Hiring is a skill few people become very good at doing. It isn’t because they are incapable of doing it well. It is more a result of the fact that most people work their whole lives and are only the hiring manager a handful of times. Little experience in hiring is even more common when it comes to hiring a real estate agent. Most people only move every 7-10 years, making this hiring task one that someone does only about once a decade. There is, however, one question everyone can ask that would make narrowing down their real estate agent choice easier: Do you work with a team or an individual?
The answer to this question could lead you to a working relationship with an individual that could provide a value proposition that would be impossible for the other, solo party, to provide. Agents who work on a team complete with administrative staff and other partner agents have leverage that creates tremendous value for you. Some of those value-adds are:
- Excellent Customer Service – This is a catch-all category. A solo agent can impress you with their individual effort; however, there is very little additional free time to think of and execute the little opportunities to provide service beyond what is expected. An agent who is a part of a team should be working their way up the service pyramid beyond meeting expectations to meeting desires and unrecognized needs.
- Lead Generating Sources – An agent who is a part of a team has the power of resources behind them. Do you think it is better for ONE agent or TWO agents to be looking for leads to sell your house? Two agents represents twice the resources to uncover opportunities for you. More resources for the same amount of money sounds like a winner to me.
- Responsiveness – Building on the more resources point, more people available at your disposal typically means more responsiveness. If you hire a great individual agent, they will be busy with other clients often. This isn’t a bad thing. In fact, I recommend looking for that in an individual agent because it means they are successful at their job. You will be the person that is sacrificing, though. An agent who works on a team should have multiple people who you have access to in case of an emergency.
- Broad Network – An agent who is on a team means that they have a broader network of people to pull from for more leads and better service providers. Part of the ancillary value a real estate agent can bring to your life is great vendors to support your projects around the home. We work with all types of service providers from cleaners and landscapers to roofers and foundation repairmen. The more people on the team, the more experience and a more vetted list there should be.
- Expertise – Have you ever heard the saying that what you focus on expands? Well, solo agents are spending their time on literally hundreds of tasks every month if they are doing everything a real estate company should do. Agents who are a part of a team are focused on one thing: your home search or sale. When all administrative duties are owned by someone else, it frees up the agent to spend more time sourcing opportunities for you. Not only does it allow more time for them to focus on you, but everyone involved on their team becomes experts in what they do. The administrative part of the team becomes better on that side of the business than the agent ever was, and the agent becomes more effective at buying or selling real estate. The focus on fewer tasks creates expertise.
We have a lot of faith in our team’s ability to outperform any of our competition. No disrespect to individual agents – there are extraordinary ones out in the market who are doing very well. The playing field, however, is undoubtedly lopsided in the favor of the team model. Ask these questions when you are interviewing your agent to ensure you are receiving all of the value you possibly can get.