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Picking an Agent, a Better Approach

So how do you find or pick out an agent?  This may shock you but most people are very lackadaisical in their approach and then they wonder why they have less than satisfactory results. I have heard about clients who saw an agent’s business card posted on a bulletin board. I have seen people select an agent because they saw their business card sized ad on a place-mat at a dinner.  My favorite is when I see an agent taking out ad space on shopping carts and the copy is set in on the little seat where the baby rides.  Not only do I think these things are a waste of the agent’s money, but I think it is kind of goofy for the consumer too.  Consider this for a second. If you were moving into a new town, would you use this approach to find a family doctor? NOT!

Here’s a better method for selecting doctors, lawyers, and yes, Real Estate Agents. Check out their R.E.C.O.R.D.

Let’s look at the R in this acronym: Recommendation. As President Biden likes to say, “Come on, man.” I cannot believe that this isn’t the first thing you would do. Seek out any of your friends or business associates and ask them.  They all have Doctors, etc. and yes, I am sure they know Real Estate agents (who they individually, know, like, and trust.) ASK them. They will be more than happy to share these important contacts with you.  Since these people are in your inner circle, we can presume they will recommend people you would want use too,

Expertise: Not all agents are experts in the particular part of the market you might be interested in and although they can probably get the job done, most people want to deal with individuals who are experts in their specific fields. If you have issues with your skin, chances are your doctor will refer you to a specialist called a dermatologist. Likewise, if you are looking at horse farms, going with the Best NYC broker may not be the smartest choice for you. Make sure the agent you are working with has specific expertise in the segment of the market you need to address.

Commitment: Is the agent going to be available to you when you need them?  Are they full time or part time? Are they the number one agent in the market and so incredibly busy that your account is somewhere in their pile and they just haven’t been able to get to it today.  Commitment is synonymous with availability. 

Office:  This is an interesting one. Big or small is not the important factor.  An office usually connotes “a group of agents” not the physical space.  What is a church? Is it the building or is it the congregation? For our purposes it will be the congregation because for us; the people make the difference. This is what you are looking for in an office. A really productive office has a certain vibe, almost a hum, it is clearly perceptible from the moment you walk in the door.  You can feel it for sure. You should check out the office so you can experience how the whole thing feels to YOU.  On any given day, when you walk into the offices at Husvar Real Estate, “Husvar as I know…” you will see agent’s working, putting transactions together, attending coaching sessions, and generally speaking, building their business.  It’s a cool thing to watch. PLEASE don’t take my word for it. Drop in at 501 John James Audubon Pkwy and see it for yourself.

Reputation:  Good or bad, take your pick.  I know which I would choose and I would check them out, again, specifically for the area that I was interested in as well.  They may enjoy the greatest reputation in Commercial Investing, but might me altogether weak on the residential side, especially in the suburb I am considering.

Drive: This is somewhat related to Commitment but it goes beyond that, and the X factor here is their TENACITY.  You want an agent who is like the proverbial “dog with the bone.”  Granted, as I mentioned previously, you want them to be tenacious but you don’t want them to have a blood lust that alienates other agents or consistently rubs people the wrong way.  If they are obnoxious with you, wager they will be just as annoying when they deal with other agents. Agent’s that fit this description are much less effective than agents who understand the difference of being aggressive versus being assertive.  I love to do an experiment every now and then and I ask our agents a question.  I ask them to think of an agent they have done a transaction with that they would never, ever, ever, want to work with again. I tell them to picture them in their mind. When I see their eyes move upward and I can see they all have one, I ask. “Don’t tell me their names, but does everyone have one?”  They all do and they all laugh out loud.  I conclude by saying, ” Just don’t ever be that agent that someone else is thinking of in that light.”

So what do you think? Send me a follow up and let me know how you found your last agent and let me know if you were satisfied with the results.

Hey, I wrote the book on Real Estate, literally.”

Author Brendan J. Cunningham is a New York Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker, lead of the Platinum Team at HusVar Real Estate, as well as an accomplished writer, Shakespearean trained professional actor, and podcaster.

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