Becoming a Real Estate Agent
In the State of Florida, in order to become a licensed real estate agent you must be a high school graduate and pass a state test. These requirements are not especially rigorous. As a result the spectrum of industry professionals varies widely.
When you hire a real estate agent it is because you are looking for a professional to facilitate the purchase or sale of your most important asset, your home. Because of this high degree of importance, it is very important to find a real estate agent that is exceptional. With a competent agent by your side the quality of your real estate experience is certain to be a good one.
The 8 Qualities of an Exceptional Real Estate Agent
In order to help you discern the good from the bad from the ugly, below is a list of 8 qualities to look for in an exceptional real estate professional.
Quality #1 – Communicative and Accessible
It is important that the Realtor® you choose is communicative and accessible. Your agent should maintain the lines of communication with you open at all times. If your Realtor® is more like Houdini, you make want to rethink your choice.
Additionally, it is important that your agent is communicative because they are representing you and your interests. You want to make sure that they communicate well with the other people involved in the transaction in order to bring your deal to a successful closing.
Good, solid, clear communication is an art and is especially important during a real estate transaction. Accessibility is also important because in real estate time is of the essence and things may happen after regular business hours. Make sure the agent you choose communicates well with you and with others and that they are reasonably accessible.
Quality #2 Organized
A real estate transaction has a lot of moving parts. Some transactions more than others. A missed deadline, for example, can jeopardize your deal or worse cost you money. Your real estate professional of choice must be organized and know what is happening at all times.
Quality #3 Continued Professional Development
Professional Development is important in order for professionals in any field to stay on top of the latest developments and trends. Look for a Realtor® that continually professionally develops themselves in order to be the best professional they can be.
Quality #4 Knowledgeable, Experienced and Savvy
Is your Realtor® knowledgeable about real estate and how to conduct a real estate transaction? Are they knowledgeable about the industry? industry trends? about the location in which you are looking? Are they an experienced real estate professional? Are they savvy? good at problem solving?
Real estate transactions are a Pandora’s box, so you want to make sure that you choose a Realtor® that is knowledgeable, experienced and savvy. Unknowns will pop up all the time and a knowledgeable and experienced Realtor® will either know how to address it or use their savvy to find a solution.
If you are interviewing a real estate agent that is new to the industry and you feel they deserve a chance to prove themselves, ask them what type of support system they have at their brokerage. Experience is important, but lack of it does not mean someone is incompetent. Find out more before making a final decision.
Quality #5 Professional
When you choose a Realtor®, be sure to choose a person that presents themselves professionally. Remember they are representing you and your interests so choose someone that is professional in appearance and demeanor.
Quality #6 Honesty
Choose a professional that is honest and willing to tell you what you need to hear even if it is not what you want to hear.
It is hard to tell a seller that their house is worth $50K less than they expected or a buyer that their dream home is actually $100K more than their budget will allow. However, if you are serious about buying or selling real estate, these may be things that you need to hear.
An honest real estate professional will level with you, even at peril of losing your business. They do this because they are sincerely interested in helping you achieve your end goal of buying or selling. An honest agent won’t take an overpriced listing or help you look for a home you can’t find because they know it is a waste of everyone’s time.
So if you are truly interested in buying or selling, make sure you choose a professional that is honest with you and that will sincerely work with you toward helping you achieve your end goal.
Quality #7 They are a Full Time Real Estate Professional
Choose a real estate professional whose business is real estate and not just their part-time side hustle. A full time real estate professional is in tune with the industry on a daily basis and dedicated to the profession. A part-timer is constantly checking in and out. Consequently they will lack the essential qualities of an exceptional agent : knowledge, experience and savvy.
Quality #8 They are a Realtor® not Just a Real Estate Agent
Realtors® are real estate agents that are part of the National Association of Realtors® (NAR). NAR holds industry professionals to a higher ethical standard. Therefore, when choosing a real estate professional it is important to discern whether or not they are just a real estate agent or a Realtor®.
If they are not a Realtor® ask why before deciding whether or not they should be amongst the candidates you choose to consider.
A Note on Family and Friend Real Estate Agents
Because of the ease of getting a real estate license Florida has hundreds of thousands of licensed agents. Chances are someone you know or a family member is a licensed agent.
However, before you consider using them, sincerely consider if they have the above qualities and if using them as your agent will work in your best interest. Remember you are looking for a professional to help you with the purchase or sale of your most important asset not to do anyone a favor.
Check Out Your Candidates
Once you have selected some viable candidates, check out their reviews from past clients and ask them for references.
Making a Final Choice
Buying and selling real estate is a serious business transaction, perhaps one of the most important in your lifetime. The real estate agent you choose will define the experience you have and the ultimate outcome of that experience.
Do not take this choice of real estate professional lightly. Using the qualities outlined above, do your homework, select candidates, evaluate them and choose the candidate you feel will do the best job for you and your family. The choice you make will make all the difference, so choose well!
Désirée is a licensed Florida Realtor® and Real Estate Influencer committed to a high-level of professionalism and to helping others with their real estate endeavors through education. Désirée Ávila was an award winning teacher for 10 years and has a doctoral level education in Educational Technology. Désirée is a lifetime local resident of South Florida and is fluent in Portuguese, Spanish, French and Italian.