1,000 Ways To Pick The Right Realtor

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Compass, formerly RE/MAX WHP 0524642

This will be the first of many public blogs to come. The story will be 1,000 ways to pick the right Realtor. This is pretty simple. Number 1,000 comes with an added bonus, but you'll have to stick around to find out what it is. Here we go.


1. If a Realtor starts out by showing you a picture of themself in any magazine, walk away. Most Realtors will pay top dollar "to have their names in the lights." They love to impress themselves and most importantly, other Realtors. They assume this type of advertising provides them instant credibility with you, the consumer. Ego advertising is for the ego, nothing more.

2. Don't assume an "OLDER" Realtor is one that is wise about selling homes. Most agents I know get into real estate after finishing a career in something entirely different. It's a popular "second" career and even hobby for many folks. Again, just because she's 60 doesn't mean she's more experienced than me.

3. Many new agents and even experienced agents feel it necessary to buy a car they can't afford. Don't assume A LOT when you work with a Realtor. Instead, ask dozens and dozens of questions. If a Realtor drives a 65k BMW, but wears stretchy polyester pants from Sears than you have to wonder if the agent is just pretending to be successful.

4. Do try to annoy your Realtor with questions when your first meet them. You'll figure out their temperament level quickly. Many agents boast about their ability to "provide excellent customer service." For fun, repeat yourself a few times to see if they start getting pissy. I love when prospects DRILL me. I love it because I know other agents won't be as patient.

5. If your Realtor starts the conversation out with.. "I'll reimburse you part of the commission or I'll list your home for almost nothing" then you need to hide from them. Odds are they sleep in that expensive BMW at night. They probably are starving financially and are reduced to trying to BUY their buyers and sellers. You do get what you pay for in this business.

6. If a Realtor agrees with all that you say, find a new one. Your shadow is more competent than a yes man.

7. Don't assume a Broker has more negotiating skills than a Salesperson. A salesperson is a regular Realtor without a Brokers license. Brokers usually market the office, recruit new agents and are very busy doing "other things" besides selling real estate. This isn't to suggest that all Brokers are out of touch when it comes to working with buyers and sellers on a day to day basis.

8. Don't pick the Realtor your boss suggests, especially if it's his spouse.  If "that" Realtor sucks, you're going to really be in a jam. Instead, say thank you, but no thank you. Your boss will respect your candor, not look down on you for choosing elsewhere. If you're working with a relocation department then it may be a different story.

9. Many agents have a website. Ask for it. The website can say an awful lot about that individual. 


See you next week.



Posted by


Greg Nino
, Houston area Realtor®.
Helping residential buyers, sellers and tenants 7 days a week.
Available @ 832-298-8555 

RE/MAX Compass (Formerly RE/MAX WHP)





The information contained in this blog is believed to be reliable and while every effort is made to assure that the information is as accurate as possible, the author of this blog, and its comments disclaim any implied warranty or representation about it's accuracy, completeness or appropriateness for any particular purpose. All information is copywritten and the property of Greg Nino.  






Re-Blogged 16 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
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Frank Castaldini
Coldwell Banker - San Francisco, CA
Realtor - Homes for Sale in San Francisco

Mostly only a successful agent can afford to consistently advertise in magazines.  It does impress and it's costly.  The agents who do that in my area would be great agents to hire.  I agree not to buy or lease a car that you can't afford...but if you can't afford a great car after several years then maybe you're not doing something right.

Jan 13, 2010 04:58 PM #192
Frank Marta
Nuhome Group, LLC NMLS#:835196 - Houston Tx | Mortgage Broker| 713-373-0345 - Houston, TX
Texas Home Loan Specialist NMLS#: 245813

Greg, I do agree with your comment that age shouldn't be the basis of how you pick your Real Estate Agent.  I don't think that is the only thing that you should focus on.  I think that if you ask the right questions and the person is qualified to do your business then they should. 

I too have that trouble with the age thing some people think that because I am younger then I don't know enough to help an older person.  80% of my closings are declined loans from builders or "Trouble Files" from other Loan Officers.  So I know what I am doing and I help families buy homes everyday just like someone with 20 years of experience even better some times.

God Bless,

Frank Marta (Texas Home Loan Specialist)

Jan 13, 2010 05:16 PM #193
Gary Pike
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Metro Brokers - Powder Springs, GA

I like some of what you have posted and what better way to bring attention to yourself then to insinuate that you are better then your competition in a 1,000 ways.  Look forward to seeing the rest.

Jan 13, 2010 11:59 PM #194
John Accornero
Keller Williams Whittier - La Mirada, CA
Accurrate,Accessible,Awesome Realty Experience

Overall, good comments, but I don't necessarily think being part time in the business is bad .I take offense to that because I know I have a life like the rest and if I was 10,000 feet in the air, I probably would not answer the phone anyway.  The few clients I have had enjoy my customer service because it is more personalized and I value each one like a friend.  Maybe because I am low pressure...I do not know. I know I take my work seriously.

