6 Qualities of a Great REALTOR® & How to Spot Them
How do you tell you have a great Realtor? Experience! Steve Jacobson has been a REALTOR® for over 40 years and has more experience than 99.9% of all Realtors® in the Denver area! He participates in ongoing real estate classes as a student to increase his knowledge and stay up to date on best practices and new innovations. He also participates on the panel of ethics and real estate experts in those classes when time allows. His knowledge of real estate and ethics and his “The Client is Number One” view of business makes him the perfect partner for your home buying and selling needs! The following article is directly from the National Association of Realtors® and Steve Meets All Six Qualities!
With over two million real estate agents in the U.S., you have a lot of options. So how do you pick a good one? Look for these six qualities.
1) They always put their client’s needs first.
This should go without saying. A quality real estate agent understands that real representation means acting in the client’s best interests at all times! There is a reason this is number one on the REALTOR® Code of Ethics. It may seem obvious, but you may be surprised how easy it is to not. A few examples of how an agent could act out of favor: they mislead the client about a home’s value, place a listing on the back burner, selectively omit listings of a certain company, intentionally list a property too high or pressure a client into choosing specific ancillary professionals for a transaction. What can you do to ensure your agent is dedicated to YOUR interests? A good first step is to ensure they have their REALTOR® designation and therefore actively maintain an oath to this standard. Next, you could ask them for a list of their last few clients or check for any negative reviews they may have.
2) They maintain excellent communication.
This is key for many professions, but it’s especially true in real estate. An agent who doesn’t keep you in the loop in a timely manner through every step of the process is not keeping your interests at the forefront. They should be contacting you with updates whether it’s good or bad news. Your Realtor® should let you know what they are doing to get your listing seen or how they are searching for a house that suits your needs. They should ask you questions and listen closely so they understand your specific wants and needs inside and out. Communication is key so they should also be articulate and professional in their communication with all other parties involved. Look for an agent who listens well, speaks confidently and shows signs of transparent honesty. Follow your intuition – this person should be easy for you to talk to.
3) They are informed and keep themselves up-to-date.
Does your agent stay up on the latest market trends? Is their use of technology fully in the 21st century? Do they read up on industry news, locally and nationally? If not, you’re doing yourself a disservice in your choice of agent. This career demands timely knowledge and modern practices. So what can you do to test them out? Ask them for an opinion on a pertinent industry topic you read about or ask them how the market has shifted in the last month; look for confidence and insightful perspectives. You could inquire about the source of their data, too – they should be able to answer readily.
4) They have a large sphere of influence.
To be effective at their job, your agent should have numerous connections with lenders, contractors, inspectors, other agents, specialists… the list goes on farther than you might expect, because real estate requires a team. The more connections they have, the more prepared they are to recommend several high-quality options (and yes, they should give you options). First, see if they are a member of a local REALTOR® Association, as this is where the majority of agents build up their sphere of influence. You could also ask for a recommendation for a service and see how they respond. If you are the direct type, you might even ask how often they attend industry events, classes and meetings.
5) They go above and beyond in their education.
All agents are required to meet a certain number of continuing education hours, but many REALTORS® make an extra effort. Advanced designations and certifications are a way for them to specialize in a specific area of real estate such as first-time homebuying, military relocation, foreclosures and many more. They are not obligated to earn advanced designations, so you know these REALTORS® are serious about their careers. Designations allow an agent to wear their specialties on their sleeve (and they probably have a string of letters behind their name), which makes it that much easier for you to find representation that suits your needs, but even if their designation doesn’t directly pertain to you, it’s good to know they are committed to a higher level of professionalism.
6) They have unwavering integrity.
Admittedly, this is not quite as easy to probe for. Would anyone ever let on to a prospective client that they have a flexible moral compass? So what can you do to make sure you are being represented by an honest and ethical agent? The best way is to see if they adhere to the National Association of REALTORS®’ (NAR) code of ethics. That is easy to find out, because anyone with the REALTOR® designation has to renew their oath with an ethics update every two years. That is certainly a strong indicator that they take their profession seriously and that they are current on the standards expected of them. Additionally, it shows they are part of a larger group that takes these matters very seriously, guaranteed.