Weichert Realtors’ Lost Opportunity to Market Its Brand

Making Money the Old Fashion Way

Depending on your age you probably have seen the 1970’s Smith Barney commercial staring actor John Houseman. In the commercial Houseman in his authoritative  and moralistic sounding voice discounts the generic services being offered by the majority of the investment firms. In contrast Smith Barney did their homework, investigated the market and presented their clients with sound investment strategies. His catch phrase still permeates conversations about offering quality business services; “Smith Barney…they make money the old fashion way…they earn it.” Weichert should have followed Smith Barney’s corporate policy and done the necessary work to produce positive results. Instead Weichert and Ms. Bishop tried to make money off of 530 Myrtle Ave. by letting the Internet do all of the work. Unfortunately too many of today’s companies put too much faith into the Internet’s ability to drive business and not enough effort into earning their money.

The Jones brothers did not set out to a “make a killing” selling their childhood home. Their principal goal was two -fold; to eliminate any personal or estate liability as a result of their names being on the deed to the property and to plan how their property would pass upon their deaths. Weichert should have focused its energies and resources in helping the sellers reach this modest goal. In the end all this giant real estate concern had to do was to find one buyer ( I really mean only one) who would have offered to purchase the property for a reasonable sum of money and everyone would have been happy.

Ms. Bishop often stated that “we have time” to find a buyer. I disagreed with this statement. Not only is it insensitive towards the sellers it is simply fallacious. None of the parties to this professional relationship had the luxury of unlimited time. Importantly, Weichert only had 90 days to bring about a deal. Her statement worked against the pecuniary interests of her principal. For so many reasons this sale needed to have taken place sooner and not later. Weichert’s failure to generate any positive results and its never ending inventive meddlesome distractions only prolonged this process. Weichert is not part of a solution to the sellers’ problem; Weichert is the problem. There are not enough suitable words to adequately express my disappointment with Weichert’s services.

Too often real estate agents fail to build trust between themselves and their clients. This failure often leads to the deterioration of the professional relationship. Dr. Ernst Fehr, the Austrian world renowned economist and Director of the Institute for Empirical Research in Economics at the University of Zurich, sees a connection between economics and trust. In the introduction of his 2009 paper entitled “On the Economics and Biology of Trust” Dr. Fehr states:

“Trust plays a role in almost all human relationships. It permeates friendship relations, family relations, and economic relations. People rely on the support of their friends, children trust their parents, and sellers trust their buyers to pay the bill. Thus, intuitively speaking, a social scientist has good reason to be interested in “trust” as a concept. Trust also seems particularly important in economic exchanges because it seems obvious that the absence of trust among the trading partners severely hampers market transactions”

A successful sale by Weichert of 530 Myrtle Ave. would not have resulted in a corresponding increase in how much we trusted the company. Good clients take time to nurture. Weichert should have maintained a steady and disciplined level of activity. Doing the small things would have impressed us and eased our frustration over the lack of progress of the sale.

The Sellers are determined to sell their property and not let it pass with their estates. We do not believe that this will be possible with Weichert’s continued involved in the transaction. Weichert should voluntarily withdraw its listing. We all would then be free to go our separate ways, of course without recourse against anyone. This would be in everyone’s best interests. The broker-client relationship has been irretrievably broken. 

If you have had a similar experience with a real estate concerning I would like to hear from you.