes
Neeti Chauhan, Agent, Sugar Land, TX
Mon Jul 7, 2008
We are the experts. You want the experts to answer your questions about the real estate.
0 votes
Kathy Schultz, , Spokane, WA
Mon May 26, 2008
I am new to Trulia.....but I am jumping in to answer any questions or be of assistance to anyone. I don't usually "join" many outside activities because I am busy selling homes, but I like this site.....I like the interaction and I can do it in the middle of the night! It's interesting to find out what others think. Take for example, the guy from Topeka who hates FHA loans... FHA has not been the loan of choice in our area for several years, but is coming back into favor. 24 years ago, when I got into the business, it was nearly the only choice. VA loans were asking for 6-10 discount points, their appraisals were nightmares....and conventional loans were difficult unless you had a 10% downpayment. We still sold real estate! The pendulum is swinging back again. We are seeing more owner contracts and creative ways to structure a transaction. 20 years ago we predominantly represented the seller...regardless of whether we had the sellers or the buyers. Now we have a choice.

I personally like the way things are going in my community. We still have a vibrant real estate market and we have good, qualified buyers. We have 4000 active MLS listings......but we also have over 1000 pending sales.

Thanks Trulia for giving me a new voice. And thanks to those people out there who need me! (smiling)

Kathy Pierson-Schultz Exit Real Estate-Jones & Associates Spokane, WA 509-270-2133
0 votes
Pieter Salve…, Agent, Seattle, WA
Wed Mar 5, 2008
Let me know if you find a real estate agent who does not like to talk! I agree with much of what has been said in earlier posts, but would place particular emphasis on the aspect of learning from one another. When I was a teacher, I found a tremendous amount of wisdom while joining conversations in the teacher's lounge. It was great to hear how other more experienced teachers had dealt with a similar situation or to simply hear a different approach. Granted we are all trying to create more business, but we are also trying to get better at what we do, and I feel this is a great resource for sharing what we know and learning.
0 votes
Rob Graham, Agent, Seattle, WA
Wed Mar 5, 2008
Yes, yes and yes. Although I think you have it in the reverse order. I would also like to add a few. I know that I have been reading many other agents responses to questions I didn't have an intelligent response for. In that way, I am improving my own knowledge and getting a feel for what other agents feel on a topic. The other reason is, if I am completely honest, Realtors love to talk about real estate. In the office or on line, we love to chat about our feelings on everything real estate and this is just one more opportunity.
0 votes
Anni Zilz, Agent, Mercer Island, WA
Wed Feb 6, 2008
I agree with all of the answers here. I love you exercise what I know and how I can help. I love real estate and any chance I get to share my knowledge is great. I also love to hear from other agents and I learn from their responses. Thanks for the opportunity.
0 votes
Laura Grace, Agent, Pittsboro, NC
Sun Jan 20, 2008
I believe that most of us could agree that there are several reasons to participate. For a long time I just read information from the site, and then I realized that I too had experience and knowledge that could be helpful.
Most Real Estate agents honestly enjoy helping people and I think many of us will be able to admit, that we hope one day a question will come our way, and the asker might become interested in establishing a relationship with us.
Web Reference:  http://www.LGRealtor.com
0 votes
J R, , New York, NY
Sun Jan 20, 2008
4. I spend a lot of time working on a computer, and I like to read and post on message boards. as a break from my work.
0 votes
Terri Vellios, Agent, Campbell, CA
Thu Jan 17, 2008
Ditto times three. It also gives me a pulse on what interest the consumer and helps me to be a better agent. I've been taking college classes vs on line towards my broker license because the exchange of ideas offers so much more than text book.

The main reason I got into real estate was to help people and this ads to that. And I too believe, it's good karma.
Web Reference:  http://www.terrivellios.com
0 votes
Lisa Harring…, Agent, Centralia, WA
Thu Jan 17, 2008
PASSION!!!! Even when we're not at work, we LOVE to talk about real estate!!!! :)
0 votes
Spokane Real…, , Spokane, WA
Mon Jan 14, 2008
All this Expertise and no where to put it! No, I think forums are great and the key is hopefully the questions get answers and if there is help needed the consumer gets more choices to choose from then just picking someone from a magazine. I think it's great to here the insight and evaluate the people as to who you might want to use.
Web Reference:  http://www.TeamQuintana.com
0 votes
Artur Urbans…, Agent, Burlingame, CA
Sun Dec 9, 2007
Hi Nikeshp,
I believe that the #2 is the key motivator, but all of them are factors. There other reasons as well, such as learning from colleagues in and out of state. I
Web Reference:  http://www.cimpler.com
0 votes
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