How Steve Harney Identifies Great Real Estate Agents

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Here are three of Charleston, SC’s top real estate agents: Mikki Ramey, Brian Walsh, and Chris Facello. I know this, not through personal connections, but through word of mouth. I know it’s validated online with a simple check of their agent reviews. And, to be honest, it’s easy to believe just by looking at their sales numbers.

Being a great agent doesn’t mean you have to be a superhero of real estate. It doesn’t involve you speeding to the rescue of every client problem or extinguishing any fires with your third-party vendors (i.e. mortgage lenders, inspectors, etc). From Steve Harney’s perspective, it involves one thing: Your ability to connect the dots.


Connecting the Dots — Defined by Steve Harney

Keeping current really does matter in real estate. How useful is an agent who doesn’t know their market’s stats? How about an agent who doesn’t know what homes are for sale? The smallest, and yet, seemingly trivial details are what separate people from the herd.


If you want to be closing transactions, getting people talking about you, or boosting your online presence, it starts with knowing your market. But then you need to take it one step further. You need to translate what the market is saying to your clients. Identify any opportunities or threats they might face today or five years from now.


For example, if I buy this home today, will I be able to sell it in a couple years for a profit? << You should be able to answer that question, based on what the market statistics are telling you. And you should explain the “why” in layman’s terms to your client. That is connecting the dots, and that’s what creates positive experiences people talk about (online and offline).


| Watch Steve Harney Define Great Agents |


The Difference Between a Good and Bad Real Estate Agent

Housing information is online, and it’s everywhere. Any buyer can look up past sold data on Zillow. Any homeowner can see what other homes are selling for with a quick search. They look for this information because they want to feel secure and confident in their decision. [Real estate is usually one of the biggest investments they’ll ever face.]


A great agent will take their market information, translate it, and provide their clients useful insights — so they can feel secure in their decision. A bad agent will simply plop loads of data onto their client and say, “It’s a great time to buy.” And my first instinct would be to ask, “Why?”


Take a look at these two charts and see which one makes you feel confident to buy a house today:




A good agent would show a forecasted trend (like that in Figure 2.) and discuss what might happen if they decide to wait.


The Quality that Makes Great Real Estate Agents

Connecting the dots for your client makes them feel secure and confident. They know they’re making the right move. There aren’t any surprises. And overall, they’re happy.


They then take that positive experience and talk about it with their friends and family. They write online reviews and rate you highly, because you helped them understand the right decision to make. Connecting the dots goes a long way in building your business.


Steve Harney Video.png



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Richard Iarossi
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Crofton, MD
Crofton MD Real Estate, Annapolis MD Real Estate


In my area, there are agents who are licensed in two States, and the District of Columbia. It completely escapes me how they can keep abreast of a geographic area that large. Can they sell houses in all three jurisdictions...sure, should they, maybe not.


Sep 29, 2016 06:40 PM #1
Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Good morning Steven at BoomTown ,

Excellent post! You are so right clients expect a good agent to connect the dots for them because they need that information to make an informed decision! They want to feel confident and secure they are making a good home buying purchase and will respect you for giving them the full service and refer you to their family and friends.

Sep 29, 2016 09:55 PM #2
Tim Maitski
Atlanta Communities Real Estate Brokerage - Atlanta, GA
Truth, Excellence and a Good Deal

Steve,  What were you telling buyers in 2006?  

What are your forecasts based on?

Sep 30, 2016 12:02 AM #3
Margaret Goss
Baird & Warner Real Estate - Winnetka, IL
Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate


I dread the hours and hours of time it takes to write my market reports.  But the result is always positive - I know my market inside out.

Sep 30, 2016 01:57 AM #4
Paul McFadden
Responsive Pest Control - Seattle, WA
Pest Control, Seattle, WA.

That's great information. Thank you! I would bet a great real estate agent also knows their competition. That is key.

Sep 30, 2016 07:21 AM #5
Olga Simoncelli
Veritas Prime, LLC dba Veritas Prime Real Estate - New Fairfield, CT
CONSULTANT, Real Estate Services & Risk Management

Forecasts are only as good as the people that are capable of analyzing the raw data and even then, it's only an educated guess.

Sep 30, 2016 09:38 AM #6
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%
RE/MAX Gold - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

Telling a buyer that they can sell a home at a profit at any point in the near future is bad risk management, and I would never do it. I would give the buyer all of the tools necessary for the buyer to draw her own conclusions. It is not my place as a Realtor to predict market movement, not if I care about never being sued, which I do.

Sep 30, 2016 10:16 AM #7
Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED
RETIRED / State License is Inactive - Portland, OR

Who is Steve Harney?  

Sep 30, 2016 11:34 AM #8
Joan Whitebook
BHG The Masiello Group - Nashua, NH
Consumer Focused Real Estate Services

Good agents have many qualities and connecting the dots for their clients is one of the important qualities.  and yes, who is Steve Harney?

Sep 30, 2016 12:53 PM #9
Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty
Bucci Realty, Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Fifteen Years Experience in Brevard County

Being a great real estate agent is like being a great athlete... one play (customer) at a time.

Oct 08, 2016 08:55 PM #10
Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty
Bucci Realty, Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Fifteen Years Experience in Brevard County

I only read this post becuase I initially read "Harney" as "Harvey!"

Oct 08, 2016 08:56 PM #11
Maria Sapio
Keller Williams of Central PA - Carlisle, PA
Real Estate Agent- Carlisle, PA.

Connecting dots includes providing facts and when speculation enters be sure to clearly identify it ...
Thank you for the thought provoking post ...

Oct 08, 2016 10:39 PM #12
Shirley Coomer
Keller Williams Realty Sonoran Living - Phoenix, AZ
Realtor, Keller Williams Realty, Phoenix Az

Great post.  Information is everywhere, but the ability to translate the impact to buyers considering one zip code or school area versus another can not be emphasized enough!

Oct 09, 2016 01:06 AM #13
Will Nesbitt
Nesbitt Realty at Condo Alexandria - Alexandria, VA
Nesbitt Realty is a family-run brokerage.

Talking to Steven at BoomTown (866) 319-3771 Real Estate Technology.

Oct 13, 2016 03:40 AM #14
Real Estate Lead Generation

Great Posting about great real estate agents. Real Estate Lead Generation

Sep 17, 2019 09:33 AM #15
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