There’s more to being a real estate agent than simply having your real estate license, showing people houses, and filling out paperwork. What really makes you stand out from the rest of the realtor pool? More and more, the answer is the type of experience you create for your clients.
Realtors need to remember that they’re in the business of helping others. And when you make your clients your top priority, everything else starts to fall into place; transactions will be successful, word of mouth will spread, and the money will roll in.
So how can you transform yourself into a top real estate agent? Check out these tips from the experts themselves:
- Tour the same houses again and again. Whatever your client wants you to do, it’s up to you to make your client’s house-related dreams come true—and to do so without gritting your teeth. So what if you have to visit a home a third time to make sure “it has the right vibe?” As much as it drives you crazy, remember it is the nature of the job. They’re in the process of making a huge and important decision, and they hired you to help them with that.
- Avoid the end of the month. Whether you are representing the buyer or seller, avoid scheduling settlement for the end of the month. Period. The idea that buyers save money by settling at the end of the month is a fallacy, so the incentive to do so is really nonexistent. Month’s end is just too crazy of a time – lenders are overwhelmed, agents are often inundated (because of the save money at the end of the month fallacy) and consumers are on edge because they just don’t do this very often.
- Create a professional website. Most buyers begin searching for real estate agents and property online before ever speaking with another human being, yet the majority of realtors have terrible websites. Create a professional site (consider getting your own domain name), add a high-res picture, and share some information about yourself. Think of it as you would online dating (minus the romantic undertones, of course)—your online impression might be the deciding factor for a homebuyer in search of a realtor. This is also the place to add testimonials of previous happy clients—so get permission from them and post them on your site! Trust us, it’ll make you look good and help you get business.
- Over-communicate. You may not have learned this during training, but you’re going to need to be highly responsive. This means returning calls and emails (or whatever communication channel they prefer) as soon as possible, answering any questions your clients may have (there are no “dumb” questions!), and being a supportive pillar for your clients. By doing so, they’ll trust you have them top of mind.
- Stay up to date on technology. While we’re going to assume you at least have a smart phone in this day and age (that should be the most basic necessity), consider investing in other technologies, such as an iPad or database software to store your contact information. Or, try new apps that can enhance the homebuying experience for your clients. By being efficient and organized, you’ll look (and feel) as though you’re on top of your game.
- Know the neighborhoods like the back of your hand. If you’re not familiar with an area, do your research beforehand. You should know what’s for sale, what recently sold, and the overall status of the neighborhood. Sure, your clients might do their research online, but you should have the inside scoop they won’t be able to find.
- Explain everything. Even if they’re not first-time homebuyers or sellers, it’s important to explain the entire process in full detail, as well as potential obstacles that might arise and hypothetical situations they should be aware of. Maintaining regular communication throughout the process and explaining things as you go along will give your clients the confidence they need to buy or sell a house.
- Build your network. Grow your “sphere of influence,” or other professionals in the real estate business (i.e. contractors, mortgage brokers, lenders), who value their customers and who you feel confident in recommending to your clients.
- Get a good mentor. Whether you’re just starting out or have been on the job for years, explore a mentorship relationship with a successful agent. Doing so will give you the chance to learn more about the true tricks of the trade and what it truly means to be a quality real estate agent—not just some guy who just sells houses.