The Seven Things You Should Stop Doing: MLS Edition

WARNING:  Real Estate Rant Ahead

POWERFACT:  The higher your standards, the more referrals you’ll get, the more business you’ll close, and the more relationships you’ll build.  The lower your standards? The opposite is true.

Ok, here it is. I was looking through our MLS this weekend at investment properties and I was appalled (not a word I use lightly) at the state of the listings. No photos. Bad photos. 15 photos of a front door. Little information. Incorrect information. Incomplete information.

Agents. STOP. Seriously. Stop for a moment and think about what this means. Not just for YOU. But for all the other agents out there. When an agent does not take the time to do their work with high standards, they lower the reputation of agents everywhere.

Look, I know I’m usually the smile guy. The glass half full guy. The motivator. And I still am – I just want to motivate a little differently this week. I want to shine a spotlight on what needs to STOP so that you, my dear real estate friends, can get to your Next Level™. Because what I saw this weekend on the MLS? That’s not going to cut it.

Let me start here… Let’s say we choose the LOWEST possible commission here for a house on Long Island. Let’s call that 2% on a $500,000 home. That listing is worth $10,000 in your pocket. That’s not pocket change, friends. That’s a good paycheck. Good enough that an agent should take care of the details.

Secondly, it’s 2018. Any hip homeowner is going to CHECK on their listing. They’re going to head over to or Zillow or your site and see what you put in there to market their home. If it’s 15 pictures of a door – they’re going to be unimpressed with your level of service. That means you WON’T have a happy client and it most definitely will mean they aren’t going to send any referrals your way. (We’ll get into the math about the lifetime value of a customer and what you’re leaving on the table when you don’t serve at the highest level on another rant.)

Next, your job as a listing agent is to market that listing to other AGENTS. And agents, by nature, are cynical, picky, and quick to judge another agent’s poor listing description and photos. If you can’t impress THEM – you’ve got a problem. Do a great job and get them excited, however, and the buyers will be lined up at the gate.

So, if you’re sheepishly thinking that maybe you see some things you might have missed, let’s go through the seven things you should stop NOW to be a better agent, earn a better living, and live up to your highest standards of service:

  1. Stop copying the last agent’s mistakes.  Relisting an expired property? Use your own words and photos. Too often we see agents simply copy what the last agent did — which, when you think about it, is probably going to create the same results! An expired listing. Get creative and original.
  2. Stop posting 15 pictures of just the front door or just the outside of the house. (I know I’ve mentioned this three times, but you may be picking up on the spark for this article.) Visually represent the entire home — inside and out. That means all the rooms, the inside and outside — the works! (“But Darryl, some of the rooms are awful!” Pro tip: Fix the rooms or fix the listing price. Those are the options. Letting them SURPRISE people doesn’t work.) If you can include a virtual tour do it!
  3. Stop skipping the details. Did you verify the square footage? Did you choose the right property type for the listing? Did you check and double check the amenities?
  4. Stop taking terrible pictures. I’m not kidding when I tell you that one of the photos I saw had a Glad trash bag box as the focal point for the picture. Are we selling trash bags or a listed home? Another pro tip: If your pictures could end up as a prime example in the Bad MLS Photos Facebook Group – you’re doing it wrong. And for the love of Pete — stop taking pictures where you’re IN the mirror. Bathroom mirror selfies? Really? Check ALL of your photos for quality BEFORE uploading to the MLS.
  5. Stop not using the remarks section in the MLS. Fill out the ENTIRE listing description. Verify the information. Be robust. If you have room for 500 words – use 500 amazing words, not 62. Here in Long Island, the section we fill in to describe the property in detail is called remarks. Whatever that section is for your MLS – use that. That section is YOUR opportunity to make that listing jump off the page. Make it spectacular. Don’t skimp on the descriptions. And I tell you what — if you can get the seller’s permission, put in their why they are moving. That’s one of the first questions people ask! “Why are they selling?’  Motivated seller is ready to move to Florida! (Who could blame them after all the snow-right?) Think of this section as your billboard and put your marketing hat on when filling it out.That devil's in the details thing? Goes for how we conduct ourselves as professionals. #PayAttention #DetailsDetails #REALTORLife Click To Tweet
  6. Stop under-communicating on commercial or investment properties. Details matter – a lot. Put them in the description. Investors want to know the details. What’s the rent roll? How long is the lease if it’s currently rented? What are the taxes? Don’t make people guess–get specific!
  7. Stop forgetting to spell check. Really? There are SO many tools to help ensure your spelling and grammar are correct today. Use them and use proper English, not the text message shortcuts you see so much of now.

Listen. I care about you. I care very much. I speak to and coach thousands of people every year – and their success – your success – they matter to me. That’s why most of the time what I do from the stage or on a webinar or in one-on-one coaching is to help agents see a clear path to what they SHOULD do. Daily. Weekly. Monthly. So that they can design lives and careers worth smiling about.

Sometimes coaching takes a different turn though. Sometimes you have to show people what they should STOP doing first before they can see the path to what works. That’s what this is about. Pay attention to the details. Go the extra mile. Communicate at a high level. Take amazing pictures (of more than the door). Connect with your fellow agents in your market. Be the example others should follow.

When you do all of those things, I promise, your business will improve, your referrals will start to flow, and the respect for not just you – but our industry will rise as well. Challenge accepted? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Download a pdf of the Best Practices checklist from your classroom under Listing Appointment. 

Keep Smiling!


Our program is designed to take agents at any level of their business and help them double their income in a year’s time. Why? Because that significantly changes their lives, their businesses, and their relationships. That’s a whole lot to smile about!  The best thing is — you can try it for FREE for 30-days. No contract, no stress. Just all-access to amazing tools that can help you grow. Get started today — learn how here. or contact my team at (800) 395-3905.