When someone calls about buying a home, there are always many questions, as there should be, but sometimes I am asked about everything but real estate. Recently I have been asked about how to change a detrimental credit score, how to handle somebody's in laws, and my favorite question, "How much can you loan me on that house?" I do not fault anyone for asking most questions because the Realtor's role is sometimes fuzzy at best for the first time home buyer. Although I am not a banker (but I was at one time), a counselor (but I am an ordained minister) or a credit specialist, I am always glad to point people in the right direction for answers to their questions, and am learning that in Real Estate, there are some things that I SHOULD do for my customer, and try very hard to accomplish.
5 Things YOUR Realtor Should Do...
1. COMMUNICATE Clearly
I am naturally a people person, and have spoken to crowds of thousands of people at a time, however this does not make me a great communicator. A Realtor deals with many details, and should always clarify as many of those details with every person involved. When is the closing? What else is needed? Did you call the inspector? Are you sure? When do you expect that to be completed? Any question, from anybody always deserves clarification. Once the Realtor is clear, then he or she should communicate to the client, other agent, lender, etc. Over communication is not a bad thing.
2. Call Regularly
It seems that this would go hand in hand with communication, but it is a bit different. In today's culture, its easy to send a text message or email and say, "Hey, I have talked to my client", but never underestimate the power of personal interaction with either face to face or a phone call. Even if one of my listing customers has not had any showings lately, I still try to call and touch base to see how they are doing and give them an update on the market itself. For some clients, they may prefer non verbal communication, but those type people are few and far between. How long has it been since you have spoken to your Realtor? We are all very busy, but there is no excuse to a 2 minute call to say hello!
3. Market To Move
Everyday, there is something new to learn, and I am far from knowing all that there is to know, especially in the Real Estate world. One thing I do know, is that selling homes and helping you purchase a home is a business, and in business, marketing skills are essential. After reading several articles by professionals who have been in the business for years, I believe that I concur with them... "Listing the property in "The Homes Book" alone is not marketing." Again, I am still learning, but it is a no brainer that to help my clients sell their home, there should be no stone left unturned when looking for ways to place the clients property in front of as many potential buyers as possible. Technology has come a long way with social media, external web sites and more. Did you know that 42% of buyer use their smart phone to view property? Also ask, Who are we marketing to? What are we saying with the verbage? If the headline only reads "House For Sale", with very little detail or pictures, then your listing might need a facelift. One thing that I do is look at some of the top Realtors in other markets and states to see how they do it...If they are doing it well, I want to know how I can do it better, so I can serve my customer better!
4. Know It All...Or At Least Some Of It.
Nobody likes a "know it all", until they actually ask a question, and expect the "know it all" to have the answer. A Realtor may not have any idea about the latest fashion, (although the ones that I know are usually dressed professionally and smart) and they might not have a clue where to get good take out, but a good Realtor is always learning and growing in their field and trade. I try to ask the more seasoned agents lots of questions about the business and read about the latest trends in home sales and markets. Good Realtors will know their market, and will know what is hot and what is not. They will know what the financial markets are looking like or be able to give you contact information of the people who do. Realtors will know the ethical and legal boundaries and stay within them to help serve you with the best service. They will also be able to take the "Real Estate lingo" and break it down into plain ole' English... The bottom line is this... A great Realtor may not always have the answer when initially asked, but will always work hard to find the answer promptly, and has a good network around them, that is trained and ready to supply counsel and assistance. I don't think I would call myself a "Great" Realtor, although I am working hard to be one, but I do have a GREAT network of people around me who are smarter, brighter and more seasoned than me, and help me be so much better than I could ever be on my own.