When I Grow Up I Want To Be A Real Estate Agent
Okay, here’s a question for you. How many of you out there made the decision to be a real estate agent when you were a kid? If you are like me, you probably had visions of being a doctor or maybe a fireman. We generally make our choices at an early age because our nature is to want to help people. If you ask my 6-year-old what he wants to do, he would say that he wants to own a factory that makes robots that clean up kid’s rooms. As adults, our focus changes a little. We may still want to help but our motivation is really about one thing….money. My boy has no concept of how much things cost. Last week his money-making scheme was for me to buy him a new toy which he would sell at a garage sale. He didn’t make his choice to own a factory because he thought he would make a lot of money. He simply clued in on the fact that cleaning his room was a drag, and if it was a drag for him, it was a drag for his friends too. He also figured out one of the basic rules of economics; people will beat a path to your door if you can provide something that will make their lives easier.
So what does our embedded need to help have to do with selling real estate? At the core, our job is about doing just that…Helping people. Because the internet has grown by leaps and bounds, today’s consumer often knows more about real estate than many agents. Our job has changed from home finder to “trusted advisor”. I think it is a concept that may be lost on a lot of agents out there. At the recent Agent ReBoot Conference in NYC they shared some interesting statistics from NAR on what people look for in choosing an agent. Check out the top five.
32% Agent is honest and trustworthy
20% Reputation of agent
17% Agent is a friend or family member
12% Agent is knowledgeable on the neighbourhood
11% Agent is a good listener
It seems clear that we need to offer more to our clients. We need to bring service back to our profession. My comments seem timely as we, especially in the Toronto market, face excruciating pressure from the Competition Bureau to create other models for sellers to choose from. I believe these choices that will, in effect, leave many consumers dazed and confused. I am not alone when I say that in the not so distant future, the courts will be clogged with real estate deals that have gone bad because one side of the transaction was not properly protected. Let’s not discount our industry. It is no surprise that when you focus on the financial reward customer satisfaction diminishes. We should be “going beyond the listing”. Doing so is the best way to raise the consumer’s expectations on what we, in the real estate industry, can do. Not only that, a happy client becomes your evangelist. Remember customer care does not end when the deal closes. Follow up is one of the cornerstones of building your referral business. Just ask Jim Ritchie, Senior VP of Sales and Marketing at Tridel. I had the great luck of sitting beside him on the flight back from NYC. He would tell you that one of the things that makes Tridel so successful is their client care (both before and after the sale).
The views expressed above may not be the views of Bosley Real Estate.