How To Choose an Agency
Here are the Little Details that Tell You if You’re Working with the Right Real Estate Agency
It’s a gut feeling.
You might be certain that you want to list your house. You might be certain that you’re in the market. But if you’re not certain about your options when it comes to selecting a real estate group, you can feel that uncertainty in your gut. There’s a reason that 44% of first-time sellers choose a real estate group based on reputation: they want certainty. They want to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that they’ve chosen the right group.
A real estate group that won’t cut corners. A group that will give every transaction their focused attention.
But in the absence of word-of-mouth reputation, how can you tell when a real estate group has the best interests of its clients at heart? What are the tell-tale signs of quality?
Here are a few of the details you’ll want to pay attention to:
Detail #1: Visuals
An effective real estate group knows that visuals are more than minor details. They’re essential.
Statistics suggest that 90% of all information our brain gathers is visual. Even more important: visual sources are processed 60,000 times faster than text. It’s no surprise that these statistics suggest 40% of people respond better to visual information than text.
How does this translate to the world of real estate? You’ll want to find a real estate group that understands these principles and acts on them by delivering the following:
- Drone-based video. Drone videos make the home come alive in all three dimensions. They also highlight the quality of the landscaping and architecture with an instant demonstration. If your real estate group doesn’t offer drone-based video for showing off your home, you might be missing a lot.
- Virtual tours. An effective real estate group wants to give a buyer the feeling that they’re already there. This isn’t only good for the buyer—who gets to experience what homes may look like well in advance of visiting them—but good for the seller. By incorporating this visual element into a listing, a real estate group can demonstrate the qualities of a home’s interior with lifelike accuracy.
- A custom web presence. This is the 21st century—you’ll need more than pictures. After all, what’s the first thing that most buyers do when they find out about a home? They Google it. They want to find out all the essential information. They want to click on pictures. They want all the details—and they want them now. Are you ready for them?
A real estate group that incorporates strong visual elements into the buying and selling process demonstrates that they get it. They understand what prospective buyers need to see—and they understand what sellers need to do to show off the true quality of their home.
We at 2nd & Elm are powered by an award-winning advertising agency that specializes in effective visual marketing and how it can benefit the positioning and sale of upscale real estate.
Detail #2: Professionalism
Everything else being equal, most people want to work with a professional.
But what defines professionalism? Even the U.S. Department of Labor called professionalism “not an easy skill to develop” as it requires a “make-up of many different skills” mashed together. In the world of real estate, it’s no different. Professionalism is often an amalgam of different skills earned by experience, including:
- How well-prepared is your real estate agent when you ask them a question? Do they dodge your communications or are they transparent at all times? How good are they at communicating the strategies they’ll employee to buy or sell for you?
- Do you get the sense that your real estate agent has handled transactions of your size before, or are you giving them their first chance in a completely different market? Experience can manifest itself in a number of ways, but it often comes down to a gut feeling—when you work with someone who’s done it before, you can sense their confidence and poise.
- Attention to detail. As discussed in the previous section, when a good real estate group takes a variety of visual factors into account to help you with your real estate transaction, every little detail counts. Attention to detail shows that not only is a real estate group invested in your transaction, but they’re putting in the level of work and focus necessary to represent your interests.
Detail #3: Guidance
One reason you come to a real estate group: you need a guide. A J.D. Power satisfaction survey found that satisfaction was much higher among first-time buyers when their real estate group was communicative and transparent about every step of the process.
But effective guidance isn’t limited to first-time buyers. Even experienced buyers and sellers don’t make real estate their career; they want to know their real estate group is representing their interests in a focused way.
This also comes down to leadership. You hire a real estate group because you don’t want to take the lead in this regard; you want to defer to people with experience so that they can handle the details.
But that requires a real estate group that’s willing to take the reins. It also requires a real estate group that demonstrates they know how to take the reins.
Detail #4: Communication
Your relationship with a real estate group is just that—a relationship. And like any relationship, effective communication is necessary if you want the relationship to move forward.
You can test out your real estate group’s commitment to communication at any time. Just ask yourself one of the following questions:
- When you pick up the phone and call your agent, do they pick up?
- If you have to leave a voicemail, do they get back to you in a timely fashion?
- How responsive are they via email and text?
- How proactive are they at letting you know if they’ll be out of the office?
- Do you feel “in the loop” when it comes to developments with your listing? Or do you find yourself constantly having to search for more information?
- A good real estate group should be able to connect you to people who can help with other aspects of the buying/selling process. For example, can they help you find a great cleaner for preparing a home for staging? Can they help provide these services themselves?
Keep in mind that communication might not be the only thing that makes a great real estate group. A hard-working agent without a lot of experience can still make mistakes despite being well-intentioned and always keeping their clients in the loop.
Detail #5: Clarity of Goals
That’s all a real estate agent should think about, right?
You’d be surprised. At 2nd & Elm, we’ve learned that every client is different. Their goals are different. Their vision for the future of their daily life is different—and as an experienced real estate group, we need to make sure we adjust our strategies to accommodate those goals.
That’s why you can tell if you’ve got a good real estate group at your side, if they start asking about these goals in your initial meetings.
A high-end real estate group isn’t just interested in dumping a property on the market, or turning around a house to a buyer as soon as possible.
Instead, your real estate group should think strategically. They should think about your goals. They should take the time necessary to learn what your goals are—and you’ll be able to tell this by the way they ask questions about your vision.
Detail #6: An Attractive Online Presence
You’ve read a little bit about this in “Detail #1,” but let’s dig deeper.
The 21st century world is digital. Even the most discerning real estate buyers and sellers look online to weigh their options.
If your real estate group can’t accommodate you with adequate online services, then they’re not the complete package you were hoping for.
How can you tell if they understand online marketing? Look for the following:
- Social media marketing. Does your real estate group have a social media presence? Do they understand social media marketing, and do they know how to reach out to their audience with new listings?
- Building a portable web presence. When you list with a real estate group, how visible will your online presence be? A high-quality real estate firm can offer you a custom website that makes it possible to share and show off your listing with ease—increasing its marketability and exposure.
Detail #7: Dedication
Ultimately, the quality of a real estate group comes down to their firm commitment to each client. How responsive are they? Are they in your corner—or are you simply another client to them? The time and attention a real estate group provides you, is in direct correlation with its level of commitment to you.
If you want to start exploring new real estate groups for your next purchase or sale, maybe it’s time to experience the attention to detail provided by 2nd & Elm. Contact us and find out why we might be the real estate group for you.