Realtors have a public perception just barely better than that of a used car salesman.
Doubt that? Consider how low on the public respect scale real estate agents are.
The public’s perception is largely shaped by TV and media. The public sees the buyer’s agent provide critical info like “this is the kitchen, this is a closet, look at that view.”
It’s time to stop talking about improving the industry and time to actually do it. After all, does a homebuyer need an agent to tell them what they like or what they need? Is a homebuyer so inept that they need an agent to “imagine what this basement would look like finished?”
How many buyer’s agents are simply “yes people” — simply agreeing with their buyer because they either just want to close them or simply lack the required skill, knowledge and candor to be effective counselors?
How Can You Be a Better Realtor?
How about looking at present or potential issues, functional or external obsolescence, deferred maintenance, known problems like synthetic stucco or defective siding?
How about treating that buyer like something other than a kid looking for a new bike; “isn’t that a neat seat, Timmy, won’t you be cool riding it?”
They’re buying a home, which will likely eat up a significant portion of their monthly income, and that’s under the best of circumstances. What happens when something breaks or their economic situation changes?
Agents must make buyers think and make them understand the ramifications both present and into the future.
Arguably the biggest problem the industry has is the agent that will do anything or say anything to secure a listing. That seller is looking to sell the home for as much as possible, as fast as possible and with as little headache as possible.
Along comes a “yes agent” who agrees with everything the seller says, throws out the compliments like chicken feed and simply ignores anything that might cause the seller angst — like data that conflicts with the seller’s opinion of price.
Of course a month later, the “market changes” and the price cutting begins. Professional agents have been bypassed, and the seller now has a listing that develops a history.
This manipulation is the textbook example of “sales,” and it’s not unique to real estate. But isn’t the role of the agent to honestly evaluate the home, be candid and present the applicable data as it applies?
There Are No Bad Listings
Some realtors worry about everything instead of getting listings. That’s a bad idea. Worry about price, appraisal issues, inspection issues or any other potential problems later because they might not ever occur. If (when) issues do arise, do the best you can and hope it works out.
Our industry leaders push sales first; they are selling the dream, the sizzle. Everything is predicated upon agent fees, that anyone can be a successful agent and about how to “sell, sell, sell” everyone you know and meet.
At every level, businesses exist to “serve” agents, including national-regional-local membership organizations, MLSs, marketing, training — all there to “help” agents, at a price. View your job as a realtor in the same way- you’re there to “help” people in their quest to buy and sell homes. After all, the commission is not the job. The process is the job, the commission is the byproduct.
The 80/20 of Realtors
The 80/20 rule applies; the majority of agents cannot earn a living, and most new agents are gone within two years. Why? …Because new agents believe that they’ll just convince friends and family for business, it’ll take off, and they’ll be cashing checks.
The work, dedication and time required to be an effective and successful agent isn’t considered or discussed.
By making the promise to yourself to be a part of the 20%, you’ll work effectively and overcome the pitfalls that lead to failure. If 80% fail, what can you do to win?
Emulate the successful realtors in your office. Build relationships with successful realtors and with the people in your life.
Begin a “card habit.” Collect the mailing addresses and birthdays of everyone you meet. Send holiday cards. Send birthday cards. Send thank you cards. The small investment will put you in good stead with all who receive them. Use an automated system like SendOutCards to send your cards, as well as custom gifts.
The Secret to the Best Agents
They make problems go away before their client gets wind of them. They’re working or thinking about work, anticipating problems and have solutions waiting. They are candid, attentive and completely focused on their clients.
They make transactions smooth and look easy. They’re the ones who hear their clients say, “Man, I should go into real estate; you hardly worked and made all of that.” Their objective for every transaction is to make it look so easy, it’s boring.
Following these principles will send you to the top 20%… Or even higher.