"Realtor Capital" vs. "Political Capital"

Realtors, like Politicians,
Also Have “Capital”

When an elected official is said to have a lot of political capital, what do they mean? That they have a big store of accumulated authority and goodwill to advance their legislative agenda, whatever it is.

Similarly, realtors also have capital. The difference is that their “agenda” is to sell real estate.

What increases “political capital”? Winning an election by a wide margin (Obama), exercising authority wisely and responsibly, making good decisions.

What decreases it? Presiding over an economy that appears to be in the ditch, or making decisions that make the country’s problems worse (Bush).

“Realtor capital” is ultimately about credibility, too.

In their capacity as listing agents (representing Sellers), realtors are the “public face” of the properties they represent. Their job* is to entice prospective Buyers by pointing out the home’s strengths, whatever they are (location, curb appeal, aesthetics, value, updates, mechanicals, etc.).

When a realtor says to their colleagues and the public, “my new listing is a great house at a great price, and it’s going to go fast” — and it does — their “realtor capital” shoots up.

When they say the same thing, and the listing sits on the market for months and months, suffering one price cut after another, their “realtor capital” shrinks.

*As I’ve written previously, a good realtor’s marketing function once a home is actually for sale is just a piece of what they do. Arguably, even more important is the behind-the-scenes role they play getting a property ready for market, overseeing staging, repairs, cost-effective improvements, municipal inspection requirements, etc.

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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