Sebastian St…, Other/Just Looking in Austin, TX

What makes a Realtor Great?

Asked by Sebastian Sttroy, Austin, TX Sun Dec 23, 2012

There are many real estate agents, so what should a home seller look for when selecting a Realtor to list and sell their home?

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Shannon Schm…, Agent, Austin, TX
Sun Dec 23, 2012
It is agreeably difficult to define this question and provide a clear answer, so lets take a look at aspects that should be required or at least that should be expected in order to be defined as a great Real Estate Agent.

A Great Real Estate Agent ...

should possess communication skills needed to leverage it where it matters today - online where tomorrows client resides.

is one who returns calls and E-mails quickly.

customizes their approach and focus to meet the individual needs of their clients.

doesn't lose contact with past clients and leads, in hopes to be able to assist them in the next transaction or become a resource of information.

possesses Emotional Intelligence. i.e. - Can they listen to their clients and really understand their needs? can they do the same with other agents and encourage win-win negotiations that encourage the best outcome for all parties (especially the one they're representing, of course!)? Can they understand multiple parties’ motivations and goals, assess the situation and then adequately communicate with all parties to come to an appropriate resolution?

keeps organized, along with assisting their clients to stay organized through the selling/buying experience.

possesses Analytical Intelligence. i.e. - Can they adequately analyze and interpret available data? Arguably that it's absolutely vital to be able to understand your market data. Whether on the buying or selling side, I don't believe anyone can be a "great Real Estate Agent" without understanding the market and helping the consumer do the same. Isn't a big part of our job to be interpreters of the data to help your clients make wise, informed decisions about what is most often their largest investment?

maintains at all times the highest level of Integrity, Honesty, and Professionalism.

possesses Marketing Intelligence. i.e. - On the selling side, do they "really" know how to market a home, and are they willing to make the investment to properly represent the properties in their portfolio to meet/exceed their clients' goals? On the buying side, do they understand branding to the extent that they are reaching their ideal client whose needs they are best capable of servicing?

is always update on their education, training, and accreditation's, and even goes beyond what is expected or required in order to become well informed in many areas as they relate to the real estate industry, their community, and their clients' needs.

knows the client. i.e. - They know what motivates their clients, they understand the needs of their clients, they listen to their clients, clearly understand the client's need for the frequency and quality of communication required for their client to maintain peace of mind.

knows their craft. i.e. - They are knowledgeable about real estate laws, paperwork, and know how to effectively negotiate a one who is consistently on the move, learning, adapting, growing, evolving, honing the things they excel in to the point of mastering them and embracing the things they are weak in seeking out support and solutions to strengthen them.

is one who regards the brand they work under and believe that the consumer comes first at all costs and performs in accordance with that philosophy.

is always prepared. i.e. - Prepared to resolve client issues, prepared for client interviews, prepared for any issues that might affect the client's viewpoint in a negative manner.

enlists the professional services of others in order to provide the best service possible for their clients.

Additionally, there is a new term for use in answering the question, "What makes a Real Estate Agent Great?" It is "Ease of Use." Ease of use is the degree to which the client achieves peace of mind about the real estate transaction.

Ultimately, it is up to the home seller to determine if a Realtor is great - i.e. the most suited agent to represent the unique needs of each seller or buyer.

Shannon T. Schmitz,
Representing Distinctive Properties throughout the Texas Hill Country
Web Reference:
0 votes
Robert Paque…, Agent, Bayside, NY
Fri Dec 28, 2012
They should be as pretty as I am, have plenty, plenty energy, keep positive at all times, deal with integrity and demand that of all you work with including buyers and sellers, have a strong sense of marketing and know the market areas cold as well as the constituency, stick tour guns with conviction and through it all make it fun for everyone around you.
2 votes
Christopher…, Agent, Tarrytown, NY
Mon Dec 24, 2012
One's level of greatness is simply measured by the opinion customers and clients. A seller should look for an agent that focuses more on what they will do for the seller and not how great they are. A great agent shouldn't have to tell everybody they are great, it will show in their past and present work. Look for an agent that has a concrete marketing plan outside of the local MLS.

2 votes
Annette Law…, Agent, Palm Harbor, FL
Mon Dec 24, 2012
As Mack said, "Greatness can ONLY be bestowed by the hands of others."
Everything else has an agenda.
2 votes
Mack McCoy, Agent, Seattle, WA
Sun Dec 23, 2012
Sebastian replied to me, "YES, we do. Shouldn't we expect the best to represent us?"

Well, that's not going to happen. There can only be one "best," after all.

While I agree that Shannon deserves the best answer, I also think that she has set the standard for a good agent, not a great agent. Personally, I don't think you deserve the mantle of "greatness" because you are honest, or return your emails in a timely manner. This is what good agents do.

Home sellers should look for good agents who understand the property and how to market it; from that subset, they should select an agent that they communicate well with. In my experience, more than 90% of the problems between agents and clients have their roots in communication problems. "Ease of use" may cover that.

