WHY DO PEOPLE BECOME REAL ESTATE AGENTS?
Clearly, there are many reasons why agents get into the business. Such as family background, how we were treated by real estate agents before we became one, the motivation to run our own business, because it looks easy, simply because people are interesting and houses are fun to look at, and for most, the desire to help others achieve their American dream.
WHAT ARE IMPORTANT FACTORS THAT LEAD TO SUCCESS?
Education is the foundation for which all knowledge is built. It takes commitment, dedication, a can-do attitude, plus a lot more skills than just looking at houses and seeing how others live.
Listening is key. Everything we learn in life about people, contracts, and education is subject to interpretation. What quality means to one person may be something completely different to another person. There are some who have a vision and creativity is their gift, and for others, they just can’t see a forest through the trees. Making a list of what people say they need and want isn’t enough. Listening and not talking when they talk takes discipline and self-control.
A new client is like a blank canvass. Any agent who thinks they can get a clear picture of what their client wants on a first visit looking at properties too soon realizes the picture is fuzzy, incomplete, and may not be anything like what you thought you heard unless the agent listens closely and can be honest and upfront about the fact that it all depends on many factors, not just inventory, budget, and location.
Honesty is the best policy. Getting people’s hopes up by creating a list of wants and needs and then going out to look at houses when nothing matches is like being a kid all over again and writing a list for Christmas or your birthday only to find out you get a pretty box (or worse, a surprise box) with nothing in it that you wanted!
Trust goes out the window. When the buyer says, my agent didn’t listen to me and showed me houses I didn’t want, and the agent says well, that’s all there is in MLS now or sometimes, offers are being negotiated and I don't know. Or says, don’t worry, new houses go on the market all the time. But the buyer soon realizes, it doesn’t happen that quickly and it really is just luck.
DO SUPER STARS REALLY EXIST?
It's all about supply and demand. If the timing is right, and good houses go on the market when the buyer is looking than their agent can be a real superstar. But if inventory is low, few, if any houses look move-in ready and priced right, then no, that agent is not a superstar, no matter how much education, experience, and knowledge they have.
CLIENT COMMUNICATION IS CRITICAL
Buyers may not like what they see or hear. Not all houses, like agents, are perfect. Some buildings are built with quality to last (as long as they are maintained) and others are like cars – pretty on the showroom floor with bright lights and good smells but once you move in you discover some things stink. No house or buyer or agent is perfect.
IS IT LUCK EXPERIENCE OR BOTH?
It is a combination of a lot of things. Education, experience, knowledge, inventory, skills, luck, good listening, honesty, and integrity are critical. Blame is just a game and life is not a "Game of Thrones," nor should it be a battle between bidding wars with lots of drama. And it's definitely not a fantasy television show. When it comes to buying real estate with the right agent, honesty with buyers and sellers is always the best policy.
"Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow.
The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing"
--- Abraham Lincoln