Last time, we discussed the critical characteristics to look for when hiring a listing agent. Today, let’s dig into buyer’s agents. But first, here’s a recap of the natural progression of hires when building a real estate team. Usually, the order 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).
- Buyer’s agent or showing assistant (support on the buy side).
- Listing agent (getting close to being fully leveraged).
- Replacing yourself with a CEO or team lead.
As a single agent, if you’ve already found leverage with your business’s administrative and operational pieces and are looking for your next iteration of growth, it’s time to consider bringing on talent to handle the buyer side of your business.
2 main positions to consider for buyer-side leverage
1. Showing assistant
Showing assistants provide a team lead or buyer’s agent with support by handling the time-consuming task of showing homes to buyer clients. They may also help identify homes that meet the client’s criteria, schedule showings, show homes, provide feedback and refine criteria as needed.
A showing assistant might also be the boots-on-the-ground client representative for inspections, meeting vendors at the home or walkthroughs.
They also help answer questions and facilitate the flow of information for clients. A showing assistant may be a great way to onboard and train a future buyer’s agent.
2. Buyer’s agent
Buyer’s agents may or may not have a showing assistant. In the absence of one, they are also providing all of the showing assistant support mentioned above.
In addition, they handle generating client leads, conducting buyer consultations, guiding buyers through purchasing their homes, writing offers and negotiating contracts.
Buying a home is one of the biggest financial decisions most people make in their life. In addition, it is usually a very emotional decision that involves weighing all sorts of factors, including:
- School system
- Neighborhood amenities
- Proximity to restaurants
- Health care
- Outdoor space
- Zoning for small farms
- Public transportation options
- And more
Helping clients research that information and navigate those decisions requires patience, discernment of people and situations, and a high degree of emotional intelligence. Buyers want someone they can trust and generally enjoy spending time with — considering that buying a home can take months.
Buyer’s agents very often will become trusted advisers and even friends. Yet, they must never forget they are there to do a job — help their buyers find and purchase a home that meets their needs for the best possible price.
What to look for when hiring either a showing assistant or buyer’s agent
1. Patience and persistence
Finding a new home, the perfect home, the next home is hard! This is a huge financial investment for buyers, and they want to get it right.
In addition to that, the purchase of a home has a whole lot of other implications. Like, will it be move-in ready, the right size, in the right school district and the right location? Will be kids be happy here?
And when it comes to changes, even if they are just cosmetic, we know that some buyers sometimes simply don’t want to do the work, can’t afford the renovations or just can’t see past the flaws.
Buyer’s agents must be patient when navigating these waters. Furthermore, believe it or not, buyers often change their minds. Buyer’s agents have to be able to pivot to consider these changes without missing a beat while still keeping everyone moving forward.
2. Emotional intelligence
Emotional intelligence is the capacity to be aware of, control and express one’s emotions and handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically. I mean, buyer’s agents might as well just be called “emotional intelligence agents.”
Without emotional intelligence, it will be very difficult for a buyer’s agent to have the resilience and stamina to work with a buyer, let alone a whole roster of clients at the same time. The good news? Emotional intelligence can be honed and strengthened.
3. Great communication
Whether it’s working with a client or customer, lenders, appraisers, listing agents or administrative support staff, any buyer’s agent you hire must know how to communicate clearly and consistently. That’s just the baseline.
Beyond that, a buyer’s agent should be comfortable with tough conversations and understand how to deliver information with clarity and compassion.
4. Creative problem-solving
There is more than one way to get a real estate deal to the closing table.
Just like listing agents, buyer’s agents have to be able to think outside the box, bring innovative ideas to the table and get creative to help their clients navigate the challenges of buying their home or commercial property.
5. Commitment to personal growth
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 more dedicated buyer’s agents are to becoming a better version of themselves, the better they will be able to show up for their clients.
Particularly when working with buyer clients, it is critical that buyer’s agents take care of themselves first. They are often dealing with some heavy emotions and stress.
Regular self-care practices will be important to helping them manage their energy and wellness long-term. Pay attention to their decompression routines and emotional resilience during the interview process.
6. Self-motivation and drive
This goes for buyer’s agents’ learning-based mindset too. When hiring a buyer’s 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? You want to hire a buyer’s agent who is proactive about learning about the business and committed to making things happen.
Buyer’s agents need to intimately understand the market, their city and neighborhoods, local politics, zoning, and developments, off-market listings and more.
In addition, a great buyer’s agent will not wait to see what shows up on MLS but work their network, door-knock and help their client find the right home for them, even if the seller didn’t know they wanted to list.
Thinking about hiring a showing assistant or buyer’s agent? Come back to this list of skills, qualities and traits, which will come in handy to help you know what to look for.
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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.