A Sacramento Real Estate Agent’s Words and Photography
Almost every Sacramento real estate agent who knows me realizes that I will help out other real estate agents when they’re in a pickle. If they need my help or advice, I’m generally available to give it to them. I’m not sure if it’s my sense of responsibility to the profession, the fact that I’ve been in the real estate business for almost 40 years, or if my willingness to reach out to other real estate agents is because I might have been a teacher in an earlier life if it had paid enough, which it doesn’t. (It’s appalling how poorly paid teachers are, the backbone of our society.)
That’s why it’s puzzling when I see a Sacramento real estate agent swipe my content or photographs and try to use my personal creations as the agent’s own without permission. It’s even more confusing when an agent in my own company plagiarizes, but it happens. We’ve got almost 1,000 agents and I don’t know all of them — although, last year I ranked as the #2 agent, a top agent at Lyon. Here is an instance that occurred recently.
Earlier this year, a seller came to me to sell a home. It wasn’t located in the Med Center but this seller wanted to receive the higher Med Center prices. Another agent probably would have refused to accept such a listing, but I try not to be that judgmental. Plus, I liked the seller. Sellers can change their minds down the road, a rogue buyer can pop up out of nowhere, real estate markets can change with the wind; I just want to help and be the Sacramento real estate agent who sells it.
I developed an extensive marketing plan designed specifically for this client, put the home on the market, and a short while later the seller received a very fair offer and rejected it. At that point, a prominent party in the seller’s life pushed the seller to change agents. Or, that was the story. It doesn’t matter. I will always cancel a listing if a seller asks me to do it — which is so rare I can pretty much count on one hand the number of seller-requested cancellations. Other agents will often make a seller stick to the term length of the listing, but not this Sacramento real estate agent. There’s no point. Not to mention, I prefer to generate tons of glowing Elizabeth Weintraub reviews.
This morning, I spot the listing pop up again in MLS in my daily hot list. I’m perusing the marketing comments, and they sounded so familiar to me. Why, those marketing comments were something that I would write. I can recognize my own prose because I have my own definite style.
It was odd, I thought, when the seller asked a few days ago if the new real estate agent could use my photographs. If the agent needed my photos, the agent needs to ask me, which the agent did not. If a client wants my photography, I gladly supply a CD of my professional photos at closing. I use a high-end Nikon digital camera with a Tamron 18 / 24 wide-angle lens, and I’ve sold some of my photography to newspapers over the past 40 years. I’m proficient with Photoshop. My photographs make a home sparkle and shine! No wonder the seller coveted the home photos.
I suspect some sellers don’t give us enough credit for what we agents do. They don’t really understand that when they hire a Sacramento real estate agent, they are hiring the entire package. They get top-notch photography and my years of marketing experience to write the ad copy, on top of my excellent, says my clients, communication and negotiation skills. It doesn’t mean another agent can snatch my photos nor my words.
I’m sure there will be some lame excuse from the agent simply because I called the agent on it: I ran out of gas, I had a flat tire, I didn’t have enough money for cab fare, my tux didn’t come back from the cleaners, an old friend came in from outta town, someone stole my car, there was an earthquake — a terrible flood, locusts, it wasn’t my fault, I swear to god. (Excuses Credit: John Belushi.) I wrote to the agent this morning to say I had no idea my words were so brilliant that she needed to copy them word-for-word.
If the agent is that desperate, the agent can have my words. That which I have been educated to do and worked for years to perfect. Just take it. The agent obviously needs it or the agent would not have swiped it. If the agent were standing on a street corner holding a sign that said I don’t want to work, I’d still throw the agent a $20 bill.
If you want the real thing, the whole package, a Sacramento real estate agent who knows how to sell your home, including how to market it, then call Elizabeth Weintraub. Don’t try to hire a substitute.