What are the 3 hardest elements about working as a Realtor or Broker in todays market?

Asked by Trulia Boston, Boston, MA Tue Feb 19, 2013

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Mack McCoy’s answer
Mack McCoy, Agent, Seattle, WA
Thu Feb 28, 2013
Having given this much thought . . .

1. Putting up with the second most common material in cat boxes.

The real estate brokerage community gets absolutely hammered in the press and the blogs; yet, somehow, four-fifths of all real estate transactees elect to involve a licensed broker. Go figure.

You'd like to think that you'd get some acknowledgement from a public when you've kept buyers away from bad houses, kept sellers away from buyers who will just tie up a property and walk away, sold people houses that are still well above water and showed them how to leverage it to their benefit - in reality, not so much. Instead, what you see on the blogs, is - how can I grab some of the broker's money, s/he doesn't deserve it, I "found it myself!" (on the internet, thanks to the actions of the broker, et cetera.

Sometimes, I guess, living well is it's own reward.

2. Faster Communications

In the old days, transactions took about the same amount of time - closings were about thirty days, inspection periods were seven to ten days; but we weren't expected to be literally "on call" from 6am to 9pm. We used to go into the office and pick up a bunch of pink slips jokingly titled, "While You Were ****ing Off," and we'd sit down and return calls. Today, people expect you to talk (and text) while driving, while in meetings, while having meals, and while attending to other clients - and they get frosted if you don't! ("You have another client?")

3. Perspective.

We forget that we are part of a community. We meet today while inquiring about a listing or a showing or an offer, and we forget that it is this First Impression that will stick with us for decades. So when you leave a voice message angrily reminding me that you called once before, a whole hour ago, and I haven't called back . . . when, exactly, do you think I'm going to forget that?

As an "old" broker, I feel the need to tell colleagues of my generation that it is useful to point out that you have knowledge and experience; to younger colleagues, we're not so much interested in what you think you know as in how eager you are to learn what you don't know.

Point being - a fairly new agent, no matter how smart they are, isn't going to impress us. Most of us were young and "smart" once, too. We expect you to be smart.

What we're really concerned with is: if you a young agent, are you willing to learn new things; if you're an older agent, have you been keeping up with things.

Too often, we confuse the roles - the young agent acts as if they've learned everything already; the older agent acts as if there's been nothing new to learn for years.
0 votes
Sarah Deben, , Miami, FL
Tue Feb 19, 2013
Most people believe they know more than anyone else, including their real estate agent, because they have access to all internet sites. The problem is they don't have the building blocks of knowledge, experience or integrity to put two and two together.
4 votes
David Rudd, Agent, San Diego, CA
Thu Feb 21, 2013
I think there is really only one. Trust.

Build trust with your clients so they know your experience and expertise is being used for their benefit (that the news report was not speaking specifically about their neighborhood.....)

Build trust with the industry. Have other real estate professionals know you have integrity and are trust worthy.

Build trust for yourself. Trust your gut. Sometimes it is hard to accept you may not be the best agent for a specific seller or buyer - trust your gut and let the ones that you know are not a good fit go.

David Rudd
Kindred Real Estate
3 votes
Heath Coker, Agent, Falmouth, MA
Tue Feb 26, 2013
1. Correcting the mis-information that is on sites that are not owned by brokers.
2. Helping consumers understand that assessed values are not market prices.
3. Helping consumers understand what phase the real estate market is in, and how that impacts their personal buying and selling decision.

(Please note: when you choose an answer as a Best Answer, or at least give a thumbs up, it helps those who answer questions here.)
1 vote
Endre Barath, Agent, Beverly Hills, CA
Fri Feb 22, 2013
One of the biggest challenge we are faced with, is managing the expectations of our clients.

