How to Know if a Real Estate Agent is Any Good – Part 2

The Conscious Group - How to Know if a Real Estate Agent is Any Good: Part 2

Continuing the list of How to Know if a Real Estate Agent is Any Good.

Clearly, finding a good real estate agent is an issue. If  you google “how to find a good real estate agent,” you mostly find articles on how to identify a bad real estate agent… and for good reason. There are more shitheads in the real estate industry than in the White House. (As we all remember, Donald Trump started out in real estate… sigh…) Fact is, when you find a great real estate agent, they will earn every dime of their money.

Have you read Part 1?

Here are the second 4 ways to know that you have found a good real estate agent:

5) They are emotionally intelligent.

Real estate agents will need to be able to use various styles of negotiation over time and will need to have the emotional intelligence to know which negotiation tactics will be useful in different situations. A lot of real estate agents, or humans in general, only know one style of negotiation. Some are incredibly nice, some use a “take it or leave it” approach. If an agent is accustomed to working in the city and then needs to work with clients in a small town in the mountains, they will likely need to take a different approach in their negotiations because the super intense Gordon Gecko shit is going to freak the mountain people out. They live in the mountains for a reason – to get away from loud crazy people. Furthermore, some clients will require their agent to take a hard-headed approach to negotiations, whereas other clients prefer to keep things mellow.

A good real estate agent will also know when to push you or when to back off. Some clients may find the perfect home for them and they are afraid to commit. A good real estate agent will know the area and know if this client has found a rare gem and that now is the time to jump on it! And other times, if the client isn’t quite ready yet, if the agent knows the area well, they can assure their clients that another home with that little extra “something” will come along soon.

6) Your agent pretty much always responds to you in a timely manner.

Things happen quickly in real estate. The Denver real estate market moves incredibly quickly and if home-buyers can’t view the property right away, it will go under contract pretty quickly if it’s priced correctly.

Furthermore, a lot of home-buyers and sellers get kind of freaked out during the process. I started noticing this while helping my friends with their real estate deals. Since I know how they are on a normal day, I have seen some of my most mellow friends start to lose their shit when they’ve had to buy or sell homes. Moving can be a huge stressor. There are a lot of moving parts (cheesy pun intended) and unfamiliar concepts during a real estate transaction. This can be very upsetting for Capricorns who like to understand every step of the process as though they actually are a real estate agent. If you have an agent who responds to you quickly, it can help to put your mind at ease if you have a question that’s burning a hole in your brain.

It can be tough to know what to look for in a good real estate agent.

7) They’re proactive.

A lot of issues can be avoided by planning ahead. Surprises will always come up, but a good real estate agent will foresee the majority of potential problems in advance and at least give you a warning.  If your home doesn’t sell quickly for asking price, this agent is looking ahead to see what additional marketing they could add or if there are any quick and easy fixes to an issue that may be deterring potential home-buyers. If you are a home-buyer who is having a difficult time finding a home in your price range, a good real estate agent will be constantly creating new ways to find you a home in a competitive market. If you are purchasing a home, a good real estate agent will ensure that you are thoroughly inspecting the home and will have helped you carefully craft your offer so that you haven’t offered more than what the home will appraise for.

8) They’re honest with you, sometimes painfully so.

Every real estate agent has to be the bearer of bad news from time to time. We don’t look forward to this, but if we are truly being loyal to you and doing the best job we possibly can, then we have to do it, no matter how bad it hurts.

