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By Tara-Nicholle Nelson | Broker in San Francisco, CA

How to Find an Agent You Love

My adventures in business of late have caused me to believe that, contrary to popular opinion, many entrepreneurs and companies are inspired to do what they do out of a passion for their customers. I'm also aware that the feeling is not always, or even often, mutual.  

In a recent survey, only 20 percent of Americans said they trusted real estate agents as a profession. But here's the good news, for buyers, sellers and agents: though people seem to distrust agents as a group,nearly 90 percent of buyers and sellers liked their individual real estate agent enough to say that they would work with them again! 

Your relationship with your real estate agent should ideally be a very intimate one. First off, they represent your interests on the most financially and otherwise impactful transaction most of us will ever undertake. But in a best case scenario, they can and will also learn your personal hopes and dreams, your very personal financial information, your family’s private way of living and lifestyle needs and even often your intepersonal relationship dynamics so they can fold all these considerations into their work to help you secure the right home at a price and on terms that work for you for the very long term.

For this to happen as holistically as is ideal, you need a relationship of deep trust with your agent: trust that they’ll keep your confidences and trust in making your decisions in part based on their advice and expertise. Plus, with house hunts stretching out for longer and longer, you’ll be spending a ton of your off-work hours with this person. So ideally, you'll work with an agent you love spending time with!  

So, let’s cover a few key steps for finding an agent that you trust, respect and ultimately love.

1.  Get referrals to agents whose clients love them. We live in a digital era, and there are all sorts of ways you can harness the power of technology to manage your real estate matters. But when it comes to the relationship issue of finding an agent you'll love, your best resources aren't technological: they're human.

Ask the people you know - friends, family, colleagues, the people at church or temple or soccer - what local agent did they work with when they bought or sold their home?  Then dig a little deeper - were they buying or selling?  When did they do their deal, and what was their experience like? Did they like their agent?  Were they trustworthy? 

And most importantly: did they love their agent enough that they would work with them again?  If yes - what was so lovable?

There's no reason you have to do this completely low-tech, though. Post your agent referral request on Facebook, if you don't mind letting your world know that you might be in the market - or peruse agents listed on Trulia and click on their profiles to see whether any of your Facebook friends have already written a recommendation or review of their services. (Note: this feature is relatively new, so it's not usually a bad sign if an agent has no Facebook recommendations on their Trulia profile - but it's a great thing if they have good ones.) If you're moving to an area where you don't know anyone, or no one you know has an agent they give rave reviews, look to the recommendations feature on Trulia and to communities like Yelp! and Angie's List and see what agents people there are raving about.

2.  Scope out how they engage online. Once you have a short list of agents whose past and current clients love them, spend some time scouting out their online and social media presences:

Check out their Facebook pages, websites and blogs to see whether and how they provide educational or neighborhood resources in a style that resonates with you.  

See if they are active in discussions or answering buyer and seller questions in online communities like Trulia Voices. If they are, that by itself should win points, as agents are very busy, so taking the time to engage with consumers on these sorts of channels shows an above-and-beyond commitment to their professional practice. 

Beyond whether or not they are active, look at how they are engaging with buyers and sellers like you online. Do they answer the questions being asked, with clarity?  Do they appear to offer insight on local market dynamics or practices that are standard in the areas you'll be house hunting or selling?  This may give you some insight into how these agents will interact with you or handle your questions, if you decide to work with them.

3.  Look for a comparable and compatible agent. If you've read this blog much at all, you know that I frequently encourage buyers and sellers to pay attention to what we call the "comps" - recent sales of similar homes in the area around the property they're looking to buy or sell. When you're in the market for a real estate agent, though, consider looking at the agents and their backgrounds through a similar lens.  

Look for agents who have strong experience and can, ideally, provide references to past or current clients in comparable situations to yours.  If you're looking to sell your home via a short sale, look for agents and references with that background. If you want to buy an REO, discuss with your prospective agents whether they have had experience representing buyers on foreclosure listings.   The more similar the references' situations were to yours, the more easily you'll be able to trust that your agent has your own situation covered. 

