Every week, we ask a Houston real estate professional for their thoughts on the top three stories from the week before. This week, we spoke with Brian Simpson, Realtor at RE/MAX Westside.
Houston Agent (HA): Personal branding is an important part of staying relevant in your immediate market, but a recent study discovered that several agents and Realtors let grammar and punctuation fall to the wayside in advertising materials. How concerned about writing accuracy are you and have you noticed similar issues in your market? Do you think it hurts their position as a real estate professional?
Brian Simpson (BS): As far as accuracy, as far as punctuation and grammar are concerned, 75 to 85 percent of agents I come into contact with have trouble writing in complete sentences. It definitely diminishes your professionalism. I take the time to make sure my materials are accurate. It’s funny, right here next to my community there’s a huge sign that says, “Award-winning Tomball Schools,” and “Tomball” is misspelled. They spent probably $3,000 on this huge sign and then they misspelled a key word. How does that happen?
HA: As we all know, 2014 has been off to a slow start, but April marked the end, at least momentarily, of that luck when existing-home sales finally went up. Some believe this to be nothing more than an expected jump, but others in the industry argue this is only the beginning of a new trend. Do you think April was the beginning of a return to stability in your market, or does your experience tell you otherwise?
BS: Well, the market in Houston has been trending up for the last year or so. This is the hottest real estate market we’ve seen since ’05, ’06 or ’07. I mean, this is the hottest market we’ve had in seven years.
HA: One of our most popular articles last week covered the potentially positive impacts negative reviews could have on your business, saying they were inevitable, help to generate discussions and tend to instill more trust in customers – who appreciate seeing both the good and bad. If and when you’ve received a negative review, how did you handle it?
BS: To be candid, I’m not sure I even have reviews. I’m sure there are; I’m sure they’re out there. I’ve seen a couple on Yelp, but that’s about it. I don’t know that I’ve ever had a lot of negative reviews; I just don’t pay a lot of attention to it. I work almost 100 percent from my previous clients, so I figure if they’re not happy with me they’re not going to send me new customers. But they do continue to send me people, so that’s a positive review in my opinion. As far as on the Internet, I don’t solicit for good reviews or anything like that. I don’t want anyone to be dissatisfied with my service. If you do a great job with someone and they’re happy with you, they might or might not tell someone. But if you don’t do a job well the client is going to tell everyone they know.