The Makings of a Good Real Estate Agent - Patrice SARDA
Posted: Nov 03, 2017
By Patrice SARDA
CEO Harvest Property
One of the most common questions a person looking to get into the real estate market asks is "What makes a good real estate agent?" One of the common answers to this question has been to list some characteristics which are common amongst successful agents. There are ten of these characteristics which contribute to the makings of a good real estate agent. These characteristics include:
- Network with other agents
- Utilize a press agent
- Gain media attention when possible
- Network with vendors to find leads
- Draw attention with open houses
- Consider all deals
- Network with past customers
- Find a real estate mentor or coach
- Use social media to generate interest
- Be genuine
However, one could argue that there is more specific of an explanation, which describes the characteristics that make a good real estate agent than a simple list of characteristics.
Some of the most successful real estate agents have come from a wide variety of backgrounds. Many have gone on to college and studied business, while others have not had any higher education than a high school degree. Some have had long careers in business and have seen success in life. Some have had careers in other fields, not at all related to the area of business or real estate. They may be looking for a career change or finally looking to pursue their lifelong dream of selling real estate. Others have had absolutely no work experience, and are looking to start out in their career field for the first time. But they have some things in common which make them successful.
So what makes these individuals successful when others are not?
One of the most important things is determination and perseverance. This is not to be confused with being domineering or pushy when dealing in real estate. Determination means taking the time to follow up with clients, leads, vendors, and potential opportunities for networking with others. It means realizing that being told ‘No’ one time, does not mean you will necessarily be told ‘No’ every time. It means finding the right time to follow-up with leads and knowing when not to push too hard.
One way to be persistent and knowing when to follow up with potential leads is to prioritize. When looking at customers, and potential customers, prioritize who needs to be followed-up with immediately, who can be followed-up with a little later, and who can be followed-up with only periodically. The first group of clients is those who have shown interest in selling or buying immediately. They may have contacted you directly, or may have been a lead from a vendor, or might even have been a company you saw in the news who are looking for new property. The second group of clients has shown some interest but is more than likely not ready to commit right away. They are more or less window shopping to see what is currently available. The last group has not really shown any interest but their needs might change with time.
Part of being persistent also means being intentional in your follow-up. Have a specific purpose when communicating with clients and potential clients. Whether looking to offer information on new properties available, an open house, or services you provide, have a reason to communicate with them. Offer them some information that is different from the previous time you spoke with them. And know when to end the communication and wait for the next time to follow-up with them to see if their needs have changed.
One of the hardest things to do in the real estate market is to remain patient. This does not only mean being patient in finding properties or buyers for listings. It also means being patient when working out a deal between a buyer and seller. It is very tempting to see a potential deal and immediately jump on the opportunity, but part of being a smart real estate agent is being patient with the process, and not acting too quickly.
One example of this is when an agent gets a potential lead on a building that may potentially be available for sale. They approach the owner, and they say they would be interested in selling, but only at a set price. The owner is not interested in discussing the matter any further, and simply states that they will consider an offer if brought to them. As an agent, there are a number of potential leads they may have of potential buyers in the area, and approach them to see if there is any interest in the property. Almost immediately, they get a response, and agree to the same amount that the owner wishes to list the property. Deal made right, but not so fast.
An experienced agent knows if they immediately come to the owner with the offer for the full amount, they might be very likely to reject the offer and demand the price of the listing be increased. However, a more experienced agent understands the process and is willing to be patient as it plays out. Instead, the agent recommends the buyer to make an offer less than the list price, and proceeds to facilitate offers and counter-offers between the buyer and seller until an agreement is made.
By bringing an offer slightly below what the buyer was willing to pay, even though it was exactly the same as the list price, allowed the buyer to have the perception that they have made a great deal. It also allows the seller to see a valid offer, to negotiate what they believe to be a fair price, as they do not want to walk away from money on the table. By being patient, the agent is able to get what they (both the buyer and seller) want from the transaction, which would not have likely happened if the agent acted too swiftly.
Ask Questions and Try New Things
Do not be afraid to ask questions and try new things. Look for new ways to market a property or to market your services. Consider ways of finding new prospects which have not been considered in the past. Do not shy away from buyers and sellers who may be looking to include something out of the ordinary in the contract. All of these possibilities may open new doors for an agent they would not have otherwise considered. Like every field, real estate is constantly changing, and no agent can possibly know everything about every market. Realizing this and taking the time to continue learning the field and the market you are working in can make all difference in success and failure.
Also take the time to constantly be learning new things. Take seminars or courses on real estate whenever possible. Look for opportunities to network with other real estate agents who have been successful in the field. Take time to also study and learn the market. When looking to enter into a new neighborhood or city, get to know people in the area. Find out what the community is like, and what possible opportunities are out there for marketing and networking. Also take the time to learn your buyers. Listen to them and their needs and wants. Doing so will help to ensure you are able to find properties which they may be interested in purchasing.
It is easy for new real estate agents to get wrapped up in the idea of being successfully quickly; however, the majority of real estate agents have to put in long hard work, especially at the very beginning. Being a successful real estate agent requires a minimum of a 40 hour work week. There are other times when extra hours are needed meeting with clients, writing up proposals, and hunting down potential opportunities. Selling a property takes time. The property and the community need to be fully researched before a property can be marketed and a buyer can be located. Locating a buyer, making phone calls, showings and open houses takes more time. When finding a potential buyer for a property, the job is still not done. Proposals and counter offers need to be completed before an agreement is made. And then usually additional time is needed before closing on the property takes place.
Real estate agents often have to take work home from them. But even more important than this is the need to be disciplined in how work is being prioritized, organized, and completed. This is not to say there is no room for fun in the life of a real estate agent. Quite the contrary! But it may mean at times work might need to be done at home while watching a movie or enjoying the sunset on the porch at home. Or it might mean having to meet with a potential buyer on off hours in the evening or on the weekends to close the deal. But, by being diligent, a real estate agent is able to get the job done and enjoy what they are doing at the same time.
Perhaps the most important thing to be successful in real estate is the ability to follow through. The best real estate agents are able to stay focused on what is most important, and organize their work so they can be efficient in following through with clients. This does not mean an agent has to start a project and complete it in its entirety all at one time. But it does mean being able to break the project down into manageable goals, seeing those goals come to completion, and then returning to the project to complete the next phase until the project is totally completed.
The ability to follow through is important for every phase of the real estate process. Following through with property leads brings about listings. Following through with buyers brings about offers on listings. Following through on offers brings about closed deals. Failing to follow through with any one of the steps along the way, will result in a breakdown of the process and result in failure instead of success, making it vital for a real estate agent to be successful.
While there are many different ideas about what makes a real estate agent successful, every truly successful agent holds these traits. Their determination allows them to pursue leads even when others may be discouraged. Their patience helps them to know when to act and when to wait. Their willingness, to ask questions and learn, keeps them fresh and gives them an edge over their competition. Their discipline helps them to remain focused on the task at hand, and their ability to follow through helps them to locate and close the deal before moving on to the next opportunity.