I’ve been talking to a lot of buyers lately and they have been telling me about some bad experiences with past Realtors. Most of them were pushy, aggressive, and wouldn’t really listen to the buyer; showing them properties outside of the price range they had in mind.
In one instance, a Realtor even sent the following nasty text to a buyer:
“I’m not clear on what you guys want. It has changed a few times and after talking to you yesterday, I thought you decided to look east. Not trying to sound insensitive, but you guys are all over the place. We need to sit down together for an hour and really nail down what you want, when and where. Without a clear plan, we’re just spinning our wheels. This is getting ridiculous”
The buyer was so angry about the text message, he saved it. Unfortunate events like these can be avoided if a buyer deals with the right kind of Realtor. An effective Realtor can help educate buyers on how to be realistic when purchasing a home.
I was recently at a coaching seminar with Tom Ferry, and he asked consumers what they considered to be the most important factors when choosing a Realtor. There were four consistent answers.
1. A hyper-local expert who knows their market like the back of their hand.
I heard a story about some agents based in London who were originally from other countries. Apparently these are dominating, just by working in London. They know the market and neighborhoods like the back of their hands. I think that’s what people in the real estate industry here should do as well. They should specialize in maybe two or three cities and dominate the market instead of just being a generic California Realtor.
What I personally do is concentrate on a radius of about twenty miles of the San Gabriel Valley around Arcadia. I have gotten to know not only the market, but the Realtors that practice in the area as well. This is what makes you a hyper-local expert.
2. A Realtor who is online savvy.
More and more buyers and sellers now have property listings online. A large percentage of consumers trust reviews. However, there are still some people who do not go online to find certified and trustworthy Realtors. They usually just go for those who get in touch with them via door knocking or telemarketing.
For buyers, it is essential to do some homework online to find the best Realtor, especially since buying a house is one of the biggest investments of their life. Go online and look up your Realtor and read all the information, reviews, and testimonies they may have about them.
On the listings side, 80-90% of sellers think that a virtual tour of the home will allow them to sell their house for more money. However, less than five percent of Realtors use video. I highly recommend finding a Realtor that uses video tours to market a property.
3. Someone who has expert negotiation skills.
To check if a Realtor is an expert negotiator, I recommend looking up third-party endorsements though sites such as Yelp.com and Zillow.com. See if they reference these skills, and check to see how many reviews your potential Realtor has.
I’m actually moving towards conducting a survey after every deal I close so that I can gauge the quality of my services. Not only does this keep me on my A game, it helps to earn the business of potential clients. They’ll want to see how I helped negotiate the best price and terms for my past clients.
4. A brand you can trust.
It’s not just the personal aspect, but also the business associations which can make a Realtor stand out and become visible. Realtors with a local presence, especially those we call hyper-local experts, often have lots of involvement in the communities they work in. Their business doesn’t have to be a big name, but as long as it has a local branch and it is known by both Realtors and clients, then it is fine.
The bottom line is, look for a Realtor who looks out for your best interest.