Excellent points. I have done a number of listing presentations in the last few weeks and the pointers below are right in line with 1) how a possible client should enter the meeting and 2) how an agent should be prepared.
I run into daily examples where I hear about an agent handling a situation in a manner I gawk at because I can never see my responding in the manner than said agent did. Each time this happens I am reminded that, although all real estate agents carry the title of realtor, everyone’s job description is vastly different.
“In a recent survey, only 20 percent of Americans said they trusted real estate agents as a profession. But here's the good news, for buyers, sellers and agents: though people seem to distrust agents as a group, nearly 90 percent of buyers and sellers liked their individual real estate agent enough to say that they would work with them again!” (http://www.trulia.com/blog/taranelson/2012/03/how_to_find_an_agent_you_love)
Honestly, I want more than 20% of my clients to both trust and like the interactions they have with me! As an agent I can only be myself, a passionate, aggressive, and dedicated agent. I can self monitor and strive to be a better agent each day, but some of the responsibility falls onto the client as well. The best advice, find an agent that you are comfortable with! Only when both parties are willing to trust, respect, and be agreeable with one another can completely successful transactions occur. I spend countless hours with clients and them with me. Here is a nice checklist for clients to have for when they are first introduced to an agent (and I encourage you, meet with many before you choose!)
- Follow referrals directly from past clients who you may know. If a friend/family member has had a positive experience with an agent, well that is a great start. Ask them what stood out about the agent, both positive and negative.
- Check out agents online. Read their blogs. See how they list current listings if you are looking to sell. If you are a new buyer, see what resources they offer in terms of educating you. All these components will help you assess who the agent is even before the first meeting.
- Compare agents! Look at many and narrow it down to a few. When you schedule a first meet & greet, make note of their follow-up back to you with confirmation of the meeting. Traits like good communication will make or break the stress levels of a real estate transaction.
ONCE YOU MEET
- Check for connection. If you feel like you are being pressured from the start, if they are pulling you instead of you being the client, or if their style of communication makes you edgy, listen to your gut!
- With that being said, let them lead the conversation and sell themselves to you. If, as a client you are the only one bringing up ideas/thoughts to the conversation, you will be the one calling the agent with questions and follow-up instead of visa versa. Remember, you are hiring them to work in your interest. Make sure they are passionate about your interest.
I hope these notes help all clients as they look to begin their real estate journey. If you would like to take your first step and schedule a meeting with me, Jenifer Owens, feel free to call (406)209.0022, email, follow me on twitter, facebook, or here on my blog!