What to Look For When Considering a Real Estate Broker
When considering a new broker, it is important to consider these factors which help you start off on the right foot. Beyond the usual questions of whether the broker is responsive and communicates, you also need to evaluate their industry-specific skills and resources they bring to the table. Selling or purchasing real estate is a significant financial decision, and you need a professional you can trust to give you the customer service you need, negotiate faithfully on your behalf, and execute a marketing plan to give your property the exposure it deserves. The following are considerations that are critical to ensuring that your real estate braintrust is capable:
When marketing a property for sale, be it a single-family residence, multi-family, or a commercial property, you need a broker with the resources necessary to give your property the exposure it deserves. This exposure can come in multiple forms and can include but is not limited to the following:
1. A Strong Marketing Team – That’s right! You need to know that your broker is not doing everything themselves. It’s impossible for an experienced broker to give you the level of attention you deserve without the support of a dedicated marketing team to help give your property the kind of exposure it deserves. Brokers have responsibilities beyond showing your property. They need to be able to quickly market your property and spread the word about your property as effectively as possible. This requires a dedicated team of capable marketers that know how to execute a multi-modal marketing plan in both print and digital media. This helps ensure that the broker can focus on courting potential buyers and that they have a steady flow of potential investors/buyers that they can connect with and show your property to.
2. Email Marketing Capability – It is important that your broker is actively engaging with potential investors through email marketing. Email marketing is the marketing channel with the highest return on investment. An active subscriber pool means a hot list of individuals and industry colleagues that are actively looking for real estate opportunities. Make sure your broker is in regular communication with their lists and has an active subscriber pool that your property can be marketed to.
3. High-Net-Worth Contacts – If your property is a high value property, either a high-end single-family residence or a multi-family property, you need your broker to have access to high net-worth contacts. Obviously, selling your high-value property will be difficult if your broker does not already have access to a large database of high-net-worth individuals who are actively looking for real estate investment opportunities.
4. Virtual Video or 3D Tour Capabilities – Especially in today’s real estate market, virtual tours are incredibly important when access to in person tours can be limited or difficult. With the pandemic, the importance of virtual tours has become evermore critical. It is also an extremely good way to help make your property stand out as a virtual tour can enhance the property’s perceived value because the potential buyer is able to explore the property and see its layout more effectively. This is important as even the best photos cannot accurately depict a property’s overall flow and floorplan.
5. Aerial Photography – Did you know that aerial photography greatly increases the likelihood that your property will sell? According to statistics from the MLS, properties with aerial drone photography are up to 68% more likely to sell than those without. In today’s market, this is still a huge factor and a broker’s access to aerial photography is still very important. Make sure to ask for this capability as the production value will affect buyer perception of the property and improve your sales timeline.
6. Professional Photography – Professional photography is a given and – for the most part – common industry practice. However, still make sure to request examples of photography taken by the broker’s team prior to signing on. There are still brokers who do not use professional photography, and you want to avoid those brokers as they will not market your property to its fullest potential. Make sure that the look and feel of the photography is to your liking and fits with the property’s aesthetic. The phone will not ring if the property is not marketed well.
7. Active social media – When looking for a strong broker, make sure that you find a broker with an active social media presence. This is important because many potential buyers, brokers that represent buyers, and investors, are actively following other brokers looking for opportunities to show their clients. An active social media also provides some insight into the level of service you will receive as a client. Make sure to check that the potential broker is actively promoting their listings and sales as that will be one of the indicators of how hard they will work to get your property sold.
8. Print Media Capabilities – Although real estate opportunities are increasingly being marketed online, print media is still incredibly important in connecting with potential buyers and sellers. Make sure that your broker still provides a mailing service where thoughtfully crafted print marketing can be sent to targeted investors or brokers that may be interested in your property.
The next component to consider when looking for a broker is their experience. New brokers will lean heavily on marketing strategies such as those mentioned above to market your property, which is great. However, these abilities can pale in comparison to the value-add of a broker’s overall experience in the sale and purchase of properties. So, make sure that as you look for a broker, that you also consider their track record. This can be accomplished by asking questions such as:
1. How many properties have they helped sell or buy?
2. Does their experience extend to the type of property you are looking to sell? For example, if you are looking to sell a multi-family real estate property, do they have experience in selling that type of property?
3. Do they have experience in selling property within your price range and area? For example, if you have a property that you know is valued at least $7million, you do not want to work with a broker whose highest valued transaction was only $1 million. This is simply because the way you market a $1 Million property is very different from the strategies employed when selling $7 million property, so you want someone with that kind of experience.
4. Are they familiar with your community? This means having a real estate agent that understands your specific market, understands the potential buyer pool, and, therefore, knows how to market your property in a way that maximizes its value.
These are just a few of the questions you should be asking when considering a broker’s overall experience. It is not just about how long they have been doing it, it is also about how effective they are at selling and do they have the right kind of experience for your specific property.
Local Market Knowledge
Finally, hiring a local broker is also extremely important. A local real estate broker who understands local market conditions will not only know how to market and where to market your property more effectively, they will also have a better understanding of how to price it. This is important because you never want to be in a situation where you leave money on the table. You also do not want to price your property too far above market rates because it could leave your property on the market for too long, costing you more money in the long term. These are just a few of the reasons why you need an experienced local broker that has their finger on the pulse of the market where your property is located.
We Are Here For You!
At Zahn Properties, our team is ready to work with you! We have the experience, marketing team, marketing capabilities, and knowledge of your local market to serve you. We will help you get the most out of your investment and provide your property the level of exposure it deserves with white-glove service, whether it is a single-family residence, a multi-family property, or a commercial property.
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Zahn Properties and Lyon Stahl do not provide tax, legal or accounting advice. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal or accounting advice. You should consult your own tax, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any transaction.