Maybe your dogs have used the carpet as a latrine one too many times, and you can’t smell it because you’re used to it. No one wants to tell you that your home smells bad, but if we are going to sell your home for top dollar, it needs to be free of pervasive odors. Maybe you feel incredibly soothed by your chocolate brown walls, but a lot of buyers prefer a warm light gray and we can sell your home for more money if you repaint your walls a more neutral color. Maybe you have spent your entire adult life working on your Star Wars figurine collection, but it’s not likely to photograph well or be attractive to buyers, so we might need to put Princess Leia in storage. Maybe we just found out that your last real estate agent sold you the home without doing a thorough inspection and now you are on the hook for $10,000 to replace your sewer line. Maybe your home just isn’t worth as much as you thought it was. Maybe your mom did real estate for 40 years and has now given you advice that is incorrect and we have to tell you that your mom is wrong. Seriously, my dearest client… I would rather stab myself in the eye than tell you that your darling mother is incorrect. All of this sucks. But if we are doing our jobs to the best of our ability, we will be honest with you even when it hurts.

The good news is that great real estate agents exist! You don’t just have to put up with an agent who doesn’t have your best interests at heart. If you don’t feel right with the first agent who you’ve met, interview some others until you find an agent who can provide you with a positive experience.

Want a Fantastic Agent instead of a Problem Agent?  Give us a call at 303-908-9873.  

Make sure you read Part 1 of How to Know if a Real Estate Agent is Any Good.

How to Know if a Real Estate Agent is Any Good – Part 1

The Conscious Group - How to Know if a Real Estate Agent is Any Good: Part 1

Clearly, finding a good real estate agent is an issue. If  you google “how to find a good real estate agent,” you mostly find articles on how to identify a bad real estate agent… and for good reason. There are more shitheads in the real estate industry than in the White House. (As we all remember, Donald Trump started out in real estate… sigh…) Fact is, when you find a great real estate agent, they will earn every dime of their money.

A lot of agents will have practiced convincing scripts that are designed to get you to hire them. These scripts are formulated to be effective and many real estate agents play the numbers game. “If you talk to X amount of people using Y tactic in Z amount of time, you are likely to earn A.” For instance, these agents will use your name regularly throughout the conversation because that is a proven tactic to get people to like you… (I outlined a lot of the talking points included in these scripts in a previous series of posts, “Shit Real Estate Agents Say To Get You To Hire Them.”)

You are not a number, you are a person and you should be treated as such. A good real estate agent isn’t going to use a bunch of crappy tactics to get your business. A good real estate agent will be honest with you. They will be authentic. They won’t have to utilize a script, but rather, will be able to have a conversation. They will show how they can be of service to you. A good real estate agent will earn your business.

As a consumer, it can be tough to know what to look for in a good real estate agent.

Real estate transactions truly are a convoluted process. In some cases, a consumer may be able to sell or purchase a home without the help of a real estate agent and not lose money, but those situations are few and far between. Most often, you need a (good) real estate agent. A good real estate agent will be able to gain your business without the bullshit… unless you enjoy falling for bullshit. Some people do and that’s ok. And some of you lovely people tend to succumb to pressure… or you want to believe the best in people and take what they say at face value.

Here are the first 4 ways to know that you have found a good real estate agent:

1) You feel comfortable around them.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been showing properties when another group of potential home-buyers enters who look miserable and awkward with their agent. I have seen agents stop everything to give their clients a history of residential electricity during moments that were completely out of context. I have seen agents mistakenly telling their clients that the floors are original hardwoods, when they’re clearly not only not original, but are made of manufactured product. Often, clients look like they have to “behave” around their realtor, like they are with their boss or are meeting their partner’s family for the first time.

You should not have to “behave” around your realtor. They are working for you, not vice versa. Whatever it takes for you to feel comfortable, whether you need to speak your mind freely, ask a million questions, vent about the process, breastfeed your child, or have a bowel movement, this is your time. You are buying or selling a house, dammit. It’s kind of a big deal. There should be no walking on eggshells – only honesty and communication.

If an agent is just coming at you with a sales pitch when you first meet, you are likely to feel uncomfortable. Get out there. When a good real estate agent meets with you for the first time, they will address how they can best meet your needs – not what supposedly makes them so much more special than any other agent.

Furthermore, consider this: if a real estate agents comes across to you as off-putting, how will the other side perceive them when it comes time to negotiate? If you are a home-buyer in a competitive market like the Denver metro area, sellers will be less likely to accept your offer if your realtor comes across as difficult or obnoxious.

