Is Your REALTOR® Sharpening an Axe?

By Lynn Pineda

“If I had five minutes to chop down a tree, I’d spend the first three sharpening my axe.”

-Abraham Lincoln

Preparedness in anything can greatly increase our effectiveness and chance for success. In real estate, the same holds true. When the time comes to hire a REALTOR® that’s prepared to assist you in selling or buying your home, what should you expect? How should your REALTOR® sharpen his or her axe to be of greatest value to customers?

As a REALTOR®, it goes beyond simply getting a real estate license. Preparedness involves the desire to be the best that they can be; a true spirit for real estate. It requires the genuine desire to service their customers. This advocacy for their customer will result in home sellers and homebuyers being so thrilled by their real estate experience that they will want to scream their REALTOR’s® name from the rooftop. So how do REALTORs® get such acclamation? What gives those with spirit the edge in real estate? It begins with the following:

Stay on top of the real estate market, trends and news.

This means not only being aware of overall real estate industry news and trends, but knowing the local real estate market and trends as well. Real estate is local. The real estate market can differ from one city to another. Where is the market headed? Your REALTOR® needs to know your local market. What type of market are you in: a seller’s, balanced or buyer’s market? If you’re selling a home or buying a home, knowing the type of market will make all the difference in how you set yourself up for success. How long does it take homes to sell? What are the absorption rates? At what price points are homes selling? What is the ideal price point for you to position the home you’re selling? What can you expect to pay for a home as a homebuyer?

Frequent reporting by industry experts who share their insights on the real estate market keeps any REALTOR® informed of where the market is trending, and it’s important to seek out this information.

Be well aware of the mortgage industry.

Knowing mortgage options and the effect interest rates will have on the home buying process enables a REALTOR® to guide a prospective homebuyer. It also enables a REALTOR® to advise home sellers what to expect from the demands of homebuyers.

Network with other real estate industry professionals.

Networking with those at the top enables a REALTOR® to learn from the best. What better way to learn a profession than from those who have gone before and succeeded before. It isn’t always necessary to reinvent the wheel. Networking with real estate professionals can also make the REALTOR® top of mind, when a referral is needed in the city they service. This can bring you a top notch REALTOR® when a networking REALTOR® gets referred to you. Had this network never been established, you may not have had the opportunity to have such a skilled REALTOR® representing you.

Be at the forefront of the Web, social media and its trends.

Your REALTOR® needs to know the power of the Web, as its power contributes to the effectiveness of the home-selling process. Selling a home is about getting your home seen by qualified buyers. Over 92 percent of homebuyers start their home search online, after all. Having these homes seen by the masses will first require that REALTORs® have a strong online presence. REALTORs® accomplish this by knowing the importance of developing their websites/blogs with the proper SEO (search engine optimization) techniques that will showcase a REALTOR’s® experience, customer reviews, character and skill – evidence that they sell many homes and sell them well.

Having a strong social media presence will also be key. You’ll want to find them providing quality real estate content and interacting on Twitter, Google+, Facebook, Pinterest and LinkedIn, to name a few.

Be leery of any REALTOR® that isn’t on the first page of results when you Google their name. Today, buyers and sellers are online seeking real estate information and it’s up to any REALTOR® to make sure they’re providing online real estate value; smart, informational, up-to-the-minute, tech savvy information. Buyers and sellers will be drawn to REALTORs® who are clearly visible on the web. REALTORs® not found on the web should make you question their marketing ability. If they can’t market themselves, how will they ever market your home?

Hone in on skills necessary to be competent and efficient.

Expect your REALTOR® to be proficient in their ability to price a home, negotiate, problem solve and communicate toward the successful completion of a real estate transaction. Pricing a home is an art and demands a good understanding of the local market, and knowing how recent home sales, pending sales and active homes for sale compare to your home. Selling and buying a home requires in-depth negotiation skills from the moment a contract is presented, to contract acceptance, to inspections and right through to the day of closing. Problems will surface and having problem-solving abilities can smooth out any potential issues, keeping it from killing a sale. Last but not least, excellent communication skills are a requirement when dealing with so many different parties in a real estate transaction. You will have different personalities and emotions coming in from all angles and processing them will be key. Being good at reading people will direct the communication by simply reading their level of optimism or pessimism.

Continuing education

More education is required for both professional real estate licensing and for one’s own inquisitiveness and innate desire to stay in the know. Staying abreast of regulatory changes, housing regulations, real estate contract changes, along with any legislative updates are all critical, need to know facets of the business in order to ethically represent any seller or buyer.

In short, all of these real estate fundamentals will prove that preparedness and an ongoing eagerness to be the best at your craft will always benefit the customers being represented.

Lynn Pineda is a licensed Southeast Florida real estate agent.

View this original post on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall.

This post has been authored by Eric Slifkin, REALTOR® serving South Florida’s Treasure Coast. You can reach me at 888-288-1765, or visit my Web site. As your resource for information on new or resale homes throughout the Treasure Coast, please be sure to contact me about any home you may find on the Web, yard sign or ad and I will research the property, arrange showings and handle all the details.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2014. All rights reserved.