The Naked Truth About Real Estate Agents - My Very Un-Savvy, Very Honest Message To Anyone Thinking About Buying or Selling

Real Estate Sales Representative with RE/MAX Aboutowne Realty Corp., Brokerage

Here is a dirty little secret about the real estate industry.  To be successful, agents have not 1 but 2 jobs.  One job is to HELP PEOPLE BUY/SELL REAL ESTATE.  This is the obvious one.  What most people don’t realize is that this is really an agent’s second job.  Our first and more difficult job is TO SELL OURSELVES.   Think about it this way - if I can’t sell myself than I will never have any clients and no clients = no pay check.  I love what I do but I can’t afford to work for free.  While I am happy to provide people with information, the expectation is that by doing so you may one day turn into a client.  My job is then and only then to provide you with services you require to buy or sell your home (job #2). 

So why am I telling you all this?  I think if I’m being honest, I would urge you to distinguish between a realtor’s two jobs.  Ask yourself if having a realtor with glossy magazine ads, dozens of listings, and a fancy website helps sell YOUR HOME or helps sell THEM.  Make no mistake about it, I’m not at all suggesting that realtors with big ad budgets aren’t effective at what they do but I don’t think that this alone makes for an effective realtor.  Finding prospective clients is hard work and the giant advertising budgets used by many realtors helps them sell themselves to you.  I used to work for a global consumer goods company.  My job was to manage a cross functional team of people in launching new products into the marketplace.  You could say that I know a thing or two about effective sales and marketing.  What I learned from the experience is that successful businesses understand that no one function can work independently of another.  In order to be successful all aspects of their business need to come together and be executed with brilliance.

 When you are looking for a realtor I think you need to look for someone who demonstrates that they understand all aspects of the home buying and selling process and aren’t just effective at producing impressive ad campaigns. A glossy magazine spread is not going to sell your home alone but a home that is staged properly, priced fairly and promoted effectively will sell.  When you pay a realtor for their services, you should be paying them for their knowledge, not just their ad budget.  Effective advertising is after all only one component of a successful real estate transaction.

With all this said, this is my non-glossy, un-savvy list of criteria I would look for in an agent.  Note that many of these items are of the non-advertising type...

- Understands the area where I am buying/selling and the types of properties I am looking at (townhomes, luxury properties, new home sales, etc)

- Is willing to dedicate the necessary time and service I require to buy/sell.  Someone who will accommodate my schedule and need for information and someone who demonstrates patience throughout the sales process

- Will conduct in depth market analysis to understand the value of the property or properties I am looking to buy/sell AND is able and willing to explain their logic to me in depth if desired

- Is able to answer my questions and perhaps most importantly find the answers to the questions he/she does is not able to immediately answer

- Someone who respects my privacy and does not disclose information to other agents and potential buyers/sellers unless agreed to

- Someone who is a smart negotiator and explains their negotiating logic to me prior to entering any deals. A person who is able to guide me fully throughout the process but does not push me into making a decision

- Can provide me with recommendations for related experts such as mortgage consultants, lawyers, house inspectors, insurance agents, etc but does not push any one specifically on me

- Someone that I like to work with.  If I am going to be spending so much time with my realtor, I want someone I actually like being around

My philosophy is pretty simple.  I try to provide the kind of service to my clients that I would want to receive.  My approach may not be for everyone and that is okay.  I encourage all home sellers and buyers to find the person that most closely fits their needs.  There are lots of great realtors out there that really do want to look out for your best interests; all it takes is a bit of research to find them.  All the best to you in your home buying and selling endeavours!  If you would like further information on the Oakville area or my services, please contact me at 905.338.9000 or email me at



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