Beyond the comparability of their past experiences to your own upcoming transaction, compatibility is also key.  When it comes to compatibility, don't take shortcuts like assuming you need an agent whose demographics are just like yours - that's a surefire way to miss out on some agents who might take your best interests very seriously. I've seen young agents work well with retirees, and 30-something newlyweds buying their first homes instantly, deeply trust the experience of their Baby Boomer agent.  

Finding an agent with whom you are compatible is more an issue of communication styles and logistics. There's not necessarily a right or wrong way for an agent to communicate with clients, so long as it's honest, prompt, clear and competent, but it is important that you work with an agent who communicates in ways that work with you. If the agent is vocal about not liking to text or email much, but those are tools you tend to use all the time, proceed with caution. And vice versa - if you get quick responses to your calls, texts or emails at the "dating" stage, that portends well for the future of the relationship.

4.  Tease out their track record. Particularly if you're looking for an agent to sell your home, it's critical to get at their track record of success.  This should not take much detective work - you can just flat out ask the prospective agent. In fact, many agents will proactively offer you this information when they come to a listing appointment with you. 

Just in case, when you make appointments, ask the agents to come to the meeting with information about things like:
  • the percentage of their listings from the last year that have sold
  • the average number of days one of their listings stays on market before it sells (DOM)
  • addresses, list prices and sales prices of listings they've recently sold, and
  • if you suspect your home might sell for less than you owe on it, the details of the most recent short sale transactions they've brokered.

Buyers, Sellers and Agents: What other questions should savvy agent-interviewers ask? Please share in the comments.

5.  Connect and listen. The next step is the most basic and possibly the most important: sit down with prospective agents at their office, your home or a coffeeshop and spend an hour getting to know them. Beforehand, make a list of your questions, your values, your priorities and generally the vision of your life you're trying to create by virtue of doing this transaction.

Spend some of the hour going through those things, but don't forget to spend some time just getting to know the agent on an interpersonal level and listening to what they have to say. Then listen to your gut. Based on the totality of the information you now have, is this someone you want to spend hours and hours with?  Is this agent someone you feel you can trust?

Don't discount your gut-level instincts on this score. Yes, buying or selling a home is a business transaction, and it's critical to have someone with the competence and expertise to get your deal done.  But it's also a very personal matter, and one which will require you to make a series of tough decisions over an extended period of time, based at least in part on the advice of the agent you choose.

On some levels, finding an agent you love poses a chicken-and-egg conundrum.  If you trust them up front, you'll be more likely to follow their advice, which (if their advice is sound) positions you for the sort of successful outcome that will make you love them even more!  If you don't have that trust up front, it's more likely that you'll blow their advice off when it comes to the hard things like dropping your home's list price or increasing your offer price - things that seriously impact the success of your transaction, your satisfaction with the property and your overall financial situation for years and years to come.  

These steps will help you stack the decks in your favor of starting out the transaction and the relationship with as much trust as you can.
P.S. - You should follow Trulia and Tara on Facebook!    

