Do you like free things?

I do. I love things which are FREE.

Unfortunately, free for you may not mean free for others or everyone.

Case and Point.

There are real estate "we find you the best _______________ agent for FREE".

The continue to talk about what they look at, "performance data, sold timeframes, comparisons between the listing price and sales price, overall historical online reviews and more."

The thing they don't tell you is how they obtain that data and which agents get placed onto their website.

The other thing they don't tell you is how much they are charging the agent to be a part of their website and on the "preferred referred realtor" list.

I'm sure by now you are reading between the lines.

When I first started in real estate there were very few outlets for agent advertising.

That was in 1998. The internet was not a thing unless you consider AOL, America On Line, Dialup a thing, which it was pretty sweet, but cannot be compared fairly to the tech of today.

MS-DOS was a thing and to have a 56k modem was being in the upper class in society.

AOL and Yahoo real estate came about and they were not MLS dependent. I'm sure there were many lawsuits field because of those systems advertising a protected "realtor" listing without the seller/agent and brokerage's written permission.

That issue has been solved and online you can find homes for sale where the "brokerage" is allowing their publication.

Back in the day, searching for homes online was not typical.

People relied on yard signs, mailers, newspapers, real estate books, open houses, and the local agent.

To be the BEST in the Business, you would have all of those methods of marketing covered every month.

Today, being the "best in the business" only costs a new or seasoned realtor one thing.

That's money.

Because over 87% of those searching for homes that are for sale are using the internet to do so, the internet and that cost is the price of admission to appear on those syndication websites.

However, to have the agent listed as one of their "preferred" realtor is great. To do it better, these websites keep their data protected and would rather 'refer them' to you and charge those agents an additional "referral fee".

So, the rub is this. The agent is paying to appear on the website, the agent is also paying for your personal information so they can sell you or list your home.

1 - Paying to be one of the "reviewed" agents.

2 - Paying for your personal information to sell you

3 - Paying a referral fee to the company who built the website, this would be out of a successfully closed transaction, part of their commission, up to 50%!

What is a real estate agent to do who is not willing to pay these websites for leads?

Well, they better be hitting the keyboard and writing about real estate. Educating the masses about how to buy a home and how to sell a home.

They better have a strong blog that is at the top of the Search engine results pages.

Being on top of the search pages - that is harder than ever with the over 200 real estate syndication websites. With the biggest being Trulia, Zillow, and They have Q and A - Internal Blogs and other resources that keep their websites on top of the search pages. Agents don't do it on their own platforms, they do it on these websites in the hopes of it helping themselves.

Unfortunately, it does not help the agent, it defeats their purpose. At the end of the day, the real estate syndication websites are winning the battle.

Another way that an agent can attempt to rise above the online ads and real estate syndication websites is to do something that is 'out of the box'. Like self publish a radio show. A real estate radio show or podcast.

We have California real estate radio. Check it out and let me know what you think.

On our real estate radio show we are a conduit away from the real estate syndication websites. I know for a fact the using the numbers and statistics to prove that someone is the BEST of the BEST in real estate is a mistake. I know many agents who have horrible reviews and a totally bad reputation who are at the top of the realtor food chain.

I would not hire one of them my life depended on it.

The personal approach, with a solid client commitment and a written mission statement is a better way to go. I'd rather be an agent that closes 50 deals a year when I'm able to handle everything between my partner wife Paris and I, than have a mega team where the team lead has lost contact with those whom have hired them.

Remember the golden rule, Treat others as you want to be treated? That is a much better adage that "I need to close this next transaction so I can make my Maserati payment".

Money is great, but money should not be anyone's primary drive. The drive should be to help not to be greedy.

I provide a service. I am a service provider. I sell homes and know that in most cases it's very difficult to "do it yourself" pertaining to selling and buying a home.

Some do it and they do it well. Most are not up to the task and would cause themselves way too much harm without having a top Agent on their side.

It's the same when my car needs to have work done. I could youtube how to do it. However, I do not. The investment in renting tools alone would drive me to drink :)

I don't attempt to represent myself in a lawsuit, I will hire an attorney. It's my right to represent myself, but without an attorney by my side, I would be doing myself harm.

As far as buying and selling homes, with all the previous lawsuits that have occurred during the past 50 years, which has been the reason why all the "disclosures" that accompany each and every home purchase and sale (41 general), without an expert it's tough to keep safe.

