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Sizzle vs. Steak or Sizzle AND Steak?


It’s often so difficult to choose who to work with in a real estate transaction. It’s tough to know the great agents and loan officers. I believe finding the great ones can truly prove to be a gift to your future.

What is the “Steak”?

To me, that’s the part of the agent or loan officer’s expertise. They are fluent in their industry, their available products and inventory, the current market conditions, and the entire process that you will be undergoing. The “steak” is about using their excellence in execution to deliver a comprehensive solution for their clients.

What is the “Sizzle”?

To me, that’s the branding, marketing and name recognition the agent and/or loan officer has. It’s the websites, Twitter accounts, Facebook personal/business/community pages, LinkedIn, FourSquare and Pinterest stuff. It’s the glossy brochures and advertising they do. Sizzle is about drawing attention in order to create a buzz.

It is rare to find an agent or loan officer that is both, and when you do find them, I will argue that you have almost a moral obligation to tell everyone you know about them.

It puts homeowners, for example, in an awkward position. Do I want an agent who is awesome at Sizzle- one who garners attention for my home, or do I want an agent who is a great technician that can identify a good deal and make sure it closes? Of course, we want both, but which is more important to you?

Similarly, do buyers today need the big name brand lender or loan officer that is advertising their services everywhere or should they find a true advisor who understands interest rate movements, tax consequences, and how a mortgage can impact long term financial planning? It would be great if you could have both, but which is a requirement for you?

For a while now, I have preached that real estate and mortgage professionals need to be experts and superior marketers, but which is more important? Because of that old 80/20 rule, it seems you are going to have to choose one or the other. Do you need credible advice when buying or selling or better promotion of your property (because you’re comfortable in your own knowledge base)? Do you subscribe to the quantity over quality mantra or vice versa?

The advice is…first decide whether you want steak or sizzle? Then, decide what the person talking to you offers...OR hold out until you can find that diamond in the rough who embodies both.

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About Dean Hartman

Dean Hartman is a 25-year veteran of the mortgage banking industry. He has achieved the designation of Certified Mortgage Planning Specialist (CMPS), and also specializes in sales leadership, seminar presenting, and team building.

One Response to “Sizzle vs. Steak or Sizzle AND Steak?”

  1. mrkrispy June 21, 2012 at 11:48 am # Reply

    The answer isn't difficult at all. You smell sizzle, but you EAT steak! The MLS system and agents will bring you all the buyers you need. The "steak" agent will make sure you get the best price for your circumstances and GET THE SALE CLOSED. An agent who embodies both is NOT a diamond in the rough......he/she is a DIAMOND!!! Finding the best loan originator is much harder since some of their ability to perform is directly tied to the lender/lenders constantly changing policies that they represent. A "steak" real estate agent will have several LOs to consider for each deal. The sizzle whets the appetite, but the steak feeds the stomach. Don't be a skinny Realtor or LO......

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