Comments

By Charlie Cuccia,  Thu Mar 15 2012, 09:00
If you are ready to invest in yourself and your future!
By Gabe Litvin,  Thu Mar 15 2012, 09:12
What we found most helpful (when we were looking to move to Reno from Tahoe) was the degree of service we got from the agent, and the degree to which he zeroed in on our particular market interest. This agent sent us several lists of possibilities covering our general price range and specs. Then he spent a number of hours driving us around and refining his understanding of our preferences. This was the key to finding the house we ultimately bought. It also helped that the agent was from a well-established firm (Chase). I think the 5 steps above, aside from step 5, are really well beyond the scope of what the average client would be able to do effectively.
By John Crowe,  Thu Mar 15 2012, 09:35
Point three is one so many buyers and sellers fail to consider. Must like who you work with, or it may result in frustration.
By Sherry Mcgarity,  Thu Mar 15 2012, 09:51
my realtestate agent krapppppped out on me. When I told him I'd probably be ready by April 1 to put my house on the market, (that is my target date) he told me he's getting married and has taken on a partner in business and would like for him to get involved as well. NOW, it took me 25 tries to find this agent, I really like him and his work ethic. I'm not going to change horses in midstream. All other agents were either too bossy, too controlling, would not listen to me, would not list my property like i wanted, etc., WOULD NOT DO APPROPRIATE COMP'S -- a real biggy! This guy did. Now he's not that interested anymore., and probably he's trying to share the workload, get his new partner going too with clients, etc., and I understand that, BUT I'm back at square one. I need a GREAT realtor like this man who will work for ME, THE SELLER!!
By Lin McClain,  Thu Mar 15 2012, 09:56
Hi Sherry,
I am a licensed Realtor in the State of Indiana. I would be happy to refer you to an agent in your area. Please feel free to call me (812)217-0173 and we can talk about what your needs are at the present time and find an eager and experienced agent to help you with your real estate needs.
By Jaime,  Thu Mar 15 2012, 10:10
My biggest problem is dishonesty. Don't be dishonest, because when your client finds out ..they will never trust you and send you packing and for some people it is the smallest of detail. I think that realtors need to realize with the access we have to information as buyers, via internet, blogs, friends, family...its pretty stupid to be dishonest. I didn't know what a "comp" was, but when i found a home I was interested in..I looked for homes that recently sold in the same community on the internet, and found that my agent was asking me to bid way over asking price because it was one of those multiple offer situations. If I am not paying cash, then obviously the bank is not going to lend me more than an appraisal value. Money is the bottom line here...agents need to respect their clients money...because if you try to make me spend more than I have to ..i will just dislike you..end of story.
By JIM TURANO,  Thu Mar 15 2012, 10:25
Amazing how so many people are so different in their way of thinking when it comes to Real Estate. In Middle Village, NY and surrounding areas when going to a Home for the first time, you do need to get the Homeowners to like you within the shortest amount of time. Of course if you are referred it makes it easier.
The biggest challenges in Real Estate is dealing with Homeowners who are not open to suggestions, or reasons why they really need you to sell their home. It is a long process, and the key is qualified clients!
Along with Pricing the Home at current Market Value with an experienced Broker who will guide the sellers through the process. The biggest offenders to date, are the Homeowners who place a sign on their property for sale. They waste their time & effort with unqualified clients, nosey neighbors, and let not 1 month go by, but 6 or more months go by. Is that a Red flag? Yes it is, but they continue on their own anyway. The more intelligence sometimes the worse the results are with Homeowners. I am sure that if they need surgery, they wouldn't want to do it on their own. But who knows, just to save a Buck they may change professions again.
By Helen Oliveri,  Thu Mar 15 2012, 10:25
Great tips for potential Buyers or Sellers!
By Gabe,  Thu Mar 15 2012, 11:00
I have been searching to purchase a home for 6 months. I have yet found an agent who understands customer service. Real estate is very competitive you need to view and get an offer into a home as soon as possible, not when it is convenient for the Realtor. I hate that you have to wait on your agent to view homes. Listing agents refuse to come out and show you a home if you have a realtor, this wastes time, and you can potentially lose a chance to get an offer in first on a home you really want. I have run across lazy realtors who just want to close the deal and not do any work or research on my behalf. They refuse to offer opinions or real suggestions because they hide behind rules stating we are not allowed to tell you that is a neighborhood you should avoid. Then why bother having an agent if they are not going to offer opinions. This is a huge investment I am going to make. I need and value and honest opinion on whether or not I should purchase a particular home. I have had homes which have been on sale for many weeks with no offer and the minute I submit an offer all of sudden they have another offer on the table? So far I have not been impressed.
By Scvmom,  Thu Mar 15 2012, 11:03
Hi Sherry
My husband co-owns a Real Estate Company in Southern California. He is experienced, trustworthy and diligent in all of his transactions. If you live in the area, he would be more than happy to help you or if you live out of the area, he could refer you to someone who will meet your needs. Please call (661) 362-6760. Good luck with your Realtor search and happy house hunting.
By Ardell Dellaloggia,  Thu Mar 15 2012, 11:23
Sherry, if you want an agent who will do exactly what you want you should list with a FSBO in MLS service and save the money you will spend to not listen to a good agent's advice. What I'm hearing is that the one who will do everything you want...will assign it to someone else. Why? Likely because doing everything the seller wants vs what a professional recommends is usually a waste of everyone's time. Read between the lines.
By Elizabeth,  Thu Mar 15 2012, 11:30
Re. #3, Compatibility, I agree that a buyer's agent needn't match the buyer's own demographic. However, as a single homebuyer, I have realized that not all agents respect a single home-buyer's preferences or must-haves. I had such an agent, who, married with a child, believed I needed little more than a hole in the wall to contain my abject singleness. She showed me a home with a master bath I had to bend like a pretzel to step into and when I commented on its inadequacy, she said, "Why should you need more than this? It's just you." I believe references from buyers of similar familial status may particularly help in one's search for a compatible agent.
By Pat and Steve Pribisko,  Thu Mar 15 2012, 11:35
It was a difficult reminder to see that only 20% of the people surveyed trusteg/respected Realtors.
By Leianne Messina-Brown,  Thu Mar 15 2012, 11:46
Don't always go with the biggest, most "successful" agent (solds) if you don't think they will give you the individual attention you want. Newer agents with less stats behind them can/will work harder for you because they have more time to focus on you & more to prove.
By Al,  Thu Mar 15 2012, 11:57
I sold my home and bought my new home with out the expense of an "agent". Do your home work and save the time and money.
By Michael Neal,  Thu Mar 15 2012, 12:04
Ive been in this business for just 5-6 years, Pryor to this I was a contractor / builder and consider myself very well rounded in real-estate literally from the ground up. I still do both and have found that there are equally good and bad clients / costumers as well as real-estate agencies. I prize myself on wanting to know whom I'm working with, combatability is a must, openness and honesty should be shared across the board or its going to be a road you wish you didn't drive down for either party. The 20 % thing has haunted me for years, this is nothing new
By Jenifer Murrweiss,  Thu Mar 15 2012, 12:53
Thanks Tara for this article. It seems, I hope, were on the right track in remembering who are customers are and without them we are nothing! I went into this profession to help people. Listen to their needs and do whatever I can to get what they are looking for and meet their expected needs. It shocks me to hear how some are unhappy with their agents, the lack of communication, trust and overall arrogance I have seen. I came in at a down time I have only been an agent for a few years after working for a local school district but, I strongly believe we as agents need to always give "Nordstrom" service! We are needed and we have to respect that relationship and do our best always. To those not happy with your agents tell them and get another one! A home is the most expensive purchase you can make and you cant just exchange or take back. Trust who is helping you anything else your settling.
By M Rathmel,  Thu Mar 15 2012, 13:21
WOW - I've got to say that the comments by some (all) of the "customers" just go to show that it's very easy to lay all the blame for a bad real estate transaction at the feet of the agent(s). My real estate partner and I have found that no matter what level of service we offer or how hard we work, some clients will never be satisfied. We've reached the point where we have decided to gently cut loose any client who is difficult to work with - let somebody else have a chance at turning them into a satisfied home buyer/seller.
By Kimberly Burkett,  Thu Mar 15 2012, 13:25
Hi, Gracie;
Aren't you supposed to PAY for advertising?
By Gracie Malan, ABR, CRS,  Thu Mar 15 2012, 13:43
Hi, Kimberly:

Hoping to get your support rather than criticism...!!!
Please, send your customer to Tallahassee and me, and I promise you will be satisfied.
By Koni,  Thu Mar 15 2012, 13:49
I have been looking for a particular type of house in Homewood, IL since 2007 (my busy schedule gets in the way at times!). I started off with one agent, and asked questions about why a house with the lowest asking price had the highest taxes, but the one with the highest asking price had the lowest taxes. That agent responded that it seemed right to him, do I want to see houses. Well, I bumped into another agent at a house that she was showing and asked her the same question. She spent the next hour educating me on home owner exemptions, senior exemptions and senior freezes - all things that determined the taxes on a house. I never knew this before. She took the time to explain MANY other things as well that I never heard of or thought of, thus giving me a mini-education in home buying. I know what is important to me in a house and in normal conversation (like talking to a friend), she "educated" herself in what I like. She has never talked down to me or criticized the things most important to me. She knows that everyone's wants are different, and she respects that. I've been to open houses where the listing agents have told me that there must be something wrong with me since I didn't want the same things that everyone else wants (like granite countertops)! Luckily, I have a great sense of humor and laugh these things off (and make fun of them with friends later). I referred my agent to a friend who used her to list and buy another house in an emergency situation. My friend thinks very highly of my agent as well. My agent's way of thinking is to treat everyone as she'd like her mother treated (she likes her mother!). There was one house that I was going to make an offer on, but she talked me out of it saying that I was trying too hard to make that house work for me and that she didn't feel I would have been happy there. Well, here it is a few years later and I am SO thankful that she did that because she was right - it would have been a BIG mistake. How often do you find a sales person who won't sell you something?! She's very honest, respectful, personable, has a great sense of humor... A real estate angel, not agent! So, if anyone needs someone in the south suburbs of Chicago, I recommend Lynn Schallmo of ReMax in Flossmoor. My hunt continues...
By Laurie Murray,  Thu Mar 15 2012, 14:40
As a Realtor I have fun reading these comments. Everyone's perspective is just that - their perspective. As in all walks of life there are good agents and bad.

