Toronto now has over 60,000 realtors. Yes, you read this correctly. It’s a mind-boggling number of real estate agents. And registration is constantly growing. Just as in any industry, there are all kinds of people to choose from. What is important to know is how to choose a great real estate agent. We have the behind-the-scenes inside track on how to choose a fantastic real estate agent who will help advise you in a successful transaction today and for years to come.
We want to acknowledge that just about every person in Toronto can think of at least 5 real estate agents they know personally and/or know of through marketing. We live and work in a big city, and as mentioned above, there are many realtors.
But I Already Know A Real Estate Agent
First off, please give yourself permission not to feel obligated to hire your cousin’s best friend’s aunt twice removed. And your friend’s husband who just got their real estate license. A sense of obligation or potential feeling of shame is not a solid foundation on which to make a wise decision for your best personal and financial interests. That being said, we have been fortunate to have been hired by friends and family over the years. We always state the professional boundaries, do all of the presentation preparation and work that any new client would receive. Our previously known contact or close relation must know that we are there to serve to the highest standard and that real estate sales are our career that we take great pride in each step of the way.
It’s great if you know a top-notch professional real estate agent, we would advise you to keep reading this blog post to ensure that this person meets the highest standards.
I Have To Hire “The Neighbourhood Realtor”
You don’t have to feel any pressure to hire the perceived neighbourhood real estate agent. We actually see the mistake of feeling obligated to hire the local incumbent from time to time. Not always, as some incredible real estate agents also lead their neighbourhood in sales.
Note: just because an agent does a lot of fo business in your neighbourhood does not guarantee the following: 1) that they have a buyer; 2) that they have the inside scoop on upcoming listings; 3) that they are the best communicator, marketer, or level of client care professionalism that you should demand; 4) their personality may be a poor fit to your needs; 5) that they work harder, in fact, top neighbourhood real estate agents are very busy and may not have time to detail your options as you may hope for; 6) complacency can be an issue. Some top realtors stop trying to learn, grow and lead in the real estate industry – they have become complacent with their success as their buyers and sellers come to them. Again, not a great reason to choose them.
We regularly hear that sellers are concerned that this agent won’t show it to their buyer clients if they don’t use the local realtor. This is a total misnomer. The reality is that if the agent has a buyer, they will show it to them – after all, there is a commission to be made.
The Criteria When Choosing A Real Estate Agent
A real estate license, a heartbeat, a website and a car are not good enough reasons to hire that real estate agent. We have worked with all types of Realtors in Toronto over the years. There is only a small percentage that truly impresses other real estate agents. The best real estate agents are excellent communicators, and they develop rapport with clients and colleagues alike. They get countless referrals and repeat client business, and they can be trusted to keep a deal together. They have integrity, commitment to professionalism, pride in their work. They ensure that their clients are satisfied and more.
How do you find and choose this agent?
Look around at your friends and colleagues – is there someone you really admire for their integrity? Ask that person if they know a great realtor. It’s common for people of high integrity and professionalism to choose to work with like-minded people. Alternatively, look online at some top realtors’ websites. Which realtor has an engaging, effective, up-to-date real estate website?
Have a conversation with the real estate agent. This is key. Do you connect with this person? Are they personal, professional and courteous of your time? Ask yourself what you expect in sales, what is the best experience you have had. Was the person approachable? In what way? State that this would be your expectation. Listen to how the real estate responds. Did they really listen to your needs and detail how they can address your expectations?
It’s one thing to have decades of experience, a great marketing program. Still, it’s entirely another story for a real estate agent to build their successful business on referral and repeat business and have such a reputation that other Toronto real estate agents look forward to working with them. The integrity that it takes to lead clients professionally and build good relationships with other real estate agents is a realtor worth keeping for the long term.
We want to leave you with the clear message that feeling obligated or pressured to work with a particular real estate agent is not what you need. Finding the professional real estate agent that best suits your needs is key. As the old saying goes, there is a “lid for every pot.” Please don’t assume that a glitzy new vehicle has any bearing on the real estate agent’s success. A neighbourhood realtor incumbent is also not necessarily the best move. Consider the realtor’s motives. Are they desperate to put dinner on the table? Are they trying to pad their own stats? Are they truly servicing your needs first and foremost? A top-producing real estate will clearly demonstrate their integrity and that you, their client, are their priority. It’s more than words; it’s actions over the long term that speak the loudest.