When home buyers and sellers are ready to take the plunge into the market, they aren’t just shopping for a new place to live. They are also shopping for an agent to help guide them through the process. There are several factors that shoppers are using to help decide whether or not they want to work with you. If you review some of the top agents in the industry, you will see a pattern in their five star reviews; the terms “responsible,” “available,” and “quick” are littered throughout.
Other than putting these buzz words in your agent profile, here is what buyers want to see in their real estate agents:
- Plugged In – Tech-savvy agents are a necessity in this market. You should have a robust social media presence, you should know exactly how to use all the latest real estate apps without problem, and your website should be updated regularly. Clients want someone that is comfortable communicating through email, text, and setting appointments with apps rather than by phone.
- Not a Sales Person – Particularly with buyers, you should not be in the habit of trying to “close” them on a home. When buyers gave feedback about what they liked about their agents, it was their helpfulness that stood out. Your job is to help your clients think about things they may not be aware of when it comes to home features or location options but the decision is always theirs. You should be neutral when it comes to their home choice.
- Local Expert – If you look at Google trends, you can see that customers are looking for agents near them. They don’t want a big name agent just because of their reputation. They want someone that can get to a showing quickly and knows the area.
- Soft Skills – It all boils down to being a people person. Your clients want to feel at ease with you and they want to like you as a person. It’s hard for a customer to work with an agent that they don’t feel comfortable sharing their concerns with you for fear of being ignored, lectured, or “sold” on something.
So now that you know what clients are looking for in their real estate professionals, the next question is obvious – where do real estate customers look for an agent? As real estate professionals, we are focused on expanding our network with new leads. But when you look at the origins of new business, you might be surprised that most comes from one specific source.
- Referrals – When a real estate customer is looking to buy or sell, the overwhelming majority of them are turning to people they know to find quality real estate professionals. They ask people they work with, friends, family, and they reach out on social media for a referral. They cast a wide net and see what comes back. Once they have some recommendations, they narrow down their options online to see who is the best fit.
- Online – Customers use a combination of social media, agent websites, and review sites to vet real estate professionals often before ever making a phone call to speak with you. Your online presence is incredibly important because if you are not maintaining creative and robust content, you could be losing potential clients without even knowing it.
According to numbers from the National Associate of REALTORS®, agents get 5x as many transactions from referred leads as paid leads. By ensuring that your existing network is a communication priority and keeping your online content fresh and interesting, you will not only be keeping in touch with your sphere and you will be expanding it as well.
Remember that real estate clients have a number of options when it comes to agents in their area. Reciting your resume of experience and awards will not make you stand out as the front runner. What makes people want to work with you is being someone who knows the market inside and out and being a person they would enjoy working with for the foreseeable future.