Mortgage rates are at new record-lows; in fact, they’ve fallen below 3% for the first time in 50 years. If you’re looking to buy, sell, or invest, the time is now — but where do you begin?
Do you often think to yourself, “Boy, I sure have a lot of extra time and extra money to waste”? If you, like basically everyone else looking to buy or sell a home, want to maximize your investment and minimize the time and stress involved in your real estate transaction, then the first and perhaps most important step is to find your agent. Preferably an experienced, well-connected agent!
This practical guide to real estate agent skills and responsibilities will help you choose an agent capable of delivering tangible results in the most efficient, effective manner. In a competitive market, relying solely on old-school information from sources such as MLS databases or word of mouth is not going to get you the best possible results.
Real Estate Agent Skills: Marketing Matters
If you are selling your property, then a big part of your real estate agent’s responsibilities should include a comprehensive marketing plan. This is needed to maximize your listing’s exposure to prospective buyers.
A few key components of your agent’s marketing strategy should include:
- Home staging to maximize visual appeal and desirability — not required, but recommended if your time-frame and finances allow
- High-quality, professional photographs utilized in digital and direct advertising campaigns
- Virtual tours to offer convenience to both the buyer and the seller
- Open houses that are strategically scheduled and well-promoted
The success of these marketing initiatives is largely correlated to how well-connected your agent is. What good are shiny new photographs or beautifully staged open houses if the right eyes don’t see them?
The same goes for the other side of the coin, too. If you’re on the hunt for your next home or investment property, a well-connected agent is an absolute must. This is especially true in a low-inventory market as exists in San Diego and North County. Your agent will be vital in helping you find exactly what you’re looking for, and making a strategic offer before the listing is scooped up by your competition.
A savvy real estate agent also understands that the best marketing campaigns don’t only showcase their properties; they also showcase the agent. If you’ve lived in your community for a while, what names come to mind when you think of real estate? Chances are that if they stand out in your mind, they stand out in the minds of others, too. Take note — this is a sign of a well-connected agent.
The Importance of Relationships with Other Industry Professionals
Put simply, the more well-connected an agent is, the more resources they have at hand to offer you.
Your real estate agent should have a broad network of industry connections to streamline the entire buying or selling process from start to finish. This includes different industry professionals and services, such as attorneys, mortgage brokers and lenders, inspectors, contractors, appraisers, stagers, painters, moving companies and more.
It will save you a wealth of time to have referrals to reputable, high-quality service providers that you’ll need rather than having to seek out each from scratch. At Caspersen Brothers, we go the extra mile by scheduling and coordinating all the vendors and their work, while you sit back and relax.
The most important industry connections for a successful real estate agent are with other agents. Whether they are within your own team or brokerage or community, other local agents can serve as your eyes and ears, your “boots on the ground.” They can provide valuable feedback after showing the home, and close agent relationships are particularly helpful when trying to buy or sell an off-market property. Agents talk and share information about current active and upcoming listings. This information is absolutely invaluable.
In a low-inventory, fast-paced real estate market, an agent who is well-connected with other agents can make the difference between securing the property of your dreams or missing out on it entirely. Every agent has a style and a process, so it’s helpful to hire an agent who both knows his or her colleagues well, and is held in high regard by the real estate community. These seemingly small professional connections can make all the difference in your transaction.
The Role of Relationships Within the Community
An in-depth understanding of the local community enables your real estate agent to effectively match your needs to the most suitable properties. This applies to things like desired neighborhoods, proximity to particular amenities, schools and more. A well-connected agent is especially helpful if you are not very familiar with the neighborhoods where you’d like to buy a home.
As recently described in Forbes, “there is no way to put a monetary value on the expert advice of an agent who actually lives and breathes real estate in the neighborhood their business is focused on.”
A real estate agent creates an ecosystem of trust and communication through a strong presence and good rapport with other local businesses, organizations and professionals. They are able to cultivate valuable word-of-mouth referrals and connections, all of which helps in making your transaction a quicker and more successful endeavor.
Never Underestimate the Power of the Internet
To be a well-connected real estate agent these days means being active across a multitude of social media platforms. We’re talking Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, Twitter, Pinterest… the more, the merrier!
But it’s not just about your agent’s number of social media followers; even more important is their responsiveness and online activity. Are they posting regularly and staying at the top of the feed? Do they reply to tags, comments, and questions? This sort of online etiquette is akin to responding to phone calls and emails. It contributes to (or detracts from) an agent’s overall reputation.
Are You Looking for an Agent Who Ticks All the Boxes?
Real estate agent skills and duties are expansive and varied. Picking the right, well-connected real estate agent to work with can truly be a make-or-break moment for your entire buying or selling process.
There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all approach. A real estate agent’s role is multifaceted, but it should always include an expansive network of industry and community connections.
If are considering buying or selling a home in the San Diego or North County area, connect with us. See how our local, experienced and well-connected team can exceed your expectations. Let’s talk strategy!