Real Estate Watch: Is it size of office, quality of agent?

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There are approximately 21,000-plus real estate agents on the Multiple Listing Service of Long Island.  

I am sure the number is even higher when you count those that are not part of our organization, which is one of the largest associations in the U.S.  

It seems whereever you turn, someone is licensed in our industry. 

Is it over saturated with people?  

Some say yes, some say, “survival of the fittest.”  

Is it about just surviving in the business or about earning a good living at it or is it about just making ancillary income for a majority, who are trying to do it as a second income, because they have a job as their main source of remuneration?  

I always believe that if you have a business, why do you need to have a job?  

There may be many reasons why individuals won’t quit their regular job, pensions, somewhat of a  guaranteed check each week, health insurance, fear of not being able to make the same income as they are earning currently on their job or business.  

Sometimes it is a FEAR (Fantasized, Expectations, Appearing Real) of the unknown about learning and doing the business and how long will it take to make the necessary income, especially if you have a family and you are the main bread winner.

So when deciding how to judge an agent or broker, I believe, one should understand, it is the quality of the person, not necessarily the size of the office you pick to either sell your property and/or assist you finding your next place to call home or investment.   

Most important, the internet has leveled the playing field.  

Those that have the experience and knowledge to utilize its power will have the greatest advantage in securing a qualified buyer.  

Taking quality high resolution photos combined with the proper wording with adjectives to excite and attract those potential qualified buyers will go a long way to efficiently get you to the closing.  

Many sellers never read their property information that is placed online; and I have seen some of  the most poorly written descriptions one could imagine and some of the absolutely worst pictures taken to represent a property.   

Many times you will pick a friend who you are close to list your property or help you find another one; but find out what experience and how many years of doing it full time do they have?  

What classes or designations have they earned to advance their skill set to a new and higher level?   

I have seen situations that the loss of a friend was caused because of something that occurred in relation to real estate transaction. 

As an example a G.R.I. (Graduate of the Realtor Institute) is a designation where one has to complete 90 hours above a broker’s license.  

The classes taken help propel the agent to gain an immense amount of knowledge about running his or her business, from marketing, listing presentations, public relations, consulting, ethics, mortgaging , technology, etc. and learning to stay current and ahead of the pack, years down the line.  

With the influx of many foreign purchasers,  I think another critical  designation, the C.I.P.S. (Certified International Property Specialist) (an additional, 40+ hours of continuing education)  places a significant emphasis on placing one in a higher category to become a more qualified agent;  and helps them  in creating a stronger more  solid base of knowledge about a multitude of cultural groups, their specific customs, idiosyncrasies and the proper way to do business with them.  

Whether you sell locally or internationally, one learns how to do business in all the locales with all types of different types of people.  Very few agents have attained this credential.  I happen to have both designations.  

I believe everyone deserves a break, but when it comes to making the largest investment in your family’s future and where you will live or even an investment property who will you be depending on?  

Hopefully the most knowledgeable, ethical and professional agent who you will choose to search out and find that place that you will fall in love with, that has the combination of  most of those things that you need (can afford) and a few that you want (the extras).  

Yes, you need a good office to back them; but you should be more interested in employing  and finding a quality individual.  

There are deals that are lost everyday, because the agent forgot to ask something or is not qualifying the prospective purchaser, who is buying or understanding the specific needs and wants of the owner, who is selling.  

Asking the correct questions at the get go, will surely minimize issues and glitches that many times occur due to miscommunications.   

Keep your friends, however, be confident that the one person or persons, that you decide to hire are at the highest level of professionalism, credibility and honesty with your best interests in mind.  In this most competitive environment today, you cannot take chances and settle for someone with mediocre knowledge or possibly one who isn’t putting in enough time to hone their skills for the long term.  

You have to know that the agent that will be assisting you, will be a step ahead of most and be able to handle all the details from start to finish.

Philip A. Raices is the owner of Turn Key Real Estate in Great Neck. He can be reached by email: Phil@TurnKeyRealEstate.Com or by Cell, (516) 647-4289 to answer any of your questions.  To search for property, see what your home is worth or homes that have sold in your area, go to:  WWW.Li-RealEstate.Com

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