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The Illusion of the Celebrity Agent

A short time ago, a past client referred me to friends for a possible listing. I met with the couple, and we hit it off right away. They seemed to genuinely appreciate my straightforward approach and selling strategy. 

And I loved their home! My mind was churning with marketing ideas. 

I knew they were going to meet with one more agent before making their final decision, and that’s perfectly fine. Of course! Gather all the information you need to make an intelligent decision.

That said, I was nervous because I knew the other agent was a well-known ‘Celebrity Agent’ who excels at marketing himself and his team. And, I must say, he’s a very amicable fellow whom I like very much on a personal level. 

But I really, really wanted that listing! It’s right in my wheelhouse, an exceptional home that allows me to showcase my talents as a marketing professional. I love getting to the core of what makes a particular property special. 

For example, here are a couple of videos from listings that we sold in April:

223 – 9 St NE

3224 – 27 St SW

Back to my story! Sadly, these folks decided to work with the other agent. I was bummed out about it, and honestly, I really believed I would have done a better job. But, of course, I wished them well, which was heartfelt. After all, I had made a solid connection with these folks and genuinely wanted the best for them.

Then I saw the listing. 

And my heart sank. 

The description was rambling, full of buzzwords and cliches, and far too long. It was painfully generic—as boring as a box of brown smarties.

You’d be surprised to learn (or maybe not) how many of these descriptions are written by ChatGPT or an assistant who has never even seen the property!

I can’t say with certainty that this is what happened, but I do know that the “writing” completely missed the mark in emphasizing this home’s exceptional features.

Then I looked at the pictures. 

As boring as cold apple pie with no ice cream.  

Yes, it was a professional photographer. But our industry now has dozens of photographers who are paid to get in and get out and charge as little as possible. Very few agents will buck up and pay a top-tier professional—like our Angela—for genuinely exceptional images.

Aside from the “okay” quality of the images, there were far too many of them, and some were doing more harm than good.

More isn’t always better! Using too many images—when half are nothing but filler—only dilutes the listing’s overall impact.

On top of the generally weak presentation, he also priced the property too high, further diluting the crucial impact of the first few days on the market. 

I watched the listing, and nothing happened. Then, there was a significant price drop. Still nothing. It’s now priced well below what I believe it would have sold for if I had listed it. 

And there it sits—a stunning and exceptional home in the hottest real estate market we’ve had for at least 20 years—still unsold as of this writing. 

Here’s the thing. Most people would see that listing and think the presentation was perfectly fine. That’s because they haven’t seen what it could have been.

Your brand-new Toyota looks great until you pull up beside a Maserati. Right?

Unfortunately, this agent either didn’t take the time or relied too heavily on his support staff for tasks he should have done himself.  

I rely on my team, too, but I rely on them (and hire them) for the skills they possess that are far superior to mine.

It’s still my job, and it always will be, to identify what factors make a particular property special and then determine how to market those attributes in the most compelling way possible. 

After 20 years of continuously striving to be the best at what I do, I’m at the top of my game right now, and I love this aspect of my work more than ever.

Building a powerful strategy, executing it, and delivering exceptional results, one listing at a time, makes me happy and drives me forward. 

I guess that’s why I’ll never be a Celebrity Agent!

I’d have to give up all the joy of what I do by spending too much time marketing myself and not enough being focused on marketing my client’s homes.