Without being accused of fear-mongering, you can go sell and buy real estate without needing a real estate agent. If that learning curve is too much, then you need to hire a real estate agent who operates by the golden rule. Call Connor 661,.400.1720.

When wanting to find the BEST agent in the Santa Clarita Valley, google that phrase and see what comes up.

Above the Fold on Google - Best Agent in Santa Clarita Valley

What next? - Here is Page 1 both above the fold and below the fold. Above the fold relates to the screen content that is at the top of a website that appears first on your screen. Below the fold is what appears after you scroll down to the content below (the fold).

Below the fold on Page 1 google best Santa Clarita, agent

Strange right - scvnest which is our site is low, but the only local real estate website appearing on the page. Also, REMAX of Santa Clarita is also my local google places page. that appears in the three pack under the map on the "above the fold" results.

The rest on the page are either paid placement, ads or real estate syndication websites.

It's no wonder that agents have a horrible reputation with all the "pay for lead" placement that is within the results on every single real estate search.

To climb on top of the results is to either pay or write content.

You will see Yelp, at the time of this article we are top three agents with 5-star reviews amongst all Santa Clarita real estate agents. Yet, we are not in those results which are showing on page 1, I wonder why?

However, the odd thing is we have a ton of "filtered reviews" on Yelp. Read to decide for yourself if they should be "held hostage".

Our Santa Clarita real estate method

First and foremost, while we do a lot of business outside of the Santa Clarita Valley. There is nothing quite like staying local. Helping the local Santa Clarita home buyers and sellers buy and sell in SCV - that is our true comfort zone.

The why is multi-pronged. We live here, we have lived here since 1996. I was LAPD so I have a very close relationship with local Law Enforcement. I know how they operate and the depths they will go to to keep Santa Clarita safe.

Our kids both started and finished school (one left as of the date of this post).

Plus, we started our real estate business here with REMAX back in 1999 - when Paris joined REMAX. I started as a part-timer in the San Fernando Valley because I was a cop there.

However, once Paris was licensed just after me during the next year, I moved my license to be with here and join with our Paris911 real estate business at REMAX.

From first glance you will see her and I. We both can do with the other can do, but we have things which we are better at than the other. Actually, Paris is best at everything, I'm the one that has a few things that I'm good at :) - Tell her I said this, please.

I typically meet with sellers and show home buyers. I maintain our internet exposure and tout on our sellers home listings online. I write the content, manage the radio show and keep everything that our sellers are entrusting us to sell fresh.

Paris aka the negotiator. She handles the offers and fights for our clients when facing another agent on the other side of the real estate transaction.

The negotiation is only part of what makes her good at what she does. She is a motivator. She keeps the other parties to the transaction inline and focused on the job they have been entrusted with.

If it comes to the lender for the home buyer and we are representing the home buyer, she ensures they are taking care of their part of the transaction. The buyer's loan. She makes sure that the lender is performing and is obeying the delicate timeline. She also makes sure that if any contingencies are going to be removed that are lender dependent, that the lender gives their approval in writing.

When it comes to seller representation, one of the most critical parts of Paris' process has to do with negotiti0n of credits/repairs and buyer's performance. She ensures that the home buyer is doing what they need to do and that they are obeying the seller's timeline. Of course, the all-important removal of the buyer's contingencies is within her skill set when it comes to enforcing that with the other agent who is representing the home buyer.

In Santa Clarita real estate, like pilots, there are very few old bold agents. We aren't old, but we are on our way. Experience since 1998, that's saying something.

When you are ready, please do your due diligence when it comes to searching and hiring a Santa Clarita real estate agent. Do some searching and look deeper into the search results. Check into the "local agent" who is showing up in the Google or Bing search results.

They are truly local, long-standing and if they are coming within the 'organic' results, they are quite remarkable to be able to compete at a local level with the massive and publicly traded real estate syndication websites.

What now? If you are interested in real estate within the Santa Clarita Valley, call Connor at 661.400.1720.

Of course, after you do your online inquiry and separate truth from fiction.

I'm Connor MacIvor, I have been with REMAX since 1999, I have been a licensed buyer/seller representing realtor since 1998. Santa Clarita Valley is my home and I'm here when you are ready to move forward.

My first step with any and all home buyers and sellers have to do with my Santa Clarita crash course on real estate.

BE well and please let me know when you or when someone you know is ready for our assistance.