When I earned my real estate license in January of 1984, I was told that was just the beginning. I learned I would need to learn much more to be a good agent. I was encouraged to, "sharpen the saw" by my broker, which means get more training to be skilled and effective. As a result, like many agents who care, I have spent many years gathering knowledge, receiving training and learning much. I have attended ERA Realty Center's training on Wednesdays. I took ERA's basic training and also the Topgun training for experienced agents. I have been to numerous conventions to learn technology and real estate skills. I have even been the trainer myself from time to time. I am an Associate Broker. I have the following national designations and certifications: ABR, CRS, ERS, GRI, SSE, SFR and more. I have REO training that goes way above and beyond. I have been trained in marketing luxury homes (International Collection) and in staging homes. I have been trained in buyer as well as seller representation and limited agency. I have learned valuable negotiating and contract skills. Does this sound familiar? 2% of all agents work this hard to be one of the top-trained agents nationally. I gained this knowledge and skills with the hope of benefiting the public including buyers, sellers, clients and customers. Is it working?
Why do I mention my hard work as well as that of others agents in the previous paragraph? In the November 2012 . Volume XXI . Number 11 of the "Today's Buyer's Rep A publication of the Real Estate Buyer's Agent Council, Inc. A wholly-owned subsidiary of the National Association of REALTORS," I read the following statement, "When consumers become home buyers, they typically put a lot more effort into finding the property they want to purchase, instead of the agent they want to assist them. In fact, 65 percent of buyers work with the first agent they meet." What? The article doesn't even mention that buyers look for designations, certifications, training or knowledge!
Do I still feel this much knowledge is important? Absolutely! We owe it to our clients, customers, the public and our profession to be the real estate experts. What then do we all do? How can we use our expertise and experience to benefit others if some don't even know how important it is?
The article goes on to give us the answer as follows, "Establishing relationships with future home buyers requires crossing paths with them, then staying in touch." I am sure this statement applies to future home sellers also. Buyers and sellers as well as most all people like top caring service. They want to be called back if they called or emailed or texted back if they emailed or texted. If they ask a question, they expect an answer. Good old "rapport" is as invaluable as a doctor's bedside manner.
The article lists "10 Ways to Connect with Consumers via REBAC." They are, "1 ONLINE DIRECTORY/INBOUND LINKS, 2 EMAIL CAMPAIGNS, 3 BLOG POSTS, 4 HOME BUYER SEMINARS, 5 CLIENT NEWSLETTERS, 6 DIRECT MAIL, 7 BUYER COUNSELING SESSIONS, 8 FACEBOOK 'I AM AN ABR' PAGE, 9 REBAC FACEBOOK COMMUNITY, 10 VIDEOS. In the article there are detailed examples of each of these 10 items that include how REBAC can help us. No wonder I am so impressed with REBAC! REBAC, of course, focuses on buyers, but these ideas can help with all of our clients whether buying or selling.
I suppose the article is telling us to "get back to the basics." It sounds like the old advice to meet people "face to face" is being altered a bit in the world of technology. Good old-fashioned human caring is still what counts to attract the clients. Then I strongly believe that we as agents should continue "sharpening the saw" as my broker taught. That way we can give the excellent service our buyers, sellers and investors expect and deserve when they work with us. That way our business will thrive on the referrals we receive from satisfied and successful clients who have gained excellent results.
According to the same Today's Buyer's Rep, "...REALTORS who earn a professional designation or certification earn 73 percent more than those who have none (2012 NAR Member Profile). That just goes back to what my real estate broker said, "If you give good, hard, honest service, the dollars will follow."