If you look at any of the National Real Estate surveys the number one complaint from consumers against Realtors who are representing home sellers is the lack of communication skills.
There are countless stories of sellers signing a listing contract and then never hearing from their Realtor again unless they initiate the contact.
Obviously if you are a Realtor and your are harder to catch up to than The Road Runner, you are going to gain a poor reputation pretty quickly!
As a Massachusetts home seller how do you avoid picking the wrong Realtor? How do you know when the Realtor you are about to choose is going to do an effective job of communicating with you?
While it is impossible to know for sure, there are some clues that may help you determine if the Realtors communication skills are going to match your expectation levels.
Before you even meet the Realtor you are going to consider choosing you should pay careful attention to how quickly they respond to either your initial phone call or email. If they do not get back to you for hours after your initial attempt at contact that could be a red flag.
If you have indicated in your message that you are interested in selling your home most Realtors will be highly motivated to make that return call immediately! Most tech savvy Real Estate agents today are going to have some kind of phone that allows them to check or receive their email instantly. A Realtor with strong communication skills is more than likely going to have that phone/Blackberry attached to their hip and checking it frequently.
You would also expect that they would be checking their voice mail as well. In Real Estate you never know when a call may be coming in so a good agent knows they should be checking it at regular intervals.
There will be times that an agent just may not be able to respond such as when they are already in some kind of business meeting or with other clients already. You may need to cut the Realtor a little bit of slack but you also need to make sure this is not a pattern that will constantly be repeated.
When you set the appointment with the agent you are considering hiring they should be on time or even slightly early. Communication skills and placing a value on someones time usually go hand in hand.
Another key trait of a Realtor with effective communication skills is the ability to listen. The listing interview should not be dominated by the Realtor telling you how great they are. While it is important to choose someone with a good track record, the agent should possess the ability to determine exactly what the clients goals are in the transaction. This often times will include the motivation for selling and where the clients want to end up upon the completion of the sale of their current home.
One important consideration is finding out how a client likes to interact and following that preferred method. While most people today like to communicate by email or even text messaging there are some folks that would just like you to pick up the telephone and call. A lot of older folks are not tech savvy and don’t use email regularly if at all. A skilled communicator will be able to adapt to the clients needs.
An important thought for anyone selling their Massachusetts home should be finding out how the Realtor is going to let them know how things are going with the sale and what buyers are thinking about the property. Simply stated what is the buyer’s feedback?
There are a number of different ways this can be done. Personally, my preferred method is to call the buyer’s agent and find out exactly what they and their buyer client thought about the property. I can ask specific questions such as the buyer likes and dislikes as well as how they thought the home was priced compared to other homes they were viewing.
One of the things my seller clients love it the fact that I give them a feedback report. They actually access this information by visiting a password protected website. The client and I are the only ones that can see it. After every showing the feedback is entered and the client can see what the market is saying about their home. Of course we are looking for patterns so advice can be given on how to improve the chances of a timely sale.
In Massachusetts there is a system that many Real Estate companies use called MA Pass which is a showing appointment scheduling service focused on the real estate industry. After the showing is completed MA Pass sends out an email to the buyers agent. It is an automated showing feedback system. Personally I don’t think it does a good job unless the agent changes the standardized questions that are asked. Most agents do not take the time to do this.
For example a question like “what did the client think of the exterior of the home” with answers you can check that says good, average, poor does not give a lot of information the client can use. It is far too basic! Getting substantial feedback can go a long way in helping to give sound advice and MA pass will not cut the mustard without customization.
As always, I would recommend asking good Realtor interview questions when trying to assess if the agent you are considering hiring will get the job done or not. Asking for some addresses of homes the agent is currently listing and calling the sellers to find out how the communication has been would be a great idea. If the agent starts to squirm with this inquiry there could be a problem!
Related articles: What kind of Massachusetts Realtor do you want?
About the author: The above Real Estate information on Realtor communication skills the number one complaint was provided by Bill Gassett, a Nationally recognized leader in his field. Bill can be reached via email at email@example.com or by phone at 508-435-5356. Bill has helped people move in and out of many Metrowest towns for the last 24+ Years.
Thinking of selling your home? I have a passion for Real Estate and love to share my marketing expertise!
I service the following towns in Metrowest MA: Hopkinton, Milford, Upton, Southboro, Westboro, Ashland, Holliston, Mendon, Hopedale, Medway, Franklin, Framingham, Grafton, Northbridge, Shrewsbury, Northboro, Bellingham, Uxbridge, and Douglas.
Very sage advice indeed Bill. And anyone looking for a great agent in Metrowest Massachusetts needs to look no farther than you!
Thanks Pam. One of the things I do pride myself on is staying in touch and getting right back to people when they call. Communication skills are a very important aspect of our business. Clients as well as other Realtors rely on us getting back to them in a timely fashion.
Hi Bill, A very informative and well written post. I think you hit the nail on the head with a couple of issues in particular. Listing is listening, not a time to bombard the potential seller with all your wonderful attributes. I would suggest they check out the agent’s website beforehand to read up on all that.
It’s a good way to check out an agent’s bio plus their personality, if it does indeed shine through in the website.
Also you are right it is important to respond to the client in the same fashion they first approached you, whether it be by email, texting, phone, etc. That is their comfort zone, maybe not yours but it is their preferred means of communication so go with it.
Bill this is so true. A few years ago I sold my home after many grueling months. If I did not initiate a conversation with my Realtor I would never hear from them. It was a very frustrating experience!
Great info not only for people looking to deal with a realtor, but also for realtors looking to stand out. There are tons of mobile and web apps nowadays to help you do your phone calls and email better as well, so there’s a huge opportunity to make your experience for your clients amazing! Some of the best marketing comes from referrals, and you won’t get referrals without giving your clients a distinct experience.