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Real estate agents compete in an extremely saturated environment, so to succeed, they must be objective, self-aware, and present the best versions of themselves at work. The real estate landscape has evolved dramatically over the past decade, particularly due to the popularity and widespread availability of specialized — and very effective — digital tools. That’s why it’s more important than ever for agents to understand how these changes affect them so they can maximize their chances of success.
How the real estate landscape has changed in recent years
There are many factors driving change in real estate. Here are three of the most consequential developments that the industry has experienced in recent years:
1. Social media marketing can no longer be ignored
The rise of social media has made it easier than ever for prospective buyers to crowdsource their own information on listings in their area, and for sellers to find potential buyers. In addition, agents are using social media to showcase their most valuable listings and find new clients. As more Americans spend time on social media, agents must recognize how these platforms have become tried-and-true tools for real estate.
2. Clients can easily find listings without an agent
Another by-product of the popularity of social media and other digital platforms is how easy it is for clients to find listings and property information on their own, without an agent. In the past, location-specific information such as available listings and tax regulations were not easily accessible, and buyers and sellers had to consult specialists to get the job done quickly and compliantly. Today, the vast majority of home buyers — a whopping 97% — choose to conduct some of their home search online.
3. Digital tools have removed the geographic barriers
The popularity of remote and hybrid work models has made it easier for buyers to look outside their primary location of residence for good property deals. Online real estate marketplaces such as Zillow and Redfin simplify the process of looking for properties in other locations, and it’s becoming more common for buyers to close on a home after only viewing it over FaceTime. Meanwhile, e-signing services like DocuSign make it easier for buyers and sellers to close on a property without having to meet in-person.
How can you prepare yourself for success as an agent?
Despite these digital tools available, real estate agents can take steps to make themselves indispensable to their most valuable clients. The following tips can help you stay relevant in a today’s constantly changing marketplace:
Be aware of clients’ evolving preferences
Client preferences are always changing and real estate agents should be aware of how these changes affect them. If clients are looking for advice on social media platforms, agents can build strong online presences to position themselves as subject matter experts. Additionally, agents should make use of referral programs and online reviews to build trust with prospective clients.
Use all the online tools available to you
There are many specialized tools available for agents to make their jobs easier. These can range from payment management software, to e-signing solutions, to collecting feedback through surveys. Each of these tools can help agents serve their clients more effectively and efficiently. Real estate agents should be aware of the solutions available to them and evaluate how they can improve the effectiveness of existing workflows or deliver value-added services to their clients.
Demonstrate value to your clients early in the relationship
Modern buyers tend to be more knowledgeable and informed about real estate sales processes and what properties are available. It’s therefore crucial that clients are aware of how agents add value early on in the partnership. This can help agents build strong relationships with their clients and help clients justify the costs associated with hiring real estate agents.
4 qualities of successful real estate agents
The best real estate agents have a few attributes in common. Here are the most important qualities to have if you want to make it in the extremely competitive real estate space:
1. Extensive knowledge of the local real estate market
Despite the availability of information online, many buyers and sellers rely on their agents to give them the best advice when making a deal. This advice is often built on an extensive understanding of the local marketplace, previous deals, and customer preferences. Agents serve as consultants who help their clients cut through the vast amount of information available online and highlight the most important details for their unique needs.
2. Positive and engaging personality
In addition to being knowledgeable, agents need to be able to differentiate themselves from their competitors by building strong relationships with their clients. A positive and engaging personality can make clients feel comfortable and confident — and more likely to reach out to the same agent for their future real estate needs.
3. Strong network of connections
Buying and selling real estate is more than just closing the deal. Clients often need to renovate their property, take legal advice, and manage their finances. Successful agents can help their clients do this easily by having a network of professional contacts — from mortgage brokers to general contractors to real estate lawyers — to recommend to clients who lack connections or are not familiar with the local landscape.
4. Consistent honesty and trustworthiness
Clients entrust the purchase or sale of their most valuable assets to real estate professionals. This requires a tremendous amount of confidence in their representatives. Agents who have a record of being honest and trustworthy have an edge over agents who develop a reputation for being dishonest simply to close a deal faster.
Be the best real estate agent you can be
The real estate business has always been a competitive one, but the introduction of online real estate platforms and social media has made it even more important for agents to demonstrate the value they deliver to clients. By leveraging digital tools, maintaining a wealth of local market knowledge, and prioritizing honesty, today’s agents can build a successful real estate career.
Mike Bang is Head of Growth at Azibo, the smarter way to manage your rental properties with tools for rent collection, tenant screening, banking, insurance and more.
Find out what 4 traits all successful real estate agents have in common.
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Real estate agents work in a highly competitive environment and not all of them succeed. Here are some qualities that every successful real estate agent has.