Qualities of a Top Real Estate Broker

The real estate business sees different people playing different roles. These include mortgage brokers, bankers, home inspectors, contractors, appraisers, property managers, and several others. That’s not even counting the seller and potential buyers, for any property listed. The various contributions they make are too numerous to list, but are all very important. One thing that remains constant: it is the Real Estate Broker who ties it all together. That’s right, he or she calls all of these different people out where needed, to get the client’s needs met. They facilitate communication between all of the people involved, and keep track of the progress. So the question begs asking: what are the qualities of a top Real Estate Broker?

Many people can become a Realtor of one sort or another and start a real estate career. Only a rare select few rise to the top. One of the qualities they require from Day 1? The ability to wear several “hats” at once. At various stages in the process, a great Broker alternates between consultant, buyer’s advocate, salesperson, analyst, and negotiator… to name a few. Naturally, not everyone is born with the ability to juggle all these tasks at once. Some skills are instinctual, some are taught, and some we copy from other successful people. Similar to other fields, however, certain characteristics keep coming back when top Real Estate Brokers are studied.

PASSION

It’s extremely difficult to make it in this business without a genuine heartfelt passion. Many long hours, hard work, persistence, and a commitment to long-term goals lead the list. You don’t accept so many rejections and keep working that darn hard, without passion. Enough said.

ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT

This isn’t just about becoming wealthy, it’s the intangibles: self-starter, endless motivation, strong drive, free thinker, patience, and good instincts. Staying open to new ideas -because you’re not convinced you know everything- allows for learning. Being cooperative with other Brokers around town allows for joint efforts down the line. Putting their motivation to grow the business ahead of their ego.

Being your own boss is a lot easier than it sounds, but it’s not for everyone. Only those with the desire to control their own professional destiny. To be successful in real estate requires large amounts of “guts” and a risk-taker attitude. Lastly, being persistent and tenacious, without being annoying to the other side. These are the qualities of a top Real Estate Broker.

GREAT COMMUNICATOR

This not only means the ability to speak freely, sound educated, or knowing how to pick up a phone or compose an email. This also refers to passing along important details to the right people, and leaving out unnecessary stuff to others. It’s a regular flow of info via phone, text, e-mail, or whatever medium the client prefers; while expressing yourself effectively on each. Saying more while using less words is also among the qualities of a top Real Estate Broker.

BE POLISHED

Punctual, well-dressed, well-groomed, using proper language skills, chewing with your mouth closed, and always maintaining class and sophistication. Most of this category is superficial, indeed, but the exterior is what makes the first impression. This also includes not taking 7 other phone calls or texts while meeting your new client for coffee. Remain confident but never arrogant.

PART-TIME PSYCHOLOGIST

There’s so much emotion involved in Real Estate transactions -especially residential- that removing the human element is almost impossible. This means that reading people, both in what they do and do not say, is crucial. Interpreting your customer’s non-verbal signals and behaviours allows you to better understand their needs.

There is so much they will not tell you outwardly, but from the small cues you need to get a feel for:

A client’s time frame. Are they in a hurry?

The real motivation to buy or sell, which affects their decisions.

Are they more price-sensitive than willing to admit?

Who’s the opinion leader in a married couple?

How much information becomes too much?

Knowing when to use humour to lighten the mood.

LARGE NETWORK

Another of the qualities of a top Real Estate Broker. They start with a small network of people (family, friends, etc.) but have the ability to grow it very quickly. This is done in many ways, and the most important are:

1- Being a people-person, not shy to introduce themselves.

2- Surrounding themselves with top professionals in complementary businesses.

3- Staying true to their word as they ask clients for referrals.

MOVING QUICKLY

A top Real Estate Broker returns calls and e-mails at crazy fast speed, recognizing that every lead for a new client or scoop on a property is invaluable. They make immediate contact and always follow up, since time is of the essence in keeping that lead “warm”. They are the champions of quick communication and use technology all day long. IE. Not falling asleep at the switch, so their new client doesn’t think they forgot about them.