If we do a good job for our client, chances are they will consider us "great," and that, I think, is how we measure greatness - by their opinion of our work.
2 votes
Mack, that I agree with completely. Gratitude for expanding upon your earlier statement. By the way, I love Seattle and the people there.
Flag Mon Dec 24, 2012
Liz Zempel, Agent, Affton, MO
Mon Dec 24, 2012
You must be detail oriented, empathetic, and a little on the obsessive/compulsive side. Remember that your client is making the biggest purchase of their life and you are in charge. Keep copious notes, whatever your client says to you even in an offhanded way, write it down!!

You must also be able to divide your attention between your needs and the needs of your clients. You can't do them any good if you yourself aren't in a good place. Take care of yourself.
1 vote
Bill Eckler, Agent, Venice, FL
Mon Dec 24, 2012 all together too many cases......"self declaration!"


1 vote
Laura Mcmill…, Agent, Austin, TX
Mon Dec 24, 2012
Defining a great REALTOR will have different responses if one looked outside of what we should be doing and are expected to do when performing our fiduciary duties. What makes a great meal? What makes a great vacation? What makes a great seller? It would be based on the personal experience of each of us.

With all the talents and experiences that we REALTORS have accumulated, we may not click with a personality or the seller may not agree with our recommendations.

I strongly recommend visiting with several different agents. As many as there are out there, there are many outstanding and strong talents who will certainly compliment you and succeed in fulfilling the requirements expected. Yours and their personalities need to blend just like your best friend.

Laura McMillan
6203 N. Capital of TX Hwy #A450
Austin, TX 78730
1 vote
Bruce Lynn, Agent, Coppell, TX
Sun Dec 23, 2012
Look at their marketing materials.....what do their listings look like on line. Can you find the listings, can you find the agent? Look to see what they have for sale now.

I would also ask them about your neighborhood.....ask them what the schools are, what the closest park is, what the best restaurant in the area is, etc. See if they know the area. They may not know everything, but if they don't you will see how they answer questions, and how resourceful they are getting answers.
1 vote
JOSEPH E JAR…, Agent, Austin, TX
Sun Dec 23, 2012
Sebastian, honestly, although Shannon did mention many points, the list is never ending. A great Realtor is all of that and then some, and then some, and is always getting better. A great Realtor has everything from skill, to confidence, to great customer service, to experience. And no matter how much training you have or whichever designations you have earned, a TRULY great Realtor is only great with experience, and lots of it, learning how to deal with just about every situation that can occur.

If you are looking to sell your home, I would be glad to speak with you and elaborate more on what I feel makes me a great Realtor and possibly the right Agent for you. As far as experience, I have sold over $900 million in my life, am one of the top agents with the #1 rated company in the US, and I'm also a Master Instructor specializing in Listing and Marketing Homes, Negotiations, Contracts, etc.

Feel free to click on my name and review my Credentials and Client Testimonials, and give me a call if you would like to discuss things a little further. Have a great holiday as well!

Joe Jarusinsky, Realtor/Master Instructor, Keller Williams Realty, Austin's #1 Real Estate company, Ranked #1 by Buyers and Sellers (JD Power and Associates 2012)
1 vote
Guy Gimenez, Agent, Austin, TX
Sun Dec 23, 2012

1. your agent should have a deep understanding of contracts, surveys, title commitments, deeds, etc. and be able to help the seller understand same. Simply filling in blanks in a form is not equivalent to a sound working knowledge of the provisions in the forms and addenda.

2. your agent should recognize that putting 6 blurry photos in the MLS does not constitute a marketing plan.

3. your agent should be able to explain the numerous ways a buyer can legally terminate a contract without penalty and negotiate on your behalf to mitigate those termination points.

4. your agent should be able tell you the truth...even when the truth isn't what you want to hear.

5. your agent should be able to explain what a "fiduciary" is and not just be able to spell the word.
1 vote
John Crowe, Agent, Austin, TX
Sun Dec 23, 2012
Have friends who've sold a home recently? I'd ask them what made the choice good (or bad).

Happy holidays!
1 vote
Bill Austin, Agent, Austin, TX
Sun Dec 23, 2012
A very good question. 1) Willingness to listen to and understand the client. 2) A client willing to listen to and understand their Realtor. 3) Full time Realtor with no "other job" but to serve their clients needs. 4) A proper balance between the number of clients and the systems/associates in place. 5) Ability to understand and use current technology. 6) From a sellers prospective the agent should not have other clients in direct competition with your home. 7) Understanding the current market conditins and an educated understanding of where the market is headed. Certainly there is more to be said. I'd suggest you interview a few Realtors unti you find one you are comfortable working with.
Best wishes,
Bill Austin
1 vote
Debra (Debbi…, Agent, Livingston, NJ
Sun Dec 23, 2012
Select an agent with listing experience......... a proven track record ....... and one who makes you feel they have your best interests at heart........ also - one (after interviewing them) you have a level of comfort with..............and confidence in..

