Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Does the Brokerage Matter?

When you're choosing a Real Estate agent, as a buyers agent or to list your home, does the brokerage matter?

Well, to the customer/client, the primary concern should be the agent himself....your comfort and trust in your agent is KEY to having a successful transaction.

But, to the agent, the brokerage matters, or should, and here's why... and how it translates to you, the client:

A brokerage needs to:

-Make doing business profitable for the agent:  Believe it or not, the huge amount you see on your closing statement does not usually funnel directly in your agent's pocket.  The brokerage takes a cut, sometimes a big one, in the form of a commission split and/or fees to the agent.  The better the agent gets paid, the more incentive they have to keep YOU happy.
-Have supervision and training:  Lots of it!  Things are changing daily in the real estate market - they always have.  And, a brokerage needs to be proactive in educating their agents (who are running around trying to take care of you needs, show you houses, print your brochures, etc) about legislative and industry changes... before the lack of that knowledge gets that agent, and his clients, in trouble.
-Provide resources: All brokerages are making money off the activities of their agents, in exchange, the agent should get resources... Things like... bulk pricing for adverting, use of fancy equipment to produce quality marketing materials, time efficient tools for advertising, reporting, etc... to ensure the bulk of his time is spent on you, and relationships with industry providers like title/closing companies, attorneys, lenders, home warranty companies.. so that when you need something for your transaction, it's readily available to you.  All of this is important.
-Have values and culture:  This may sound like I am being "warm and fuzzy" but don't you want to do business with an agent who wants to do business with people who have values like 'integrity'?, who works in an environment where other knowledgeable agents will share their experiences freely so that all agents can use their collective knowledge for the collective good of their clients?  It translates to a much smoother transaction for you when your agent has a support system.
-Are Finacially Solid: In times of economic uncertainty, this is something you can really underestimate .... I can recall a time in my career where agents would come to work and there would be chains around the front doors announcing an overnight closing of the business.  Can you imagine?  What happens then to your transaction?  To the money the agent is planning to be paid to pay his bills?  Do you think your agent will be able to focus on you and your transaction when his entire livelihood and even his ability to do business that day, maybe threatened by something like this.  Because of laws and rules, if the agent is not associated with a brokerage, even for a day, then he may not be able to sell your house or  market your house, until it is resolved.  What's worse?  Yes, there are stories of funds being embezzled by brokerages, funds of their clients, funds of their agents.  Be forewarned... before you select a fly by night, online agency that operates out of someone's basement, think twice.

So, yes, I think that choosing an agent who has wisely chosen their brokerage affiliation is an important component of determining what agent you're going to hire.

I am proud to say that in all of these, Keller Williams leads the way.  Recently, KW was in the news as a stand out business, one that has remained profitable despite hardships to the industry.  Why?  Well, check out this article and perhaps you'll see what I've been trying to tell you: http://www.entrepreneur.com/magazine/entrepreneur/2010/may/206000.html

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Looking for real estate help?
Vicky Chrisner
Ofc 7036693142

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