PATIENCE

Everyone in this business eventually learns that this is a marathon and not a sprint. Many seeds are planted, months and even years, before the crops can be harvested. Most of the cold calls for soliciting new clientele are met with a “No”, and the majority of viewings don’t end with a sale. A top Real Estate Broker also needs to deal with many interesting characters along the way: some unreliable, some dishonest, some anxious, some indecisive, and the list goes on. The most patience is needed with the clients who ask as many questions as humanly possible, then pause to think of some more. This is normal, and part of human nature. Another of the qualities of a top Real Estate Broker is the patience to answer every question and stay on the phone with nervous clients as long as necessary.

ALWAYS PROSPECTING

This absolutely has to be one of the top qualities of a top real estate broker. This refers to finding new leads, or prospective clientele, on a regular basis. How it is done could fill an entire book (or at least another article) all on its own. For the time being, let’s recognize that one can never have too many potential customers in their pipeline. The well can “run dry” for anyone at any time, and there are no shortage of ways to prospect in our times.

Technology has added so many mediums to the traditional TV, radio, magazines, newspapers, and billboards. The number of web-based available tools are almost uncountable, but sufficed to say that a real estate website and strong social media presence are absolutely essential. There are also specialized lead generating platforms which could make life a lot easier. A top Broker uses all of them.

BEING A “NEIGHBOURHOOD EXPERT”

Local knowledge is extremely important among the qualities of a top Real Estate Broker. Not only will it save time when searching listings and answers to specific questions, it also provides immediate selling points. Nearby schools, daycares, sports arenas, churches, local shopping malls, and public transportation are great seasoning on the dish a Broker is serving up to buyers in his/her neighborhood. Knowing what developments are coming down the road is even more impressive. Future plans for a region are helpful, and so is knowing the history. Don’t get caught off guard with a question about an old burial ground or water contamination issue from last year, from a buyer who did their homework.

A broker who shows they’ve never done business in that part of town looks like a beginner (even with years of experience elsewhere), and that doesn’t inspire confidence in anyone.

ORGANIZED AND DETAIL-ORIENTED

This is absolutely essential to managing a busy schedule. If a Broker can’t keep their commitments straight on an hourly basis, they’ve lost already. If electronic tools don’t work for him or her, they should keep an old-school planner book in their pocket. The more appointments they keep and phone calls they return, the more impressed their clients and contacts will remain.

Attention to detail can mean all the difference in closing a sale. A top Real Estate Broker knows that the smallest changes can make a property far more attractive. They are creative with their beautiful real estate listings and take the best photographs of every home. Spotting the key details in homes they deal with can give a Broker the upper-hand in negotiations.

Some of this can be taught, some just comes naturally, but all of these are the qualities of a top Real Estate Broker. Dealing with a credible and established Real Estate Agency definitely helps the odds of becoming one, or finding one as a client in your town.

Comparing & Choosing Real Estate Companies Online

You’re beginning your search for a new home or real estate. Where do you start to find a professional and reputable real estate broker who you can depend on?

In an age of such high technology searching for a broker through an online search in the area of your interest is a great place to start. With diligent and through examination of the entire brokers website you will be able to get a good feel for their professionalism, integrity and ability as well as to gain a feel for them being a good match to represent you. Here are some things to be aware of as well as to look for when examining their website.

To begin, so many folks don’t realize when going online and doing property searches for through real estate company websites is, that they are actually getting information not directly from the Multiple Listing Service as the website says, but what is called an IDX. It would be illegal for real estate brokers to give the public information that is strictly intended for professional real estate brokers that are members of the Board of Realtors in that particular area. Yet you continually see comments and enticements that say “search the MLS for free” or some variations.

So what’s the big deal, right? Hey, it’s a matter of detail which all real estate brokers should be aware of and if they are ignoring it then guess what, chances are that when you are entrusting them to represent you in what could very well be the biggest transaction of your life, are they going to be overlooking details which can ultimately put you at risk. I caution you, if you land on a real estate site that says “search the MLS” move on. Let’s face it, there are more than enough real estate brokers so be wise in how you select yours. When looking for property online, look for a real estate company who rightfully represents where the information you are receiving is coming from.

