What does it take to be a successful real estate agent in 2013?
All over the world business changed with globalization. We make decisions as needed, morphing our 9-5 jobs into 24/7 devotions. The traditional fall and spring markets gradually lost their distinctions and homes sell whether the azaleas are in bloom or not. The fluidity between country borders makes it easier to constantly search for the next client, buyer, or great deal. Smart phones, tablets, and laptops decorate offices the way paper did decades ago, and with the vastness of websites and media providers, customers continually demand a bare minimum that actually requires a lot of effort.
In real estate, videos and pictures of every listing are the buyer’s first impression of potential homes. Preliminary screenings are done through myriad websites, and as the list narrows, clients come to agents for help just before contracts are signed. But in this evolution of business, there is little awareness of the hard work that transformed my industry to keep up with our virtual reality. Unlike setting up photos and videos for most commodities, consumers are asking to see someone else’s home, their possessions, their most private space, displayed online for millions to view and critique. Agents work hard to provide this kind of access. We negotiate with sellers behind the scenes to arrange times to see the house, to photograph it, to shoot a virtual tour, and finally to edit and upload the information to the web.
To efficiently utilize the web and the agent’s knowledge, an open flow of correspondence between agent and client is needed. Some buyers don’t understand realtor fees, but a lot of work goes into listings before anyone can even see the houses online. Buyers like to first search independently and then give agents a few must-haves. But buying or selling a home is a team effort requiring coordination and communication from both parties throughout the process. While I love to use the web as an additional resources with clients, it is important to realize that an agent’s knowledge on neighborhoods and value is key, and combining efforts ensures you get the best deal and the best representation of your interests.