What Makes a Stellar Agent?

I wanted to blog on this topic because I was in the middle of a chat session on another site where a question was asked of realtors. The question was, “Why is there such a negative attitude toward real estate agents?” You can imagine the slew of answers that resulted from this. In these answers some respondents mentioned that they felt a lot of agents were whining. I am not going to whine…quite the contrary.

Being the best you can be at what you do is no easy task, no matter what profession you call your own. It is easy to just go to work, do your job and come home. I surmise that a large majority of people are in this category. But to surpass adequacy you need to stretch yourself–you need to not only work hard, but always keep in mind that you are representing and helping PEOPLE, and that you can make an enormous difference in their lives. So, what does it take to be a stellar agent?

LISTEN:  A stellar agent has to listen to her/his clients. You are helping your client and need to understand what they need, what is important and what their limits are. Listening is the most important element in any relationship, and a stellar agent knows this.

DILIGENCE:  You have to work hard for your client, but work is not measured in terms of hours or number of homes shown. Instead, it is determined by your efforts and your attitude…by the true genuine nature of the work you put into every transaction.

HONESTY:  This one is a given, but you’d be surprised by the lack of it sometimes (I’m not talking just real estate, I mean in general). You need to be honest with your clients. If you listen well and they find a home that they think is hands down “it,” but you know something that may sway the decision, you have to share it. I am not telling you to make any decisions for your clients (that is not our job…despite the fact that many clients try to have you do so!), but I am saying that we have to lay all our cards on the table for our clients.

CARING:  If you don’t truly care for your job or for those you help it will show. If this is the case you need to find another profession where you do not have a great impact on peoples’ lives.

KNOWLEDGE and EXPERIENCE: As with any job, the degree of knowledge you possess is a reflection of the type of agent you are. You can learn as you go along or when a situation arises, or you can make the extra effort and continue to study–the market, the neighborhoods, the changes in laws. A stellar agent never stops learning.

INTEGRITY: I am not listing these characteristics in any particular order, but this one is definitely one of the most important. The stellar agent lives up to very high ethical standards. There are enough people in this world who do not heed the importance of integrity–some of them are very successful. If you have integrity and always honor it, you will not only succeed, but you will have a better attitude and go further than average agents.

ATTITUDE: It’s all in the attitude. Many people have said an agent must have thick skin, and that is true. It is also true that if you do something you love you will be a more satisfied person. Your attitude is a reflection of you and your work.

COMMUNITY:  A stellar agent contributes to his/her local community and stays involved. I am not talking of traditional marketing and ads. What I refer to is blogging, answering questions on internet forums, reading and responding to other real estate blogs. The nature of our business has certainly changed with the invention of the internet. It is no longer about just plastering your picture on a truck or posting ads in the paper to get clients. The stellar agent takes advantage of the opportunities out there to connect with people and display their knowlege, to learn concerns and be helpful.

I am a stellar agent and plan to continue to be one. Yes, it is time-consuming but it is worth it because I actually love what I do for a living. I can incorporate my love of the law, my passion for writing (I already published a book to help people facing foreclosure), my fondness for working with people and my thirst to continue to be a lifelong student, into one job! What more could you ask for!

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