It is a good start to enlist a real estate broker from the area who has a passion for the details. You can do this if you would take the time and go through their website. It will say a lot about the quality of the broker and their company. You’ll see the broker’s passion and vision. No passion or vision, then move on. If you find the website gives you more hype than constructive information and direction, move on. Check the content, is it sloppy with errors, obviously not proof read?

Read the description of their listings. Do they seem like very little thought went into them or are rich with visual language forming pictures and feelings? I tell you, sometimes it seems like the descriptions given to properties give the impression that the broker is a little put out with having to do this. It is imperative for the broker to be creative and eloquent in writing description to draw potential buyers to the property as well as high quality photographs. Are the pictures reflective to the qualities of the property or just a snapshot? Does it appear that real effort went into representing the property as best as it possibly could be?

The time to you take to investigate in detail any website and therefore the broker and their company representing these areas will pay off. Ask anyone who has had a bad experience with a broker less than professional and they’ll tell you to do your research and enlist the best you can. The commitment to details, beauty of design and depth of information of the website as well as its ease of use will be reflective of the company, broker, and broker associates.

Marketing Luxury Real Estate: The Luxury of Pursuing Your Passion

Luxury is pursuing your passion. If you are truly passionate about luxury real estate marketing it is likely that you will enjoy a tremendous advantage over your competitors. And, great things must unfold in your practice.

For inspiration, just look to others outside of the realm of real estate, those who are passionate about their careers. Some people are passionate about collecting art; others collect vintage cars.

Enzo Enea, a Swiss landscape architect, is also one of the world’s most famous tree collectors. His tree collection will be on display at the Tree Museum that he developed. It opened in June, 2010 near Lake Zurich in Switzerland.

What is extraordinary about this open-air museum is the series of open spaces delineated by stone walls that create outdoor “rooms”. About 120 trees will be on view at a given time, in this 75,000 square meter environment, there will be exhibit themes such as different types of trees and various ways of shaping trees.

The techniques of transporting mature trees is Mr. Enea’s particular claim to fame, techniques that were inspired by his study of bonsai. He is most passionate about weeping willows and Japanese maples in particular.

Most of the trees in Mr. Enea’s collection were given to him. For example, a tree was about to be cut down in a property renovation and Enzo asked if he could remove the tree for his collection instead.

Discovering these kinds of opportunities that others overlook is the sign of a passionate person. It is the same in marketing luxury real estate. When you are passionate about your work not only is it a luxury, because it makes you feel alive, but it is also gives you the competitive edge.

Creating Your Real Estate Investing Vision

What is a vision statement? It is a clearly stated desired outcome for the future of your business. It’s what you think your company will be like in one, two, five, ten, or however many years down the road. A clear vision statement makes each business day a bit easier. Many different challenges and obstacles will arise, but a clear vision will allow you to prioritize that which will lead you to your goal. And this clear vision is another item wealthy Americans have in common. Your vision statement gives you the correct direction to take at any given moment and having that focus and direction empowers you and your business to take the right steps.

A vision statement consists of 3 steps: why you are doing this business, how you will get there, and where your final destination is.

As you are determining your final destination, understanding ‘why’ this is your final destination is important. Are you building a business so you can create a legacy for your family? Or fulfill a lifelong passion or dream? When you’re ‘why’ is greater than any obstacle you come across, you will find the power to overcome any obstacles that get in your way.

Your actions and vision must match. If they do not, then the business will not perform. I remember speaking to a gentleman who was trying to make the transition from job to real estate investor. He’d been looking into becoming an investor for a couple of years but never really got going. I asked him what he wanted to get out of being a real estate investor; how he wanted to be living his life 7 years from now. He told his vision: to sit on the beach in Hawaii, sipping fancy drinks all day, and cashing in ‘mailbox’ money without the hassles of having to manage anyone.

