What Makes a Good Real Estate Agent?

In the digital age, buyers have many powerful tools at their fingertips to conduct in-depth research about a property or location. By the time they reach out to an agent, they will already be armed with lots of intelligence about the property market and have a clear idea of what and where they can afford. In many ways, this makes kick-starting the relationship easier.

So, what is the real estate agent’s role, and what makes a good real estate agent?

1. Trustworthiness

Buyers and sellers need to know they can depend on you to pass on vital information. In other words, they feel like they have a complete and honest picture of a scenario and are not left blindsided.

Empowering your clients with all the details of a property, even those that may take the shine off, such as flood or bushfire risk, will mean their expectations are realistic and their eyes wide open. Gaining a reputation for trustworthiness requires long-term thinking and acting with honesty and integrity every time.

2. Experience and knowledge

Buying houses is not just about bricks and mortar – you are selling a lifestyle to prospective buyers. Buyers expect you to be encyclopedic about an area, from the local amenities to development plans, transport links and schools – be ready to find the answers to some curly questions and have your local tips ready.

Keep abreast of all the changing legalities and property regulations – what may be common knowledge to you might be new information to a first-time buyer.

If the buyer doesn’t live in the area, they’ll primarily rely on an agent who has this local expertise. They also want to be assured you have a solid track record of buying and selling similar homes in the area and have a good reputation as the go-to neighbourhood agent. Savvy clients will have already done their research on you and your agency.

3. Clear communication and responsiveness

Your communication style can make or break whether a client chooses you as their agent – first impressions are everything when trying to build a rapport. When you first meet a client, ask the right questions and practice active listening; ask them to establish their property wish-list so that you can understand their needs.

Establish your client’s preferred mode of communication – do they prefer a phone call, text or email? Whichever you choose, make sure you pay attention to the small details like spelling and grammar, indicating how detail-oriented you are.

Time is of the essence when it comes to real estate, and juggling multiple stakeholders like lawyers, agents, banks and mortgage brokers under deadline conditions is a stressful and busy time for a client.

Make sure you are in step with the client and responding to their cues for information quickly and efficiently, without pressuring them or adding to their stress and frustration with ambiguous information or slow communication.

4. Negotiation skills

Many soft skills come under the umbrella of negotiation, and you’ll need to sharpen every one of them. Clients will test your persuasion, listening, cooperation, communication and mediation skills regarding the nitty-gritty of negotiating offers. After all, your ability to be able to negotiate a deal is one of the main parts you play in the process of buying or selling.

There are many different real estate negotiation strategies. Still, the golden rule is to make sure the client feels like they are in control. Educating your clients on the negotiation process and managing their expectations for a worst-case scenario may help smooth the process.

5. The personal touch

Investing time in getting to know your client is vital for two reasons. Firstly, you need to understand their unique personal circumstances to match them with the right buyers or sellers.

But getting to know your client builds rapport and makes them feel like their most significant asset is in the hands of someone who cares about their interests, not just the commission they are earning. Extending your personalised service beyond the sale is also a good idea – a moving in gift or a follow-up call to see how they are settling in.

Many clients will return to agents repeatedly, and those all-important referrals will continue to grow. Those long-term relationships will lead to a good client base and a successful career as a multi-skilled real estate agent.

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