If you’re already a real estate agent, there’s one question you’re probably fed up with. I’m talking about the famous “Why do I need an agent?” or a variant of it. If you’re just getting into the business, trust me – within a few years, maybe sooner, you’ve heard it dozens of times and you may be equally upset about it.
However, my goal is not to be tough on the public. In reality, this question is only motivated by an honest ignorance of what a real estate agent is actually does all day and the they play many roles when it comes to selling and buying real estate.
This is not surprising – most people only buy real estate a few times in their lives, while agents do so very often. The next time you hear this question, consider one of these five strategies for answering it.
1. You are already paying for experts
Here is the first and foremost point to keep in mind when receiving the question: the person asking is probably already paying for experts in other areas of their professional and personal life.
How Anthony West, a Kansas City realtor, said, “Why do you need a doctor, attorney, or someone specializing in a certain area? You go to them because you trust that they will help you, as a professional, to get the right result and add value in that way. “
Indeed, real estate has a unique place for the average buyer (or seller) to assess their own abilities. Most people pay their bank to keep their money safe and make wise investment decisions on their behalf.
It’s also not uncommon to take the advice of a friend when selling a car. The garden center of the local bog box store receives roughly a million inquiries about which plants to buy and how to care for them. Given that real estate is the most expensive thing most people will buy in their lives, it doesn’t make sense to spur it on just from your own intuition or limited experience.
If you point this out carefully, it should make up a large part of your answer to this question. Explain that you are experienced in the complexities of buying and selling real estate and, like other professionals, your time is worth.
2. The paperwork is complicated
As part of a more detailed answer to the question, you can begin to describe some of the complexities of real estate business. They will likely stop you before you go very far.
The most important point here is the simple one: buying or selling real estate requires filling out several complex forms. It’s easy to make a costly mistake without a seasoned professional guiding you through the process.
From a purely monetary standpoint, the time your client spends studying and trying to fill out these forms properly is likely to make your fee seem relatively painless in comparison.
If they are still not convinced, remind them of the risks associated with transporting large sums of money and the ever increasing frequency of online theft. While real estate is generally not recognized as a high quality hacking target, this is what you should expect every time financial transitions occur online Cyber criminals won’t be far behind.
Even the Crooked Process has to be attacked in the past few years. The reality is inevitable. These days, real estate deals are a great temptation for criminals looking to make money quickly.
“Have you ever noticed that visiting (pre-pandemic) those who clumsily put their own furniture together found that they did?” Dr. Lee Davenport, real estate trainer and coach, said. “Perhaps the table was shaking, the bookcase was missing screws that were too fragile to hold more than one book, or the chair felt crooked when you sat down. Assembling furniture just wasn’t her “cup of tea” – closing a real estate deal without a broker is like that. Sure, you can do it yourself, but if this isn’t in your “wheelhouse” you are likely to be missing out on something important that will wobble later. “
You should, of course, be careful not to interpret these points as being skeptical of a customer’s capabilities or (worse) as a threat. Instead, explain that you receive this question all the time, and that the best illustration of the answer is to just look at the myriad forms in your office.
3. Agents know the “tricks”
A slightly different approach to answering this question is to address a customer’s desire to make big. With the right client, you can explain that you’ve been in the real estate business for years and know all of the “tricks” in the book. For ambitious customers, the idea that their agents are using all of the “dark arts” available to them can be an important factor when choosing an agent.
However, be warned that this can be a risky strategy. There is (sadly) still a common misconception that real estate agents are morally compromised and will stop at nothing to make a sale. If you imply that you are ready to go a step further to make a sale, it can lead to this suspicion and turn off certain customers.
Because of this, it is an excellent approach to alert skeptical customers to reviews your previous customers have left you. There’s a reason for that Run ecommerce websites the way When it comes to shopping, one in three people in the US now skips – people like to read reviews before they buy.
Make a special place on your website for testimonials from satisfied customers. Potential customers subconsciously associate you with the value of your services.
4. Agents are trained negotiators
Also, without bragging about your skills, sales, and success rates too much, it may be worth noting that negotiation is a skill that takes years – if not decades – to perfect.
You can point out that many real estate agents are actually taking hostage-taker and international CEO courses just to learn how to provide the best real estate deals to their clients.
As you will find, some customers are not susceptible to the above arguments. They believe that they can save money by doing everything themselves, that they are smart enough to get the papers right, and ambitious enough to close the deal themselves quickly.
The reality is that they might be right. But for these type of customers, the fact that you can get them a better price – whether they are buying or selling – can be the most important line of reasoning you have.
How Cara Ameer, a bicoastal agent at Coldwell Banker licensed in both California and Florida, said people often need “an agent to protect them [them] of what [they] do not know and what [they] think [they] do what is often inaccurate and misaligned information. ”
It is therefore worth having a few statistics up your sleeve to answer these questions. For example, you can point out that in 2019 the typical “sale-by-owner” house sold for $ 200,000 in comparison to $ 280,000 for realtor assisted home sales, primarily due to the superior negotiating skills of real estate agents.
5. You are on your side
Finally, it is worth taking this question as an opportunity to address some of the myths that the general public still has about real estate agents. Unfortunately, some buyers think that we spend most of our time unnaturally concentrated on overall sales targetsand that for us her new home is just an extra payday.
Real estate agent Jay Thompson One email stated, “You buy a home every 10 years, but an agent does this every day – you need someone by your side who understands everything that can go wrong and how to fix it.”
Don’t forget to point out that real estate agents have an obligation to work in the best interests of their clients. Of course, this applies both in a moral and in a legal sense. Ultimately, real estate agents can be prosecuted for violating the interests of their clients. This point should be conveyed to any prospect who still feels that we are totally and utterly obsessed with selling to the exclusion of everyone else.
This can also be a great opportunity to emphasize that you love your job and that your greatest satisfaction is helping people find the perfect property. For most of the real estate agents I know, this is a huge career asset, although they may be reluctant to admit it. For most brokers, satisfied customers are far more valuable than an additional sale.
The final result
So there you have it – five proven strategies for answering the most annoying question in real estate. Try them out and see what works for you, but don’t be afraid to get creative with your answers, either.
Every customer, city, and agent is different, and what works in California probably doesn’t work in Arkansas. Ultimately, the best answers to the question are the ones who are honest. If you think you’re worth the commission, explain why.
Derek Dowell is a real estate racer with Blue Coconut Publishing in West Plains, Missouri and Big Pine Key, Florida. Connect with him on LinkedIn.