Just about every broker or agent has their own style. Some are extroverts, some are more laid back. Some are fun and flamboyant, some are cool, calm, and collected.
So what makes a successful agent?
The first thing is always passion. It’s a hard business and it takes a lot of attention to detail and a commitment to great customer service. In talking with agents I’ve noticed that the truly great agents also share the attributes below:
They return calls and emails at lightning speed – These are the people that get a lead and don’t let it go. They immediately make contact and they follow up. They answer any questions and are happy to stay on the phone with nervous clients. They are the warriors of email, text, and phone and they keep that rhythm right up through the whole transaction.
They are up on the latest technology – They are iPad toters and smart phone addicts. They do everything from anywhere. They don’t just have a tablet and a smartphone; they make sure they have great data plans so they are never stuck without an internet connection. They try to go paperless as much as possible. They read a lot of information both about the real estate industry but also about general trends regarding technology.
They know their neighborhoods intimately – The phrase “neighborhood expert” gets bandied about quite a bit but when it comes to top agents, they are walking, talking encyclopedias of neighborhood lore. Ask a question about a street and they know what’s on the market, what sold recently, and the overall status of the neighborhood. Tell the agent what you like in a neighborhood and suggestions on places to look will come tumbling out. Looking to sell? The agent knows what is on the market, what just sold, and what you can get for your money.
They explain everything they are doing – Like straight A students doing math homework, successful agents show their work. When they meet with the client for the first time they explain the process, the potential roadblocks, and a few scenarios that could occur. They let the client know that they are negotiating, they keep in regular communication, and they adjust their strategy as needed.
They get leads any way they can – Nobody really likes to talk about leads but leads are how many agents get clients. A lead is an introduction to someone the Realtor hasn’t met yet. Smart agents are experimenters, they try out different types of lead sources, they explore different types of ad campaigns, and they take notes on what works and what doesn’t. They understand that having a social presence is important and that staying top of mind means being active with their clients through social media, through advertising, and even through more traditional methods such as postcard mailings. Postcards and bus stop bench ads are still around because they still work in some cases.
They have a great network— These agents don’t just have a network to bring them clients they have a network of top-notch partners who provide the same level of service they do. They know the best contractors, appraisers, lenders, and insurance providers AND tax grievance company in the business. op agents care for their network and are happy to refer clients that they know will get top care. They are ruthless about cutting out anyone who doesn’t provide great customer service to their clients.
Overall, great customer service is about two things, knowledge and authenticity. The agents that succeed are able to treat each client’s purchase as vitally important. They are able to steer the client through any hiccups in the process and leave the client feeling that the whole process was as easy as possible.