2) They listen (instead of constantly running their mouth.)

This should be really obvious, but apparently, it’s not. I can’t tell you how many times I hear people tell horror stories about realtors who simply didn’t listen throughout the course of their transaction. If an agent doesn’t listen to their clients, how are they going to achieve their objectives? If an agent isn’t listening to a home-seller, they may miss some key information about your property that will help it to sell for top dollar. Or if an agent isn’t listening to a home-buyer, they may waste their time by showing them a lot of homes that they aren’t interested in.

Some of my recent clients fired their previous agent to work with me. Among the many things that their previous agent did wrong, she didn’t listen. My clients explained to their previous agent during the inspection period that if the sellers didn’t fix the problems with the property, they were not interested in moving forward with the transaction. Period. Simple. They clearly expressed this to their agent, yet their agent ignored their wishes and continued to pressure her clients into moving forward with the transaction. What their agent should have done would have been to apply that same pressure to the home-sellers to fix the problems that the buyers desired. This agent clearly forgot who she worked for, and also, she simply didn’t listen. I assure you, these particular clients communicated very clearly and effectively. If she would have listened to her clients and understood that they meant what they said, she would have earned her commission. Instead, I got to pick up some clients who were already familiar with the market and already knew exactly what they wanted. All I had to do was my job, while they lavished praise upon me. They even bought me a sweater.

The good news is that great real estate agents exist!

3) They ask questions.

Not only do they ask questions, they ask good questions. How long do you want to stay in this home? What are your ideal goals for this property? Do you have the resources or the desire for a fixer-upper? Do you plan on staying at your job for a long time and if not, where might your job move? Which is more important – being near your work or being near your play? Will living near a busy street bother you? You’ve mentioned loving dogs – do you plan to get one (or many?) You mentioned wanting top dollar for your home – are you willing to paint the home, since “burnt sienna” has not been in style since 1993?

You may have your mind bogged down with this process, but a good real estate agent is like a detective. They will anticipate and meet your needs for many years to come by asking the right questions.

Many of my clients who are relocating to Denver need guidance on neighborhoods and areas. Most realtors just begin suggesting popular neighborhoods to their clients.  Here’s the thing: every neighborhood in Denver is popular these days and LoHi isn’t for everyone. I simply ask clients what their neighborhoods were like in their previous city and ask them what they did and didn’t like about their old neighborhood. I then use that information to guide my clients in which neighborhoods may work for them in Denver. We then drive around to various areas that could be a good match before we ever view homes.

4) They are here to serve their client, rather than themselves.

Real estate is supposed to be a service industry, but a lot of agents make the mistake of believing that they are in sales because they “sell” homes. Here’s the thing: the homes have to sell themselves, (although we can certainly showcase them in their best light.) Yet a lot of agents working with buyers push their clients to purchase homes that aren’t right for them, so they can close the deal and move on to something else. I understand why they do this – if the buyers don’t purchase this home, it could be several more months before they finally do purchase a home, which takes a lot of time and energy. The agents may simply need money now, so they push their clients to move more quickly than the situation calls for. Or listing agents may not get top dollar for their sellers, because that requires a lot more work. And yes – this stuff does take a lot of work. I have absolutely had days where I spend a lot of time winning a relatively small amount of money for my clients. It’s not necessarily a fun or relaxing way to spend a Tuesday – but if it’s important to their clients, a good real estate agent will make it a priority and do their best to achieve the desired outcome.

Want a Fantastic Agent instead of a Problem Agent?  Give us a call at 303-908-9873.  

Check back next week for more on How to Know if a Real Estate Agent is Any Good.

Shit Real Estate Agents Say To Get You To Hire Them #3: I Work at a Very Impressive Brokerage

The Conscious Group - Sh*t Agents Say - Post 3

(Another Sweary Real Estate Post by Allison Parks)

Note: This is the third post in a series.  

