To become a great real estate agent, getting your license is only the first step. It is a great accomplishment to complete your real estate agent education and pass the licensure test. However, building a successful career in real estate relies on developing your skills further through experience and empathy. Each client you work with will allow you to put your skills into action, building your network and learning more as you go.
What do aspiring real estate agents need to build a name for themselves and provide excellent client services? You can learn a lot from seasoned pros such as Mara Haveson of the West Seattle real estate
market about what it takes to become a great agent. This article will explore the ABC essential concepts for new real estate agents to begin their professional practice.
A) Real estate building blocks
First, you will need to establish the building blocks of real estate that will help you thrive when working with both buyers and sellers. These skills and strategies will improve your standing and abilities as a real estate agent for any local housing market or target audience.
Know your market
Real estate agents must be experts in their region and housing market. You should know all the neighborhoods, including the architectural styles, price ranges, and typical home features. Clients expect their real estate agent to know the city like the back of their hand, with insider tips on how to market a home or build a lifestyle.
Build a local network
From real estate consultants to stagers and landscapers, your network is your secret weapon. Every professional you work with should become part of your network, creating a Rolodex of people you might rely on to provide an ideal experience for future clients.
Work with other real estate agents
Don't hesitate to work with other real estate agents. Every home sale is an act of teamwork between the seller's and the buyer's agents. You will want to develop a friendly association with local real estate agencies, brokers, and solo agents as part of your professional network.
Practice active listening
Whether you are working with buyers or sellers, active listening is a must. Listen to what your buyers really want from a home, from their dream look to their needs and ideal lifestyle. Listen to what the house means to your sellers and the selling experience they are hoping for. This will allow you to truly help your clients achieve both economic and personal satisfaction.
Learn how to find/market unlisted homes
As a real estate agent, you should be able to find homes that are not openly listed. You may also need to source buyers without publicly marketing a home. To do this, you will have to utilize your network.
B) Working with home-seller clients
Most real estate agents work with both home sellers and homebuyers. However, the services and experience you provide will be distinctly different. Clients who are selling a home will need help preparing their homes to sell, marketing the homes, choosing beneficial bids, negotiating in their favor, and navigating the seller's closing process. At the same time, you want to offer an empathic and personalized experience that leaves sellers feeling guided and cared for through this often daunting process.
What selling a home means to homeowners
By the time homeowners choose to sell, there is almost always sentimental value in the home. They may want to see another family start a life there, or they may ask you to take care of the entire sale while they are away. It varies from client to client. Listening will help you give your sellers both the profits and experience they desire.
The science behind pricing a home
When selling, a real estate agent's first major duty is to accurately price the home. This is an important calculation based on local housing prices along with the home's size, features, and condition. You want to name a price that local buyers will find appealing without leaving money on the table unnecessarily. You are the expert your sellers trust to find the right figure.
Presale inspections and home improvements
You will also be advising your sellers on how to prepare the home for sale. Should they perform presale repairs or renovations? This depends on the results of your presale home inspection and the market you are targeting in terms of buyer expectations and budgets.
Staging and marketing techniques
Staging is a standard step that helps present a home's best qualities using prop furniture. It's important to know how to stage with rented furniture, with the homeowner's own furniture, or with the help of a professional stager. You also want to know when staging isn't necessary at all.
From there, you will need to arrange for professional-grade photography, write the listing description, and effectively market each home to attract the right buyers.
Hosting open house events and private tours
Know how to plan an open house event and walk buyers through it if they request a private tour of the house. This will help buyers fall in love with the space in person.
Evaluating bids and offers
Once offers start coming in, you will need the know-how to advise your home sellers on which are the best offers and which bid to accept.
Negotiating for the seller's advantage
After a homeowner accepts a bid, you will lead the seller-side negotiations. It will be your job to advocate for your seller clients, driving the home price up and minimizing seller concessions.
Guide the seller's closing process
Last, you will need to master the closing process for sellers to guide them smoothly through it. This involves the title, bank interactions, and final costs.
C) Working with homebuyer clients
Homebuyers are on a completely separate journey. They are on a house hunt, looking for homes that meet their needs and fit their budget. Homebuyers need help discerning the difference between beauty and value, or marketing and reality. As a buyer's agent, your role is to find the homes that will define the next chapters of their lives.
Identify their dream home vision and realistic budget
Listening to your buyers will help you understand what they are looking for in a home. This is a matter of rooms, spaces, and features, in addition to their ideal architectural styles. Consider the type of neighborhood they're looking for, the schools or attractions they want to have nearby, and what truly defines a dream home for them.
Curate potential homes from listed and unlisted properties
An important part of your role as a buyer's agent is to curate a selection of properties for your buyers to choose from. Use your connections, research abilities, and understanding of your buyers to select homes that will both delight your clients and meet their needs.
Ask questions and hone the search
Take the time to ask your clients what they do or don't like about each home. Ask about what they're looking for in a home or lifestyle beyond just the style or layout of a house. Hone your search to match every aspect of their vision of a good home.
Scheduling tours and open house visits
You will also take charge of scheduling private tours and open house visits. To do this, you will coordinate with other real estate agents representing local sellers to ensure your clients have a chance to see the homes they are considering in person.
Writing strategy for bids and offers
When your buyer clients are ready to make an offer, you will help them write it. You will need an understanding of what makes a persuasive offer that also complies with the buyer's financial budget and best interests.
Negotiating for the buyer's advantage
You will represent your buyers in negotiations after an offer has been accepted. Your goal will be to lower the selling price and buyer concessions while requesting any concessions your buyers may need to make their purchase or move easier.
Guide the buyer's closing process
Last, you will be responsible for helping your buyers smoothly complete the closing process regarding title checks, title transfer, legal paperwork, initializing the mortgage, and handling closing costs.
Learn real estate essentials with Mara Haveson
The final evidence of your success will be happy clients who may seek you out again for future real estate transactions. If you are a real estate agent starting to build your career in Seattle, an experienced agent such as Mara Haveson
can help you learn the ropes to build your network and essential skills. Contact her to learn more.