Why Don't French Real Estate Agencies Put the Village Name in the Listing?

The village name isn’t in the ad – it’s the elephant in the immo’s office

Everyone involved in selling property in France knows why the village name is almost never on a property listing.  It’s the dirty secret we don’t talk about. It seems a bit whiny to say it to clients who are looking for property.

And the answer is…

We’re all afraid that if we put the village name in the ad some other agent is going to see it, go find the house and get a listing.  We’re so afraid of this that we take the chance of losing a potential client rather than just advertise the location of the property.

I have to admit that AFP is as guilty as anyone else.  Sometimes we include the location in the ad, sometimes we include a Google map, and sometimes we just give a vague description of the area.

It has to do with the way real estate sales work in France.  Vendors can list their properties with more than one immobilier – and they do. Sometimes with as many as 10 agents!  And they often advertise it privately as well.  This also explains why you see the same house listed at different prices on different websites.

When I lived in the Aude and worked as an agent commercial (real estate agent) I always put the property location in my ads.  I’m confident enough to know that worrying about other agents ‘stealing’ my listings is a waste of time.  And they did ‘steal’ my listings.  I can’t count how often people said “John Doe – or whoever – always looks at your site and then goes and finds the house and mandats (lists) it.”

I always thought “Good for John.  While he’s wasting time trying to find my properties and list them himself I’m out showing and selling houses.”  If I didn’t have anything that suited the client I would find properties listed by other immos and contact them to arrange a collaboration.  Better 50% of the commission than no sale.

So why doesn’t Aude France Property always put the name of the village on the ad now? I manage the website and feature properties from agents I worked with in the Aude.  Some of them still aren’t comfortable with disclosing the location.  I’m working on it though.

The frustration of not knowing where a house is located was brought home to me last week.  I was researching properties for a client and emailed an agent to ask where one of the properties was.  She emailed back and said that it was in the general area of x (something I’d already figures out because it said that on the ad) and that she could tell me the village name because she didn;t have an exclusive listing.

It annoyed me so much that I spend ages finding the same house on another website.  If she had told me the location – and if it was a village that my clients were interested in – I would have arranged an appointment. Of course if my clients loved the house and I could find it anywhere else I would have persisted with the agent.

I found the house on another site, I emailed the agent he told me the location.  If my clients want to see it I’ll arrange the visit through him.

About Sam

Sam started Aude France as a companion site to her real estate site Aude France Property so that she could have a place to write about life in the Aude. Now that she's in Canada she writes about things that can affect owners and buyers in the Aude - or anything that strikes her fancy. On Pinterest you can find her by searching for Sam Mooney or clicking this link
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