For Christian Harris, the founder and owner of Sea-Town Real Estate serving and making an impact in the West Seattle community is his goal... and he just happens to do this through the vehicle of real estate. Sea-Town Real Estate has even built this into their business model, by quarterly partnering with local non-profits and donating a portion of their sales proceeds to a local non-profit of their clients choice. Christian also created and hosts The Sea-Town Podcast, where he interviews local business owners, entrepreneurs and community leaders to help tell their stories and spread the word about these great businesses and non-profits.
The tech-enabled indie Real Estate Firm, Sea-Town Real Estate was started at the beginning of 2017 by Christian Harris. After years of frustration as a newer real estate agent, in an industry that largely seems resistant to change, new ideas, new ways of doing things, and slow to adopt technology... Christian got tired of trying to raise the bar and constantly getting push-back from the status quo and the "this is how we've always done it" crowd... So he set off on his own to provide a better experience for both his clients and his agents. Through utilizing technology, systems and his community connections to provide a consistently high-quality client experience. For his agents, he provides a technology stack that helps to keep agent costs low while adding substantial value in helping keep agents and their transactions organized, coupled with an un-paralleled training platform for new and veteran agents alike. In the short-time Sea-Town RE has been on the scene, the response from their client, agents and the community has been very positive and encouraging. Sea-Town Real Estate is just getting started and will only continue getting better from here!
The reputation Real Estate Agents don't like talking about
What is your impression, experience or opinion about the reputation of real estate agents? Do a simple Google search of "reputation of real estate agents" and (after scrolling down past the paid advertising for real estate agents and firms in your area) you get pages of criticisms about how shady real estate agents are and articles on issues with the industry as a whole. Why does the public have such a negative impression of real estate agents?
For the most part, the negative reputation is well deserved... Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of good agents who care about their clients but it seems to only be the "bad eggs" that we hear about. I have seen the issues first hand; unethical agents, incompetent and inexperience, brokerages and an industry that are largely resistant to any change or innovation that could be a threat to the status quo of "how things have always been done", even if the change would be what's best for the consumer.
I just want to make sure home buyers and sellers don't fall victim to one of the less-then stellar agents who earn the industry it's reputation, loose their clients thousands of dollars and only leave them with a horror story about their real estate experience.
All of this is why I started my own real estate brokerage: to help change this reputation by establishing a different culture and model that puts the client's needs first, integrates community involvement and service, and is totally transparent in every facet of how we do business. We also pride ourselves on taking good care of the agents at our firm. Agents who join us in our mission to make an impact tend to also be frustrated with the flaws in the traditional way real estate has been done for so long. They are on board with our renegade mission of pulling back the curtain and serving our clients in a different and better way.
the top 4 reasons agents and brokers get a bad rap
- The bar for entry to become an real estate agent is really low - only 90 credit hours and a test to help clients broker a sale worth hundreds of thousands of dollars! It takes over 1,000 credit hours to get a license just to cut hair (and costs between $6k - $10k).
- Nationally, it's estimated that about half of the licensed real estate agents only do real estate part time (they do real estate on the side). How confident would you be that a part-time lawyer or doctor would be proficient and competent, when they aren't fully vested in their career and only doing it part-time?
- The real estate industry is generally more concerned about maintaining the status-quo and protecting the interests of the firms and agents, then the interests of the consumer (this is evident in the NAR "Danger Reports" and the conventional business model that the majority of the large franchises work under).
- Agents have established themselves as sales people and their services as a commodity (a service or product that is largely indistinguishable from others in the marketplace). No one likes being sold to. The "prospecting" techniques I was told to do as a new agent were all the things I hated having done to me as a consumer and I couldn't bring myself to do it to others (cold-calls, door knocking, "farming" a neighborhood with mailers.
The point(s) listed above are why sales people in general and real estate agents in particular, are consistently ranked as one of the least respected and trusted professions. This is why ever since becoming a real estate agent, I have dreaded that moment when I meet someone new and they ask me the inevitable, "so, what do you do". Because I know as soon as I tell them, they will peg me with all the negative stereo types about real estate agents, the same stereotypes that I hate about the industry. It's not a group that I generally want to be lumped in with.
I don't want to belabor the point, but there are plenty of legitimate reasons that the traditional approach to doing real estate is broken, or to say it in a more positive way, there are better ways to serve home buyers and sellers with their real estate needs.
My frustrations with the system and conventional methods of doing real estate are what pushed me to develop a different approach and systems to serve my clients and fueled my desire to open my own Indie Brokerage.
Our promise to our clients - what we stand for
We hire for attitude & quality - We are very discerning with who we invite to be part of the Sea-Town Real Estate brokerage team. We draw like-minded agents who also want to make a bigger difference for the community as well as for their client's experience. We want Agents who think bigger then the conventional sales mentality and transactional attitude.
Only the best agents, in order to give the best experience - No only do we want the right attitude for our Agents but we also expect, train and mentor Agents to become the best in the industry and the best at their craft. Unlike most brokerages, we hold our agents to a high standard so that home buyers and sellers who choose to work with Sea-Town Real Estate know that they will get the best service and experience, no matter which of our Agents they work with.
Sea-Town Real Estate was founded to make the largest impact:
Quality in every detail and our client experience is our top priority
We want to make the largest impact in helping other agents to be the best they can be (and therefore provide the best service to our clients) and to make the largest impact possible in the community.
Impact for our clients - Our goal is to make our client's real estate experience as smooth and painless as possible. We take an all inclusive approach and are re-defining what it means to be a "full-service" brokerage by providing everything to our home buyers and sellers (Contact us for more details on this unique approach).
Internally, we have established high-quality training and systems that enables our agents to seamlessly serve their clients through every aspect of their home purchase or sale process, leading to a constant high-quality experience for each and every client of ours.
What we do, how we do it and WHY we do it is so much larger than just being focused on doing whatever it takes to find that next deal... that next commission check. Our litmus test for success is ultimately NOT the financial bottom line or how many sales we have done. So called "Top Producers" is not in our vocabulary here at Sea-Town Real Estate. Success to us are the individual stories about the clients we get to help and making a difference in the community that we are a part of here in West Seattle.
Impact for our community - Our agents are on-board with Sea-Town Real Estate's vision to serve our community, by committing to donate$250 of their commission on each home sale or purchase, to a local non-profit of their client's choice... and Sea-Town Real Estate matches each of these charitable donations. We also encourage the cooperating broker on the other side of the transaction to do the same and Sea-Town Real Estate will also match that agents donation.
Christian Harris, the Owner and Managing Broker of Sea-Town Real Estate also created and hosts a local weekly podcast. On the Sea-Town Podcast, Christian invites on Seattle area small business owners, entrepreneurs and community leaders to share their stories. For Christian, this was a tangible way for him to get to know the people who are leading the way in shaping the climate and culture of our communities around Seattle and what better way to support them then by creating a platform in which they can get their story out there to others in our community.
If any of this resonates with you,
there is a good chance you would be a good fit in working together.
If any of this resonates with you, there is a good chance you would be a good fit in working together. Contact us if you want the best and you want to be part of something bigger... experience the difference of working with a firm and agents who are renegades in their industry, who strives to serve and enhance the lives of everyone they meet, not just be good at doing real estate transactions. Be part of making a larger impact, with each agent donating a portion of their commission to a local non-profit of their clients choice and Sea-Town Real Estate matching each donation.
Together, we can make a larger impact.