7 Real Estate Reality T.V. Myths Affecting Your Business

Man and woman eat popcorn and watch television

This is how real estate agents can understand and combat real estate reality T.V. myths.

Realtor Success Tips

Danielle Taffe
Content Creator

Real estate reality T.V. is in the prime of its popularity since HGTV became a network. Hit shows like Selling Sunset and Million Dollar Listing feed a cultural image of real estate as a luxurious, quick, and easy career that will make you and your clients millionaires. 

It’s no wonder that agents find themselves with clients expecting to sell their home in a matter of days, with expensive staging and an opening party to boot. Personal drama and eight-figure selling prices form the basis of every real estate reality show; free from paperwork, negotiating, or late nights that would muddy the show’s aesthetic. 

Here are the top 7 real estate T.V. myths and how to deal with the client questions that follow:

1. The Right Agent is Easy to Find 

Smart home buyers and sellers interview a few different realtors to make that they find the perfect one. A client that rushes into business without getting to know you, may have an unrealistic idea of what real estate agents truly do. 

As eager as you may be to sign on with a new client, you should take the time to get to know them and their goals before you sign on. The last thing agents want is to rush into a relationship with an overzealous client that expects things to work just like they do on Netflix. Just because an agent is an expert in a specific area, doesn’t mean that they are right for every client within that hyperlocal area

2. Agents Choose all Eligible Properties and Take Clients to View Each one

Unlike T.V., the real estate process usually doesn’t start with a glamorous client meeting over lunch. Over 90% of home buyers start their search online before getting in contact with a real estate agent (National Association of Realtors). Your clients will likely have a faint idea of what’s available in their area based on a few quick Zillow searches and will communicate what they’re looking for. 

It’s not an agent’s job to decide which properties a client settles on and limit their options to select choices. Finding the right home is a collaborative effort that functions more like a partnership, than a host and a guest. 

Malibu beach house

3. Clients Only Need to See Three Properties Before Finding Their Dream Home 

On reality shows, it seems like people find their dream home in an instant. The real estate agent shows three completely different homes and the client chooses the one that happens to have every single thing they’re looking for, then signs the papers on the spot (almost as if they’ve already chosen the home and put down the deposit?).

In reality, the average home buyer tours at least 10 homes before finding the perfect match – and many of these homes are quite similar. Most clients have specific non-negotiables and won’t be choosing between a treehouse, mansion, or live-in boat. If your client were all over the place and interested in homes in completely different areas, styles and ages, it would be extremely difficult to know what to look for. 

Sharing a clear vision of what your clients need is a prerequisite to finding them the right home. Serious client’s won’t expect a tour of only 3 distinct housing options in the neighborhood.  

4. Clients Always Get the Home of Their Dreams 

Purchasing a home is not all fun and games. Buyers deal with confusing offer situations, being turned down for financing, bad inspections, the list goes on. The process of purchasing a home doesn’t happen as soon as clients find one that sparks their interest. It can often be a drawn-out, stressful process. 

Make home purchasing process much smoother by educating your clients about common bumps in the road and your particular concerns in regards to them. It’s always better to under-promise than over-excite clients with unrealistic expectations. 

5. Open Houses Always Lead to a Quick Sale

Open houses are just one the hundreds of marketing tools agents use to sell properties. Drone shots and panoramic takes of cliff-side Malibu properties often on T.V., have convinced some clients that the open house is when all their property prayers will be answered. 

Open houses are a powerful marketing tool, but even the best staging won’t always lead to a bidding war on the spot. Clients need to understand that you have a larger marketing plan in place and an open house is just a fraction. Even if the offers don’t come sweeping in as soon as doors open, it doesn’t mean that the open house was a lost cause. Explain that people may need time to reflect on what they’ve seen, suggest referrals, or reassess their budget before they jump on a property after attending an open house. 

6. Every home Is Perfectly Staged and Well-Designed 

Networks know that they can score high numbers with beautiful properties that most people could only dream of owning. If a property isn’t perfect, no problem! They won’t film the less interesting, rough spots. Plus, beautiful ready-for- T.V. staging does a great job of hiding imperfections and enlarging a space that would feel completely different in real life. A normal home decorated by a family or one that is left vacant, doesn’t have the same visual oomph. 

Don’t be surprised if your clients are a bit disappointed that the homes in their budget don’t look anything like the ones on T.V. This is an opportunity for you to step in and remind them that viewing a home takes a bit of creativity, and they should imagine how it would look with their style, not what’s on T.V. 

Camera man films on set

7. Agents on Television Shows are the Most Talented

Popularity doesn’t equal talent. Being an agent on a reality show has more to do with arguing in the HollyWood Hills than it does with buying and selling properties. Television shows put entertainment first, meaning the most talented (and successful) agents aren’t always put upfront and center. On the other hand, real estate agents with huge, attention-grabbing personalities, gain tons of publicity from the show. 

You don’t need to have a personality as big as Fredrik Eklund to be successful in real estate. In any profession, authenticity is the best way to spark and maintain great client relationships

In Conclusion…

We all know that “reality” in reality television isn’t what it appears to be – but that doesn’t make it less enticing. Reality T.V. has influenced clients’ desires to the point that real estate agents have to set the truth straight. 

The good news is that if agents are knowledgeable about the common themes of real estate reality T.V., they can dispel T.V. magic in a matter of seconds. 

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