There are currently more than a million Realtors in the United States. That’s the same number of people living in Jacksonville and the beaches! It’s a huge number, and it leaves clients wondering how on Earth to choose one.
Most people know now that they can’t safely complete a transaction without a real estate professional because of the sheer number of tedious, legal hoops there are to jump through. But they don’t have any clue how to audit a Realtor, and so often they end up choosing a friend or family member so that they will “get the commission” (which might be the worst thing they could do!).
How does Round Table Realty choose agents?
Here at Round Table Realty, we’re obviously very picky. Our method for choosing our own agents always starts with agent referrals. “We don’t recruit, so if one of our agents refers another agent, we know it’s because they had a good interaction,” Howard Flachen, broker and owner, says. But one positive interaction isn’t enough.
We sit down and chat with potential agents, referral or otherwise, to get a thorough understanding of how much they know and how willing they are to learn more. “If an agent walks in with a very clear understanding of real estate and a willingness to find out what else there is to know, we’re excited,” Howard says.
“Then we have to click,” Keith Francis, Round Table Realty’s other broker and owner, adds. “We have to figure out if they’re heart-first and if they’re going to fit into the family we’ve already grown.” The culture at Round Table Realty is firmly protected: just because a Realtor is a top producer doesn’t mean they’re a fit.
When you look for a real estate professional, you ought to be looking for similar things!
Here are the top five things to consider when choosing a real estate agent:
Brokerage Support - does the agent know their own broker’s name? Can they call on him/her day or night if they have a question? He/she absolutely should be able to.
Agency - are they able to work as a Single Agent if the situation calls for it? If not, you might want to find one who can.
Service - does your Realtor know more than you about real estate? Your Realtor should go above and beyond to keep you informed and make you feel like a professional has your back.
Communication - how long does it take the Realtor to get back to you? Your real estate professional shouldn’t leave you waiting.
Referrals - who referred you to this agent? Don’t be afraid to ask for recommendations and testimonials, or look them up yourself online.
The future of real estate agents
It’s important to note that the trend of Realtors joining the ranks is decreasing, and is projected to bottom out in the next 10 years. The president of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World, Paul Boomsma, is predicting as much as a ⅓ drop off in real estate professionals in the foreseeable future.
“It’s a sort of survival of the fittest,” Kate Smithson of real estate software company W+R Studios said. “Long term what you’ll see happen is maybe some of those lower-producing agents go away.” Adam Contos, CEO of RE/MAX, adds that there’s a sense that agents really need to raise their bar if they’re going to stick around and do well.
“But the agents that remain will be really well educated,” Boomsma says.
Making your decision easier:
These foreboding predictions are what might, eventually, cull the herd and make choosing Realtors a little easier. Other brokerages are beginning to recognize that only the best of the best will do; and clients are beginning to see the differences between real estate professionals who have the experience, the backing, and the service, and those who don’t. This shift could naturally begin to make choosing a Realtor easier.
In our last blog, we answered the question as to whether or not you really need a Realtor. By the end of that blog, you know for sure you need a Realtor no matter what kind of real estate transaction you're planning. Without an agent, it's easy for professionals in the industry to knowingly or unknowingly take advantage of you. Not only do you leave potential money on the table, you leave the possibility of a long and arduous process being even longer and more frustrating. With a professional on your side, you can breathe easy that someone is working for you and only you (especially if your agent can work as a Single Agent).
The reason Round Table Realty chooses to allow its agents to practice Single Agency is that, instead of acting as a referee for a football team, our agents are legally allowed to act as a coach. That means they want you to WIN! They want you to get the best deal, make the most money, and find a place that already is perfect or carries with it the possibility of becoming perfect. Home-ownership is the absolute best way to invest in yourself, if you ask billionaires like Warren Buffet, and there is no reason to leave money on the table when you can have an agent on your side ensuring keeping you informed and legally protected. We hope with this blog that you feel confident that as the cream rises to the top, you’ll know how to choose the best agent for you!
When you begin your search for an agent, call Round Table Realty. We can hook you up with an agent who has experience, broker support, and excellent communication. The cherry on top is that, if legally appropriate, all of our agents have the ability to work as Single Agents. They only work for you! Don't forget to ask your Round Table Realty agent for referrals. Some agents already post their referrals to social media or to Zillow and Realtor.com. You can even call our brokers directly if you ever have a question about the agent representing you! Howard and Keith work hard to ensure Round Table Realty maintains a standard of excellence and