In addition to building relationships with the people real estate agents work with, education should be one of the top priorities of a real estate agent.
Educating the Client
As a real estate agent, my ultimate goal is to educate anyone with an interest in real estate. There are hundreds of thousands of subjects that most people with an interest in real estate do not know about. In addition to helping clients buy or sell a home, I make it a personal commitment to educate in every way possible those who entrust me in what may be one of the largest purchases of their lifetimes. By educating clients, relationships are a natural by-product.
For instance, my broker and fatherly-figure friend, Bill Stewart, strongly believes in the importance of buying normal. In order to buy normal, a real estate property must:
- Not backup to a freeway
- Not require occupants to walk through one room to get to another
- Not have a stunted backyard
- Not be affected by odd or obsolete features/conditions (e.g. 4 bedroom 1 bath)
While some buyers may consider some of these normal, great practice leads an agent to discuss buying normal with clients. This is a simple way to educate people.
Additionally, market analysis and education can truly create a loyal client. Most people are unaware of the real estate cycle. However, by educating a client on the right time to buy and risky times to buy, a Realtor ® is sinking the hooks in their clients with honest and selfless advice. This is by far one of the hardest ways to educate a client if timing is unfavorable, because as an agent, without a sale, there is no pay.
Furthermore, knowledge of construction is crucial. By pointing out potential issues that may have gone unnoticed throughout a transaction to purchase, an agent is giving clients the gift of time.
A simple way to know if for an agent to know if they are educating clients is by asking themselves, “Am I telling them what I would want to know if I were in their position.”
UPDATE 1-30-11: I just discovered a wonderful article on the importance of blogging for real estate agents and here is a pertinent excerpt:
I believe that if home buyers were better informed about the real estate and mortgage process over the past 10 year we wouldn’t be overwhelmed with a foreclosure crisis.
While it may not be our actual “job” as industry professionals to teach our clients about the responsibility of home ownership, it is in fact our duty to break down this complex buying and selling process in a manner that people can understand.
Keep in mind that when home buyers get the fever for moving, most of them become obsessed with gathering information online.
So, if you’re not providing your clients with the most accurate and easily accessible data that they need, there is a high probability that someone else online is feeding them the wrong info.
How do you educate those around you?