First, a special thanks to those in the community that voted for me as a “Best of Teton Valley” candidate for the real estate category. With that said, I thought this might be a good opportunity to write a special edition “Teton Realty Blog” article. As always, you can read on at tetonrealtyblog.com.
As some of you may know, I am not only a member of the Teton Board of Realtors, but also of the Snake River Regional Multiple Listing Service operated in part by the greater Idaho Falls Association of Realtors. I’m also a member of the National Association of Realtors and attend as many gatherings and educational opportunities as I can.
Having experience in marketplaces other than our local market (obviously the local market is the majority of our business) has given me the opportunity to study the dynamic of not only marketing practices, but the level of competition amongst brokers, brokerages, and real estate agents. I have also been exposed to real estate outside Teton Valley. Believe it or not, there are vast differences in not only the level of competition, but the culture. Culture of real estate you might ask? You bet there is. Those of you who have worked with a local realtor to purchase a home here after owning a home elsewhere probably know exactly what I’m talking about. If you haven’t, and you have had an experience with a local real estate agent, you probably didn’t find the experience all that unusual.
Here in Teton County, it is my opinion that we are held to a higher standard in terms of the level of service a real estate agent provides. This isn’t because we live in an area with a wealthy community over the hill, it’s because we’ve been practicing business in such a way for so long that it is now an expectation. For example, most parts of the country view listings with their respective buyer’s agent without the listing or seller’s agent present. Some areas even provide contact information for the occupant, be it a renter or the owner. The buyer’s agent might call to arrange a showing if they listings states that the property is occupied, otherwise they have a uniform lock box system, usually with an infrared access key that tracks which agent accesses the property with a date stamp. In my opinion, it’s incredibly efficient, but certainly not what we are used to here in Teton Valley. In contrast, listing or seller’s agents almost always attend showings in our marketplace. It affords the seller’s representative the opportunity to review property highlights, answer questions, and provide assurance to the occupant that lights are turned off, doors are locked and the property is secured.
“Culture” aside, I have also found the level of competitiveness to be different than most markets as well. By that, I mean more competitive. I think there are few reasons for this:
-First, not only are we a small community, but we are a recreational community. When I travel, I tend to focus on real estate advertisement. I have found the level of advertising and quality to be higher in recreational communities (which really just translate to more $$). And our little market is no exception. We have a diverse group of competing companies, and they really all do a great job. I don’t know how each of these companies pull it off, but I can tell you (whereas I handle a large portion of Teton Valley Realty’s marketing campaign) that it’s a lot of work.
-Second, we have a unique blend of box store type brokerages, big regional brokerages, and small local brokerages. In most small markets, there’s one “big guy” and perhaps a few mom and pop shops. Here, it’s very interesting to see how well each local company performs.
-Third, I think it’s just a small-town dynamic. I truly believe that some of the Region’s best (of anything) come out of Teton Valley. Honestly, it’s absolutely unbelievable how many great restaurants we have locally. Every time I travel I’m reading reviews, or checking online for a great place to eat. At the end of the day though, it’s hard to beat some of the local services that we have available in our little community. This isn’t just for restaurants either. There are great lodging opportunities, outstanding healthcare professionals, truly unique shops, a great variety of grocers, telecommunications options that would make Google proud, and the list goes on.
So why all the competition? Because we have a lot of great services to compete with!