“Full Service” or Just full of it?

I’ve always heard Realtors say they are “Full Service Agents” when they need to defend their commission.  I’ve always wondered what that really means.  Having been with a “Full Service” company in the recent past, I think it really just means they do a bunch of old school stuff that really serves no purpose other than making the seller feel good.

A prime example of that is that most of your “Full Service” agents will spend about $50 on color brochures to leave out for buyers who have probably already seen the exact same pictures on their computer.  Most buyer’s agents don’t want their clients to take one since it has the listing agent’s contact info on it……or maybe those are there to be self promoting for the listing agent?

Another example that I see is that the “Full Service” agents will hold open houses.  Now, I know sometimes a random, realtorless buyer will walk into an open house and actually buy it.  The last time I heard about that happening was about 2006.  Now I know buyers like open houses, but all the buyers I have ever encountered used them BEFORE they were really serious about pulling the trigger on a house.  So, to the agents that kick their clients out of their own house so my people can get a better idea about what they  want in a house, I say thank you.  Another angle here is that the listing agent gets to meet other people in your neighborhood.  I think that is really what it is all about these days when almost every listing has 15+ pictures online.  How can I be so sure?  I once did an open house where I met the people across the street, listed their house, held it open, met another buyer who bought another house, and I am about to be in my 5th transaction with those same buyers!  Another reason that supports my hypothesis is that EVERY real estate magazine (Both in print and online) talk about open houses as prospecting tools.    None of the articles mention that you might want to do one for, uh, your client that you are providing “Full Service” representation to.

So, what do I consider to be full service?  Some of my sellers found that out a couple weeks ago after we got the repair list from the inspection.  I was over there tightening up aerators on faucets, repairing the tub drain, fixing the toilet tank level.  I was also there to let the contractors in for some repairs that I couldn’t do.  It was like an open house for repairmen.  See, my folks were both professionals who couldn’t easily take the time from their work to be there.  

To me “Full Service” means handling the inspection for my buyer’s who live out of town.  I’ve done that a lot in the past year.  When people fly in to Lexington to buy a house over the weekend, they usually can’t get here for the inspection.   I always take my HD Flip camera to film it, but the houses I have led my buyers to lately didn’t have enough wrong with them to bother filming.

 I’m a “Full Service” agent, but I’ll never use that term since the message it conveys is about the percentage you charge rather than the service you perform.

Anybody got any ideas for a new term to describe how I roll?  (Geez, I really set myself up by asking that huh?)

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