Does the brokerage matter when choosing a Real Estate agent Apparently not, at least not to 97% of the people who chose to work with a Real Estate agent for other reasons in a recent study.
The NAR (National Association of Realtors) last year released a study that stated that less than 3% of agents were chosen by their affiliation to a particular brokerage. That is a surprising number that may seem hard to believe, to some. Especially in light of the fact that you see the massive brokerages continuing to grow, which tells me, at the very least, that they have done a very good job of convincing their prospective agents that there is a strong value proposition associated with their brand. They have effectively ‘sold’ this value, despite the fact that the buying public apparently does not agree.
Even Keller Williams, the 3rd largest Real Estate brokerage in the country agrees with my proposition. In an (undated) white paper they accept and agree with the notion that given the choice of 2 equal real estate agents, the prospective client (97% of the time) chooses his agent based on other mitigating factors, and not brand recognition.
I have always held this proposition and have seen it repeated constantly. People choose their agents because they like the agent. Because the agent has similar values, a strong work-ethic, is trustworthy and responsive. Because the agent listens to the potential client during the interview process and responds in-kind with thoughtful answers to questions and concerns. To put it simply, they choose an agent because the agent lives and breathes customer service. Isn’t that what this is all about? Being focused on the customer and not treating them like a means to an end or simply as a number.
I have heard of agents that use their client interviews as an opportunity to brag of their individual accomplishments and tout their strong numbers from years past. But to me, the more important issue is how you are going to help that customer sell their house or find the right house, and not how much Real Estate your ‘team’ sold last year.
I may sell fewer homes than some of the people who I compete against and I may not have the 30+ years of experience that some of them have. But I can promise I will work for you to the end and ensure that no stone is unturned when it comes to searching for homes or buyers. Experience can be important, but so can being a student of your trade. Laws change rapidly, procedures are changing at an increasing pace, technology is running laps around the ‘old-standard’ Real Estate magazines and allowing more people to see your home without ever stepping foot in your home, or ever leaving their house for that matter.
This evolution is something that every agent has to be aware of. Many people who were once spectacular in a position have seen the job outgrow them because they were too rigid and unwilling to change.
And I submit to you the proposition that the brokerage can matter, but it will have to be a game-changer. The common practice of accepting any agent with a pulse is not the way to do business. There are over 2,500 Real Estate agents in the Huntsville area and that is a staggering number for a city of this size. We all know people who have Real Estate licenses that have never sold a home, or simply sell when the opportunity arises. I chose Real Estate as my fulltime profession of choice, because I love all aspects of the business and am truly energized at the opportunity to help my clients achieve their goals. Be that selling a home or finding the right home at the right price in the right area for them. This is what can separate a brokerage from the rest, a focus on choosing the right agents. And this is the difference in the Mega-brokerage, steadfast in their ways, and the smaller brokerages with desire and direction.
This job is all about customer service and that is something that successful agents pride themselves in.