A Houston native, Courtney has been working hard in the real estate industry for a decade-and-a-half. In her early years, she worked in the title, refining processes. Then she managed agent relationships. Then she became a Relocation Agent herself and really hit her stride.
She cut her teeth as a buyer’s rep, discovering what people wanted in a home. After mastering the buyer’s psychology, she went on to rep sellers as well and became highly adept at marketing and listing strategy.
A people person through-and-through, she enjoys the human element of real estate–guiding folks through one of the biggest, most complex decisions they’ll make in their entire lives. She’s easy to talk to, easy to work with and builds her career on your successful real estate transactions.
Working with hundreds of agents over the years, I’ve learned a thing or two about what makes a great one. I strive to embody the qualities that clients value, and that makes for successful real estate transactions.
All good agents will be directly on time, if not five minutes early. They’ll follow up with you a day before to confirm your appointment. They treat your first meeting as their top priority (because seriously, it is). They will only be late or reschedule under extreme circumstances. So if your new agent is late or gets rescheduled without a damn good reason, expect the entire relationship to deteriorate from there.
A great Relocation Agent is in constant, open communication with the client, apprising them of all relevant developments, so they can make the best decisions for themselves.
Let’s be honest–a real estate agent’s job isn’t as full of surprises as a fireman’s. There’s no reason your agent shouldn’t be on top of things, proactively making suggestions and guiding you through the process, rather than paying attention only when they’re being yelled at. I constantly strive to be pushing your ball downfield.
This applies to pretty much any business, so I don’t feel the need to expound. Liars suck.
Works hard for you
A shortsighted agent is incentivized to do the least amount of work possible. Think about it–if they slack off and get you a bad deal that costs you, say twenty thousand dollars, they still get 95% of the commission they would on a fair transaction. So they can suck at way more deals and make way more money. But a great agent sees your money as their fiduciary duty (because legally, it is) and will do their damnedest to get you the best deal. A great Relocation Agent also wants your referrals.
If an agent splits their time between your transaction and their day job, they probably won’t be as responsive as you like. And if they can’t even make a basic living at it, they probably aren’t all that good. Any Relocation Agent worth their salt does it full time.
Specializes in a market
Houston is big, and the various areas have a ton of differences. Only by closing a number of successful transactions in an area can an agent claim to have the experience necessary to understand a neighborhood well.
Negotiates like a boss
This doesn’t mean they bluster and threaten people–it means they’re sharp, creative, and fair-minded. Win-win situations should be the norm in real estate. Your agents better are making sure one of those wins is for you.
Has good stats
Not all Relocation Agents with successful statistics are good agents, but it’s unlikely that an agent with bad stats is very good. We check all their transaction data for things like average time on the market, list/sale price ratio, and total closed inventory, to make sure they’re competent.
Works well with others
If other realtors hate your agent, you can count on getting a sub-par deal from them. Many in the business avoid those particularly prickly characters who suck the fun out of their day, so clients with nasty agents can count on offers not getting where they’re intended to go.
Tells hard truths
People tend to be very emotional about their homes. But just because the memories you made there are priceless, doesn’t mean that others see it quite the same way. An agent is an advisor, not an assistant; their job is not just to yes-man everything you say, or wait for you to come up with the ideas. A good realtor has the experience–and the confidence–to tell you the truth, even if it conflicts with your current worldview.
Thinks like a business person
It doesn’t take a whole lot of creativity to stick a basic listing on MLS, but this tends to be about all most realtors are good for. A seller agent’s job is to sell your house, and getting it noticed amid the morass of other homes is an art form. Strategic pricing, timing, and communication are critical to maximizing value, but it’s a talent that transcends most real estate, agents. A Relocation Agent who simply does what everyone else is doing is likely to get you very average results.
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