Saturday, February 17, 2007


Or maybe just plain laziness. Either way. The other day I drove by a house that had a For Sale sign in the yard. Being possibly in the market to buy such a house, I u-turned my automobile and pulled into the driveway. What had attracted me to this particular house was that the sign said "POOL!" on it. I've always wanted a house with a pool. Not so much to swim in, though I might do some of that, but more so I can sit beside it, drink beer, and look at it. Kill me.

But anyway. I got out of my car, and looked through the gate at the pool. It was pretty nice. There was no one there at the time, so I took a a picture of the house, a picture of the For Sale sign, and another picture of the street sign on the corner, for later investigation. I left. Later, being in front of the internets, I looked up the website of the real estate agency mentioned on the For Sale sign.

So first off, this website sucks. Maybe I'm a dummy when it comes to the internets, but I had to click through like 12 pages before I got to the right place to do a "property search". Then, it has this really annoying form with too many fields. Then, you can't just fill in the "postal code" field and get a list of all properties offered in that zip code. No, you also have to fill in the "city" and "state" fields (why???). THEN, since you didn't fill out all the right fields, it zeroes out all the fields that you DID fill in, so that you have to start all over. Aarrgghh.

But despite this, I finally found the house in question in the search results list. This list has a few items of info for each property: (1) address, (2) number of bedrooms, (3) number of bathrooms, (4) price, (5) name of agent, and (6) MLS number. And there is a link designated "Property Details".

So far so good.I click on the link. The "Property Details" page for this house contains the exact same information as the search results list with the addition of two other relevant items: a "picture" and a "description". Unfortunately for me, the consumer, a person who has a down payment in the bank and a decent credit rating and a possible desire to purchase this particular property, the "picture" is a placeholder that says "no picture available" and the "description" is a single sentence that says "This xxxx square foot Single Family Home(s) in xxxx county has x bedroom(s) and x.00 bathroom(s)."

In response to this -- possibly the WORST instance of marketing I personally have ever witnessed -- I opine as follows:

1. No picture??? How *#$%& hard is it to take a $#*%@# picture? I'm a casual consumer, not really even actively searching for a house to buy, and I took not one but THREE pictures! And this shit-for-brains real estate agent, who stands to make upwards of ten thousand dollars in the event that the house is sold, can't be bothered to take a single fucking picture??

2. The description is a single sentence which adds NO information whatsoever beyond what is already listed on the same page? This brain-dead moron of a dwelling hawker deems it too much effort to type the word "pool" so that the most (probably the only) attractive feature of this property can be made known to the consumer??

Here is an example of a "property description" typically promulgated by a halfway decent real estate agent:

"Picture perfect!!! From the beautiful drive up, into welcoming wood floors, soaring ceilings & crown molding, frieze carpet, loads of storage, open kitchen & den. Into the backyard oasis complete with pool and spa with fountain. Three living areas, walk-in closets, brushed aluminum fixtures, and lots of extras. This home is perfect for formal gatherings or outdoor get togethers. See it now or see it sold!"

Salesy, yes. Blatant puffery, yes. But guess what? YOU ARE TRYING TO SELL SOMETHING! This particular listing goes on to enumerate approximately 40 other items of information about the property. Some of these items might not be of any relevance to a given buyer. But guess what else? They sure as hell might be! And it probably took all of 15 minutes to enter this stuff into the little database thing.

But no, Adam Driver, ACE SALESMAN, of Keller-Williams Realty, can't be bothered with any of that. At some point, sooner or later, Adam Driver, ACE SALESMAN, will collect his 6% because someone, inevitably, will purchase that house. But it damn sure ain't gonna be me.

1 comment:

Gleemonex said...


Real Estate, as an industry, should be ALL FUCKING OVER the Internets -- and yet, they're almost as bad as the framing industry (try finding a website where you can order a picture frame that isn't a standard size. Just try, I'll wait). I've been casually perusing the offerings of Santa Cruz County, CA, and what have I got? Headaches. gaaaah.