Is Your Real Estate Broker/Agent “With It”?

With more than 10,000 real estate brokers (formerly called agents) in the greater Montreal area, choosing someone to represent you in the sale or purchase of a home is a little like shopping for cereal at a grocery store in the U.S.: the choices are endless.

If you make the wrong choice of cereal, you dump out the box and move on. If you make the wrong choice of real estate broker, the stakes are much higher.  So how do you choose? You want someone who is a professional at what they do, so you should at least make sure that the have taken some sort of Online Real Estate Broker Pre License Course.

Clearly, experience, market knowledge and reputation are important factors.  These are no-brainers, right?

So are professionalism, likeability and stability.  Can you relate to your commercial real estate broker?  Do they represent you well?  Do they remain calm or get hot-headed in discussions?Then there’s service orientation and availability.  When you contact your broker, how long does it take for them to get back to you?  Can other brokers easily contact yours to schedule showings?  Will you be dealing with the broker herself or with the assistant?

A different consideration is “with it-ness.”  It has nothing to do with age, trendiness or style, nor does it have anything to do with how comfortable you yourself are with technology.

“With it-ness” is a real estate broker’s familiarity with the latest tools for leveraging the Internet, social media and technology to get the best possible exposure for your home.

It’s no secret that most home buyers go to the Internet first to search for potential homes.  If your home isn’t presented well on the MLS, chances are it won’t get onto a buyer’s list of potentials.  Does your real estate broker prepare detailed listings?  Offer home staging?  Use a professional photographer?  All of this helps a property look and sound its best on the MLS.

But your property also needs to be seen by as many people as possible.  The more “showings” you have – real or virtual – the greater the odds of finding the right buyer.  Does your broker put their listings on any web-sites besides the MLS?  Do they blog about their listings, or use Facebook or Twitter to get more exposure for your property?  If a buyer wanted to see your listing on their smartphone, could they?

Technology is here to stay – just watch any 5-year-old manipulate a keyboard and mouse.  And consumers’ reliance on the Internet to screen their choices is here to stay too – we all have less time, not more, to do what needs to get done.

The question is: Is your real estate broker “with it”?

Note: This blog post is based on an article I wrote for Luxury Report Magazine No.10-1.