Evaluating Your Opportunities

There are scores of questions to ask and factors to consider in evaluating the best company for you.

First, you must understand that you will become an extension of the organization with which you choose to affiliate. Before you ever meet with clients, they will very likely already have an opinion of the company in general, and that will serve as the starting point of your relationship. So the qualities that clients consider in selecting a brokerage—strong reputation, outstanding customer service, success in the market—are the same qualities you should consider in selecting your brokerage. But you also should examine the company’s willingness to invest in you from the start and to be generous with the resources you need to succeed.

  • Reputation. A solid reputation is essential. You want to work with a company that has a reputation for integrity and success. This is more than advertising; it’s understanding the core values that the company holds and expects its salespeople and brokers to share. Always strive to be associated with the best, and that reputation will reflect on you.
  • Customer Service. One of the easiest ways for a brokerage to build a strong and positive reputation is to provide the best in customer service and to follow through on promises. This actually starts with you. The most successful real estate professionals are those committed to providing outstanding customer service. Take up this obligation and look for a company that shares your passion. How you treat your clients, past and present, has a direct bearing on getting future clients through referrals and repeat business.
  • Listings. There’s an old saying in real estate, “You list, you last.” To new real estate practitioners, affiliating with a strong listing office can dramatically help early in their career because they benefit from the high volume of inquiries driven by signs and advertisements. This gives them a chance to get in front of potential buyers and puts their customer service skills to the test. Think of it as your rookie assignment. It’s where you learn the business of buying and selling real estate, and it’s a great way to start building relationships without all the pressure of being entrusted with selling people’s largest asset, their home.

Once you know what you’re looking for—reputation, customer service, and listings—it’s time to explore your top choices more thoroughly.

Source: Adapted from Your First Year in Real Estate by Dirk Zeller (Prima Lifestyles, 2001). Dirk Zeller is a speaker, trainer, coach, and author. He is the CEO of Real Estate Champions, a coaching company based in Bend, Ore.

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