A few years ago, I wrote a book for consumers on choosing and working with buyers’ agents. Agents, as you read this excerpt from the book, ask yourself, “How do I stack up?” Imagine you’re a buyer looking for an agent. What criteria would you choose? How would you pick the agent who’s right for you? Now, let’s read the description of the ideal agent, from my perspective.

The Ideal Agent

I’ve given you {buyers} dozens of suggestions for choosing the right agent for you, from qualities to skills to questionnaires. As I wrote this chapter, I starting thinking about the criteria I would use to choose an agent. So, turnabout’s fair play. Here’s the kind of agent I’d look for if I were buying a home today:

  • Has been in the business three to five years and seems real committed and enthusiastic
  • Has completed higher level training (Graduate Realtors Institute and Certified Residential Salesperson–both Realtor-sponsored educational series for real estate agents, which include sales and technical skills)
  • Has completed an average of 10-20 sales per year or more  (working with buyers)
  • Has letters of recommendation, and list of people I could contact
  • Has a portfolio or brochure, with stated mission and values
  • Specializes in area where I want to look
  • Has time to put me first, within reason
  • Doesn’t delegate me totally to an assistant
  • Seems strong enough to tell me the truth, even if I don’t like it
  • Explanations about agency relationships and how he works are clear and concise
  • Has high standards for choosing buyers
  • Demonstrates strong communication skills
  • Seems to match my business values

Last word to agents: Hone your skills and your values to match the kind of person you’d like to work with–when you’re a buyer. It really helps a salesperson customer service rating to pretend he’s a “real person”–for a change. Seeing the world of sales from the consumer perspective will give you fresh new ideas, and help you differentiate yourself from other agents. With ever-raising buyer demands, this will assure you compete in the next decade.