A good part of real estate is sales and marketing! Most agents do not have a sales and marketing background. Brad Golik is a strong believer in the power of a good marketing program.
Yesterday I attended a Mastermind meeting that was an invite only meeting for some of Portland’s top agents. The speaker was very good and covered many good real estate topics. One thing that stood out to me though was something very simple and something we, as agents, hear every year. The National Association of Realtors does a survey every year with real estate customers asking them what is the most important thing to them in working with an agent. You might be thinking it should be a “Knowledgable” agent or something about commissions. Once again the #1 answer was honesty! Buyers and sellers want an honest agent, someone they can trust to have their backs.
I bring this up in my blog because of some recent things I have seen in the market. One of those things is the recent bombardment of ads from Redfin and their new 1% listing fee. Right out of the gate, they are missing the #1 thing people want from their broker, honesty! That 1% listing fee is very misleading because the actual cost to the seller is 3.5% ( On top of the 1% they still have to pay the buyer’s agent 2.5%) One of the reasons that the Redfins and Zillows of the world are not doing great is because they are corporations that care about the bottom line…and not the client! Starting off with a lie, in any business, is not your best way to build trust! Unlike the corporations, agents are independent contractors ( even if they work for a larger chain brokerage firm) These independent contractors care about their clients more …it is their livelihood at stake.
I see many ads that are misleading or just plain wrong. I recently saw a website of a new agent. On their website and Instagram site, they state that they are a “Luxury Home” specialist! It is very funny to me, and not exactly honest, that someone who has not been in the market but a few months and not sold a home over $700,000 claims to be a “Luxury Home” specialist? The worst thing is that I know this person. I really wanted to call her and say to her that the #1 thing people want is honesty and you are starting off with something that is not true. I did not call her because I feel it is not my place to do so, but I wish somebody would because it would do her more good in the long run.
Honesty comes in many different forms. I very much appreciate agents that are trying to get a new listing that are honest in their pricing! I see so often agents that overpromise the pricing to get a listing over another agent. What happens in the end is VERY familiar, the home sits on the market forever with no offers, the agent then starts doing multiple price reductions and then finally the home sells well below where it should have if it were priced correctly. Unfortunately that agent still gets rewarded and the agent that was honest in their pricing, the one that might have sold it for a higher price , gets nothing!
There are many really good agents out there. There are many that give you all that they have to do the job right…and that means putting their needs aside and working for the clients best interest to capture the best price for their clients and take care of all of their needs.
In years to come, you may have multiple options in selling your home. We have begun to see programs that are trying to disrupt the way homes are sold. The interesting thing here is that none of these new programs care about getting you a premium when you sell. It is just about selling the home and collecting a fee. I know, as a person that has been in real estate for 15 years, if I had someone sell a house for me it would be someone that I know has my back and truly cares about me and my finances. It would be someone that I know would spend money to market my home in many different avenues to give it the most exposure ( the big corporate discounters will NOT be doing this!) When an agent does this, more times than not, they will sell that home for a premium price…a price that far exceeds the amount of discount that the corporation says they will be “Saving” you.
Please visit my page on marketing: http://www.luxurycondosofportland.com/marketing
In the end it all gets back to what clients are looking for…honesty! The client can be reassured that the person they hired really does care about them and their finances. The agent is upfront from the beginning ( no bate and switch) They can be comfortable in knowing that that the price they are suggesting is accurate and in the end, that agent will do everything that they said they would do!
Brad Golik is a condominium specialist with Total Property Resources and LuxuryCondosofPortland.com You can reach him at 503-896-8856 or at email@example.com
Any agent can continuously reduce pricing of a condo…and at some point, it will sell! Our goal is not to just sell a condo but to maximize the price for the seller and still sell in a reasonable amount of time. There are many agents out there that do little to no marketing for their listings because they believe it will sell on it’s own by just being in the MLS (see Redfin) Some think they can get away with only point and shoot photos and that is the extent of their “Marketing”. I am here to say that as things slow down an agent must get that listing in front of buyer’s and buyer’s agents as often as possible. I have seen many agents get fired because of their lack of advertising a listing… I have yet to see an agent fired because they did too much advertising! Now, doing a lot of advertising does not mean that is the best route. But when you combine a good quality campaign around a listing, feature it often in a classy, professional way, I believe the quality of the offers, not just the quantity of offers that come in will also be better!
