Selecting Your Real-Estate Agent: When Good Isn’t Good Enough

in Press Releases

Boston, MA (April 30, 2013) — As a long-time Realtor, I’ve made it a practice to reach out to my friends, clients and clients-to-be on what I’ve come to call “Marketing Mondays.” I try my best to convey some useful tips; home improvement basics; market trends; or, just my thoughts following a busy work weekend.

This week I simply wanted to let everyone know what it takes to be a great real estate agent. I’m lucky to have had clients over the past 10 years that have ranked me pretty high on the customer service scale but this posting is not about me. This is just meant to be an affirmation that while a good Realtor is a wonderful thing, a great Realtor is a lifetime resource.


Beyond the basic standards of our job (i.e., ethical behavior, fiduciary responsibility, accountability, loyalty and obedience), it takes quite a lot more to achieve a 5-star rating. Here are just a few behaviors my colleagues and I should all aspire to.

  • CLEAR AND CONSISTENT COMMUNICATIONS: According to client surveys, the #1 complaint most often lodged against a real estate agent is “Lack of Communication.” I strongly believe in keeping in touch with my clients (past and present) on a regular basis. I strive to give them feedback at every stage of the process. A text message letting them know how many people came to their Open House. A brief call to discuss next steps. An email message reporting any progress (or not). It doesn’t take a lot of effort to provide those personal “touches” that mean so much to our clients.
  • NEGOTIATING TO A “YES” POSITION: Quite often the hardest part of the process for our clients is when it comes to negotiating a price. There’s no secret algorithm to determine the perfect price. In fact, there’s no such thing as the perfect price. What’s most important is providing a fair and respectable forum in which all parties leave the bargaining table feeling as though they’ve gotten what they wanted. Not always everything they wanted but enough to feel content in order to move on to the next step. The best Realtors provide sage advice; counsel patience; and provide a calm demeanor when those around him are stressed.
  • ACTIVE LISTENING: If not staying in touch is the #1 consumer complaint, then not listening to your clients’ requests has to rank right up there, too. A great Realtor never wants to hear “You don’t understand what I want” from any client. Quiet often a great Realtor knows what the client wants before the client does. Comprehending not only what they’re seeking but also their need to just be heard is that tipping point between the commonplace agent and the top notch Realtor.
  • RAPID RESPONSE RATE: Believe it or not, one of the biggest pet peeves among agents themselves is not hearing back from another agent. If we feel that way one can just imagine how a client would feel. It only takes a minute to respond to an email or phone call. And responding within hours rather than days goes a long way to elevate your status in the eyes of your clients.

When it comes time to choose a real estate agent to assist you in selling or buying a home, do yourself a favor and hire a Realtor who won’t be happy until you are. An agent who knows what it takes to be great in your eyes. (Contributed by Michael A. Pallares, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Jamaica Plain, MA —

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