What does a real estate agent actually do anymore? Before 1995, when the internet became a major factor in the industry, real estate agents controlled most of the market data. This meant that when someone wanted to buy or sell a home, they mostly needed to work with an agent. Information regarding sold homes, homes for sale, and other components were protected. Consumers had few options for their own research.
Things have changed significantly since then. The internet has more resources available than ever before. Buyers have access to homes for sale and are doing most of their research on their own, and sellers can now determine a range of value with only an hour of research. The internet has had a profound impact on the home buying and selling landscape as it shifts control of information out of an agent’s hand and into consumer’s hand.
One may ask, are real estate agents relevant anymore? Simply stated, information doesn’t always manifest wisdom.
While some agents still operate as if things haven’t changed, savvy agents are finding new ways of creating value for their clients. They have become more like consultants, rather than just clerks. They realize they are not hired to simply provide a list of homes for sale or homes sold. They now must help their client understand the depth of the process, working with them to find essential answers, give guidance to help them make wise decisions, and develop a path to complete their dream.
A great agent is someone who first takes time to fully understand their client’s current situation and comprehends their desires, goals, and values. They are no longer just facilitating a transaction. They know how to ask the right questions without being pushy, and actually listen to answers. They are able to help the client find more clarity about why they are moving.
The ability to listen and communicate effectively is directly related to an agent’s empathy; their ability to understand what’s best for the client and acting in their best interest. When looking for guidance in the decision-making process, take time to examine an agent’s skill, knowledge, and access to tools needed to help deliver a better outcome. It’s also important as a client to become knowledgeable of data, be proactive with communication, and work in cooperation with the agent in saving valuable time and maximizing dollars.
We invite you to call. 605.359.4100
Tony Ratchford, Real Estate Broker, CRS, ABR, SRES, CLHMS