Friday, January 30, 2009

Email Listing Agents

So now you can email the listing agent directly from the listing.


This is in beta mode and will be removed if people abuse it. (which I am close to doing).

I strongly recommend AGAINST EVER contacting the listing agent, (Yes I know it is counterintuitive, read this).

But I offer it anyhow. Why? Because I want to make the site as open as possible. If a buyer wants to shoot himself in the foot... I wannna be the one giving them the crossbow.

Since I respect email addresses, Unlike MRIS which helps promote spam, all emails are hidden from not only the html, but also the actual email that is sent will hide the agent's email in the BCC (otherwise spam cultivators can click 100 pages and grab all the "to" emails).

I do get a BCC of the emails to make sure you all don't abuse it.

Here are some recent dumb questions.

1) "Would it be possible to schedule a viewing of the home?"

This was asked to a listing agent for an REO that just hit today. Yeah right, they don't reply to buyer agents, so why they gonna reply to you. And no, they don't even care enough to put more than 1 photo, they aren't going to email you back.

2) "can you send more info about this property like floor plans, options, closing cost assistance"

Um, no. They won't. If they had that info and they cared, they would have put it in the listing. Do not expect a reply.

3) "What is the status of the home? Is it under contract or still available."

What part of the remarks did not make sense that said "Bank has already accepted offer".

4) "I think we'd like to take a look at this property. Could you email me a plat, and any other photos, particularly of the barn, run-in, and fence? Any interior photos would be great, too. I'll check your website to see if any are there. We are seeing a place on Saturday already... maybe Sunday, or coming week?"

You maybe had them until you said "We are seeing a place on Saturday already". That usually means "I have a buyers agent". To which the listing agent will reply "why you bugging me, get your agent to show you."

5) "I would be interested in seeing this property. Please reply to my email address."

That is the buyer agents job. This will tick off the listing agent.

6) "My fiance and I were interested in taking a look at this house this weekend. We are relocating to the DC area this spring. Would we be able to look at it on Sunday morning?"

This is a bank property. You will not get a reply. Also it says "BANK HAS VERBALLY APPROVED ON LISTING PRICE," Was that not clear? Come on people. I really need to remove this feature.

7) "I am interested in this home.We need to sell the home we have now first. "

Translation: "I am a sucker." And yes, that was the entire email.

8) "Just wanted to let you know that the list price for LO6969184 most assuredly was inadvertantly entered with an extra zero. You may want to update MLS with the correct information. It is currently listed at $4,499,000."

Finally! A decent email to a listing agent.

9) "I'm interested in a rent-to-own situation. What terms is the seller considering? "

Rent to Own is for suckers, any good buyer agent would tell you that. They do not exist. It should be called... why don't you just rent and buy next year?

10) "Hello! Is this listing still available? You can either email me at the above address or call 410.5555550. Thanks so much!"

What part of "Under Contract" was not clear?

11) "We are working with a realtor- Is this home completed? Are there photos of the completed home?"


12) "Do you think that in the near future you will submit more than the six pictures. It is impossible to get an idea of what this lovely home has to offer with so few photos on a 21000 sq ft home. Can we get more soon..Please!!! I have an agent but I saw this online. "

NO! If the agent is so lazy as to only take 6 photos, AND you have your own agent... can you say DELETE.

13) "Interested in viewing X AAAAAA Ct in XXX. Will be in Area Saturday Jan 31st. Can I set up an appt? "

This is REO, you will not get a reply.

14) "I am very interested in this house based on it's description and curb appeal. Is there any way you could email me pictures of the inside of the house, so I can decide if I'd like to take a closer look? "

Yeah right. 80 days on the market. They have only 1 photo... yet that sucky agent is going to somehow take photos for you? Yeah right.

15) "Hi i am a first time buyer. i was wondering if you have already sold this house an if not what i can do to see about purchasing "

Ouch. Can you can the wolf and little red riding hood?

16) "What is the absolute minimum the sellers would consider? "


17) "iss it possible to get pics aand more info. on this prop......condition,.... "


18) "Hello i stay 5 min away and i am looking for a new house please call me i would love to see this house thank you for your time. "

Home was under contract.

19) "I came across this listing and wanted to ensure that it was in fact off the market. If not, I would appreciate a call / email back as I would like to get more details. I am in the market and would be willing to move quickly should it be available and meet my requirements. "

Again, a question for a buyer agent.

So there you have it. These were not cherry picked, just everyday questions.

So should I turn off this feature? Or make it harder to click?



  1. To post email address or not to post email address... that is the question.

    My experience says that the new generations of buyers entering the market expect access to information from somebody, anybody, via email, or text. (IM has followed the dinosaurs into extinction)

    Stupid questions.

    Do we choose to give snappy answers to stupid questions? I do when I am busy or grumpy.

    Then I thought, "What if I ask a better question?"

    How about, "Are you open to coaching?"

    Folks who are asking stupid questions are groping blind, on hands and knees, into our real estate world that we agents know so well.

    I have been flying for 28 years as a private pilot. When folks find out that I fly for fun, you should hear some of the goofy questions preceded by, "Somebody told me that..."

    Many folks would love to learn how to fly, just as newcomers to the market would love to own a home.

    I suffer the silly questions about flying because I love flying, and I know what it's like to be on the outside looking in...

    So when folks outside real estate looking in, wanting to know more about our world through questions, I have a choice:

    Do I want to answer a stupid question with a snappy answer?


    Do I want to strike up a conversation that might lead to helping some nice folks find their way with my help as their agent they choose?

    Selling isn't telling... it's helping folks make choices.

  2. Although I've never used the feature, I do like it because it shows me patterns when it comes to listing agents. For example, certain agents seem to specialize in certain areas, and some areas are dominated by a small number of listing agents and/or realty companies. I certainly wouldn't object to a warning banner being placed on the email page, but I think that restricting the information is somewhat anathema to what you're trying to do here - provide potential buyers with all the data they could possibly want.

  3. judging from your list of questions above, most seem to be for the Buyer's Agent to answer or are just a waste of time.. coaching can help but you're still going against the odds. Odds are they will ask something that will frustrate the listing agent. i'd remove it.

  4. I hear ya! I plan to write a more in depth blog called Don't F-in Call The Listing Agent. What do ya think?