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As you are building a real estate team, the natural progression of hires goes something like this: administrative and operational support professionals (usually in the form of a transaction coordinator, listing manager, operations coordinator, or some combination of the three), then buyer’s agent or showing assistant (support on the buy-side), then listing agent (getting close to being fully leveraged), and then finally entirely replacing yourself with a CEO or team lead.
Some move through all those stages, and some real estate team owners stop after a showing assistant. There is no right or wrong way to add leverage. It hinges on the team leader’s career goals, natural behavior style, how they choose to run their team and where they find passion in their work.
If you’ve already found leverage with your business’s administrative and operational pieces and handed off all buyer-side transactions and are still looking for additional leverage, it’s time to bring on a listing agent.
A listing agent is often the closest thing to a “replacement” for the owner of the real estate team. Although the team leader may have already handed off buyer clients to a showing assistant or buyer’s agent, listings carry a different sort of weight.
Listings are often the lifeblood of a real estate team. Whoever controls the listings controls the market (particularly in this market), right? So, it’s imperative to hire a listing agent who is better than you and who understands how to manage clients, communicate with authority and compassion, and get deals done.
Listing agents might not be as outgoing as buyer’s agents; they actually may be more on the introverted side. But they are focused on results and can turn up their sociability to get the job done.
Consider this: People tell everyone when they’re buying a home, yet very few tell others when they sell. There are two different sets of emotions you’re dealing with in buyers versus sellers. A seller wants a steady, results-oriented individual who brings real solutions and advice to the table. It’s not about them golfing together; it’s about getting their house sold for top dollar.
Here’s what you should look for (in no particular order) when hiring a listing agent:
1. Analytical, but immune to analysis paralysis
Great listing agents need to be able to research, comprehend and process a large amount of information and data regularly. Then, they must take that information and make high-stakes decisions for their clients (setting the listing price, when to go for the price reduction, when to hold out for multiple offers, etc.).
They must also juggle doing their due diligence while not waiting too long to decide or to move forward, never getting stuck in analysis paralysis. It’s a delicate dance, and listing agents need to know how to do it.
2. Great communicator
Whether working with a client or customer, lenders, appraisers, buyer’s agents, or administrative support staff, any listing agent you hire must know how to communicate clearly and consistently. That’s just the baseline.
Beyond that, a listing agent should be comfortable with tough conversations and making hard decisions. And more importantly, communicating along the way so that no one is surprised by the outcome.
3. Learning-based, growth-minded
With as fast as the real estate industry and economy at large are moving these days, listing agents have to be adaptable, open-minded, learning-based, and amenable to growth and change.
Without those essential characteristics, they are simply going to be stressed and possibly left behind. Listing agents need to stay on top of market data and marketing trends.
When hiring a listing agent, pay attention to the recent books, podcasts, or classes they’ve consumed. How are they learning on a consistent basis? Bonus points: How are they implementing that information or sharing it with others?
4. Creative problem-solver
There is more than one way to get a real estate deal to the closing table. Listing agents have to think outside the box, bring innovative ideas to the table, and get creative to help their clients navigate the challenges of selling their homes.
5. Committed to personal growth
It’s important (at least for me) that when hiring anyone onto the team, the new agent is committed to his or her personal growth and getting 1 percent better each day.
Specifically, working on their self-awareness and resilience is critical. Real estate is not an easy business, and working directly with clients is an emotional process for both parties. Personal growth is a never-ending practice, and the stronger and more dedicated a listing agent is to becoming a better version of themselves, the stronger they will be able to show up for their clients.
6. Self-motivated, driven
No one wants to have to micro-manage a team member. Hiring an accountable, self-motivated and driven individual makes everyone’s lives easier. As a leader, it’s your job to find out what motivates and drives your listing agent and create incentives and growth opportunities around their goals (as long as they also align with your business goals, of course).
Thinking about hiring a listing agent or hired one recently? What might you add to this list of what to look for when hiring a listing agent? Please share in the comments section below.
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Adam Hergenrother is the founder and CEO of Adam Hergenrother Companies, the author of The Founder & The Force Multiplier, and the host of the podcast, Business Meets Spirituality. Learn more about Adam’s holistic approach to business here.