Sellers and Buyers have different perspectives as to what the value of the property is, hence we need to show them what the "true value" of the property really is. This is then complicated by the fact that there is a shortage of inventory and there is fierce competition for the good properties. Therefore buyers need to be ready to buy virtually on the spot,therefore they need to have their financing,their understanding of the market and the value that their are willing to buy it for. Sellers need to understand that it is not always the highest price that is the best offer, rather it is the buyer who can close the trransaction.

Needless to say this takes time, energy, effort and perseverance to convey this information to the clients by a good Realtor.
Web Reference:  http://www.endrebarath.com
1 vote
Sean A Haghi, Agent, El Segundo, CA
Wed Feb 20, 2013
Lack of Inventory, Quality of Properties and Qualified Buyers.
1 vote
Collin Sulli…, Agent, Boston, MA
Tue Feb 19, 2013
ONE- Always the hours, and being "on call", and balancing life & business. I have found it essential after 14 years in the industry to enlist colleagues to cover listings for me so that I may get away, take a vacation, or a personal day off. Finding great help, and people who will represent a property, or buyer client the way you would handle them yourself is paramount.

TWO- Client loyalty. In a big city, there are many, many agents to choose from. Learning that a new buyer client may be consulting with, or shopping with several agents simultaneously can be frustrating. I often try to ask them if they would like to work exclusively. If the answer is no, or unsure, move along. Not worth the time, research or energy invested. Try to learn up front if people are a good match. Not everyone is going to be a good fit. I still get surprised occasionally. Try to build your network so that you can work primarily by personal referral. There is a much higher probability of those clients being loyal, since their friends, neighbors, family, or co-workers have had a positive experience with you.

THREE- Getting sellers to trust your judgement in pricing, staging, and timing of bringing a listing to market. If you can prove you know the market, and have had great results, use those statistics to demonstrate your worth. It is very difficult for sellers to think of paying for rental furniture if they are still living in the space and love their own things. Try to pose a staging option as "sometimes we have to spend money to make money". If you have had good results, show the before and after photos, and tell prospective clients how that helped ultimately sell the property, and bring a price that covered the expense.
1 vote
Adam Rosenba…, Agent, Arlington, MA
Tue Feb 19, 2013
Educating both buyers and sellers that each local market is different. Southie is not like Dorchester and Belmont is not like Watertown. Each town is a separate entity with different inventory, price points, demand, etc. Believe the comps.
1 vote
Sarah Goulart…, Agent, Plymouth, MA
Thu Feb 28, 2013
Staying persistent in your career and remaining focused. You have to have consistent marketing, follow up, lead generation.
0 votes
Stephen McDa…, Agent, Blowing Rock, NC
Thu Feb 28, 2013
Retaining the client - technology makes it so easy to jump from agent to agent.
Technology - being out there as much as you can so that you can get the clients.
Speed - Clients are impatient.
0 votes
Mario Pavli, Agent, Boston, MA
Wed Feb 20, 2013
Loyalty, Determination & Staying positive
0 votes
Rafael Herna…, Agent, Roslindale, MA
Tue Feb 19, 2013
Three simple words: loyalty, appreciation, and time management
0 votes
PollyAnna Sn…, Agent, Bozeman, MT
Tue Feb 19, 2013
Truly, each regional and local market may be even different that the overall "temperature" of the comprehensive markets. I think it is imperative to "be who you are" and run your real estate practice in a methodical and consistent manner. We value and teach all new agents to focus on advocacy of the clients' interests and in doing so, try to educate the Buyers and Sellers to a point where they know what is going on in the area market, so they make informed choices. Today it can be arduous to impress upon a Buyer that she may need to move quickly based on inventory and velocity of sales and contracts being opened. If we can keep them educated via trends and stats (emperical data) then we do not come off as "pushy Realtors". This does not necessarily change even in the "Buyer's Market" - education there may be helping a Buyer learn about taking small steps to getting that best deal versus insutling a Seller with pure low-ball offers or educating a Seller as to removing the emotion involved. In the end, it is all very similar, especially in the residential brokerage business...mange the interests and emotions of Buyers and Sellers.
0 votes
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