Jay's Note: Welcome Shailesh Ghimire — better known as the Arizona Mortgage Guru! We've worked with Shailesh and his wife Aimee in the past. They are great lenders, Shailesh is a prolific blogger, and more importantly they are good people. I mentioned a "guest spot" to Shailesh once, and he was most generous in offering this post… I'm thinking agents would do well in noting what people are looking for, and consumers would do well to heed Shailesh's advice!
We mortgage folks work with a lot of Real Estate agents. After a few years you start to see traits among the true realtors and the here-today-gone-tomorrow variety. So, if I were choosing an agent for my own personal needs what would I look for?
Service: It seems like most agents are very good at saying they provide good service, but what do their actions say? I’m interested in how quickly they return phone calls. Whether they “sigh” o-ever-so-slightly when I ask to look at one more property?
Communication: This is a subset of service, but I consider it important enough to give it a separate paragraph. The main point here is that in today’s world communication is the bedrock of good service. Communication needs to be timely, quick and it must contain relevant information. E-mails with too many grammatical and spelling mistakes, telephone conversations that feel fishy, and unprofessional phone messages are all red flags in my book. Any agent who doesn’t take the quality and quantity of communication very seriously would be filtered out very quickly in my search.
Attention to detail: Coming from a lending background, attention to detail is a must. If I make an offer I need to know that the agent has looked at things like chain of title, history of any additions and any other property-related issues that might hold up the loan. When selecting an agent I would ask lots of questions and measure their “anal-ness”. The more the better when it comes to my transaction.
Tech-savvy: In today’s world an agent has to have a technology footprint. I’m not talking about just having a Blackberry and an iPod. I’m talking about web presence, MLS expertise and the size of their marketing universe. As an example, before I even talk to an agent I’d like to read about them on their webpage or blog. I’d like to know a bit about their background and what makes them click etc. I’d also like to see how creative the agent is with MLS searches. For example, will they search the comments section, how creativity are they with keywords etc.
Tenacity: This ties into service a bit too, but what I mean is I don’t like quitters. Will my agent go the extra mile? Will they take an easy “no” over a slightly difficult “yes”? Will they negotiate on my behalf until the deal is optimized? This doesn’t only include price, but also unique and creative terms in the contract.
Do they follow the Golden Rule? At the end of the day this is the bottom line for me. I want to know that my agent will treat my transaction as if it was his or her own! Offering to pay to clean the carpet or sending me a gift basket at the end of the transaction may appease some, but for me I need to know in my gut that I can be friends with this agent long after the transaction closed.
[tags]Shailesh Ghimire, AZ Mortgage Guru, chosing a Realtor[/tags]