The Job of a Real Estate Agent
If you had seen the question "What does a real estate agent do?" 20 years ago, you might have responded by saying, "They show homes to buyers, provide estimates of value and detailed marketing plans to sellers, negotiate contracts and follow contingencies to the close of escrow." It would not be incorrect to say that is still the job of a real estate agent, but today, that is not even 10% of what a really outstanding real estate agent has to offer, and that is why there are only a handful of agents who offer stellar service and representation.
Every year, I meet with my partner to evaluate the most forward-thinking and successful real estate agents in the country. We invite them to participate in a collaborative networking event from which everyone benefits and learns from one another so that we can bring our clients the best and the most. But we do not stop there. Customer service is about having an "I can do it for you" positive attitude.
My partners and I decided to offer the best possible menu of services starting with No. 1, which is that when everyone else says they can't or they won't, we say, "Why not?" We do whatever it takes to help our clients save money and time. If it's in our control and it's legal, we'll try our best to please and exceed expectations. That does not suggest that we don't have our costs to consider and that our fee might not be undercut by someone not providing our service and expertise. Basically, we say, "When you can't be there, we will be there for you." Let's start by some recent examples of what we've done in specific cases.
1. Our client has multiple sclerosis and needs to downsize to a one-story home near the children. We helped them find a perfect agent in San Diego whose husband has similar disabilities. She had the understanding and compassion to make a perfect fit. She personally previewed 12 homes and narrowed it down to seven homes that checked every box. I drove the clients to San Diego, and we met the agent together to tour the homes. When my clients felt secure and comfortable, we arranged a second appointment and, on that appointment, found the home of their dreams, which we negotiated to a figure that would allow them to carry their property tax base to the new home.
2. I had a client who could not locate an apartment in her price range. I located a rent-controlled apartment and paid to have her belongings packed and moved, as a reduction to my normal commission.
3. We represented a seller who was experiencing a financial setback. He had no extra money to make pre-sale improvements. I paid our tree trimmer and gardener to do a quick makeover, paid to have his home painted, and paid to remove a lot of clutter and trash hauled away. The house looked so much better and sold for far.
4. A client just couldn't afford to hire a stager. Without any further discussion, we made it happen. We got the home staged without them needing to lift a finger.
5. Our clients lost their dear mom in a home with memories. They were horrified with the thought that the family home would be torn down. Although we could make no promises, we gave them a complete analysis of every buyer submitting an offer and set up three conference calls allowing our client to ask questions and express concerns. If nothing else, our clients could tell we cared for them and understood their concerns.
6. Our clients have lived in their home for 37 years. Moving was daunting for them. We personally accompanied every showing, and arranged showings to avoid early mornings, lunch hour and after 5 p.m. We then arranged a four-week free rent-back period following a 90-day or sooner escrow period. We also found them a packer and mover.
7. Our buyer needed to meet his designer architect, landscaper, smart home installer and home theater people all while traveling on business. We were there for every appointment to let people in and supervised while a home security system was installed on the day of closing.
8. My seller was concerned about termite repairs and costs. I got the three estimates and a really good price. I was there to be sure everything came off without issue and came back to be sure the home was 100% secured. I came back the following day to open windows and air out the house.
9. Our client inherited a home with beautiful antique furniture, needed an appraisal of the furniture and needed to find a liquidator who would pay a reasonable price. We arranged for two estimates and got everything taken care of without a burden to the client. We also got their art pieces appraised and shipped to them after being carefully and professionally packed up.
10. My seller was concerned about lookie-loos and noisy neighbors. I put a "by appointment only" sign and only showed the house by appointment to qualified buyers, after speaking with them or their agent personally. There were no public showings at the request of the owner.
For more information, please call Ron Wynn at 310-963-9944, or email him at Ron@RonWynn.com. To find out more about Ron and read his past columns, please visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.Copyright 2020 Creators Syndicate, Inc.