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What Makes A Great Real Estate Agent

What Makes A Great Real Estate Agent
A lot has been said about real estate agents — both good and bad. Seeking the best of anything, however, takes some forethought and planning, especially when this person may handle one of the biggest transactions you’ll ever participate in. Like other professionals, there are varying degrees of experience, expertise, passion, and tenacity a great (not just a decent) agent should possess.

Realtors and real estate brokers are truly the workhorses of the typical real estate transaction, having weathered both balanced markets and challenging ones in their careers. They are the people that coordinate the process, not unlike the conductor of a symphony, coordinating the different players to make a successful transaction a reality. Unlike the conductor, however, they also play a few of the instruments. Some roles are those spelled out in their fiduciary responsibilities, and others become fallback roles they play out of the necessity of a given moment. While they can be a salesperson or buyer’s advocate, they can also be an analyst, a business manager, a consultant, a negotiator, a marketer, a de facto marriage counselor, and even spur-of-the-moment stagers, just to name a few parts you may see them take on without complaint.
Kaplan Real Estate Education names the traits agents should strive for when they train agents to enter the field. The first? They should possess a problem-solver mindset, grasping with gusto the opportunity to come up with creative solutions to problems or issues. Properly showcasing a house and making it more marketable by creating and developing creative MLS listings to attract the right buyers is indeed an art form. But anticipating, being proactive, and handling the nuances and issues of any transaction is also an art form not possessed by all agents.
Why do people become agents, to begin with? While a passion for real estate is at the top of the list, most Realtors are entrepreneurs at heart. They have a desire to control their own professional destiny and be their own bosses. To be successful in real estate requires a high degree of self-motivation, drive, and smart decision-making, according to Kaplan, which means a large percentage of those entering the field may not last past the first year or two. In other words, it’s REALLY hard work to establish one’s self in the industry. They also must understand the importance of being an all-around good business person as well, understanding how each player in the process — mortgage, escrow, title, inspections, staging, etc. — are key pieces in the puzzle of a smooth transaction.
Realtors wear their reputations on their foreheads everywhere they go, so to speak. Whether they are dealing with a client, a potential client, a neighbor, or even a friend, their credibility is defined by their actions and track records for honesty and integrity. Becoming a member of the National Association of REALTORS® is one way they commit to practicing high ethical standards since becoming a member means pledging to maintain a strict Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice.
Just because you see a local agent on the golf course doesn’t mean he or she isn’t working. Relationships are, after all, an integral part of their existence. What you don’t see beyond that snapshot, however, is that a great agent also has a great work ethic. He or she keeps no real office hours when push comes to shove. That means sacrificing weekends, evenings, and even their kids’ soccer games when required. “You must have the tenacity to pursue every lead and the hustle to aggressively market your clients’ properties in order to have success,” says Kaplan. “It’s not just about putting in a lot of time—it’s about working smart, putting in the right amount of time, and doing whatever is necessary to close the deal.”
Of course, you can see the kind of passion an agent has when he or she simply talks about what they constantly surround themselves with — houses. Those who can’t imagine doing anything else for a career have a true interest in houses and architecture, offering their clients an advantage over other brokers and salespersons. Being addicted to the world of real estate and the development of neighborhoods — even the commercial areas that surround them — shows you they are truly involved and engaged as well as highly interested in the industry.
Detail is everything to a good agent. Not only must they pay attention to the nuances of a given listing or map out a plan to show buyers homes that suit their needs — they must be organized, follow up with leads, communicate well, and pay attention to the needs of everyone involved — even the other team players that make it possible for the American Dream to come to fruition. In addition to this, they must be the quintessential experts on the housing market they serve, appreciating and utilizing the nuances that make a specific community and pricing strategy unique. Success comes from identifying and developing a focus or niche in the local real estate market that allows them to distinguish themselves from the competition.
Speaking of team members; behind every successful real estate agent is a vast network of contacts within the market they serve. This includes other real estate agents and brokers, potential buyers and sellers, appraisers, home inspectors, mortgage loan officers, contractors, stagers, and even those with knowledge of the local schools, utilities, and infrastructure (as well as planned infrastructure) of a given area. They make it their business to stay up-to-date on anything that can make them the ultimate resource to their clients and potential clients. They embrace continuing education and professional development as doors to opportunity that can be utilized to expand their business options and stay at the forefront of the real estate field.
Bottom line? Your agent wants to be your resource for life — not just one transaction. Even after the sale, they are there for you to answer questions on what is happening in your neighborhood, where new businesses may be springing up, where gentrification of older neighborhoods may be happening, and where the market may be going in general. A great agent cares about all of it, knowing they already have or may, in the future, participate in one of the largest transactions of a given person’s life — playing a part in a place called home.


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