Have you ever seen this line in a newspaper or website? “I’m the #1 agent!” or “Hire me, I am # 1!” Did you also happen to notice that line on almost every page of the Real Estate section? Heck, I myself am guilty of using the term myself and I am not alone. Unfortunately, it is probably one of the most over used description an agent can use in trying to promote their skill.
Naturally, the assumption is that sellers desire to hire the best in the business. So naturally, if an agent has ever achieved #1 at anything they should let you know about it. The fun part is reading the fine print, if they are brave enough to publish it. If they were, it would read something like this: “#1 agent …in my office for the month of April 2011.” What is missing from the fine print may be that there are 10 agents total in their office, and no one else was lucky enough to sell a home in April 2011. Let me be clear that I’m not saying that it’s wrong to publish one’s achievements, but as a seller it is important to find out more about the agent’s long term track record in the market, and not judge too quickly based on one line in a newspaper.
So when does an agent’s ranking have any personal effect on you as a seller or buyer? Let’s say that you are a buyer: what is important to you? Most buyers want to find a great home at huge value and they want to be the first to know about it. They also want to be guided professionally, receive regular communication from their agent and get educated answers to all of their questions. They want to be represented by a great negotiator. They want help with the mountain of paperwork, inspections and closing procedures. Buyers shouldn’t have to spend their time comparing the awards and accolades of many agents; they should really only have to worry about having confidence and peace of mind that they are working with someone who can handle all of the above efficiently and without costly mistakes.
Likewise, sellers feel much of the same. They want their home sold in an expedient manner. They want it sold for as much money possible with as few obstacles and hassles as possible. They need a strong negotiator. They want to know that their home is being promoted properly and to all of the best buyers possible. They want guidance and they want the truth.
When choosing a Real Estate agent, selecting one with considerable experience can certainly curtail the many challenges that buyers and sellers are bound to face. Experience is the best training tool in any business. If you haven’t gone through a negative experience in the past, it is difficult to recognize avoid it when it is headed your way.
As mentioned earlier, I myself have laid claim to the popular “#1” line. Let me share my fine print . . . Last year I was ranked #1 at Shorewood Realtors. I received this award in recognition of the number of homes I had sold in 2010. Shorewood Realtors is a company that typically has between 400 and 450 licensed agents. What’s interesting is that I have been ranked #2 nearly every year since I joined the company back in the early 1990’s. Being a competitive person, it was a fun experience to finally pass up the #1 salesperson, however the #2 salesperson for 2010 had sold a higher total dollar volume, so effectively, they can claim that they were #1. Do you see how variable these “#1” terms can be?
The bottom line is that what matters most as an agent is how well you take care of your client, not where you rank. That reason alone is why, almost 24 years ago, I elected to take the team approach to servicing my clients. With a strong team of professionals in place I am able to meet or even beat the expectations of our clients no matter if we are representing some of the most elite clients, such as athletes and executives, or negotiating for builders and investors, or helping a new buyer with their first condo purchase.
Read what my clients say about how my team and I successfully help them achieve their real estate goals by visiting EdsHappyClients.com.
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