How to Find the Perfect Real Estate Agent
Thirty three percent of home buyers find the home they buy through their agent. This is despite the number of buyers who find their homes online. And that number is 44%. Real estate agents are still at least ONE THIRD of the reason a home is discovered. So, you have to tell that one third that you are here and there and all over looking for a home just for them. You need to be marketing yourself and not just through your agency or a single website. You can not just rely on one single avenue to make leads come your way. There are your business cards to pass out to everyone and door hangers to distribute throughout a neighborhood and postcards to send. Networking and direct-mail marketing will also help in getting the word out about You.
For someone who is purchasing a home, it takes much more than just looking at houses on line. Credit scores need to be analyzed and cleaned up. A down payment needs to be assembled. The type of home needs to be considered. And for all home buyers, they need someone to help them along the way. This person needs to be able to help find the right house, mortgage and financing because you need a partner to help steer you. This is where a real estate agent can be the hero.
When you have made a short list, contact all of the agents. Ask them to give you a list of the homes they have sold in the past year. You will want the contact information for each home and you will need to know the experience. Ask about listing price and then sales price and how long on the market and about any problems. You are looking for someone who specializes in what you are looking for in a home.
Make sure that all of the realtors are licensed and if there have been any complaints or disciplinary marks. Ask how long they have been in the business.
Ask about awards, accolades, endorsements or designations that the realtor may have achieved. Find what credentials and specialties they have. Additional training means that they are versed in different types of realty.
CRS (Certified Residential Specialist): Completed additional training in handling residential real estate.
ABR (Accredited Buyer’s Representative): Completed additional education in representing buyers in transactions.
SRES (Seniors Real Estate Specialist): Completed training aimed at helping buyers and sellers in the 50-plus age range.
If the agent calls themselves a Realtor with a capital “R,” that means they are a member of NAR. Make sure you choose an agent who has pledged to support the code of ethics.
Check out the realtors current listings. Look on their website. Look for them on Trulia or Zillow. Note the attractiveness of the home with its pictures and descriptions. See if these homes are what you are looking for and in the price range. Does the realtor appear to have several listings indicating that their business is just not a hobby.
The kind of agent you want should have knowledge about other properties that are available. They should be able to describe these properties and indicate that they know the area and are on top of the local market. Also ask if they work in a team. Sometimes, the amount of housing inventory is vast and no one person can have all the details of every listing. Working with a team helps alleviate that issue and spreads the knowledge. A team can also help out with showing homes when the other is busy. It increases the response time to your inquiry and the amount of time one is available. You will also want to know what kind of time they can dedicate to you. Can they multitask several clients at the same time? You don’t want to feel cheated in your quest for a home. Do they have a second job? Are they going on a vacation? You may have to move on if the realtor is unavailable.
All of these questions should be answered not only by the client but also by the realtor. You go into the business to make money and to be a help to others. You want to know your stuff for the benefit of all involved. To be successful in real estate you have to be able to do more than just close the deal. You need to effectively manage and grow a small business. That means finding clients, keeping them, and motivating them to buy or sell.
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