Roles of a Real Estate Agent

Statistics show that 80% of real estate agents go out of business in two years. What does it take to sustain and be a long time agent? Being adaptable and having a service-oriented mindset is key.

Common misconception is that real estate agents get licensed, talk to neighbors and work on the 3 P’s: 

  1. place a sign in the yard,
  2. put the listing on MLS,
  3. pray it sells.

All sarcasm aside, the real estate industry is competitive and underestimated in the amount of knowledge and effort that goes into selling homes – hence the high rate of failure. 

A longstanding agent needs to have a variety of skill sets to keep clients happy. To successfully navigate an average day, an agent will operate in multiple capacities including, but not limited to: a SME (Subject Matter Expert), Negotiator, Marketer, Investigator, Statistician, Fiduciary, Protector, Consultant, Advocate and Friend.

Some roles are obvious and need no explanation. As an agent, you should be a subject matter expert, knowledgeable about your product and the market place. Additionally, negotiating skills are key: being formidable both on the front and back end of a deal sets a correct price, gets investment for updates and of course sells at an optimal price.

When good agents market a home they know how to capture and sell the “experience” of a home. Marketing is more than just putting out numbers; it is presenting the house in the most affable manner using the most effective mediums to gain the most exposure. It is dealing with homes that have “warts,” putting a magnifying glass on it and turning it into something positive so they sell.

Being a statistician requires analyzing the numbers, predicting trends and keeping clients ahead of the curve.

You wouldn’t think Sherlock Holmes would be needed to complete a real estate transaction, however, a good agent will know when to investigate a potential buyer before going to contract. Being a detective and uncovering red flags alerts agents to potential problems to avoid situations that will negatively impact the sale.

As a fiduciary and consultant, it is about doing the right thing for the client at all times. It is often giving advice that is needed but not necessarily what a client wants to hear. Sometimes it is giving enough evidence for a client to walk away from an offer.

An agent’s greatest role is as Protector – knowing what can go wrong and ensuring that nothing unforeseen happens during the transaction, and if it does, taking care of the problem so the client is unaffected.

Lastly, this is my favorite role, as an Advocate and friend. Knowing what needs to be done to help families make sound decisions, especially in times of need. When people are going through a job transfer, divorce or need money, that is when a good agent does his best work because it is more than selling a home, it is helping change lives through real estate. 

Being a successful agent takes training and time.  An average agent will spend 20-25 days in training. Some of the aforementioned skills come from experience and much of it comes from who you are as a person. It takes the right kind of person to be an agent. Just as it takes the right kind of person to be a doctor – finding the right type of person is what you want to look for when hiring an agent.

 Article first appeared in The Four Point Newspaper, Volume 11, Issue 32, page 4A.

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