A buyer’s agent’s days are full. There’s so much to do from showings to real estate research to connecting with new clients. Then there are closings, inspections, and the general care each homebuyer needs while finding the perfect home. Getting bogged down with all the day-to-day work can make it a struggle to stand out as a superior buyer’s agent. Your most important duties are those that add value on top of your basic responsibilities, but where should you focus for that something extra? Consider these five areas to rise above the rest.
1. Being tech savvy
The real estate industry is constantly evolving how it does business. This requires buyer’s agents to not only have an increased level of flexibility when working with clients, but also a higher technical savvy. Virtual house tours, Zoom closings, and e-signature software are now ubiquitous in real estate. Listing sites and communication technologies play a crucial role, as well.
Beyond merely adopting new apps or mastering your smart phone, you need to advertise how tech savvy you are. Homebuyers today look for agents who can keep up with the trends, so you should be quick to promote yourself in this area. Ideally, you want a virtual solution to just about any in-person service you offer as a buyer’s agent, and your clients should know about these options up front.
2. Remaining accessible
Being responsive via phone and email is just the tip of the iceberg. For a buyer’s agent, they’re important, but you can create an air of accessibility that extends beyond these mediums. By getting ahead of common questions rather than waiting for clients to ask them, you can assert yourself as a superior agent.
Posting helpful tips and resources on social media establishes your expertise for both existing and future clients. Having a regularly scheduled post keeps you relevant and visible. The trick is to then follow-up. Respond to comments on your posts as quickly as possible. Spend some time building out your profile so that it highlights your experience and expertise.
Check your direct messages (DMs) for inquiries from prospective clients, too. If it helps, work into your daily schedule some social media response time to check-in on the latest activity on your social media accounts. This added tier of accessibility enhances your value as a buyer’s agent, demonstrating how important communication is to you.
3. Adding a personal touch
Your role as a buyer’s agent has a set responsibilities. There are places you need to be and services you need to provide. While in the middle of all these expectations, the most successful agents also add a personal touch.
If you’re working with a family whose children come to showings or meetings, bring a little treat or a game to keep them occupied. Take note of significant events — birthdays or anniversaries — taking place while you’re working with clients and send a card. When you can, handwrite a note or make a quick phone call to communicate instead of sending an email or text. Especially when your time with a client comes to an end, and you want to thank them, a handwritten letter makes a much more significant impression, and can help with referrals.
4. Offering local market expertise
An important thing to remember when you’re the local agent is your clients may know nothing about the area where they’re house hunting. You can use your position to serve as a bridge for your clients, providing them with an experience that welcomes them into their new community.
Offer tips and info about the neighborhood, its history, and things to do. Consider taking them on a tour of the area, pointing out the closest grocery, drug store, urgent care center, etc. End the tour with a little gift bag containing business cards from local shops and a gift card or two.
Even if they’re already familiar with the area, focus on helping them settle into their new home. Send them dinner from a locally known restaurant on their first night in the house. Or, leave a gift basket of home essential from nearby shops. Either gesture gives your clients one less thing to worry about as they move into their new home. And the local knowledge will definitely be appreciated.
5. Addressing a range of needs
It’s important to be upfront about the services you offer as a buyer’s agent. They should cover the complete range of needs a buyer will have during the process. While this can feel obvious to you, especially for first-time homebuyers, it’s new to them. They may not know how thorough a buyer’s agent should be in helping. By being upfront with what you offer, buyers can easily differentiate between a good agent and one who's lacking. Make sure you offer:
- Strong referrals for a trusted lender at the pre-approval stage.
- Location counseling with a focus on finding the right neighborhood, schools, etc.
- Proven negotiation abilities for when it comes time to make an offer (share client testimonials.)
- Support in the home inspection process, from finding the right inspector to attending the inspection to resolving any repair requests.
- Thorough interaction with the seller’s agent and buyer’s attorney to keep everyone on the same page for closing.
- Loan follow-up to ensure mortgage comes through.
As you educate a new buyer on the services you offer, they’ll also learn about the intricacies of the home buying process. You’re giving them two things at once by demonstrating how helpful and supportive you are as a buyer’s agent while also providing them with a little education on the home buying process.
Being the best buyer’s agent means more than the basics
While most home buyers expect a certain amount of attention and service from their buyer’s agent, to stand out among the deep pool of candidates, you must do things a little different. Up your game and add value to not only secure more clients, but increase your referral business. Elevate yourself from the crowd by making these additional gestures to show what really counts for you as a buyer’s agent, and see the difference.
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