Detroit Agents: Lazy or Scared?

15 Replies

Has anyone else -- investors, agents, owner occupants -- observed that many listings in the Metro Detroit area do not do an adequate job in marketing their properties?

Sometimes you'll see a proper Detroit area listing: exterior & interior photos with an adequate description. That just seems to be the norm in >99% of homes listed in all areas of the US.

Other times, which seems like a norm for sub $100k listings, you might have an exterior frontal pic and maybe a few lines in description. But nothing like what you'll see elsewhere. If you ask the agent for additional photos, they say they don't have the photos, suggest your agent takes them, or wants you to pay for them.

To be clear, I'm not talking about $1,000.00 REOs that have been gutted or target practice for Molotov cocktails, but decent looking homes in decent areas where the agent just doesn't seem to want to put in the work.

So, are we looking at: 1) agents are too scared to go to some of these neighborhoods or 2) agents are just lazy and not as little as possible to close the deal or 3) something I'm missing?

a lot of the reo listing agents are complacent. They have the relationships to get the listings and they often don't care any more than the banks asset managers do what something sells for as long as they go through their bureaucratic process that "proves" that they're working. Of course they could sell their assets for more if they hired diligent and hungry agents but they're riding a gravy train of other people's money so who cares. I too was astonished by this when I first got here. There are lazy agents everywhere but it does seem more prevalent here.

If you're looking in the city of Detroit there will indeed be other factors too.

well in all fairness to the agents if its in Detroit the agents want to get out of there. They also don't want to be flashing a smart phone or digital camera.

My nephew has been an agent for less than 8 months. I told him most agents in this area are terrible and do a bad job. I told him to not reinvent the wheel just be better than them.

Return Emails

Return phone calls

take better pictures

Answer the questions of the clients.

If you don't know the answer, tell them you will get the answer. Do just guess or say "I don't know"

know the areas in which you are do business in.

He has been kicking ***. Getting some nice checks every week it seems.

Seems simple to me but it appears that most agents act like they are doing us a favor. Most of them are idiots

"most agents act like they are doing us a favor"... well said.

Agents who use Gmaps street view photos are my personal fav. Just under that are those who won't take a single interior photo but say "will make a nice income property."

Seems many agents, not all of course, but many are too lazy for mediocrity.

It's definitely not exclusive to the motor city but I see where you're coming from indeed...

Kudos,

Mary

Agents ARE doing you a favor by helping you with these properties.

How much money do you think agents are making on these sub 50k houses? Those houses are a headache to deal with, for peanut rewards (pre-commission split! pre-tax!)

The mindset is simple: spend as little time as possible, as little gas as possible, as little effort as possible on those homes. Squeezing 10% more money on a 50k house MIGHT afford you enough extra commission to go eat at McDonalds. If you don't have kids.

Originally posted by @Account Closed :
Agents ARE doing you a favor by helping you with these properties.

How much money do you think agents are making on these sub 50k houses? Those houses are a headache to deal with, for peanut rewards (pre-commission split! pre-tax!)

The mindset is simple: spend as little time as possible, as little gas as possible, as little effort as possible on those homes. Squeezing 10% more money on a 50k house MIGHT afford you enough extra commission to go eat at McDonalds. If you don't have kids.

I'm sorry but agents aren't doing anyone any favors by poorly marketing properties. This is the profession then have chosen and the customers they have chosen to represent. If they don't want the listing, they can say no.

If its about time and effort, I would argue taking more photos would be less time consuming and take less effort than responding to calls and showings that result in a customer immediately being turned off from the property. Show me photos of everything in the house, if I call then you know I am really interested.

@ Patrick,

Couldn't disagree more. Money is no excuse for piss poor effort. If that's the case, find a new profession.

As for help... what help? A Gmaps street map pic in the listing, no interior photos, inaccurate or misleading property description, unanswered emails/calls?

Call me a dinosaur or a person with ethics, but if an agent makes a single dollar after marketing a property so poorly, they're overpaid. Esp when their halfa$$ effort causes 1 or multiple price reductions b/c they're too lazy to do the work. (If they're scared to venture to the property, that's another matter.)

