Agent

5 valuable qualities buyers and sellers crave in an agent

Be the best agent you can be, and the referrals will follow
  • Your reputation is your calling card to the world.
  • Being responsive is key, but responding by using the client's preferred method is imperative.
  • Practice top-notch service with every client, and your skills will improve.

Although buyers and sellers have more access to information about the real estate market now than ever before in history, they still need a real estate agent to help guide them through the process. The majority of people find their agents through their family or friends, and continue to work with the agent who has the skills and qualities that they feel are most important.

What skills and qualities are most important? According to the National Association of Realtors, these six rank high every year.

Honesty and integrity

Buyers and sellers want to work with someone they trust — someone who has their best interests at heart. It’s not enough just to know the real estate market inside and out.

It’s vital to build trust throughout the transaction and in the process develop a lasting relationships with them.

Reputation

As a business professional, your reputation is your calling card to the world. When potential clients are referred to you, you can be sure that they’re aware of the high level of service you provide.

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That gives you an advantage over someone that they might have found through other channels. However, make sure your reputation stays golden by continuing to provide great service to your clients before, during and after the sale closes.

Knowledge of the real estate process, the market and the local neighborhood

It sounds obvious, doesn’t it? Buyers and sellers want their agents to understand all of the intricacies of the real estate market.

The Internet might be able to give your clients information about home values and tips for getting pre-approved for a mortgage, but it lacks that personal touch that only comes from real experience.

Responsiveness

In the age of text messaging and smartphones, we’ve grown accustomed to having an immediate response to our questions or issues. It might not be necessary to respond within seconds, but it’s a good rule of thumb to respond within a few hours or a day at most, depending on the situation.

Even if it’s just to say, “I got your message. I’ll look into it and get back to you,” responding shows that you care about your clients and you’re working hard to help them achieve their real estate goals.

Communication skills

Agents with great communication skills not only make the people around them feel important, but they are also able to communicate with their clients according to their preferences.

For example, millennial clients might prefer to communicate via text while your baby boomer clients might prefer a phone call. The only way to know for sure is to ask.

When you communicate with people well, they enjoy working with you and will likely refer you to their family and friends.

Want to improve your skills?

One of the best ways to improve these skills is to practice them on a regular basis. Keeping them sharp will allow you to provide top-notch service to your clients, even after the transaction has closed.

Another way to improve your skills is to attend a seminar at least once a year geared toward helping you hone your skills, expand your knowledge and give you the latest tools and strategies to work most effectively with your clients.

Brian Buffini is the chairman and founder of Buffini & Company. You can follow Brian and Buffini & Company on Facebook.

Email Brian Buffini.