Who Should I Hire as a Great Buyer Agent?
Consider these seven characteristics of a great buyer agent:
- Successful Track Record – Ideally the buyer agent has a solid and strong track record selling real estate for many years and enjoys being a salesperson. However, we have seen three profiles of less experienced or less successful agents who can also be great buyer agents:
- “Broken Wing” – This is an agent who has been in the business 6-18 months and has closed 3-5 transactions. This is long enough for them to understand that the business is more challenging than was expected and they have the basic knowledge out of the way, such as writing a contract. But, because they have had difficulties, they appreciate the value of being a part of a team and feel fortunate to have this opportunity.
- “Tired Veteran” – This is an agent who has been in the business for a number of years and experienced an average level of success. But, they no longer want to focus on generating leads and finding the deals, they are “tired of the hunt.” They would prefer to focus on just one aspect of the business – working with identified buyers.
- “New Agent” – Agents who are just beginning their real estate career can be trained to be buyer agents but they must be carefully vetted because approximately 80% of new agents fail within the first six months. Not only do new agents need to have the other characteristics identified below, they must also have a positive mindset about being a salesperson and be fully committed to embracing that role. One advantage to hiring a new agent is that they don’t have any bad habits that have to be addressed and they typically are very receptive to accepting direction – they want leadership whereas experienced agents may exhibit some resistance to changing their practices.
- Ego in Check – The best buyer agents want to be a part of a team. This kind of person appreciates and values team effort and does not have to be the leader –– they are willing to take direction. They are comfortable with the role they play as a team member and enjoy the “Esprit de corps” –– the camaraderie, the team spirit.
- Work Ethic – Successful buyer agents have a strong work ethic and hold themselves to high standards of responsibility and accountability. These agents easily commit to working 50 hours a week. They readily hold a minimum of two open houses a month, are willing to work some evenings and weekends, and spend part of each day lead generating.
- Personality Style – The best personality style for a buyer agent is someone who is very expressive, who is outgoing and friendly, easily engages other people, and is persuasive.
- Goal Oriented – A great buyer agent has a track record of setting and achieving goals. They have been successful in accomplishing something important to them whether it is a personal or professional goal. They focused their compelling desire to execute a plan and stick with it until they reached the desired outcome.
- Willing to Learn – There is a commitment to continually improve sales techniques, including following scripts at all times and practicing objection handlers every day. They are open to new approaches and to training.
- Community Connections – An added bonus characteristic for a buyer agent is someone who has lived in the community a long time and has strong and deep social connections, including social media (e.g. Facebook, LinkedIn). For example, if an agent has 1000 “friends” on Facebook, your database for marketing campaigns can be immediately increased.
For a buyer agent to be truly valuable to you, they should be in most cases available to work evenings and weekends. You may want to give them a weekend or a weekend day a month off depending on your need for them.
They need to work hard, they need to be on call for you, however be careful not to burn them out. We have worked with top buyer agents who consistently produced 8-12 sales per month, but of course they are the exception. You should choose a number you feel is a minimum standard of what they should be able to produce based on the leads you provide and push them toward that standard!
Remember, they are not employees; they are independent contractors (unless you choose to pay them a salary and make them an employee). If they are an independent contractor you can only suggest best practices vs. treating them as if they are an employee punching a time clock. However, gentle and firm pressure to keep them moving forward will be needed. Remember, they are not you, they are not likely to be an aggressive rainmaker; they are the skinner! They will need some attention and a firm hand to keep them in line.
You should check the IRS code, which is easily found online, to be certain you are following the recommended practices to stay inside the lines of what you can and cannot do when working with independent contractors. It is not our intention to advise you on this policy, this is a legal situation on which you will need to seek advice.
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