A long-time Windsor Square resident contacted the Chronicle in June concerned by an increase in “pushy” Realtors in his neighborhood.
“It starts with postcards and introduction letters sent in the mail, then business cards dropped in the mailbox and now more recently a constant barrage of agents ringing the doorbell to solicit sales — four in the last month to be exact,” he said, on the condition of anonymity.
Having owned his home for 45 years, this resident thinks the situation is getting worse.
“The most recent [Realtor] had paperwork ready to be signed from an interested buyer who has flipped many other properties on our block in the last few years.
“The presumptuousness of this scenario is appalling,” he complained.
Another tactic he’s recently witnessed is attempts to persuade elderly residents — including his own parents — to “downsize.” One agent, he says, has returned three times to push the idea.
Appropriate or pushy?
To get an idea of what constitutes good business practice for the industry, the Chronicle contacted a couple of well-known local Realtors to get their thoughts on such tactics.
“Phone calling, mailers, door knocking, sponsorship and advertising are methods some Realtors use to market themselves,” says Mary Woodward, a Hancock Park real estate agent for Keller Williams.
“It is never done with ill intent,” she adds. Mary and her team, Woodward Real Estate, were ranked in the top 1,000 agents in the U.S. by the Wall Street Journal in 2015.
Woodward explains that many Realtors find door knocking to be a great way to introduce themselves to new people and new business, adding: “It takes fortitude and courage to knock on doors.”
Such encounters often lead to connections that can benefit both parties, according to Woodward, who notes, “homeowners are usually happy to be updated.”
Woodward says you would be hard-pressed to find a successful agent who doesn’t use “one of those” tactics to market their business.
“Being a real estate agent requires extreme self-motivation, perseverance, creativity, integrity and a competitive spirit. ‘Pushy’ is perhaps, the incorrect word,” she concludes.
To get a second opinion, the Chronicle turned to Anne Loveland of Loveland Carr Properties, who largely echoed Woodward’s sentiment.
“I don’t do it because I don’t want to be ‘that person,’” says Loveland, “but the reality is real estate agents work on commission and a strong entrepreneurial mindset is often rewarded.”
Category: Real Estate