If you don't like your agent - get another! (If you're in your 5th year of looking - your agent is a very patient angel - since agents do not get paid until their client buys or sells). I know I don't want to work with someone who does not want to work with me.

I believe the buyer's agent may not have taken the time to educate this buyer who claimed their agent would not give an opinion about a neighborhood- Realtors must abide by the Fair Housing Laws. So when someone asks about a "good" neighborhood vs. a "bad" neighborhood the Realtor cannot BY LAW steer folks away from or to a certain neighborhood. The buyer can do their due diligence by contacting the law enforcement entities in that town and finding out facts not opinions and then the agent is not put on the spot (which happens frequently unfortunately).
By Carol Munson,  Thu Mar 15 2012, 15:09
As 23 year veteran agent in Marin County, CA, I see so many buyers looking at houses online and then flooding Sunday open houses, without an agent. For months and months I see some of the same buyers at open houses. Some buyers do identify someone as their agent, and some of those agents just send their clients out to Sunday open houses and do not even preview new listings for their clients. The agent is also just looking through pictures online and thinking, "This looks good so I'll e-mail it." This makes me wonder why buyers are so disconnected from the personal service and valuable saving of your precious time an good agent can offer. Foremost, a good agent will LISTEN to the buyers wants and needs when looking for a home. After an initial interview/consultaion and touring a few homes together, an agent should be keenly aware of your likes and dislikes. They should then go out and preview homes for you, as if looking through your eyes. Previewing is key here, because we all know a dumpy house can look great in pictures, as well as how pictures can make a yard look big when there is practically none. If you see something online that interests you, the agent should be sure to preview the house and tell you why it may or may not work for you. They should only recommend homes with floorplans, lots, price and areas that fit your needs. A good agent will also accompany the buyers to private showings on the clients schedule. Houses are availble to be seen 7 days a week. Some listings will have an offer by Sunday. There are also properties that agents find out through networking that are availble to be shown before they hit the Multiple Listing Service. Who can really concentrate on a house when it is flooded with activity on Sunday, and, if you have kids in tow, you have too keep a constant eye on them? A private showing also lets the agent see how you react to the home firsthand, further honing their ability to weed out properties you won't be interested in for the future, saving you time. Do agents really expect their clients to run around to 6-10 Sunday open houses every week, get home, think about it, and then call the agent when they've "found" their home? Instead, find an agent with HUSTLE that will give you 150%, listen, educate you, find answers to all your questions, give you statistics & market data, do a Comparative Market Analysis (as they would for a seller) so you can make an informed decision when you do write an offer. Your agent should make you feel like you are their only client. Whether you are spending $50,000 or $5,000,000, it is all the money you have and the largest purchase you will make and all should be treated with the same level of service and respect. An agent is there to give you the tools you need to make a decision. Their expertise should guide you to that point instead of just trying to make the sale.
By Gabe Fitzhugh,  Thu Mar 15 2012, 15:54
An idea for some... You may want to consider signing a buyer broker agreement. When an agent knows that you are loyal to them, you may be surprised at the increase you'll see in customer service. Most buyers now days drop an agent they are working with when they see the next sign, an online ad, etc. Find the agent you are comfortable with, sign an agreement and stick with them. If you do end up calling another Realtor for information on a listing, let them know which agent represents you. If you stop by an open house, do the same.

