Today’s real estate client has very different expectations when seeking a real estate agent. It is important to understand what home owners will be seeking in their real estate agent, so you can make sure you will measure up to their expectations. Here are a few things NAR is recommending home buyers look for in their real estate agent:
More home owners are realizing that although their brother’s real estate agent sold his home above asking in less than a week, he lives in a different town, or neighborhood. Today’s home owner is learning that to sell their home it doesn’t just take a highly recommended agent, it takes an agent that knows their specific neck of the woods. Using social media and your website to demonstrate your knowledge of the market in your neighborhood will help raise your profile as the local expert. You can also use newsletters to keep your clients up to date on what is happening so they will think of you when someone in their group of friends and family are in need of a real estate agent. In fact, they might even choose to share your newsletter with people they know are looking to sell their home.
With today’s technology, home owners will expect you to be available to them when they need you. NAR advises home owners that the biggest test will be how quickly you respond to their first attempt at communicating with you. Make sure you are checking your phone, emails and even social media pages regularly, so you never miss the chance to respond in a timely manner. It can be as simple as texting, or quickly emailing them to let them know you are with a client, and will call them at a certain time. This will let them know you will never leave them hanging and always make an effort to get back to them quickly. It will also make a good first impression if you are the first agent to respond.
When it comes to experience, NAR advises home owners to probe for numbers including:
At least two years of experience as a real estate agent
20 home sales in the past year
60 to 80 percent of your listings sold
Average list price to actual sell price ratio for your listings of 95 percent
NAR recommends getting a clear picture of the steps an agent will take to market their home. They not only recommend asking how you will market their listing, but also a dollar figure that shows how much you will invest in that plan.
As well, it is not enough to just stick to today’s online efforts. You should be looking at the following marketing efforts for each listing:
Online listing on your own website as well as a few national and local sites to make sure you reach as many buyers as possible
Reaching out to local agents to advertise the listing such as eflyers
Social media that includes Facebook, Twitter and posting images on Instagram
The basic traditional marketing tactics such as effective brochures handed out at open houses and of course yard signs.
A strong listing presentation that outlines your approach to marketing will help illustrate your marketing strategy.
NAR warns home owners that agents who are happy to negotiate a lower rate for their own fees could be someone to avoid. This can indicate you are not the savviest of negotiators. One might argue that negotiation skills are the most important thing an agent brings to the table. Demonstrating these skills early on in the relationship will let them see you know your own worth and have the ability to negotiate with focus and integrity.
Understanding NAR's recommendations will help you meet and exceed home owners' expectations.