Brad Golik is a condominium specialist with Total Property Resources and LuxuryCondosofPortland.com You can reach Brad at 503-896-8856 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Brad Golik is a condo specialist with LuxuryCondosofPortland.com and Total Property Resources in the Pearl District. You can reach Brad at 503-896-8856 or at email@example.com
There is a new 27th floor listing on the market and get this… it’s not selling above $1,100 a square foot! If you may recall, when the Cosmopolitan had two of its 27th floor penthouses on the market they were priced at $1,059 and $1,192 a ft. There are not many 27th floor properties that come on the market, because there are not that many taller buildings, but when they do come on the market… the views are spectacular!
This week I listed unit #2701 at Fountain Plaza at KOIN Tower. The price for this spacious 3,834 square foot unit is $1,795,000. At this price we are talking about a price per square foot of $468. Less than half of the 27th floor units at the Cosmo! Now, it is true that the Cosmopolitan is the newest and shiniest condos on the market and people will pay a little bit of a premium for new. But to be able to pick up a 27th floor condo for a price per square foot less than a majority of the condos for sale in the Pearl is crazy!
While, as I mentioned, the Cosmopolitan is the new kid on the block, KOIN Tower was the grand dame! Fountain Plaza, which later gained the new name of KOIN Tower was built in 1984 and, at the time, was the “Cosmopolitan” of its generation. Many of the units have had extensive remodeling, and many units have not. I believe we are starting to see a transition in this building as many of the original buyers are no longer with us. Currently there are six units for sale at Fountain Plaza and several are being sold by the estates of the previous owners. With that said, I believe we will start seeing a younger generation move into Fountain Plaza.
Fountan Plaza / Koin Tower is building that gives you the feeling of being in an upscale building in New York. Its ziggurat –like profile and its attention getting blue crown are reminiscent of the Art Deco skyscrapers that were built on the east coast in the 1920’s. Dottie, the lead concierge of the building, in my opinion, is one of the best in the city! Much like the doorman you find in New York, Dottie and one of the other concierges on her team, Chuck, make it a point to get up and open the doors and greet the owners as they leave and arrive. She also makes a point to train all other concierges to do the same. She would never stand for just pushing a button to open the doors and not greeting guest at the door!
If you are in the market for a spectacular unit with amazing views…welcome to #2701 at Fountain Plaza! This 3,834 square foot unit features 4 bedrooms, 4 baths, a den and a spacious 19×10 foot gym. The kitchen can be expanded into the adjacent large 16 x 6 foot pantry. While this beautiful unit is “Move-in” ready, it also has a wonderful footprint and someone that wants to put their own stamp on it could easily do so. Think about this. If you bought this beautiful unit, did a $250,000 remodel to expand the kitchen, give it an open concept, and a luxurious master suite… you are still only into it for $533 a square foot, again, still less than half of the price at The Cosmopolitan!
As I said above, I believe this building will start to go through a transition. We are not seeing as many new condo towers being built like in years past. We very well may see more buyers who are cautious with their money, buy properties in buildings like Fountain Plaza, make them spectacular with all of the money they are saving and being at the forefront of a resurgence in some of the older buildings.
If you are in the market for a large unit with simply stunning views, give me a call!
Brad Golik is a condominium specialist at Pearl District Properties and LuxuryCondosofPortland.com
You can reach him at 503-896-8856 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
One debate I often hear is whether a real estate agent should represent both sides of a transaction. The question lies on whom you represent. I have been in real estate for 13 years and have done transactions where I represented both sides. I have guidelines that I personally use when deciding whether or not I would feel comfortable in doing so. Here are the things I consider:
1) Is it a win-win situation for both parties? In other words, is the seller getting what they wanted or maybe a little bit more? Is the buyer happy with the price and it is reasonable?
2) Did the listing stay on the market long enough to give the sellers an indication of demand, or lack of?
3) Are there good comps that support the price that the buyer is paying? If not, and I am selling for a record price in the building, I would not touch dual agency with a 10-foot pole! This is where it gets very tricky. If I am a listing agent, and I am selling for a record price, and there are no comps that justify my pricing…I just hit a grand slam for my selling clients! If the buyer’s agent allowed their client to pay that amount, well let’s just say I don’t want to be THAT agent! Especially as a dual agent! NEVER! Now I will say there have been times where I represented clients that had so much money they just did not care about the price, they just wanted the condo. In that situation, you make sure that you document that conversation.
Regarding #3, this is where representation comes into play. As a dual agent whom do you represent? You should be representing buyer and seller equally. But how is this possible when you have a situation like above? If you are getting a record price for your sellers, and there are NO COMPS to support the price, how can you be the buyer’s agent and say “I did a good job for my clients”? The answer: You can’t!
