Business coach Jim Rohn has a good response to this type of question. As with any job, “You get paid for bringing value to the marketplace” Rohn says. If you are not bringing value to the marketplace, then sooner or later you are not going to get paid. This is even more true in today’s tough market conditions.
In the life of a real estate agent, this statement could not be closer to the truth. The role of the real estate agent has changed dramatically since the days before the internet, IDX, VOW’s, blogs, social networks and so on. The days of the real estate agents as the gatekeepers of all information are over.
Consumers today have much more access to the information that once was only seen by agents. There are a ton of websites out there with nearly all the properties for sale in a given location. These sites have a lot of information, including photos, neighborhood & school details, along with sales and market stats. That’s great. But, what does all this information mean? That is where today’s real estate agent is still relevant and important.
While the role today is very different, the value a real estate agent brings can be as important as ever.
As an agent, if your only value is a real estate license, a lockbox key (door opener) and a car (taxi driver), then your life expectancy is going to be very short in the business of today’s Web 2.0+ world.
How do you bring value to the marketplace as a real estate agent? In short terms, know anything and everything there is to know about your local real estate market conditions and pass that on to your clients. This comes with time in the business, knowing your inventory, asking questions, and working hard. The key here is time and patience.
The information a client receives by looking online is no substitute for the knowledge of a local, full time real estate agent and the information they can provide. How can you compare the knowledge received online in just a few short hours or weeks to the knowledge of someone working everyday, for many years, in one specialized location? Looking online will never give you the same tangible knowledge of actually being on the ground, working in the business and learning first hand.
A real estate agent should be paid for the value they bring to the clients they are serving. Saving clients time, money, and minimizing frustration, while educating them on market conditions and inventory, and walking them through the escrow and closing process are some of the key values we as agents should bring to the table.
My experience tells me that if you bring the value & have a service-oriented approach, clients will be more than happy to pay for it.