Full disclosure, their laziness is in my benefit b/c I will do the work to find the hidden gems, but this attitude of "put in as little work as possible as long as I can get paid" is, in my opinion, why Big D is in the situation it's in now.

There is a difference between being incompetent and managing your time and money (establishing priorities).

Not a single agent in the US is going to spend 100% of their time and money marketing your property (unless maybe it's a 100 million listing).

Now that we've established that it's all about managing your resources, do you honestly believe the agent is going to spend the same time / marketing effort with a $50k listing than a $500k listing? If you do, you're being unrealistic. The agent isn't your employee and isn't a charity.

Money is a very strong excuse for lower effort when it comes to these low priced homes - until you start paying for your advertising and give us $250/hour like attorneys.

With that attitude, why "give" you [agents] any money at all? Esp when it's so easy to do FSBOs.

Because HUD has a minimum commission on low price homes, most agents will pocket around $600 (after all splits, including their brokers share) on the sale. Two sales/week x 50/weeks =~$60000. That should be worth a little effort in my opinion. especially for the listing agent, now the buyers agent, yes, it is a bit more for the same $600, but still if each sale requires 20 hrs. of work, that still works out to $60K/yr. $60K is twice the average income in Detroit according to the city's web-site.

That's hilarious. You guys are so biased against agents you're oblivious to reality.

Even assuming your scenario (which is realistic in some areas and completely unrealistic in others), you don't include any expenses such as taxes, gas, dues, signs, advertisement, administrative support etc.

So on one hand you fantasize about the 4 hour work week, but you want your agent to work 60 hours a week for 30k per year.

Yes.. they are doing you a massive favor.

I'm closing on a house soon that had six photos - all on the exterior. I see this once in a while and it's very annoying. Who needs six outside pics and none inside? Ridiculous! I was expecting the inside to be a mess, but it looks even better than the exterior.

I choose not to work with seller or buyers who do not see value in what I do for commercial transactions.

A partnership is a two way street to meet a common goal. There are unrealistic sellers, buyers, and brokers/agents.

When the expectations don't match up to what was said verbally or in writing that's when the finger pointing starts to happen.

With what I do it's more about the numbers so it's a world of difference from residential. To the brokers/agents doing 50,000 house deals LEARN how to move up to larger deals where you make more money with knowledge and experience.

If your life isn't how you want it only YOU can do something to change it.

I just want to say that agents listing homes half heartedly with a "put in as little work as possible as long as I get paid" mentality is surely not the reason Detroit is in the current position it is. Seeing that this is a real estate conversation I won't dive in to the politics that have Detroit facing catastrophic failure. Keep in mind though there is a lot of money being invested in this city and it is not because the investors are idiots. I've had listings in Detroit, and I don't mind taking all the pictures of the interior and exterior I can because at the end of the day we owe a fiduciary responsibility to our clients and I take pride in my work so I want my listing to look better than the one down the block. With that being said, I do not want anymore listings or investments in the "slums" of Detroit, its just not worth it. Detroit is a very tricky area and it literally is a case by case situation or block by block I should say, I don't even get gas in certain areas of Detroit, that's just the nature of the beast. Other areas I would love to own property or work there, you just have to do your homework and know where you go. Also, there is a knock on agents country wide for not answering their phones or following up with clients, its not just a regional thing; nevertheless, it is unacceptable and it definitely sheds a negative light on agents. In the day and age of Zillow, Trulia, Gmaps etc, the average person may feel an agent is an unnecessary expense. I know I did before I became one. Now I know much better. Lol

@Alton Williams

I think the big difference is a real estate agent that treat it as a profession, and takes pride to give his client the best possible service versus a real estate agent that treats like a job. A true professional real estate agent is worth his(her) weight in gold, where a shoddy real estate agent can cost the buyer a lot of time and money. The trick is finding the right one. And yes, it is nationwide (probably worldwide).

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