Best wishes.............
1 vote
Josh Barnett, Agent, Chandler, OK
Sun Dec 1, 2013
This is a question a home seller must follow their gut on. Interview 3 to 5 agents and go with your gut.
0 votes
Linda Pillard, Agent, Woodland, CA
Sat Nov 30, 2013
There are so many things that can make a Realtor great. You should ensure that your Realtor has a higher level of education. Most Realtor's take the required real estate classes and pasts their State Exam and that's it. Communication and Clarity is indeed one of the most important aspects. Really understanding what is really important to you should be really very important to your Realtor. Also it is the experience... find one that can provide you an experience that is out of the box and it is one that is enjoyable.
0 votes
Barbara Hami…, Agent, Seminole, FL
Wed Jun 12, 2013
A highly professional knowleadgeable presentation, whether selling a home or representing a buyer.
0 votes
Kristee Leon…, Agent, Austin, TX
Sun Dec 30, 2012
It is important to hire a real estate agent or broker who is readily available and answers their phone. Make sure that your agent works 7 days a week or has a team to always assist you and potential buyers. Online marketing is key in a technology driven age where over 90% of buyers start their home search online. It is important to hire an agent who is savvy in extensively marketing your property online. It is also important that your agent has professional photos and a virtual tour that captures buyers. If a buyer does not see many photos or poor photos, they may rule out your property. You need to first capture the buyer online to get them through the door. In addition to online marketing, you want to make sure your agent has a comprehensive marketing plan that includes open houses, tours, etc. I highly suggest interviewing several agents. Ask questions (how many listings do they currently have, average days on the market, etc). If you are considering putting your home on the market, I would be happy to meet with you and discuss this further.

Kristee Leonard, REALTOR®
Broker, GRI, SFR
512-695-5144 Cell
0 votes
Joseph Roraff, Agent, Onalaska, WI
Fri Dec 28, 2012
Someone who is easy to work with and very relational.
0 votes
Michael Brow…, Agent, Allen, TX
Fri Dec 28, 2012
There are many things that makes a REALTOR great, but it all starts with............Listening! A REALTOR "must" be willing and able to sit down with their client and really listen to the client's needs, because it is all about the client.............their needs, their concerns!
0 votes
Kaylee Brown, Home Buyer, Dallas, TX
Fri Dec 28, 2012
I think to find out best realtor you should
Find out who the agent is working for
Most states require agents to disclose their "agency" relationships to you early on. But you'll benefit if you ask prospective agents whose financial interest they will serve throughout the sales process — and hire an agent who will serve as your agent only. If an agent insists on dual agency (meaning that the agent lists your home for sale but may also bring in the buyer, thus pocketing the entire commission instead of splitting it with the buyer's agent) or designated agency (your agent and the buyer's agent work for the same brokerage firm), feel free to negotiate the commission down by a point or two.
0 votes
Kevin Cottre…, Agent, Saint Louis, MO
Mon Dec 24, 2012
Perry Henderson from Prudential Texas and I have discussed this at length on the Austin Real Estate Today Podcast. See the link below for details on our suggestion for effectively seeking a great Realtor.
0 votes
Gratitude for sharing the Podcast!
Flag Mon Dec 24, 2012
allan erps,A…, Agent, Pearl River, NY
Mon Dec 24, 2012
Great answers below! Making sure the Buyer or Seller get professional, honest & thorough service throughout the entire process.
0 votes
Don Maclary, Agent, Virginia Beach, VA
Mon Dec 24, 2012
Integrity and service.... starting with Realtor status is only the first step. Google the names of the Realtor's your considering. If Google is a friend chances are that person can properly market your home. EX: copy & past my Name in Google Don Maclary
For help finding a Realtor in your area go to
0 votes
Mack McCoy, Agent, Seattle, WA
Sun Dec 23, 2012
Do we all need a great Realtor®?
0 votes
YES, we do. Shouldn't we expect the best to represent us?
Flag Sun Dec 23, 2012
Sal Zuniga, Agent, Austin, TX
Sun Dec 23, 2012

That is an excellent question. You don't only need a Realtor. You need a Realtor with a great team that has proven systems that produce proven results. Please feel free to call me or email me so I can tell you more about our listing process.

Sal Zuniga
Goldwasser Real Estate
0 votes
Cynthia Carl…, Agent, Austin, TX
Sun Dec 23, 2012
The basics of a great Realtor is one that communicates effectively and in the manner you prefer, is honest about what needs to be done to sell your home and what it is likely to sell for and one that goes the extra mile to help you achieve your goals. Finding someone you are comfortable with and that has experience and good references is a good starting point.

Going the extra mile and keeping the client updated regularly is important to having satisfied clients.

Happy to help, just give me a call.

Cynthia Carlisle, Realtor
0 votes
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