If this same agent acted only as the buyer’s agent, you can bet that he would be hammering on the seller’s agent that the unit is at a record price and might be overpriced? Now, records are meant to be broken. So how much of a record price is it? Is it $10 to $30 a square foot more? That is reasonable. Is it $50 to $100 a sq. foot more? This is when you have real problems. For one, the property would most likely not appraise. But what if the buyer is paying cash and an appraisal is not required? Well then the buyer is really at risk. This is when they REALLY should have a separate agent. ( and for peace of mind, the cash buyer might still consider getting the property appraised).
In multiple-offer situations, if an agent is representing both sides, he or she better make sure that their buyer’s client is the best offer! If it is, the listing agent and the seller are making the final decision as to which offer to select. In this situation, there is no problems in representing both.
So bottom line: If both parties are happy and well educated on pricing, and there are good comps to support the purchase and sale, there are no problems.
On the flip side. If there is a big difference in price from the comps, especially if it is a record price in the building for the seller or huge discount for a buyer. This is when you need two agents fighting it out for their client’s best interest. I would never do dual agency in this situation!
Brad Golik is a luxury condo specialist with LuxuryCondosofPortland.com and Pearl District Properties in Portland, OR. You can reach him at one of his websites including http://www.LuxuryCondosofPortland.com and www.PortlandPenthouse.com or by calling him at 503-896-8856
Recently a friend came by my office and we began discussing real estate. This friend often reads my blog post, and in our conversation, he mentioned that I hammer on the issue of agents not using professional photos. He also said that he could not believe that there were that many agents who don’t use professional photos, knowing that it has been shown that great photos help sell homes faster and for more money. So, why not hire a professional photographer? It is hard to explain.
To prove my point, I asked my friend to pick any condo building in Portland. He looked at our inventory sheet and saw that Waterfront Pearl had more listings than other buildings, so I used that building as an example. In my opinion, EVERY listing should have great photos, especially higher-end listings. In this example I will use listings priced at $750,000 or higher. Currently at Waterfront Pearl there are 6 listings above $750,000 (they are priced from $798,000 to $1,049,000) Of these 6, only 2 of the 6 listings have used professional photography! Again people, these are $800,000+ condos for sale!
To say that my friend was shocked is a huge understatement. His comment: “Why would someone hire an agent who does not care enough to do their best for their client?” Hmmm… where have I heard this before? Why would an agent not spend a few hundred dollars in an attempt to gain thousands more for the client? And if that agent is not spending money to do a nice job on the photos do you think they are going to spend money on doing a nice video, expensive print material or internet marketing? Probably not.
The National Association of Realtors has shown time and time again that homes listed with high-quality photos sell for more money. If you are an agent who doesn’t spend on professional photos, you might as well be telling your clients upfront that you just don’t care what their home sells for! Harsh? Maybe. True? You be the judge.
Brad Golik is a condominium specialist at LuxuryCondosofPortland.com and Pearl District Properties. If you would like to see any listed condo or loft, call Brad today at 503-896-8856.
Now is the time of year that buyers begin to hunt for condos and lofts in Portland’s Pearl District, Downtown and South Waterfront. When looking at these properties, please be aware of the importance of price per square foot. Most important, and I have said this before, the price per square foot can vary dramatically based on where the unit is located in the building! I often deal with agents who mostly work in the suburbs, presenting offers on listings based on price per square foot. Trouble is these units were far inferior to the one I had listed. You cannot compare a 12th floor unit with views of Mt. Hood or the West Hills to a 3rd floor unit that is looking into an apartment building. It is also difficult to compare a unit with a deck with city views to a unit that is ground floor with no outdoor living space and less security.
I specialize in condos because I want to be an expert in what I do. Today, too many agents try to be all things to all people. In the end, they become experts at nothing because you cannot understand every part of the city and the nuances of every area. If you are looking for a home in Alameda, I am not your guy! There are agents in that area who know the market very well. Why as a buyer, would you use an agent from who does not understand the delicate balance of pricing based on the difference of just a couple of blocks?
The same can be said of the condominium market. Why work with a buyer’s agent that does not understand the nuances of the condominium market or the pricing of this market? As a buyer, it does not cost you more to work with a specialist. The truth is, it pays! As for someone who is selling their condo, it becomes even more important to work with a specialist. Last year, I spoke to a seller who was told by a competing agent ( who works for a company that does a ton of marketing on TV, stating they can save their clients thousands of dollars) that they could sell their condo for 5% higher than the Zillow “Zestimate”. Problem was that the Zestimate was extremely low for this property, which is not unusual. ( Zillow has an even tougher time with comparables in the condo market than Redfin or agents from the suburbs.) Had that person only priced their condo 5% higher than Zillow’s Zestimate, it would have cost them many thousands of dollars. In addition, the same agent, whose company says it can save you money on commissions, could have cost that same client thousands of dollars because of the lack of experience.