I asked him what real estate strategy he was going to use. He told me he was a handy craftsman, and as such, he wanted to be a fix and flipper. Specifically, he had about $100k in the bank, and he wanted to use it to buy a house at a discount, repair himself, sell for a profit, and live off the income.

Vision: lay in paradise living off of passive income

Course of action: build a business around himself, where he has to do all the work, and leads to transactional income, not passive income.

Results: 2 years and hadn’t even submitted an offer.

His strategy was in no way related to what his ultimate passion was. No wonder he hadn’t taken action in 2 years!

When assessing what it is that you want to achieve out of the career of being an investor, you will need to assess what you currently have to offer. There are four main reasons why people fail in real estate: lack of knowledge, time, money/credit, or an abundance of fear. Of those four, which do you have plenty of and which will become an obstacle?

For example, a new investor may not have much money, credit, or knowledge, and they may be scared to take action. But they may have a lot of spare time. If time is a premium for the individual, then they may be able to connect with someone who has a job, money, credit, and knowledge but doesn’t have the time to find real estate bargains. Understanding one’s own advantages and how that fits in with others can help determine what strategy they should focus to getting into this endeavor.

The second item you will need to consider is what do you like doing? For me, I enjoy money. But I don’t enjoy the labor that goes along with earning money. Most of my adult, professional life has been spent as a manager, leading others to do the dirty work for me.

Would performing fix and flips be a good idea for someone like me? A hammer in the hand of a craftsman is a true work of art. A hammer in my hand is a weapon of mass destruction! How should someone like me proceed in Real Estate?

I absolutely look for opportunities to create transactions that do involve repairs, such as fix and flips and short sales. Why would I be involved in a business that is built around a skill set that I lack? Because I am highly skilled in the art of dialing a phone and delegating these tasks to someone more qualified than I.

Seriously, a fix and flip, rehab, or short sale repair is not a task I have any interest in performing myself. Rather, I look at a fix and flip as an opportunity to analyze the property in its current state, create a plan, acquire capital for the project, monitor performance, and sell for a profit. This process fits in with my goal of creating profitable transactions without performing manual labor! Plus, if I’m not physically involved, I am able to perform, or manage, multiple projects at one time. And, realistically, I could do this from a beach in Hawaii, provided I can get phone and internet service.

Many new investors make the mistake of believing owning a business is doing all of the work themselves, and this fatal assumption causes many investors back into the workforce.

Millionaire Quote: The Fatal Assumption is: if you understand the technical work of a business, you understand a business that does technical work. The reason this assumption is fatal is because it is not true. The technical work of a business and a business that does technical work are two different things. – Michael Gerber, The E-Myth.

There’s real power in writing down a vision statement. Something about the act of putting your vision or goals to paper that turns an intangible idea into a reality. Remember, it’s important to have thoroughly evaluated your strengths, weaknesses, goals, values, inclinations and resources before you develop a vision statement. The statement should contain:

• Your ‘WHY’ for being in business

• Your ‘SACRIFICES’; the actions you’ll take to create the reality embodied in your vision

• Your ‘DESTINATION’; the outcome you desire

Put a lot of time an effort into your vision statement because it will (or should) guide every business decision you make. And don’t fall into the trap of creating the kind of fluff too often found in corporate brochures – words and phrases that sound great, but that lack any true meaning. Be specific and brief.

A formula that might help you get started if you’re stuck is:

I use my __________ and __________ to ___________________________.

For example, “I use my analytical, managerial, & sales skills, and passion for financial freedom to create a profitable real estate business that I can manage from anywhere.”

That brief statement is easy to understand, it has real meaning, and it’s specific. For me, this statement reminds me that I don’t have to know how to lay carpet or install cabinets. I choose to create a business that establishes processes and systems to accomplish these tasks. My role is to not only manage them, but to manage them from afar!

This statement works for me, but will not work for other people. The trick is not to duplicate others statements, but to invent your own! Consider all possibilities. Now create your vision statement.