What characteristics make up a great Realtor?
As we are about to enter the busiest time in the real estate season, many home sellers will be thinking about who to hire to help them sell their homes. At the same time, many home buyers will correspondingly be finding a Realtor to help them purchase. Either way, with about 2,000 Realtors working in Waterloo Region, there is no shortage of Realtors to meet and interview. With that in mind, you are probably wondering what characteristics make up a good Realtor? Great question.
Here’s what I think:
A great Realtor is qualified
First of all, many consumers do not know that the salespeople they meet at new home construction sites may not Realtors. I wanted to point that out first of all because licensed Realtors are held to a much higher standard of behaviour than standard salespeople. We have exams to pass, continuing education credits to achieve, not to mention brokers, boards and governing bodies to answer to if we do something unethical.
I think the greatest thing about being a Realtor is that I am always learning something new. Even after all these years, things change, markets shift, interest rates rise and fall, new neighbourhoods spring up…Busy Realtors carry a lot of knowledge around in their heads. We operate where the rubber meets the road.
I remember reading somewhere that there are 12 basic personality types. I don’t know it that is true or not but I can say that there are all kinds of Realtors just like there are all kinds of home buyers and sellers so you should be able to find one that is a ‘good fit’ for you. It is important that you find someone that you are comfortable with as you may be spending some quality time together and sharing personal information.
Some agents have little or no experience in the real estate world. Maybe they are new or working part time. Some agents have lots of experience selling high rise condo units but little experience with single family homes. Some agents know their local market really well but make lots of mistakes when they go out of town.
I’m a full-time Realtor in my 13th year. I still often encounter issues and problems that I have never seen before. My feeling on experience is that if an agent has been working full time as a Realtor for five or more years and has done 100 or more transactions, then he/she is probably experienced enough to get the job done.
The best way to find a great Realtor is through recommendations of friends and family members that have worked with that agent before. Personally, I would avoid any paid or unpaid Realtor recommendation site including Google reviews. All those (good and bad) online reviews are a little dubious, manipulated and suspect.
Realtors don’t like to say ‘no’. We like to collect as many potential clients as we can. Sales is a numbers game. The more buyer and seller clients you have, the theory goes, the more transactions will happen.
Unfortunately, if a Realtor gets too busy, is spread too thin, is too much in demand, his/her clients suffer. You really want someone who is going to be with you every step of the way. That, after all, is what we get paid for.
A great Realtor will have a great network of trusted professionals that he/she can turn to in times of need and can recommend to their clients. Real estate is process and beside the buyers/sellers and their agents, there are many other players. Real estate lawyers, home inspectors, various contractors, home stagers, mortgage brokers and other lenders are just a few of the professionals you will need.
A great Realtor has integrity
There is a lot at stake when buying and selling property. You want to know that your agent is not only on your side but has your interests ahead of his or her own. Your agent will have to give you good advice and may have to give you bad news. You have to know that your Realtor has the assertiveness and integrity to be truthful with you.
Your chosen Realtor has to be able to “read the room”. They have to be good listeners, problemsolvers and able negotiators.
It does not matter if your Realtor works at a BIG BOX BROKERAGE, wears $500 shoes, drives a European automobile, claims to sell more houses that McDonalds sell hamburgers. It does not matter if a Realtor has his or her face big of busses and claims to be your best choice in magazine advertising and their other paid advertising.
If your chosen Realtor can satisfy all of the above, hire them on the spot. You are on your way to a successful transaction.