How To Choose a Real Estate Listing Agent

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A real estate office is as good as the agents who work for it.  Marte makes many good points about how and why to choose a listing agent.  Marketing is the key to selling a listing.

Via Marte Cliff (Marte Cliff Copywriting):

F irst – I am no longer a real estate sales person – but because I write for active professionals and write about real estate a lot, I do get questions from consumers as well as from real estate agents wondering how to build their businesses.

Today I got the following: The subject line said “About your article”question marks

Thanks…helpful….one question not addressed….smaller private realtor with all the bells and whistles or Major National company??? Home I am selling is in 600K range…your non partial insight will be helpful!

The gentleman didn’t give me much information to go on – not even a clue as to what article he had read. Since I have articles everywhere, who knows?

But this is how I answered him:

“I’m not sure what article you read – I have 500+ out there in the ozone. So, I can’t expand on that at the moment.

However, I can talk about private vs major company. My office was small and private, and within 2 years of opening we controlled over 50% of the business in town, despite our landlord renting the office next door to a (national franchise) office. At one point we were one of 7 offices in our small town.

The difference at that time was in the people and the marketing.

It still is, but now the marketing has expanded to include a need for a superior Internet presence. It has also changed in that individual agents are expected to market their own listings.

Back when I was doing it, my job was to market us well and bring the customers in – then it was the agents’ job to give them superior service.

The only advantage I can see to going with a national franchise is if you live in an area where relocation buyers make up a good part of the market, and that company has strong contacts with the corporations that are relocating employees.

And even within a company like that, the agent you choose within the office makes all the difference.

So talk to them, visit their websites, look at how they present their listings on line, and follow up on the testimonials they present. Anyone can say they’re the top listing agent – but how about sales of those listings?

Some agents just gather listings and hope someone else in MLS will sell them.

Ask the agent to show you how he or she markets homes.

Look for an agent who actively promotes by writing ads and posting photos that make buyers want to come for a look. Look for an agent who will provide you with flyers that do the same. Choose an agent who will return phone calls and emails promptly. By the way, it is important that the agent returns calls to other agents, not just to you. It is very likely that a different agent will bring the buyer – but not if your agent makes it difficult.

Choose an agent who will give you a market analysis and suggested price for your home that makes sense. When you read the analysis, check to see that the homes used for comparison really are similar to yours in size, amenities, and location.

Some agents will tell you what they think you want to hear, just to get the listing. Since over priced homes don’t’ sell, they aren’t doing you favors.

And, after you’ve checked their competency on all levels, choose someone whose personality fits well with your own. You’re going to be dealing with this person a lot, and for both your sakes, it should be a comfortable relationship.

You can learn a lot about the agent you’re considering by reading the blogs they post on their site and on Active Rain.

Google their names, then choose the URLs that include Active Rain and you’ll learn a lot about how they think. Hopefully, some of those posts will be about their listings – that’s a good sign that they’re actively promoting.”

So… How’d I do. Did I give the right advice? What do you think?

 

marte@copybymarte.com

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About susanmorrison

After living in Walpole, MA for many years, our family was transferred to the west coast when I was a senior in high school. In 1983, I graduated from Mission San Jose High School in Fremont, California. I am also a 1987 graduate of Providence College with a major in liberal arts and a minor in business administration. I bring to the table many years of sales experience beginning with thirteen years in Corporate Sales at Delta Air Lines. I'm the mother of three children and I'm very active within the Franklin, MA community. I am also a cancer survivor and support the American Cancer Society Charities.

My husband and I have built five homes and I've lived in a variety of other locations including Toronto Canada, Irving Texas and my current home in Franklin, MA. As a result of all my moving around, I came to the conclusion that I was an expert at moving...why not become an expert on the other side of the table? I earned my real estate license in 2004 and believe that I have found my true niche'. I can empathize with my clients on a variety of levels; whether they are buying or selling. And, like so many other good realtors out there, I believe that possessing good communication skills is one of the many keys to success.

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