Remember this; any agent can help you with any listing in their area. You don't need to bounce from Realtor to Realtor for information. Find one who is informative, knowledgeable, can quickly identify what you are looking for, one who can help you narrow your search before you even look at the first home, and one who pre-qualifies you!

If you are looking outside their area of expertise, they can usually find a good colleague from that area to refer you to.

If you (the buyer) are looking for an agent to wholly represent you with loyalty, confidentiality and obedience, you must enter into a 'Single Agent Relationship'. Ask your agent about this.
By Donald J Serra,  Thu Mar 15 2012, 18:57
Very helpful article.
Thanks,
By Sheryl Petrashek,  Thu Mar 15 2012, 19:41
Great suggestions in the article Tara. There are so many new tools available for buyers and sellers to use when evaluating a Real Estate Agent. I like your idea of looking at how an agent interacts online, including their profiles and recommendations. The reason I like that suggestion so much is because whichever agent you hire to list your home will likely interact with potential buyers online prior to meeting them in person. It's important that the agent you hire is compatible with potential buyers too. Quick response time and clear online communication may garner additional showings for your listing. Best wishes for a successful 2012 for all.
By Judy,  Fri Mar 16 2012, 00:17
I definitely wish I had listened to and TRUSTED my own gut! I was 'assigned' an agent when I wanted to view his agency's listing and did not currently have an agent. I knew from the first 'comps' he did that his research and time spent on doing comps did not match what I had experienced in past years. After a couple of short sales that never did get to fruition, I myself found a wonderful house with a pool here in Las Vegas....and we made an offer, which turned out to be one of many. This guy came up with a figure of $45K with his comps, which I completely balked at; I told him that I felt it would appraise @ at least $60K, based on the comps I myself found in the immediate area. He made signing forms a hassle as he said that my scanned docs printed out "too light" from his printer.....and yet he did not offer to bring hard copies to me to sign. He was just very awkward to deal with. When I initially asked to see this very property, he texts back: "The soonest I can take you is in 2 weeks; does that work for you?" ....then proceeds to text again that he was "only kidding" and that he would squeeze me in the next day. Well, tempered by his "cautionary" figures, I decided to make my "biggest and best" $59K rather than the $60K my gut said to go with, with FHA financing. I was outbid.....and was devasted to learn that I didn't lose out to a cash offer, as I first suspected.....but to an FHA $60K offer....and I have now just given up.
By Jeff Johnston,  Fri Mar 16 2012, 08:45
Consumers need to be convinced that the agent will work in THEIR best interests. In my experience, consumers see very little difference between agents. We had talked about designing an app to help consumers choose the best agent, but there weren't that many data fields that would differentiate one from another. Consumers need to feel they are in control. Rather than working with the agent who simply has desk duty, a consumer wants to feel they have chosen the right one for them... most consumers are reticent to interview or interrogate an agent... so if you communicate with them, HELP THEM ask the questions... Good service is a strong desire. Help the consumer choose you, talk to them about THEIR needs and desires. Respond to what THEY want to know....
By Davidhi,  Fri Mar 16 2012, 09:51
and I need a real estate for WHAT? The buyer and seller are the only ones who have their best interests in mind. Why give money to a middle man?? Folks, buying and selling real estate ain't rocket science! (But I have seen many comments by realtors comparing themselves to doctors, lawyers etc. Ha!Ha!)
By Kathi,  Sat Mar 17 2012, 06:07
Its been years since we've tried to move and gave up. At that time agents gave you a figure - right after 'taking a tour' of your house - that they think you're house will sell for. The agent we have now has been doing up market analysis after market analysis & still has not given us a number. I understand thats part of the package but shouldnt we get some 'solid' amount by this time? (its been weeks...) Are we being unrealistic in expectations?
Difficult to look for another home when we dont know what we can afford.
Also anyone suggest a town in Monmouth county thats affordable but not desolute? A townhouse/condo that would allow 4 cats??? thanks so much :-)
please email me at kathilachenauer@verizon.net
By The Phipps Team,  Sat Mar 17 2012, 08:40
As a seasoned agent, who works 100% with my clients' best interest in mind, I have to say some of these comments are more than a bit interesting, but the main point I wanted to convey is that with any business relationship, it comes down to trust. If there isn't mutual trust between buyers/sellers and their agent it's never going to end well, even if they do get to the closing table. I think the research Tara suggests in her article establishes that initial layer of trust for the client. It's a crucial component.

