By Rich Rodenburg, Nebraska Home Sales Realtor
As many know, I started, owned and ran a couple of bicycle shops for 25 years. When I had the opportunity to start a Real Estate company, I did, and overlapped both businesses for a short time. It became obvious that I loved my new venture (and was pretty good at it), so I sold the shops. I learned a lot in those decades.
Big box stores became an increasing threat to bicycle and accessory sales. The Internet also became a force to reckon with. From the beginning, I understood the importance of selling the sport, and the business would follow. I also learned quickly that keeping overhead and prices down certainly helped. What became most apparent was that offering excellent service was king. Discount stores and online outlets were able to compete with my prices; none could compare with the service we could provide.
I carried this over to my new company and career helping folks buy and sell their homes. First, charge fair prices for the service, promote home ownership, and mostly, provide superior service.
There are always rumors of do-it-yourself real estate companies threatening to enter our market, but at what cost to the buying and selling public? I hope we have educated folks on the importance of using a Realtor over trying to do it alone. We may someday also need to educate our friends about how it is not just the powerful Multiple Listing Service (MLS) that adds value to our services; it is so many other things we do that exact a successful drama-free sale. We help value the properties, we advise on preparing the home to show well, we ride herd on buyers’ (and their lenders’) ability to acquire a loan. We guide and advise our clients through the inspection process. We hold hands throughout the closing process, making sure contingencies are addressed and agreements are valid. And so much more.
Do things get a little messy at moments? Sure. When they do, and we plow through with success, it underlines how important our profession is, and how ugly things can get when people are un- (or under) represented. Bottom line. Shop price and Choose Service.