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Would Home Buyers and Sellers Pick You? How to Stand Out as a Realtor

How to Pick a Realtor

Whether selling a property, or searching for the house (or investment property!) of their dreams, the right agent will help clients get the most bang for their buck within the necessary timeline. With the wrong agent, clients run the risk of a botched transaction and being left with no place to call home.

For today’s home buyers and sellers, the stakes are higher than ever when selecting a real estate professional. People want an agent who can provide a satisfying home buying or selling experience, and get the job done well.

The proliferation of industry information readily available through the internet allows home buyers and sellers to be more informed than ever before when making the decision about who to bring on as their real estate agent. But it hasn’t lessened the importance of the decision.

There are a number of concerns potential home buyers and sellers weigh when looking for an agent. Dive into some of these considerations below, and think about where you and your services land.

COMMITMENT

People want a full-time agent. Knowing their prospective agent is committed to a career in the real estate industry—rather than doing it as a part-time gig on the side—provides peace of mind.

People want a professional who actively follows the market and can jump on new listings immediately. Additionally, having an agent with more flexibility to show new properties is a big plus.

In addition to being a pro in the industry, people want a pro in the area they are looking to buy or sell in. Real estate is a local game, and they want someone who plays in the area in order to win. In addition to being up on current market trends, you need to be knowledgeable about the neighborhoods, local schools, community culture, transportation factors for commuters, and other unknown pros or cons.

WORD-OF-MOUTH

This one should come as no surprise, but it’s still worth diving into. Your reputation among previous clients, others in your industry, and your local community can help, or hurt, your career growth in unimaginable ways.

When you work in the real estate industry, you constantly need to get your name, brand, and business in front of people to generate referrals. There are two major ways to do this:

Network. And then network some more. Build lasting relationships with your current clients, but also stay connected to other professionals who work in your industry in some shape or fashion, like mortgage lenders, builders, inspectors, etc. You never know who knows someone looking for a real estate professional that comes recommended from someone they already trust.
Online word-of-mouth. Online reviews are growing in popularity among consumers of services and goods, and while online reviews don’t tell the whole story, they still carry weight. As a real estate professional looking to grow your business, you need to manage your online reputation (through both social media and popular consumer review sites) to ensure you’re leaving a positive impact on those who find you.

Getting the referral is only the first step. Chances are your new prospect will ask a number of questions to the former client who recommended you before reaching out directly, such as:

• What did they like most and least about their experience working with you?
• Were you good at staying in touch via phone, text, and email?
• How smoothly did the purchasing or selling process go?
• Were you knowledgeable and able to provide helpful resources, such as financing assistance?
• Would they use you again in the future?

ACE THE INTERVIEW

If someone has found your services and it’s piqued their interest, it’s not uncommon to request an interview before officially giving you the gig. You may have been referred by a trusted source, but that doesn’t mean they won’t want to verify a few things on their own.

When meeting with a prospective client, treat it like any job interview. Answer their questions thoughtfully and honestly, and make sure you see eye-to-eye on expectations. You’re also interviewing them to see if you want to take them on as a client.

Questions will vary depending on a number of factors, including whether someone is looking to buy or sell. Below is a snapshot of some questions you could potentially face:

• What sets you apart from other agents buying and selling properties in the area?
• How many listings do you have at the moment?
• How many homes have been sold in this area?
• How easily can you be reached for updates?
• How do you plan to market the home and get it in front of potential buyers?
• Do you have experience buying/selling this type of property (i.e. an investments property, condo, etc.) and price range?
• Who the is the target buyer for this home and area?
• How often will you send them new listings?
• Have you worked with similar buyers and sellers in their similar situation before?
• How long have you been in the real estate business?
• Have you ever had a complaint filed against you? (Don’t lie—this can be verified online!)
• How many transactions a year do you have on average?
• Can you tell them about the surrounding schools, religious institutions, entertainment options, and community culture in the area?

OPTIMIZE YOUR MARKETING

Potential buyers and sellers can’t choose your services if they can’t find out about them. Your marketing strategy is paramount in helping you grow and sustain a presence in the real estate world, and it’s also what will help you stand out and get in front of clients.

Your marketing—be it direct mail, print, email, social, etc.— is a powerful way to showcase how your services are valuable to them.

Are you a longtime resident of your area? Tell them, and highlight the value that factor carries. Are you an established real estate professional with a career backed by successes and client wins? Perhaps you only maintain a small portfolio of clients so you’re able to give special focus and attention to any new clients you take on. Or are you an industry veteran who has worked through a multitude of landscapes?

Not only can you display your credentials to establish trust, but you can also address some of unique needs and challenges you help solve. (Do you specialize in working with first-time homebuyers and sellers? What about helping investors find properties that have the potential to provide lucrative returns?) Many people believe their situation to be “unique”, so be quick to communicate what sets you apart.

FINALLY— ESTABLISH EXPECTATIONS

Expectations are not only woven into what you can do for clients, but also how clients are left feeling after working with you. A client’s impression of how you solved their problems and concerns will help you garner valuable testimonials for future leads, impressing new clients when you initially meet with them.

Caring for your clients—and never over promising and under delivering—will resonate heavily and keep them happy. Throughout the entire home buying and selling process, be honest, truthful, and upfront so you exceed expectations whenever possible.

Create habits early on that clients can rely on. Respond to their text messages and emails within the same intervals of time when possible — the quicker the better. Show up before they do on viewing days as a way to showcase you’re prompt and organized. When you say “I’ll get that to you”, do it as quickly as possible, keeping with the mantra “never put off for tomorrow, what you can do today”.

The realtor-client relationship is long-term and based on trust. Be realistic about what you can and cannot do for them, as well as what you will need from them in order to be successful on their behalf.

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