The term marketing is a bit of a grey area when used in real estate. When are marketing efforts focused on selling your home, and when is marketing intended to promote the realtor? In our opinion, calling oneself the ‘neighbourhood specialist’ is one particular marketing ploy that carries misconceptions.
Calling oneself the ‘neighbourhood specialist’ is considered self-promotion
The ‘neighbourhood specialist’ in Calgary usually promotes him or herself in one or a few communities with promotion on bus benches, with flyers in mailboxes, advertising in community papers, and participating in, or even sponsoring or organizing community events. However, in our opinion, this type of advertising is driven to promote the realtor and give the appearance they actively do business in that community.
A realtor does not have to live in a community to sell a home faster or for more money
Most buyers bring their own agent, not the ‘neighbourhood specialist’
In Calgary, we call them ‘double enders’; when a realtor lists the house and sells it to an unrepresented buyer, and thus ‘double ends’ the transaction. In Calgary these ‘double enders’ are rare these days. The fact is that more than 95 percent of all transactions take place with two realtors: a selling realtor and a buying realtor. This way there is no conflict of interest.
However, despite what many people believe, this means that the listing realtor is not bringing you the buyer for your home. The promotion of your home is basically in the hands of the buying realtor who works in the best interest of the buyer. In the rare chance that the sale is a ‘double ender’, 9 out of 10 times the buyer is not known to the realtor, or in this case to the ‘neighbourhood specialist’.
Glossy flyers from the specialist don’t sell your home
The glossy flyers in your mailbox from the ‘neighbourhood specialist’ are not to sell your house, rather they may be promoting that realtor. These flyers may show some homes for sale in the community. However, a potential buyer for your home, most likely, lives outside the community where this flyer is not delivered.
Realtors are allowed to advertise homes for sale from other agents
Competing in your own neighborhood
Another aspect which, in our opinion, may be overlooked is that the ‘neighbourhood specialist’, as a result of efficient marketing, may have more listings in the same community. This means that your home is in competition with the other homes that are for sale in your area by the same agent. In the rare event that a potential buyer is unrepresented by a buying realtor, and does call the listing realtor with the request to view one home, this agent may also show the other homes s/he has listed in the same area or community. As a seller, this is not in your best interest.
The ‘neighbourhood specialist’ did serve a purpose about 30 years ago
Pre-internet the neighbourhood specialist was really the specialist
Why does a realtor calls oneself the ‘neighbourhood specialist’ today?
So why does this ‘neighborhood specialist’ still exist, and why are there so many in Calgary? Simply because it is a way of marketing oneself as a realtor. Most businesses, no matter what kind, focus on a certain market or segment, and realtors aren’t any different. The ‘neighbourhood specialist’ puts all marketing dollars in one segment, in this case one community by ‘farming’ that community with flyers, ads on bus benches, and hosting community events etc. The more you see a name, the more likely you are to call that name when you want to list your home.
However, statistically, in most cases the true percentage of listings a ‘neighborhood specialist’ has are a few percent, a lot less than most people may think. This Calgary realtor actually did some research on neighborhood specialists and their performances. He came to the conclusion that 3 ‘neighhourhood specialists’ combined only did 5.6% of all transactions in that area.
The ‘neighbourhood specialist’ also transacts sales in other communities or even outside Calgary
Most realtors transact in all communities and surrounding towns
Just to give you a sense about ourselves; we have successfully helped clients buy and sell properties in over 110 communities within Calgary, as well as in Airdrie, Cochrane, Chestermere, Olds, Canmore and Bragg Creek.
Does this sound familiar? “I may know a buyer for your home”.
What criteria is there to use in choosing a realtor, besides the ‘neighbourhood specialist’?
Realtors have access to all data and stats needed to price a home correctly
The misconception about the ‘neighbourhood specialist’
The ‘neighbourhood’ specialist may imply s/he knows more about the community and therefore will have better results in selling a home in a particular community. Yet, we believe that pricing and negotiation skills, communication skills and honesty are more important in a realtor. This is not to imply that the ‘neighbourhood specialist’ does not have these traits, but merely to mention that a realtor does not have to live or work in a community to get better results in selling a home.
Also read about the reality of the slogan “Your home sold in 90 days or we will buy it”
Please note: The above is general information and not considered legal advice. We do our best to write informative articles about real estate in Calgary, Alberta. If you have any questions or concerns about our comments, please feel free to contact us or speak to your legal advisor.