What one must ask is ...CAN I REACH MY REALTOR ON THE PHONE? 

True story about part time:  Clients love honesty. They had trust issues. Had a recent prospect who wanted me to spill my beans so to speak on a lead generating website.  I told them like it was, and while they preferred a more local agent that could better service them 15 miles away, they replied that they would send friends or family my way if they were buying in my direction.


Jan 14, 2010 12:26 AM #195
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Hey, Greg!  Watch what you say about old agents!  Some of us are wise elders!  This promises to be a great series.

Jan 14, 2010 12:49 AM #196
Carla Wade
Charlotte, NC

These are great!!!  I love the "ego advertising is for the the ego", don't we all know these folks.  They are the ones that use the glamor shots and should beware.

I look forward to the rest.

Jan 14, 2010 12:57 AM #197
Dianne Bartlett
Brightside Realty, LLC - Austin, TX

Greg:  I like number 5.  It's such a huge red flag.  If they will give away their money that fast, imagine how fast they'll give away a seller's money.

Jan 14, 2010 01:01 AM #198
Greg Nino
RE/MAX Compass, formerly RE/MAX WHP - Houston, TX
Houston, Texas

Dianne - wow, great point. I hadn't thought of that one before.

Carla - I just posted 10-20! Go check it out.

Patricia - Of course *you* are. You're an experienced agent who does this for a living!

John - don't be sensitive, really. Tongue and cheek for the most part. The message is pretty clear in my opinion.

Gary - But a lot of agents ARE better than thousands! Did you know the average Realtor makes about 30 grand a year and has 4.5 listings? If you make twice that and have say 10 listings a year than it stands to reason that more folks are giving you more business for more reasons. It's that simple. I'm not speaking to a persons soul, just their production. No arrogance here my friend.

Frank - I think we've either met or done business, no?

Frank C - it's all about your market. Here, most homeowners are not impressed with glossy magazines. None that I've ever asked anyways.

Roland - I'm grateful to always have you as a commentor.

Christine - 30 years????? What? Did you start at 5? You look too young!!

Raj - it's bad perception. maybe misunderstood perception by a small percentage of the commentors. It's good information in the RAW.

Aaron - because it was featured and received almost 200 comments doesn't make it an ego stroker. That happened after I wrote the post.

Bo - Glad you liked it!

Chris O- Good point, Google your next agent and see what you find.

Sheree - yes I did, but that's okay. I've got buds like you who always pick me up!

Manny - ha!

Sharon - Thanks so much.. very kind of you to say so.

Sonja - hey neighborh!! lol! Good to hear from a hometown hero! ;-)


Jan 14, 2010 03:49 AM #199
Nick Snow
North Port, FL

Greg - That's more along the lines of what I was looking for. If an agent can demonstrate that their $10/month in marketing is more effective than another agent's $1000/month, AND they're willing to pass along some of that savings, would you not bite?


If Dealer A is asking $65k for a new BMW, and Dealer B is willing to sell that exact same BMW for only $60k, do you not agree that you would be a fool for paying $5000 more, if the level of service between the two was identical? Perhaps Dealer B doesn't do print advertising so their overhead is much lower, yet they have the same service hours, loaners, courteous clerks, and they're equally far from your home.


Discounting a real estate agent based solely on their pricing is every bit as foolish. To say otherwise shows fear.


Have a wonderful day!

Jan 14, 2010 04:28 AM #200
Greg Nino
RE/MAX Compass, formerly RE/MAX WHP - Houston, TX
Houston, Texas

Nick - I would still be very leary of a realtor who starts out the conversation with.. "I'll give you back 1/2 my commission." To me, it provides pause, and "asking more questions." I'd be concerned about what this guy is going to do - for only making X amount of dollars. If agent A makes 1/2 the money of agent B than it stands to reason (in some cases) that agent B as more money to spend on advertising. There's a marketshare for both types of Realtors and neither you or I will change each others opinion on the subject. The public will always need and want different models to fit their needs, and that's necessary for full models to exist. We have an agent in town who charges X, which is much less than the competition. He's very succesful, but also running himself into the ground with all the business he's getting. He's not making very much, and he's relying on volume to survive. I often wonder how his sellers are dealing with the level of service he may or many not be providing. He's a one man show, so I know it's impossible to provide EXCELLENT service to 35 sellers by yourself. I've done it, it's impossible, trust me. He won't "hire" help because his profit margins are so low. Plus, he's banking on the fact that our awesome MLS will do all the work. He does very little advertising at all. He's very upfront with his sellers, so I respect that.  I admire his work ethic, for sure. 

The poor guy sent his booklet of advertising to my house by mistake once. And I called him asking questions, this was how I got to learn so much about him.

Ironically, discount brokers spend 75% of their talking with sellers on why "traditional" agents aren't worth what they're paid. This is very sad indeed. I  know this because I've met with a multitude of sellers who reveal this typical tactic by discount models.

The trash talking apparently goes both ways doesn't it? Neither is good for the seller or general public.

