I was listening to a webinar recently and it challenged the agents to come up with 15 reasons why a seller should work with them. I couln’t immediately rattle off 15, and had to think about it for a few days. I’d like to think that just means I put some thought into it, and not that I couldn’t come up with 15! Here’s what I did eventually end up coming up with –
1. Full Time Agent – This is one of those that didn’t immediately come to me, as I just naturally work my job as a full time job. But then, I started seeing articles and overhearing discussions in the office about the huge jump in the number of agents since the market has improved. Then I was talking to a gal who’s son is an agent but also has two other jobs (how in the world does that work?). Today my broker (ie boss) said that 70% of the agents that have their licenses are part time. Of this, 50% have zero sales a year and 20% consider real estate a part time supplement to their chosen career. I believe a seller would benefit from knowing if their agent is actually a full time agent!
2. Put Seller’s Priorities First – The first page of my pre-listing packet says “We are confident that our service will exceed your expectations because your interests – not the transaction, nor the agents involved, nor the other principals in the transaction, but YOUR interests – will always come first.” and I mean it. I am in this business to help people with their real estate needs. Yes, I need to make money, and am not embarassed or ashamed of this. I believe people don’t fault you for earning what you make, so I strive to earn it!
3. Good communication Skills – I had lunch with an old friend and mentor today. I’ve known him since I was 16 and worked as an assistant at my first real estate office. The conversation kept coming back to communication. Whether it is working with escrow, lenders, title, other real estate agents, buyers, sellers, relocation managers, contractors (you get the idea), the answer to a successful interaction is always good communication. I believe if you are sincere, put others interests first, and stay organized, that good communication can be very easy. It is also something that can be easily taken for granted when done well, but boy does it become issue number one if not done!
4. Detail oriented – I spent 12 years as an appraiser. 5 of those, my husband and I ran our own business. Although we had mostly certified appraisers that worked for us, not a single appraisal left my office that I didn’t review. My husband says I should have been an editor. My spelling may not always be perfect, but I do have an eye for detail and it rubs me the wrong way when I read a listing that has inaccurate information, or things left out!
5. Work well with other agents – I have developed a good rapport with agents, both in my office, where I train new agents, to other agents, both inside Windermere and with other companies. I have helped my buyer’s win in multiple offer situations because I had worked with the agent before and she knew I wouldn’t drop the ball or leave her with all the work. This relates to good communication skills, but merits its own line because it’s such a small community. Sometimes we are competing against each other, and then the very next day we are trying to work together on opposite ends of a transaction. It’s a balancing act we do every day.
6. Technical experience – I think being an appraiser for so long made me a bit of a geek, but I really like keeping up on the stats of our business. I also like sharing these with buyers and sellers and seeing the lightbulb go on when people understand the numbers.
7. Lender connections – I have great lender connections for my buyers, but this also helps when working with sellers. I regularly reach out to the buyer’s lender and stay in contact with them throughout the process. Again, it comes back to communication. My long term lenders have become some of my biggest advocates, and I get a tremendous amount of referrals from them. This is quite an honor considering how many agents they work with! They also become a great resource for me and my clients to clarify market trends, interest rates, or changing regulations.
8. Vendor connections – One thing I love about the office I work in, we share information. Between us, we have compiled a great vendor list of trusted people that do excellent work.
9. Realtor – Much has been said about what it means to be a Realtor, and not every agent is one. I am happy to pay the dues every year because the organization has done so much to help homeownership be attainable for the average person. If you’d like more information, please visit Realtor.com
10. Windermere Way – I work for such a great company. Windermere is all about putting others first. Building relationships. Making a transaction the beginning of the client relationship, not the end. Windermere fits perfectly with my own personal philosophy, and I can’t imagine working anywhere else.
11. Appraisal experience – I became an appraiser because I wanted to be a better agent. Although I ended up doing it for 12 years, I always knew I would return to my first love, real estate. Because I have this experience, it helps in every type of market, with both sellers and buyers. In our current market, we have to sell the house twice, first to the buyer, then to their lender. I can make sure this happens!
12. Inspector experience – When my husband and I had our business, it was a blended business, serving both appraisals (which I managed), and home inspections (he managed). I spent many years in houses as he was inspecting them, in place of the buyer’s agent. I know this sounds odd, but I had my license and agents loved the fact that I could stay with their buyers (talk about trust!) while they did other things. I also attended all the same training as my husband and could have become an actual inspector, had I wanted to walk on roofs and crawl in crawl spaces (I did not!). This has been of great value for both my sellers and my buyers. It doesn’t mean I see everything, though, and I highly recommend pre inspections for sellers and inspections for buyers.
13. Stager’s eye – I stage out all my vacant listings with vignet style staging (think small scale staging) for no charge. I can also help advise sellers that are still living in their homes on ways to improve their surroundings for potential buyers.
14. Internet exposure – Although at times this can feel like a moving target, the internet is constantly evolving to better meet consumer needs. I stay on top of changes and take the time to implement the most important into my business.
15. Long time experience – I have been in this business since I was 16. Back then, the MLS was in book form, the access keys looked like actual keys, and by boss used a Rolodex. I can remember the first agent in our office to get a computer! And the cell phones were huge! As much as things change, some things remain the same. Great service, putting the client first, knowing your inventory, and communication!
If these 15 reasons sound like an agent that you would like to have on your side, call me. Or text, or email, or Facebook, or LinkedIn, or whatever else new that may come up as the next big thing next week. I’ll still be here, doing my thing…
Tami Tuck – 4252-231-7610