Looking through the online version of the Albuquerque Journal recently, we came across this very interesting article which tells readers to be sure to hire a full-time real estate agent.
Although quite a short piece, as you'll read if you follow the above link, the article does contain some really good advice.
In looking at it ourselves, we got to thinking how many people actually even know if their agent is engaged in real estate on a full-time basis?
It's a fair question and, we suspect, one that buyers and sellers often fail to ask when interviewing agents to represent them.
There are approximately two million licensed realtors in the USA. Yes, one in about 159 people is a realtor. That is an enormous figure, however it's very important to remember that a high percentage of that number is either doing other work at the same time or inactive, with about 1.1 million members of the National Association of Realtors. This does not necessarily mean, however, that they are full-time or currently active.
The chances are therefore quite high that your current agent does other things with his/her time than eat, sleep and drink real estate.
In order to help you understand why that is not an ideal situation, here is what you're probably missing if your agent isn't a full-timer:
Motivation - Naturally enough, if an agent's sole source of income is derived from the real estate profession, this means that there is extreme motivation to sell homes and help buyers make informed choices. It matters a lot less if real estate is just a minor contributor to earnings.
Focus - We really cannot overstress how important agent focus is. As healthy as the market is right now, it still takes a lot of prospecting to get a home sold. Top producing agents will generally spend many hours a day calling their past clients and other contacts, including other agents, spreading the word about homes they are listing or, of course, looking for new listings. That's before looking after viewings, taking any meetings with clients, or making credentials presentations to potential new ones. Believe us when we say that complete and total focus is the only path to success in real estate.
Dedication - Although related to focus and motivation, dedication is worth looking at on its own. Imagine a situation where the agent has other calls on his/her working time. This means they have less time to do the job you've hired them to do and, critically, that they won't always be available to show a home to potential buyers when it best suits them. And what happens if the viewing starts to overrun and the agent has to leave to start one of his/her other jobs, whatever that may be? Not good.
Professionalism - Is your agent a member of the National Association of Realtors? Does he/she undertake continuing professional development coaching to be the best agent possible? Apart from those sorts of consideration, how does the agent present him/herself- dressed for the occasion or perhaps a little too casually attired? Does the agent also have a professional looking website and other quality promotional materials, including a very active social networking presence? Does he/she present a clear marketing plan for your home? These are all tell tale signs about the level of commitment and ability of the agents you select from.
Track Record - One of the easiest ways to judge an agent's ability is to assess the recent track record of selling achievement. Any shyness to reveal these figures and provide evidence in a credentials presentation should be viewed with the utmost suspicion. Successful agents like nothing better than to tell the world about their sales, because that's the most likely way to get new listings. It follows, therefore, that less successful ones will want to hide the lack of achievement.
These five key points indicate the kind of questions you should routinely ask when hiring an agent, the most important being a straightforward: "are you a full-time real estate agent?"
At Everest Peak Realty, our work is our passion. Call us today to learn more about the difference a 100% dedicated agent can bring to your home sale or purchase.