Earlier today I posted the above review on Yelp. Apparently it went out on Twitter as well because within a few minutes I got a Direct Message from a friend:
Are you nucking futs? (yeah, I edited that. We’re a family site.) Why would you give a five star review to a competitor?
I suppose that’s a fair question. To be honest, I didn’t really even think about it. I got an email from Phil Sexton, the IMD (Internet Marketing Dude) from John Hall about the upcoming Phoenix Real Estate Bar Camp (Phil and I are a couple of the organizers. Are you coming?) and in his email signature was a line that said, “Please take a moment to add your rating of John Hall & Associates” with a link to their Yelp page.
(A brilliant idea by the way. That’s Phil though “ I’ve had many “duh moments” when I see some of the simple, yet bright ideas he has. Which incidentally he shares with everyone)
So I reviewed them.
It was an easy review to write because John Hall is a great brokerage. I know several JH agents and am honored to call many of them friends. They are good, very good, at what they do. The designated broker at John Hall, Jim Sexton, is as nice a guy as he is brilliant and he gives a LOT to the real estate industry – not just to John Hall & Associates.
Personally, I’ve never quite understood why so many real estate agents and brokerages view others as competitors. What really drives me crazy is agents within the same brokerage that view their peers as competitors. In this industry, there are almost always agents from two different brokerages working on both sides of a transaction – working with the same ultimate goal in mind: to get the transaction closed and serve both the buyer and seller well. Real estate truly is (or should be) a cooperative effort, not a competing effort.
“But Jay, you are trying to hire agents. John Hall is trying to hire agents. You are both competing for the same set of people.”
Well, yeah. Sort of. But good grief, there are literally tens of thousands of real estate licensees in the Phoenix area. I can’t hire them all. In fact I have zero desire to hire them all. Neither can or does John Hall.
“But Jay, you are both competing for the same listings.”
See above and replace “real estate licensees” with “home buyers and sellers”. There are currently close to 45,000 properties available for sale or rent in the Phoenix metro area. There is plenty of real estate to go around. As I said in my review, there is no way that any real estate brokerage can possibly serve the needs of every available buyer in Phoenix, or list every home for sale. No way. None. Zip. Nada.
From what I’ve seen of my “competitors” at John Hall, we share much of the same philosophy. If you think Phil Sexton wants to keep all his tips, techniques and tactics locked within the confines of John Hall, just take a look at their blog. They freely and openly share things with anyone with a web browser. And there is good stuff there.
Do they have ulterior motives for all this sharing? Listen, I’m not stupid, and neither are they. Of course they want agents to find their blog and say, “Wow, these guys are smart. I should join their team.” You don’t think I want the same thing? Maybe that’s the primary goal for their blog (but I’m going to live in my own little world and say recruiting is their secondary goal and sharing with and improving the skills of all agents is their primary goal. Leave my little world alone. Or show me that I’m wrong.)
John Hall has been a family owned and operated real estate brokerage in the Phoenix area for 37 years. Thompson’s Realty has been a family owned and operated brokerage in the Phoenix area for 3 years (as of yesterday!). I may have an ego, but it’s certainly not of the epic proportions that would be required for me to think I can’t learn something from John Hall & Associates.
I am glad there are brokerage operations and agents out there of the caliber that John Hall is, and continuously strives to be. It makes my job easier.
So yeah, I gave a five-star review to a “competitor”. Why not? They deserved it.