You should hire me because I work at ___________ brokerage.

When I first started out in real estate, I went on a date with one of the top-selling real estate agents in Denver, because he was kind of cute and I wanted to see if I could glean any useful real estate information from him. He was more than happy to talk about himself and his successes at length…

At the time, he worked for Coldwell Banker. He told me that when potential clients interview him, he sells himself by touting that he is employed with Coldwell Banker, because they are a successful nationwide company that has been around for 100 years.

Bullshit.

Here’s the thing… Yes, Coldwell Banker is a successful nationwide company that has been around for 100 years… but this has nothing to do with the quality of his work or his competence as an agent. He’s just blowing hot air, because he’s a Slimy Salesperson. Coldwell Banker, like any major franchise real estate company, has some amazing franchises and some terrible franchises. They will have some amazing agents and some terrible agents. Same goes for Keller Williams. Same goes for Re/MAX. Same goes for Sotheby’s. You get the point…

Fantastic Agents work at a shitty brokerages, Problem Agents at fantastic brokerages, and a bunch of average agents breathe the recycled air at a variety of brokerages.

When agents sign on with a brokerage, the brokerage takes a (typically significant) portion of their earnings for training, office space, and so forth and the brokerage turns a profit from these agents. More agents at a brokerage generally means more money for the brokerage. As such, many brokerages will hire just about anyone, because they want the cut of their money. That’s how brokerage owners get rich. That’s how they expand statewide or nationwide. That’s how they exist for 100 years.

Truth: Coldwell Banker is not a real reason to work with someone. Knowledge, competence, skill, and giving a shit are all real reasons. (I’m not dissing on Coldwell Banker, but I am dissing on agents who can’t give their potential clients a real reason that they should choose to work with them.)

 

Want a Fantastic Agent instead of a Problem Agent?  Give us a call at 303-908-9873.

For more on Shit Real Estate Agents Say to Get You to Hire Them, read the next post about super freaking impressive amounts of money for your home.

Shit Real Estate Agents Say To Get You To Hire Them #2: I Sold Soooo Many Homes Last Year; I Must Be Good

The Conscious Group - Sh*t Agents Say - Post 2

(Another Sweary Real Estate Post by Allison Parks)

Note: This is the second post in a series.  

You should work with me because I sold 100 homes last year. I am a Top Producer.

Masel tov. Your family must be proud… oh yeah, I forgot to say bullshit.

Here’s the thing… if an agent is promoting oneself by bragging about how many homes they have sold in a given year, it is difficult not to be impressed. They probably earned the cost of your home in that year. But consider this… once agents start selling an incredibly high number of homes in a given year, chances are, it has become impossible for them to be client-centered or detail-oriented. Making money is their priority. Helping YOU is not their priority. Negotiating for YOU will not be at the top of their list, so you might lose money. Responding to YOU will not be at the top of their list, so you have to wait around to get answers. See what I’m getting at? Your real estate agent needs to be focused on you – not on buying 17 more Jet Skis.

Truth: Selling a lot of homes doesn’t mean that an agent is knowledgeable, competent, talented, or that they give a shit. It means that they are good at marketing themselves and attaining clients.

Top Producers will likely say that they have it all covered because they have a “team.” I’m not saying teams don’t work… I’m just saying that I have never seen one that works effectively. Literally, any time that I have had to deal with a team of agents, whoever you need to speak with is always the one who is not available. Someone may be available to take your call, but when you have pertinent and time-sensitive questions about a real estate transaction, that’s not helpful unless they have both useful information and decision-making capacity.

Truth: Selling a lot of homes doesn’t mean that an agent is knowledgeable, competent, talented, or that they give a shit. It means that they are good at marketing themselves and attaining clients. In this industry, you don’t have to be good at your job to be “successful.”

 

Want a Fantastic Agent instead of a Problem Agent?  Give us a call at 303-908-9873.

For more on Shit Real Estate Agents Say to Get You to Hire Them, read the next post, which is one of the biggest Lies your Real Estate Agent is telling you!

