What kind of qualities should your real estate agent have? This is a simple question but the answer can be quite subjective if you don’t know how the industry functions. Welcome, I’m Rob Sekel. I’m in the title insurance business and run the technology and marketing department at World Wide Land Transfer. I’ve seen the worst and the best that this industry has to offer in terms of real estate agents. My experience has given me the unique ability to differentiate between the good agents in the industry and the mediocre ones.
Before everything else though, I want you to realize the simple fact that you are on my website and not some other website. This is pertinent to how the real estate industry functions as well. Earlier, the primary marketing technique of real estate agents was to use conventional methods such as flyers and industry publications. Since then, the way people approach their search for real estate agents has changed drastically. Now, over 90% of people start their search on the internet, just like you did. The simple fact is that you are here because I knew how to reach you. This is a quality that is crucial for real estate agents also.
Every real estate agent is different. Surprisingly, only about 50% of real estate agents realize that 90% of their target audience starts its search for real estate agents online.
This brings us to the crux of the question that you are battling with. Keeping my experience in perspective, I want to share with you what qualities I would look for in a real estate agent, regardless of whether I want to buy or sell a property.
Compatibility: I would like to have a decent working relationship with the real estate agent. At the very least, I don’t want to be grinding my teeth every time I have to deal with him or her.
Credentials: I will refuse to give my business to any agent who is not willing to share his license details with me. Once I have the details, I will check their reputation with simple Google searches.
Technologically Adept: I want an agent who understands how search engine optimization works because this will allow the agent to bring more potential buyers or purchase options for me. I want their websites to have a good indexing on search engines like Yahoo, Bing, and Google. This is the wave on the future and I want to surf on it.
Experience: I also want experience by my side. I want my agent to have the knowledge required to navigate through the perilous contractual process and legal regulations. In addition, I want him to have specific experience in the type of property I want to sell or am interested in buying.
Specialty in Local Market: An agent, who knows the neighborhood I am interested in, goes to the top of the pile for me. He would know the prevalent conditions in the area and would most probably even have contacts that can be useful for me.
Good Communication Skills: The real estate industry hinges on communication. Despite this, I have found that the most common complaint that people have with their agents is that they don’t communicate well. This is nonnegotiable for me. I want my agent to communicate with me at regular intervals even if there has been no new development. Moreover, I want him or her to communicate with me through my preferred channels whether that is through phone calls, texts, emails, or even snail mail. Either if I am selling my home or buying a new home I want to make the decisions!
Tactfully Honest: Look, I may have been in the real estate industry and know the ins and outs but I cannot know intricate details like what potential buyers prefer. I need the agent to help me with that. For this, I need him or her to be honest but tactful as well.
Integrity: Integrity for me is simple. I want the agent to be conscientious about my interests. The agent is there to represent me and I want him or her to do that without bias. A loss of $500 in commission for the real estate agent may mean a loss of $25,000.00 for me. I don’t want the agent to accept that for a quick buck. Similarly, if I am interested in a type of property I want to see all options and not be shown the ones that suits the agent.
Professionalism: I don’t want a half-baked real estate agent who sells and buys some low key properties while he is away from their main job. I want one who is devoted to this field completely. In other words, I want a full time real estate agent who is prompt and quick with their work.
Are You Looking To Sell Your Home?
There are many more things to consider in today’s market when it comes to selling a home than there were in previous years. Online visibility is a must if your home will get the best rates possible. Around 90% of the people these days do their research on the web before they call on a real estate agent. Some agents may tell you that they have the best visibility on the internet. You can actually test this without any qualms. Tell them to show you their visibility with a relevant real estate related term on Google.
Chances of finding a good deal are higher via the internet than otherwise. If I want to sell a 3 bedroom condo with amazing city views then I want the keyword 3 bedroom + amazing city views to lead to my condo. I will even look for an agent who can create professional and good looking videos of my property for sale and put it up in highly accessible websites on the internet. Videos can be much more emphatic than words or even pictures.
Finally, I want to warn you about the temptation of using a family member or friend as your real estate agent. In my experience, this has rarely worked because it ends up affecting personal relationships. You either lose your relationship or lose money. The choice is never easy. What will you do if the agent you are using is not doing the job well especially if you know that he or she is struggling financially? You can’t get rid of the agent with a clear conscience. This is why you should avoid this eventuality altogether.