The Four Pillars Of Real Estate Professionals
Francisco “Kiko” Angulo is the Vice President of Global Development for REALOGY.
I wish I had known then what I have learned over the past 30 years I’ve been doing real estate — that would have saved me a couple thousand mistakes! Having navigated the real estate industry for what sometimes feels like too long, I have noticed some fundamental pillars that successful realtors use to pursue success.
So today, I’d like to share my four pillars of real estate professionals with you, which will help you stay consistent, updated and humble throughout your career.
Honesty is king when it comes to building a successful, long-term career. Clients know when their broker is honest, and they’ll reward you for it with the key to our business: referrals.
Brokers: Always be as honest as possible. Sure, you’re allowed to tell your clients you think it’s a fantastic idea for their third cousin, their old neighbor and their best friend’s niece to tag along while you’re showing them homes — but other than that, be honest and be direct. To achieve complete honesty, you need to keep yourself informed of updates to the laws and regulations and current market conditions. Seek trustworthy information to educate yourself, your community and your clients. No, Facebook is not a reliable source (there, I said it).
Buyers: Vocalize your needs and your circumstances from the beginning. Honesty is a two-way street, and we should always treat others like we would like others to treat us. Whatever your perception of a broker may be, know that good brokers work very long hours for a commission they may or may not end up getting, so be nice and be honest from day one. Your broker will reward you by showing you properties best suited for you and your loved ones.
Have you ever been on an online dating platform and found a great match, just to meet with them in person and find out they look nothing like you thought they did? No one enjoys being catfished. Similarly, people looking to buy a home do not respond well to marketing content that’s manipulated or enhanced.
Brokers: Focus on the value of your work, and steer away from enhanced or manipulated content. As ethical realtors, we have to encourage careful language use and visual aids based on facts and avoid at all costs providing content that might end up diminishing people’s appreciation for the exceptional services a real estate agent can provide.
Buyers: Agents rely on one another and their code of ethics, but remember that ethics work both ways. Using multiple agents is unethical, especially without your agent’s knowledge. Instead, focus on finding a buyer’s agent who deserves your trust and stick with them. To find the right agent for you, you’re encouraged to ask questions such as “have you participated in the purchase/sale of a home in this neighborhood with similar characteristics as the one we’re looking for?”
Trust is an essential human value that often ends with high customer satisfaction. To earn others’ trust, being transparent throughout the process is crucial — both for agents and customers.
3. Effective Communication
Every successful broker I have met throughout my career has had certain characteristics that are truly innate — skills that are hard to teach: a pleasing personality, a high level of comfort while interacting with others and, most importantly, grit.
Real estate leaders are often pleased to teach agents who have the passion and perseverance to strengthen their character. If they have the drive and motivation to succeed, I’m happy to teach them everything they need to know.
My experience as a high-level executive of a publicly traded company has taught me that most leaders are more concerned with the kind of professionalism an agent brings to a company than anything else. The reason is simple: That’s what matters the most to our customers. And what matters most to our customers, more often than not, directly translates into results.
Brokers: Deliver. Don’t make promises. Instead, let your actions and results speak for you. A broker’s experience and traction often tell their story best. Spend more time getting things done and less time making promises that may ultimately be out of your hands, and you will be golden.
Buyers: Deliver. If you were pleased with your agents’ work, take the time to write a review for them. If you don’t know where to do so, writing an email with your review is often helpful enough. You may also express your gratitude to your agent by sharing their contact information with your loved ones — a simple post on social media would suffice to help them propel their career. Who knew your high school best friend Mary was looking for a $15M townhouse in Manhattan, right?
Last but not least, I’d like to share that being generous with my knowledge has allowed me to stand out. As real estate professionals, our courtesy to one another goes a long way. Our relationships with our colleagues are everything, so if you focus on sharing what you’ve learned and navigating your day-to-day activities employing these values, I’m confident you’ll find success.
With honesty, transparency, effective communication and results, you will earn trust, which is enough to be succesful and do the best and most memorable job you can. Open your heart and use your two ears and one mouth accordingly. In other words, listen when it is time to listen and speak when it is time to speak. That is your legacy.
Forbes Real Estate Council is an invitation-only community for executives in the real estate industry. Do I qualify?