How to Pick a Real Estate Agent to Work With
I was having a conversation the other day with someone about what we felt was a lack of Internet prowess amongst Real Estate agents in our local area. I’ve personally lived in Grand Rapids, Michigan for my entire life, but if you were to ask me to name 5 or 6 of the top Real Estate professionals in the area, I don’t think I could do it.
Personally I find that disturbing. Buying a home is the largest purchase most of us will make in our lives. When it comes time to sell that home, you’ll want to make sure it is marketed properly so you don’t end up in a never ending limbo or unable to secure that new “home of your dreams” that you can’t close on until…
Now, I know that I am online a bit more than the average person, but that doesn’t change the fact that over 90% of the people looking for a new home turn to the Internet ( that number was mentioned in a 2009 article by the National Association of Realtors).
If that’s the case, don’t you think real estate agents need to get with the program when it comes to marketing on the Internet?
Top of mind awareness is something every business strives for and it’s definitely something that’s not easy to achieve. A professional however, is willing to put in the work necessary to not only gain top of mind awareness, but also showcase their skills and prove they are a credible choice when evaluating a marketing partner for your home.
The following are three things to think about when evaluating a real estate agent.
- Do they have a presence in the social networks? People are spending an incredible amount of time every day on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and an ever increasing amount of new social media sites. There are conversations happening every second of every day on almost every topic. You shouldn’t even consider interviewing a real estate agent if they don’t have an active profile on these social networks. I’m not saying they have to be on all of them, I’m just saying they need to be participating in conversations relevant to real estate on at least the major sites. I recently read an article which stated people are 76% more likely to act on a recommendation from a friend over the messaging of a brand. Your real estate agent needs to understand that and take advantage of the opportunity.
- Who is you real estate agent focused on? I understand that to be a successful real estate agent, you need to be good at self promotion. That doesn’t mean that you need to talk about what a great family you have and how you’re an excellent golfer, and that your kids are amazing world class athletes. I’ve found there are too many people in general who spend all their time talking about themselves and their companies, yet they never take two seconds to talk about the most important topic … the topic that’s most important to their “buyers!” People could care less what your handicap is on the golf course. The only thing they care about is “What’s in it for them.” If your real estate agent isn’t bringing value to the interview and educating you on the most effective way to market your home … it’s probably because they don’t know. Make sure your prospective agent is focused on value and not just themselves.
- Do they have a digital marketing plan? If you met with a real estate agent 15 years ago and they told you they weren’t going to put your house in the news paper, you wouldn’t have even considered hiring them. You should have the exact same feeling now when it comes to the Internet, but you should look a bit deeper. It’s crazy to believe that if you simply put your house on the online listing services that it’s being marketed properly. You need to find a real estate professional that not only lists your home, but also has a targeted marketing process to drive the appropriate “buyers” to those listings, and make it easy for them to see what your home has to offer. True professionals will have an established, proven, repeatable process, and they’ll have the ability to rattle off numbers as to how much traffic their average listing receives each week. They’ll also be able to prove it with analytics data if they are a TRUE professional.
My next post will talk about the tools a buyer focused, real estate professional should be using to make it easy to showcase your property. Remember, the only thing that person that’s going to buy your house cares about is, “What’s in it for them.” You’ll want to make sure your real estate agent understands that and utilizes technology to make it incredibly easy for those buyers to identify the answer to that question quickly and easily.
If you have any experiences that are similar or contrary to mine, please let me know by leaving a comment below. If you happen to be a real estate professional, let us know things that you’ve done to embrace technology and create solid relationships with your clients.