Written by Steve Nelson
Being a good real estate agent is not an easy thing. As a buyer or seller finding a good real estate agent can feel even more difficult then being a good agent. With a little indulgence I hope to explain how to help both agents who want to be successful and buyers/sellers in picking a good agent.
I doubt that there are many professions that have a higher stress level then that of a real estate agent. In some professions it my be stressful at work but one can then retreat home to their family and leave the worries of work behind. There are different kinds of agents and some may find it easy to leave work behind them, but for me it is very difficult. My personal desire is to make sure people are happy and to never let someone down, is it at times overwhelming. Purchasing a home for most people is the largest financial transaction they will ever make. And if something goes wrong the emotional and financial devastation can be significant. So in order to take good care of my clients it often requires me to work evenings, weekends and holiday’s. It is impossible for me to leave work at work. Times when most people get to spend with their families or recreating an agent spends with taking care of their clients. Even when I try to take a vacation I can’t really relax because I spend most of my time still worrying about what I am not taking care of. This reality can also add stress to an agent’s life because it is even worse to feel like you let your spouse or child down by not being there when they need you. I would submit that if you’re reading this as an agent and can relate, you are a good agent and have the foundational key to being successful. Add some good training and hard work and the sky is the limit in building a real estate business. To truly care about people is what makes a good agent. Now to stay sane and in the real estate business you have to find ways to deal with the stress but that is a topic for another day.
So now if you are a buyer or seller how does this relate to you. The real estate industry has a very low cost of entry. To become an agent you have to fill about 100 hours of desk time and pass a state licensing test. It can be accomplished in about 2 week and will cost you about 2K and off you go to start selling homes. Many get into the business seeing big dollar signs. After all if you sale one house for 200K you make an easy 6K right. So by selling one house a month you can make a pretty good living. (There really are costs and it is much harder to get a sale then you think but if you haven’t done it, it does seem easy) There are many agents that are very successful in terms of selling properties, whose main motivation is making money. My question is does selling lots of property and making lots of money make them a “good” agent and someone you want to work with. I would suggest no. Again keep in mind that if something goes wrong in a real estate transaction the emotional and financial devastation can be significant. So do you want an agent who just wants to close the sale or do you want an agent who will lose sleep at night if they don’t do what is best for you. So when picking an agent be careful to ask questions that will get them to share personal in site into who they are, not just how much property they sale. A good agent who truly cares about you and is committed to taking care of you will consistently out perform an agent driven my money all day long. Yes knowledge and hard work are still important but if the right foundation doesn’t exist in the agent you choose to work with the risk you are taking is not worth it.