Importance of Real Estate Agent Skills and Qualities:
Honesty & Integrity 98% said Very Important
Knowledge of Purchase Process 95% said Very Important
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Everyday I see bad agents getting and selling homes. but their clients were referred, or they were freinds or family who trusted this person.
Since our clients are one of the sources of those headaches, how can they judge competence? Many time transactions close in spite of the client. This is why the internet will never repalce us. People have screwy ideas about how this business works. They have no clue as to how the Realtor system makes these processes move smoothly.( Heck most agents done know that either and take credit for successes of the system that works in spite of bad agents).
We thing we are the greatest agents in the world but I have never heard trainers tell us to ask our clients why they use us. In my journey I do ask why people use they FOUND their agent. (Not people who use me but generic people who shared they just bought a home or in the course of small talk with a stranger) What comes to mind is this.
1) I used my buddy.
2) Uncle Joe Bob is an agent.
3) He's the neighborhood guy and he does so much for the area.
4) I see his signs everywhere.
No one has ever told me "He is the best agent." All of these answers are not competence. People equate all these factors as trust witout saying so. People trust their friends, or family, the area guy or referrals are one in same conceptually, and signs everywhere is equal to trust.
The follow up question is "How was your experience?"
The answer in one form or another was "He was great!" then extolling on sharing what the agent did. In every case its the stuff any chimpanzee generic agent could do. They never see the problems. Which means that what they see is not agency, nor competence, I call that sales ability.
The last point is that there are a lot of experienced agents who rely on their sales skills who do incompetent things. I see it every day. Bad pricing, pushing the limits of the truth, and throwing thier clients under the bus. So selling a lot and taking a lot of listings does not equate to competence.
I'm especially sad to see ESL families pick an agent (or a lender) just because they speak their native language, and then get screwed by one or both. I'm not saying every native language speaker is off-base, but I'd wish people wouldn't just roll over for the first agent or lender who speaks their language. Interview three or more (same goes for native English speakers) and get some recommendations...even if that's hard in your culture...because there is so much money for such a long period at stake.
4) easily available
5) sometimes..they need you to be their therapist! which is ok because that means they trust you.
Sorry, I couldnt think of just one so I put in the top 5 but I'm sure my fellow realtors will agree there are more.
Good luck with your business Mike!