An Open Letter To Our Industry

Written by Stonehouse

Kim Franklin, Principal Agent. Writer of the Blog and guides here at Stonehouse. For more, check out our people or give us a call.

17 July 2020

Dear Real Estate Industry,

The word ‘dear’ isn’t a term of endearment.

It describes what many people think of us.

Dear.

Expensive. Costly. Steep. Those were a few of the responses we received when we recently asked people to give their opinion of the real estate industry in one word. We could share some of their more brutal replies, but as this is an open letter, we’ll wait for a more confidential forum to show you what they really think of us.

That ‘describe us in one word’ exercise was so revealing and unsettling that it prompted us to write to you.

In most letters, the writer asks the reader how they are. But this time around, we’re writing to ask if we could be better—all of us. Right now, our standing with the public is so low that it seems it would be easier to salvage the Titanic than our collective reputation. We have to improve.

Let’s go back to that ‘dear’ word. This is one of the biggest issues our clients have with us. They think it’s hard to justify the commission they pay to a real estate agent, particularly in recent times when listings virtually sell themselves. Should it really cost that much to sell a property? That’s one of the big questions they’re asking about our industry, and we think they deserve an honest answer. In their eyes, though, honesty is not one of those singular words they associate with us.

You’re probably surprised to read that last paragraph, and even more surprised to receive this letter at all. We know we have fallen out with the industry in recent times, and much of that has to do with how we now operate. We’ve tried to distance ourselves from the mainstream as much as we can. For example, we operate as real estate consultants rather than salespeople or agents.

And, we don’t accept lazy commissions.

Instead, we offer a pay-for-what-you-use professional service without variation or fee escalation, regardless of a property’s sale value. We think it’s fair, and our clients think it’s about time.

We’re not saying we’re perfect, but we are trying to work in a way that brings some integrity back into the industry.

We know it will take more than one letter to change the way you operate and how people perceive our industry. But in writing this, we’re getting a lot off our chest, and we’re hopefully opening your eyes to what our clients actually think of us. They reckon we could do better. We agree.

Yours sincerely,

The Stonehouse Team

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