In addition to correctly pricing a unit, sellers should consider this one thing: I am in the condo market EVERYDAY marketing to condo buyers EVERYDAY. Every week I speak with folks walking by my office on 11th Avenue who are up from the Bay area looking for a place to buy. This presents a huge marketing advantage. I have said this before, a typical agent cannot go from marketing homes in Lake Oswego one day and then flip a switch and fill up their pipeline with condo buyers overnight. It just does not work this way.
And for that same agent to understand condo pricing overnight? It does not happen.
Please visit my new website at LuxuryCondosofPortland.com. See some great aerial drone photography of many of downtown condo buildings! Just click on the Buildings page.
In a post I wrote a little while back I mentioned that even in a hot market, where everyone seems to believe that there are no deals in the market, that sometimes deals do come along. Today is one of those days! If you are in the market for a 2 bedroom unit with over 1400 square feet, this is your lucky day! Just a short walk north of the Fields Park in the Pearl District, you will find a wonderful 8 story condominium tower called Pacifica. I have sold many units in this building and know it probably better than any agent in town. Two days ago a unit came on the market priced at $575,000. This 3rd story unit has a spacious layout, 2 and half baths and a very large deck that looks over the Willamette River. The reason I know it is drastically under priced is that two years ago I sold the same unit, two floors up, for $575,000! In this time the market is certainly up more than 10-15%. Taking that into consideration, you would be looking at a price of $610,00– to $632,000. The current price, at $391 a square foot is VERY low to the comps in this building. I sold 4 or 5 units in this building between $418 to $450 a square foot last year! I will be pricing another unit there soon and we were going to be looking at $500 a square foot. This might be a little more difficult now with the agent selling unit #303 so far below market value.
Again, for those who are patient, and work with an agent that knows the condo market, there are good values that do come up in the market. Unit #303 at Pacifica Tower is one of them!
If you are a buyer and looking for a great 2 bedroom unit, there is not another unit under $750,000 in the market right now that I feel beats this one.
If you would like to go view this unit, give me a call today and I will set up a showing! Call me at 503-896-8856
Today I sat at Starbucks with my tablet to do a little work. As I took a few calls and reviewed listings online, I noticed the person next to me taking an interest in my work. We struck up a conversation as she enjoyed hearing about real estate and what was happening in the current Portland condo market. One of her comments was, after listening to 1 or 2 of my phone calls, how important marketing was to me when it came to listings. She mentioned to me that agents she had used in the past did very little marketing and pretty much just posted her listing in the local MLS and waited for a buyer. This is not unusual as this is exactly what many agents do!
As she became more engaged and interested, I explained to her my “Laws of Probability”. What I mean by this is that the more marketing you do, and if you do it in the highest quality fashion, you will attract more quality buyers. The laws of probability show that if you have more people interested in something…the price usually goes up!
This person, I feel, became very educated today on what a person needs to do to capture a top price in the sale of their condo or home. She was pretty shocked when I showed her some new listings that came on the market the previous 2 weeks. What I showed her was that with half of those new listings, the listing agent did not use a professional photographer. In fact, a couple had photos that were so bad she felt bad for the owners trying to sell. I explained my philosophy on this subject… If an agent cant spend a couple hundred dollars to “show off” your home the best they can, they should not be in real estate. Good agents work hard for their clients and spend the money to “Market” their home. This is part of what they are getting paid a commission to do. If that agent is not spending money on quality photos then they probably won’t spend money on a video, quality print materials or internet marketing! It was interesting when she asked me why owners would hire agents like this? I told her sometimes they just hire the agent that helped them purchase the unit and often don’t know any better. I also told her that unfortunately, many sellers think like those agents. In other words they think they can just put it in the MLS and get it sold. While this may be true, it will sell eventually…but at what price? There is a reason that many advertisers try to put their product in the consumers best light, because they know those consumers will pay a higher price if they perceive that product to be better.
If I get a listing and put it in the MLS with average photos and no additional marketing will it sell? Yes, eventually it will, but I don’t believe that I would have done everything possible to get my clients the highest price for their unit. I believe it is my job to spend the money necessary to promote that condo the very best that I can and make it stand out so that buyers perceive this to be the best unit available and are more comfortable in paying a higher price.
Brad Golik is a condominium specialist with Pearl District Properties.
Find him at http://www.LuxuryCondosofPortland.com 503-896-8856