What traits make a good agent?
What traits and qualities make a good real estate agent? It’s not just experience so let’s take a look at how to sort the hay from the chaff!
1. Different walks of life
Assembling a great team of agents means having a mix of experience, women and men, younger and older people.
Instead of just real estate experience, think people who have worldly experience — those who have seen different places and cultures, done some interesting things in their lives, even made some mistakes, or have possibly experienced some pain along the way.
Real estate is not a “technical sport”. Yes, it’s important to understand the legislation and be able to read a contract. It’s also important to justify an opinion and value a property.
These things can be learnt by doing a course, but I’ve discovered that there are many people who have done a real estate course and half of them apply for a job telling me they “just love property”.
Agents also need to have their own affairs in order. Real estate is about solving problems and you can’t do this if your own life is a shambles.
Real estate is a “people business”, so the ability to connect is crucial. The best agents have natural charisma, which is the type of charisma that comes from a real place: a likeable personality.
Agents have to be humble, have a heart and be enthusiastic. Huge egos and overconfidence make alarm bells sound. Honesty and trustworthiness go a long way and while everyone will claim to have these traits, when there’s money involved, you quickly see who the genuine people are.
These are the types of people who work well in a team. They help each other, they understand if someone in the team is under the pump, they offer their help, in the knowledge that they’re building up their own karma credits by doing so.
3. Overlook gender stereotypes
Male or female, the best agents understand what the situation calls for, then respond effectively, efficiently and confidently. This can mean exhibiting characteristics and behaviours that may be “typically” more suited to the opposite gender when the situation arises.
This could mean being more organised, forceful, empathetic or nurturing in any given situation.
4. People people
People who have come from either a hospitality or retail background can make excellent agents. They are usually very organised, customer-focused and work well under pressure.
Experience is important, but in real estate, it’s not the be-all and end-all. Some of the best agents are fresh and, because the business of real estate is intense, sometimes experienced agents are just worn out.
People who are good listeners and good communicators also excel. This doesn’t necessarily mean they have to be good writers, but instead they need to communicate in a real, genuine way. If they are excited, this should show; if they are nervous, that’s understandable too; if they are open and honest, this should be obvious.
Unfortunately, good people don’t always make good agents and, likewise, good agents aren’t necessarily good people.
Whether a team member’s goals are to improve their lifestyle, further their education, become more widely read, people who set goals have a natural motivation and willing attitude that a career in real estate demands.
While it’s not always possible for younger people, of course, agents who have either bought or sold property in their own lives helps greatly. It gives them an understanding of how the property market works from a tax, finance, growth and returns points of view. It also provides insights into what does or doesn’t work from the customer’s perspective.
People who have owned their own business, or worked in a family business, typically have the work ethic, commitment, determination and understanding of risk that translates well in a real estate environment.
And finally, there’s passion. Not the clichéd passion for property but passion for life and success.
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