A long, long, long time ago, before the invention of the printing press and internet, knowledge was power. Those who were in-the-know leveraged their special access to information for personal and professional gain. Those without such information could only submit themselves to the expertise of the elite.
Times have changed. Information is widely available and accessible. Information is no longer power. In the new age of Relationship Marketing, relationship is power.
“Technology has enabled the transition into the new economy, but connections in the new economy are fueled by a focus on two specific aspects…” one of which, Seth Godin explains, is generosity. “Generosity is critical because no one wants to connect to the selfish person, or to the people that are only taking. Think always in terms of offering something of value to other people and they will willingly connect to you.”
Still, there are those who insist on using old methods in a new time. Some real estate agents continue to withhold critical information from a listing in effort to leverage power. Despite being obligated by industry standards (and the law) to provide such information, they omit such things as lot size, age of house, and other tidbits necessary for a CMHC mortgage approval. What these agents don’t know, is that it’s a tired, short-sighted trick, it annoys the daylights out of people, and it will cost them in the long run.
An investor client of mine echoes Seth Godin’s assertion, saying she won’t even look at properties where the information is clearly being withheld. She says of such agents, “We haven’t even met, and I feel manipulated. No thanks. There are hundreds of other properties to look at.” And she moves on to listings by more generous, cooperative-minded agents.
How It Makes Agents Look Dumb
Aside from irritating and repelling would-be buyers, the agents who employ such see-through tactics also risk damaging relationships with their peers. I have had to go many extra miles to find the information for my clients that these agents purposely leave out. I do it to serve my client well. But I shouldn’t have to. These agents are hired by the seller to do their job, and they sluff it. It sure bothers me when I have to do another agent’s job! Likewise, it irritates many other agents.
It’s a challenge to do a comparative market analysis to establish the value of a house when I don’t know what age house I am comparing it to.
Those who use these short-sighted tactics also risk torpedoing a buyer’s mortgage approval. CMHC has a four-hour turn around time for mortgage approvals … unless there is information missing from the application. Then the application gets tossed on the research pile, and all buyers, sellers, agents and lenders are left in limbo. All because of someone’s selfish sales ploy.
Why They Will Continue To Do It:
So why, on this green earth would an agent risk offending colleagues, sinking mortgage approvals, irritating would-be buyers, and looking dumb? One reason. Their hope is to double-end the deal. The logic goes something like this: if prospective buyers have to come directly to me for information (which I alone control), I will be the one to sign them, so will represent both buyer and seller, and keep the whole commission for myself. Hooray for me!!
I told you it was dumb…