Many agents business, myself included, have established their business based on referrals. You take good care of someone, they're going to let others know about it. As agents, if we take care of our clients in a way that we'll never have to duck behind a display if we see them in the grocery store long after the deal's done, we've had their best interests at heart. Well, unless you're ducking because you're in sweaty workout clothes with no make-up, but that's another post altogether.
By Tean Wong,  Sun Mar 18 2012, 08:51
Find them here on Trulia.com. Thank you Trulia.
By Jim Phillips,  Sun Mar 18 2012, 09:30
Begin educating and training your clients to refer you from your first encounter. It begins with a tag line or footer in your initial and subsequent emails to artfully weaving the idea into your conversations with your clients. After you facilitate a "brilliant transaction", stay in touch by phone, written notes and email; even drop by for a quick F2F if the relationship is strong.

BTW: according to NAR stats, and I admit you can question these, only about 4% of buyers and a slightly larger number of sellers choose their Realtor based on their Company association. If you're an independent have faith, be bold and ask for their business; you'll win it even if your a one person shop.
By Chris 832-607-8073,  Sun Mar 18 2012, 09:37
Great post Tara. Thanks for sharing!
By Carmen Amedori,  Sun Mar 18 2012, 12:11
Great Blog. I appreciate your research and comments. I know my customers value that in me. I do my research for their best interests giving them top quality service at the Beach in Ocean City, Maryland. A great place to visit and a great place to live.
By Justin Griffin,  Mon Mar 19 2012, 16:09
Spot on! The best way to interview an agent is to just sit down, talk to them, and gain an understanding of their true personality (Minus the sales pitch). You and that agent will likely be spending a lot of time together so it is essential that all personalities mesh. If a buyer doesn't take the agents lead then there will surely be hiccups in the transaction. Interview as many agents as it takes for you to get that "gut feeling" of trust. If you plan to act contrary to an agent's advice, then you are better off going at it alone.

Justin Griffin http://www.SoldbyJustinGriffin.com
By Leigh Bryant,  Tue Mar 20 2012, 10:43
Good info, well written. Thanks for sharing!
By Voices Member,  Tue May 28 2013, 13:44
Great work again Tara!
I wrote on a similar topic recently:
http://www.lakeridgepaving.com/website/index.php?tab=services

David | Trulia
By Voices Member,  Tue Jul 9 2013, 11:44
It is true. We all need to have an agent that we are comfortable with!

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By Voices Member,  Tue Aug 27 2013, 15:49
Thank you for sharing this article because I have been looking for this type of thing for a long time! From an emergency dentist of Hamilton- keep up the awesome work! :)

David | http://www.hamiltondentist.ca/emergency_dentist.html

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