Nobody should be "scared" of the competition. I'm not. In Houston, the majority of consumers use traditional agents. I'm GLAD we have discount brokerages, because I can't and won't "reduce" my pay for most. Having those guys around is also a necessity for me I guess.

At the end of the day it's about consumer options.

Jan 14, 2010 04:49 AM #201
Greg Nino
RE/MAX Compass, formerly RE/MAX WHP - Houston, TX
Houston, Texas



I just read your profile. This better explains your position with this post. You'll notice nowhere on my profile do I talk down other Realtors or their models. Your comments on this blog kinda go against what you are saying on your profile.

You elude to the fact other Realtors are maybe "telling consumers what they want to hear" when you say:

Unlike most agents, I don't specialize in whatever you say you're looking for.

You also say:

My marketing plan is the same plan offered and performed by the smart agents - it's almost entirely an online marketing program.

Nick, I consider myself to be a "smart agent" but I doubt we market the same. I use a majority of online advertising (that does cost money) and mix it with traditional methods. Above in this blog you said that "online advertising is free." I guess that depends on what you're getting out of it. We get about 350 prospects a month, half of which are buyers. Those "leads" come with work, time, energy and yes, MONEY spent. Our marketing plans are very different. So you saying you charge X because you & the "smart agents" do the same thing is not accurate, in my case.

I visited your personal website and was confused. Do you not have any listings? Can you tell me where I can find them?

I did get this when I clicked on HOME:

Page Not Found The page you tried to access does not exist on this server. This page may not exist due to the following reasons: 1. You are the owner of this web site and you have not uploaded (or incorrectly uploaded) your web site. For information on uploading your web site using FTP client software or web design software, click here for FTP Upload Information. 2. The URL that you have entered in your browser is incorrect. Please re-enter the URL and try again. 3. The Link that you clicked on incorrectly points to this page. Please contact the owner of this web site to inform them of this situation.



I understand you being defensive about my post. But understand that Active Rain is FULL of agents challenging methods. You can't defend your posture thousands of times over and over again. It's like me trying to prove my point that agents who push kickbacks are "buying" their clients. It's always going to happen.

I really like your straightforwardness on your website. I'd love to check out some of your listings when you post them. Best of luck and take care.

Jan 14, 2010 05:05 AM #202
Gary L. Waters, Broker Owner, Waters Realty of Brevard, LLC
Waters Realty of Brevard, LLC - Rockledge, FL
... a small office, delivering big service!

Lots of comments here. It will take me until next week to get through them all! A lot of the "big shots" I have seen will pay the bucks, get the listing and then "farm" it out...oh - they call it sharing with a new agent! Bingo!

Jan 14, 2010 06:25 AM #204
Paul C. Wilkinson
CENTURY 21 Preferred - Menifee, CA
GRI, REALTOR -Menifee, Murrieta, Temecula - (951)

Greg -  Great start to you 1,000 ways series.  Looking forward to reading more .Driving my BMW

Jan 14, 2010 08:27 AM #205
Joy Carter & Jeff Booker Brother and Sister Team
Keller Williams Parkland/Coral Springs Realty-GreatFloridaHomes Team - Coral Springs, FL
Trust Your Family's Move To Our Expertise!

My favorites were # 8 and #  9 but they were all valid points.  Google is an awesome resource to learn about someone.  Personal recommendations still hold some weight too, especially when you are a good agent that works hard at making sure the job gets done.

Fortunately word gets around.   Joy

Jan 14, 2010 12:31 PM #206
Evelyn Johnston
Friends & Neighbors Real Estate - Elkhart, IN
The People You Know, Like and Trust!

I love Paul's shiney new car! Greg, I love your ambition! Go for it!

Jan 14, 2010 01:27 PM #207
Wayne B. Pruner
Oregon First - Tigard, OR
Tigard Oregon Homes for Sale, Realtor, GRI

That's a good start Greg. Do I have to read all 1000?

Jan 19, 2010 10:12 AM #208
Dan Lusignan
Hudson Heritage FCU - Goshen, NY

This is excellent.  I think  I will use this information when trying to determine if I want to start a referral relationship with a realtor.

Jan 21, 2010 01:00 PM #209
Beverly of Bev & Bob Meaux
Keller Williams Suburban Realty - West Orange, NJ
Where Buying & Selling Works

Ok. This is going to be interesting. It's a good goal to have but you also have to tie things together so clients won't feel overwhelmed. Happy writing.

Jan 23, 2010 01:46 PM #210
Jirius Isaac
Isaac Real Estate &TriStar Mortgage - Kenmore, WA
Real Estate & loans in Kenmore, WA

Are you really going to come up with 1000 items?  I look forward to them.

Jan 25, 2010 05:10 AM #211
Riccardo Palagi
EagleBoiseRealEstate.com - Boise, ID

So Far So Good!

Feb 01, 2010 12:57 PM #212
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Greg Nino

Houston, Texas
Providing Real Estate Advice 7 days a week!
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