Shit Real Estate Agents Say To Get You To Hire Them

The Conscious Group - Sh*t Agents Say - Post 1

(A Sweary Real Estate Post by Allison Parks)

Note: This is the first post in a series.

Getting ready to buy or sell a home? Need a real estate agent? Do you have a nagging feeling that some of these agents you are interviewing are full of shit? They probably are. A lot of real estate agents suck, which is a problem, because buying or selling a home is a huge transaction with serious financial consequences.

If you wind up with a crappy real estate agent as a home-seller, you may not get top dollar for your home. As a home-buyer, you may not get the repairs that your new home requires, because your agent doesn’t know how to negotiate well. Problem Agents can cost you time, money, and stress, which could have been avoided. As an agent who has seen my fair share of Problem Agents, this is my No-Holds-Barred Guide to identify the weeds.

First, let’s discuss why many real estate agents suck…

Some real estate agents suck because they are only capable of caring about their own interests without the ability to simultaneously care about their clients.

That’s pretty sucky. Real estate is supposed to be a service industry. It is OK to make a shitload of money, so long as you are providing great service to your clients, but this truth bomb that would seemingly be common sense hasn’t quite made it into the the hearts and minds of many real estate agents.

Other real estate agents suck because, honestly, it’s pretty easy to get a real estate license. You don’t have to be particularly smart to get a real estate license and you can still make money at real estate even if you don’t know much about it. Many real estate agents are terrible at doing their job, but are fantastic at getting clients, so they are still financially successful.

In the state of Colorado, getting a real estate license requires 120 hours of school and passing a test that you can take an unlimited amount of tries, with a passing grade of 80% on the national portion and only 75% on the state portion. It’s really not that tough to get the license. I assure you, when I passed the real estate exam with scores well into the 90s on my first try, I STILL DIDN’T KNOW JACK SHIT ABOUT HOW TO DO REAL ESTATE. Not to mention, once you have your real estate license, you only must acquire 24 hours of continuing education every three years to keep your license active in the state of Colorado. That’s not much, so unless someone really takes the initiative to learn how to do real estate, which is an endeavor that requires a lot more time, money, and active brain cells, you might have a real estate agent who doesn’t know much about, well, real estate.

With all of this being said, how is the average consumer to discern which real estate agents are Fantastic Agents and which ones are Slimy Salespeople? Slimy Salespeople give passionate and savvy sales pitches to land their clients. They tend to all say the same shit, because they memorized scripts that they were given early in the business. Because their humanity died a long time ago, they don’t actually have anything of value to say. I have heard the same thing from people burned by Slimy Salespeople time and time again. “They worked so hard to get my business, but once they had my business, it felt like they didn’t care any more.” This is the trademark of the Problem Agent.

In the famous words of the Wu Tang Clan, protect ya neck.

Don’t let fancy sales pitches sway you, no matter how convincing they may be. If you have a gut feeling, follow it.

When a real estate agent seems like they might be an asshole, they probably are. This industry has more assholes than a hot dog factory…

You may have gathered that I have no love lost for a lot of the “professionals” in my industry. That part is true. You may think that I’m jaded or even an angry person. That part isn’t true. Fact is, I lost a wrestling match with my marketing team and they are making me create content using my “authentic personality.” Turns out, my authentic personality is very sweary.

Through the years, I have grown weary of seeing home-buyers and sellers get taken advantage of by Problem Agents whose lack of integrity and skill negatively affect the outcomes of their clients. It is incredibly frustrating to work in an industry that isn’t well-respected because so many agents have exhibited behaviors that reflect poorly on the rest of us. I would like to see the business go to Fantastic Agents who give a shit.

 

Want a Fantastic Agent instead of a Problem Agent?  Give us a call at 303-908-9873.

For more on Shit Real Estate Agents Say to Get You to Hire Them, read our next post, I Sold Soooo Many Homes Last Year; I Must Be Good.