Being a real estate professional is not just about selling property, it is about relating well with people. In my business as a land broker I view my job as helping people buy or sell land: with the emphasis on helping people.
I’ve been reflecting lately on how there can be so many real estate agents in any given market. One conclusion is that each of those agents knows people. People sell properties, people buy properties. Those people need to deal with an agent, and generally they are going to deal with someone they know or know about. One agent can only know so many people, and even the most seasoned professional has a limit to the number of people in their network.
In my (short) eight years in the land business, I have observed that the land professionals that seem to excel in this business have a good understanding of their product (land) and relate well with others. Someone who presents themselves in a professional manner, builds rapport easily, and can communicate information effectively has a distinct advantage over competitors.
If you are in the market to buy or sell land, you should build a relationship with a professional who can help you find deals and navigate the pitfalls associated with these transactions. Finding an agent you can trust for advice is imperative because it can mean the difference between a successful deal and headaches for years to come.
Here are a few things I would suggest you look for in a land professional:
- Do they come highly recommended? Find someone who gets good marks from friends or associates.
- Do you like them well enough to ride around in the truck together? You may be spending a significant amount of time together. If the sight of them makes you sick, you should probably find another agent.
- Are they listening when you talk? Find someone who is attentive to your needs and can structure a deal to achieve your objectives. They need to listen to what you have to say.
- Are they honest with you? You want to know the good, the bad, and the ugly about every aspect of your deal. Are they willing to give it to you straight, or do you feel like they are hiding something? They may have to give you bad news, but it is easy to respect and trust someone who shoots it to you straight.
- Are they delivering results for their other clients? Don’t be afraid to ask for recent results. A top-producing agent has success stories to tell you, a slacker will hem and haw and kick the dirt. Don’t hire a relative to sell your land just because you are related. A poor performance could hinder your relationship more than help your business. Find a go-getter and turn them loose.
- Do they practice the Golden Rule? This could be hard to determine at the initial meeting, but as you get to know someone this is easier to discern. You want to be treated fairly, and a true professional will do that to the best of their ability.
This past weekend some of my clients ran into me at an outdoor event, and the husband shook my hand and slapped my back, the wife gave me a big hug around the neck and I was reminded that this is what my business is all about. I love driving by a property that I’ve helped someone buy or sell and feeling welcomed when I stop by. Treating people well is how you stay in this, or any, business for a lifetime. Relationships drive successful real estate transactions.
Written by: Jonathan Goode– Accredited Land Consultant (ALC) with Southeastern Land Group is a licensed broker in Alabama and Mississippi