September 30th, 2012 8:29 PM by Taydus Taydus
What IS the Magic Number?
A new buyer that I was working with the other day asked me, “How long have you been a Realtor?” This is a pretty standard question, and a good one to ask. After all you are making one of the largest purchases you will ever make, don’t you think it is a good idea to hire someone with experience?
I answered honestly and told her that I have been a Realtor for 2 years. Although prior to that I was no stranger to the real estate, as I worked in the mortgage industry for 4 years as an assistant to my now husband Joe Taydus (one of the top lenders here in Boulder.)
But back to my title question – what IS the magic number?
Everything I have ever read about interviewing and hiring a Realtor has always suggested that a potential client ask the question regarding years of experience. Personally, I think the better question would be “how many deals have you successfully closed this year?”
You see, in this business the rules are constantly changing. Every year all Realtors need to take an update class to be sure they are on top of the latest rules and regulations. Continuing education is imperative. You may have 10+ years experience, but like anything, if you are not applying what you learn, how sharp are you? And what may have been acceptable last year, may be obsolete this year.
So, what IS the magic number? Years of experience vs. number of closed transactions (i.e. deals that actually made it to the closing table, not deals that are in the pipeline.) I can’t answer that. I think this number is going to largely depend on what you see as valuable.
For instance, my goal was to close a deal a month this year. An ambitious goal in today’s economy for someone that has held a license under 5 years. To date, I have successfully closed 10 deals in 2012 (and just wrote a new contract yesterday :) My focus is on customer service and personal involvement with each of my deals.
There are Realtors that have been licensed far longer than me, but have closed half the number of deals. Maybe they dabble in real estate part-time. Whatever the case, like anything, if you are not actively participating does the number of years you have been licensed to perform really make you “better?”
Then there is the other end of the spectrum. Some Realtors may have closed 70+ deals this year. Have you ever purchased or sold a home? It takes time…sometimes a LOT of time. For a Realtor that has closed so many deals, the question begs to be asked, “how many deals was the Realtor you hired personally involved in?” If the deal was immediately turned over to “the team” what was the experience of the people handling your file? Were they newly licensed…or licensed at all? You also have to wonder why any licensed Realtor would be working as an “assistant” and not be selling real estate on their own? Is this the “team” you want handling the sale of your home, or the purchase of your new home? To some, it is impressive that a Realtor have a team under them…they see this as success. But who’s success is it? Theirs or yours? Does it negate the question that is asked of the Realtor you hired “how long have you been a Realtor?”
Like I said, the magic number may be different for each individual. Some may like the idea of a team handling their file, while others may like the idea of receiving personal service from the Realtor they hired. There is no right answer.
But before you interview your next Realtor and ask the question “how long have you been a Realtor?” maybe you should give some thought about the quality and knowledge of the person (or people) actually handling your transaction, and what that answer means to you.
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