A Pivotal Role


My readers will understand the pivotal role that a real estate agent has in helping the process to go smoothly, and that there is no shortage of qualified REALTORS® who would love to work with you.  During the interview process, I have been asked “What makes you different?  What sets you apart?”. I find these questions to be surprisingly difficult to respond to – here’s why.

Many of the procedural steps of the transaction process have clear cut answers as to how they should be completed (think of disclosure requirements and contract execution as examples).  Other aspects are more amorphous by comparison – here I’m thinking of communication styles, attitude, experience level, response to stress, and others; the squishier aspects that comprise the ‘art’ that I bring to my trade.

I understand that ‘art’ is not usually associated with what Real Estate Agents do every day, but I think it a good metaphor.  The topic of this post might then question how to compare one agent’s art against another’s, but I don’t want to go there. Is Jackson Pollock better than Pablo Picasso?  They express art differently, but which is ‘better’ isn’t really the issue. What is the issue is which you prefer – which of their embodiments of art matters most to you.

So, when I respond to the interview questions, I don’t compare myself to any of my colleagues by any objective or subjective rating schemes.  Instead, I try to present enough of my guiding principles, philosophy, attitudes, and my personal styles so that prospective clients might appreciate my ‘art’ and how I express it in my business – then they can make their own decision.

Here is, in brief, my vision of what matters the most to clients for me to provide:

Skilled analysis of what is important at any step of the process, and the ability to carry it out without breaking stride, toward completion of the successful close of escrow.

At the base of everything I do is my underlying attitude, which has several components: supreme confidence that we’re going to get this done, always looking for the best result for my client, striving toward an optimal outcome for all parties, and a calm demeanor with all participants and allied service providers.

Frank and open communications are critically important.  I will keep you apprised of all aspects of the deal such that there are no surprises for you to deal with. 

I will provide my clients with valuable information that is germane to their specific situation and market. With that my goal is to provide guidance (no steering allowed), facilitating informed decision making by my clients. It is all too easy to provide mountains of data — numbers, graphs, formulas – piles of data are easy to supply.  What takes more work and is of much more value is actual information, which is data that has been filtered and interpreted by an expert in the field.  

I keep myself more than up to date through education, training, coaching, and collegial interactions with my colleagues. This can take me all around the country at any time during the year. I also maintain a large network of ancillary professional contacts, throughout the communities of Agents, Vendors, Lenders, Attorneys, Estate Planners, CPAs, Financial Advisors, Escrow and Title companies, Inspectors, Contractors, and on and on.

What constitutes a successful close of escrow to me?  One where all parties are happy with the outcome and the foundation is set for being a resource for any real estate needs in the future.  In other words, if you’re under my umbrella there doesn’t need to be a fee attached to what I do for you.

The next topic will be about what’s happening with oceanfront properties.