How do you figure out who to hire when you’re going to hire a real estate agent? What are the questions you need to ask?
First of all, I talk a lot about this in my book, Shortchanged by Shortcuts?: 44 Surprising Ways People Rip Themselves Off When Buying or Selling a Home, and I’m happy to send you a copy of this for free so keep reading and I’ll show you how.
But in the meantime, if you’re looking for an agent and you need to know who to hire and who not, what kind of questions do you ask? When I teach first time home buyers about this, that’s all they want to know: how do I pick the right agent?
So here’s one question that will trump, all the other questions? You can ask people, “how do you get most of your business?” Then see what they say.
There’s two ways that people, real estate agents in particular, get business. They either get it from the internet or they get it by referral. Those are the two main ways they’re going to get any business. I mean, maybe they work in an office that is a really hot spot and people walk in, but there’s no walk-in business anymore. It’s either through the internet or if by referral.
Now, the internet realtor like a Redfin agent — Redfin is a great example of this because that’s all they freaking do — they have built a website that costs billions of dollars — it’s a fantastically user-friendly website and it’s completely geared to suck information out of consumers, names and phone numbers of people that are interested in homes.
This is what Zillow does. Zillow’s business model is to sell information, sell people’s personal information to Realtors. Realtors then spend thousands of dollars a month with Zillow, or maybe they’re already a Redfin “agent” so they don’t need to. I say it in quotes because they’re really just sales help, they’re on salary. They’re in the business of helping people on their website.
In any event, those names and numbers come to them through the internet and then they call them. If you’ve ever filled out an information form on Zillow, you get a million phone calls because Zillow’s sold your information multiple times. Then you’ve got a whole bunch of agents calling you. Those agents get their information, get their leads, get their business through the internet.
That means they are set up to do transactions. They are transactional agents. They’re not likely to be there after the sale because they don’t need to be there after the sale, because they’re just going to go to the next person on the internet, the next lead, the next phone number that comes through. They need pay attention to that one. So they’re not likely to be part of your life afterward. It’s a transaction to them.
That’s contrasted to a referral agent, an agent that gets most of their business from referrals. I get 68% of my business from referrals. Almost three-quarters of my business comes from referrals. So what does that mean? That means I count on people to tell other people about me.
Not only do agents that work on referral have to do a better job because they’re counting on people talking about them; agents that get their information on Zillow or Redfin doesn’t really care if you talk about them or not. They’re just going to the next internet leads that comes in. An agent that works by referral has to do a really good job. In fact, if they get three-quarters of their business from referrals, you know they are doing a good job because people are talking about them.
Then the other advantage to you as the consumer is you know they’re going to be there after the sale. The house is a 5 to 10-year purchase. Things happen to that house. You’ll need a contractor for this, you’ll need a plumber for that, you’ll need someone to fix the other thing. If you’ve ever tried to get a contractor, it’s a little tough sometimes. They don’t always return your call. They’re hard to get ahold of. Why? Because you are a one off to them. But if I call my contractor, I’m not a one off. I send him 10 pieces of business a year. They’re going to call me back. Your Realtor is a wealth of resources for you after the sale if they’re interested in being that person for you.
So the question, “How do you get most of your business?” is incredibly insightful for you because it tells you, are they there for the transaction, or are they there for the relationship? Obviously, someone who is there for the relationship is a better fit because, hello, you’re a person, you’re not a commodity, right? So asking that one question sort of cuts through a lot of the nonsense.
There’s a lot of nonsense in real estate. In fact, there are at least 44 ways people rip themselves off that I write in my book, so if you want your free copy just comment below, if you’re seeing this on Facebook or you’re seeing this on YouTube or wherever you’re seeing it, comment below and I will reply. You can then just pay for the shipping and I will send you a copy for free.
Okay, just comment and I will get back to you, message you, get your address. Let me know if you have any questions.