The Six Attributes Of A 'Value-Added' Agent
by: Carla Cross
We throw around the words “value-added”. But, what do they mean? I decided to list what I believed constituted the six attributes of ‘value-added’ service. These attributes come from my experience: Being an agent for 8 years, managing great agents for 15 years, and doing many real estate transactions myself over the last 3 decades. Finally, they come from the hundreds of comments I got from buyers all over the world after I published my book on choosing a buyer’s agent. (Most of the comments would burn your ears!).
Here are the six attributes:
Works full-time. It is amazing to me that 65% of agents are part-timers. Personally, I don’t want a typical part-timer trying to juggle another job and juggle all the time-sensitive actions I expect my agent to take to get the job done. Sellers and buyers aren’t aware of the large number of part-timers. You must let them know your commitment to them.
But, you are a part-timer. Okay. Then, you need to show the buyer or seller how you are going to be fully dedicated to them and their transaction.
Fully and continuously educated. To gain the client’s trust today, you really need to continuously educate yourself in the legalities and technical aspects of real estate. It’s amazing to me how many agents just aren’t up to date on their jobs!
Has all the communication methods and uses them. Buyers and sellers’ biggest complaint about agents is that they don’t return phone calls/email! In fact, study after study shows that agents simply don’t communicate even at a basic standard level with buyers and sellers. No wonder buyers and sellers are frustrated at those huge commissions (in their eyes). According to a Womens’ Council of Realtors study, 40% of agents today don’t have a database!
Works for a legitimate real estate agency that is committed to hiring and retaining good agents. Until you tell buyers and sellers differently, they think most agencies are the same. But, you and I know they are not. Be proud of your real estate agency. I don’t mean that some real estate agencies are not legal. From traveling the country speaking and coaching, I know the financial resources great companies put into educating their agents. I know they are careful whom they hire. I know they are careful whom they keep. Share your value-based culture with your clients. That differentiates you from the ‘I’ll just try to get a couple of sales’, or ‘I’ll just start a real estate firm to snag some easy bucks’ kind of people (yes, they’re out there!).
Is committed to real estate career long-term. 50% of the agents who come into the business are gone within a year. 75% are gone within 2 years! No wonder buyers and sellers distrust what we tell them! We don’t communicate, and we disappear after we make all kinds of promises…………
Has created full systems, processes, and checklists to assure a high level of service throughout the transaction and after. No more of this running by the seat of your pants! The client wants us to provide
That means we develop the full systems and processes for buyers and sellers that show we are more than the ‘fly by night’ standard agent. For example: Less than 20% of all agents today use a written interview process for buyers and sellers. (See Your Client-Based Marketing System and The Complete Buyer’s Agent Toolkit for comprehensive interview processes and questionnaires).
That also means that we know all the statistics about our market. Not only do we need to know them, though, we need to prioritize them and educate buyers and sellers about what they mean. That’s the difference between ‘value-added’ and cut-rate. We value-added agents take the time to prioritize and educate.
Value-added means the agent is committed, organized, and educated so he can provide the client Prioritized Knowledge Combined with a High Level of Trust.
Please don’t underestimate your client today. Respect your client’s knowledge, his time, his money, and his right to the highest level of service. For your own satisfaction, master your craft. You’ll build a career for tomorrow, no matter the market, and differentiate yourself from the competition.
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