It has only been 6 months since our office started operations in the Hamptons and I can tell you that this market is in desperate need of an overhaul and a shift in perspective from both consumers and real estate agents.
First I would love to know what has been done to create the most distrusting pool of buyers and sellers that I have ever come across? It is mind boggling that most of those who we are meeting have not only a distrust of the industry as a whole but a pure disdain for real estate professionals in general. In just a short time speaking with buyers and sellers, we have a clearer concept of what the consumer believes is wrong with the Hamptons residential real estate market.
Here are just a few things:
- PROBLEM: The “collecting” of listings – it seems common practice in the Hamptons for some agents to share a philosophy of just listing as much property as they possibly can at any cost with the hope of maybe selling some of it. SOLUTION: Consider doing sellers a service by pricing their properties accurately and actually selling them.
- PROBLEM: Empty promises – In the 6 months since we started operating in the Hamptons, I would go out on a limb and say that 99% of the sellers whom we have met have shared that they have been promised the world only to feel forgotten once they signed an exclusive agreement. SOLUTION: Only promise what you can deliver and please honor your word.
- PROBLEM: Questionable loyalty – We have also met numerous owners who have suggested that once offers have been submitted, their agent became a bully trying to get them to accept bids as much as 20-30% below market. Can you say desperation? SOLUTION: A reminder…as the seller’s agent, you are their ADVOCATE and need to be armed with the necessary information to support your asking price…hard to do if you have overpriced to begin with (see “collecting” of listings)
- PROBLEM: Lack of rules and guidelines – It seems to us that most East end agents avoid the MLS like the plague. This is mind boggling as more exposure can only be good for an owner. I can only imagine that there is a reluctance to be on MLS because then you are bound by MLS rules and guidelines…OH NOOOOOO!!!! Listing on the MLS also allows the property to be syndicated globally on a variety of real estate web sites. SOLUTION: List on the MLS for maximum exposure for your owner.
- PROBLEM: Fear of change – Agents who don’t put the consumer first are a dying breed. It is not YOUR house. It is theirs! SOLUTION: Embrace change and your customer. Have the mindset that you must always do what is right for your customer. Don’t have a transactional view of your profession focusing only on the commission for that particular sale but rather embrace a relationship approach to selling real estate that will keep people coming back to you because of the ways you run your business.
- PROBLEM: Proprietary information – data and information are everywhere and one of the last places in the world to embrace this fact seems to be The Hamptons. It is NOT in your sellers best interest for you to perceive their home as proprietary information for which you will CONTROL every aspect of dissemination. SOLUTION: Share with EVERYONE. Those who have surrendered to the fact that they are no longer gatekeepers of information but rather consultants who must help their customers make sense of the market and ADD value to a transaction will rise to the top.
For the agents who are part of the solution, and there are many, bravo! For those who are the problem, embrace change or become a dinosaur.
The exciting part about the current inner-workings of this market is that fresh perspectives are gaining momentum and the disdain that the Hamptons consumer has for the real estate industry can and is being changed. I am watching it happen first hand and look forward to embracing and being part of market change which has never been so necessary.