Whether you're buying or selling a home, choosing the best realtors will go a long way towards ensuring that the process is as smooth and painless as possible. This isn't always the easiest thing to do though as, depending on where you live, you could potentially have hundreds or even thousands of real estate agents to choose from. Further complicating the matter is the fact that the United States is currently in the midst of a severe housing shortage that is expected to last until at least 2020. This housing shortage means that realtors are having to get more creative in order to stay competitive, and here are some of the most common methods they are using to compete for customers.
Using Social Media
Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and other social media platforms have begun playing an increasingly larger role in the business world and companies are constantly using these platforms as a way to better connect with potential customers. In the world of real estate, the majority of realtors have now realized the benefit of social media (especially Facebook) in that it essentially allows them to advertise their listings for free.
Social media provides a huge platform for realtors to connect with a much wider audience, and the size of this potential audience increases each time one of their posts is shared. For this reason, many realtors and real estate companies are holding giveaways and offering other incentives to entice people to like their pages and share their posts. As well, some are also using these platforms in an attempt to provide valuable advice to potential customers in the hopes that people will begin to view that realtor as more trustworthy or an expert in the local market.
Increasing Public Visibility
Online visibility is only one part of the equation, which is why most realtors still rely on traditional marketing methods like billboards, TV or radio ads, flyers, etc. Still, others have realized that being involved in charitable events and fundraisers is also an excellent way to increase their name recognition. In this sense, the goal is usually to position the realtor as a valued, important member of the local community.
Continuing Education and Improving Credentials
Accreditation is obviously important when choosing a realtor. In fact, in order to actually be considered a realtor, it is necessary to be a member of the National Association of Realtors. All NAR members must adhere to certain ethical requirements, which in a sense ensures that a certified realtor will be more trustworthy.
However, many realtors are taking things a step further by obtaining additional credentials and accreditations. Some even take online courses and keep an eye on popular trends on realty sites. As well, some realtors are deciding to go back to school for similar reasons. Basically, most realtors rightly believe that the more accreditations and credentials they can present to a customer, the more likely that customer will be to trust in their ability and thus hire them.
Being More Open, Honest and Available
The Internet has simplified our lives in more ways that we can really even imagine. One such way involves the newfound ability to review virtually everything—from restaurants and hotels to doctors and real estate agents. In some ways, this development has forced realtors and other businesses to be more honest and more accountable for their actions and results.
When buying or selling a home, you want a realtor that is willing to commit to certain expectations. If a realtor promises to show you 10 houses a week and only ends up taking you to one or two, you have a readily available platform to warn others about the realtor's poor performance.
The best realtors are generally those that are willing to bend over backwards to make a sale happen, which means listening closely to their customers’ needs and meeting all expectations. While some realtors try to entice potential customers with candles and cheap gifts, the best gifts a realtor can give you are their time and their honesty. Luckily, realtors have finally begun to realize this and most are now focusing more on customer service.
Although this last factor may sound slightly vague, it's actually not hard to judge the trustworthiness of a realtor. A good, trustworthy realtor is one that is willing to make certain commitments and give you a detailed plan of what exactly they plan to do for you.
There is no magic formula for choosing a good realtor, just as there is no formula for actually being a good realtor. The best thing a realtor can do to stay competitive and improve their sales record is to increase their public visibility and do whatever it takes to ensure potential customers view the realtor as knowledgeable and trustworthy. Similarly, the best thing a person can do when choosing a realtor is to pay attention to these same two factors.
Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most her time hiking, biking, and gardening. For more information about Success Path contact Brooke via Twitter @BrookeChaplan.