How do you pick your real estate representation?
After 18 years of selling houses, I noticed a trend. Many people hire agents based on their connection and not on the agent’s competency.
The hiring decision
Typically, the primary motivation for choosing an agent is rooted in guilt. People tend to choose agents who they know, like, and trust because they want to be in relationship. They might feel guilty to make a choice that could impact their existing connections. So, agents themselves are trained to have their sphere of influence and to make sure they’re connected.
The competency gap
Connections can trump competency. The barriers to entry in the real estate industry are very low. In our industry, we only go to school for about two weeks to get our license, and this involves very little coursework. In Tennessee, we only have to complete sixteen hours every two years to ensure we are up to date.
In this sense, our industry offers agents very little educational training, and then agents often don’t get enough on-the-job experience to make up for this competency gap. Nationally, the average agent only sells five and a half houses per year. This means that agents aren’t even selling one house every other month. Imagine being a baseball player in the World Series who’s had only six bats all year. Your odds of striking out are pretty high.
Even though our industry is well-connected, it’s not an industry that necessarily fosters an environment of increasing competency.
The way forward
Now, when you’re choosing your real estate agent, you have the knowledge. You can ensure that you find an effective way to evaluate not only the agent’s connections but also their competency.
At Scout, we have some very effective resources to help: our seller and buyer’s agent interview questions. These are the questions you must ask to safeguard against making a hiring decision just based on who you know.
It’s great to be able to serve people from the heart. And most agents do a great job of caring for their community. However, agents must also have the competency and capacity to be able to serve their clients on the deepest levels.
Download our resources, find a way to effectively interview agents, and don’t fall prey to hiring just because you’d feel guilty not using the specific agent or brand.