We all talk about the need to qualify buyers and sellers. But, in addition, buyers actively qualify agents to figure out who to work with. (Or, they should. If they just take any agent who comes along, they are disappointed because ‘the customer doesn’t know what he’s getting, until he doesn’t’.)

A huge trend: Checking out the business/service on the Internet before you commit. Think of Angie’s List. Agents: Check out the emerging agent evaluation websites to see what consumers are saying about the agents they’ve worked with (and check out your own evaluations).

Real estate agents: If you weren’t a real estate agent, what would you think about the professional standards of our industry? Google yourself, and see what’s there for everyone to see. Is that the image you want?

Why meeting buyer qualifying criteria is important: Buyers today have many choices of how to find homes. You need to create competitive reasons to help buyers choose you.  It will save you time and money, and help you create that trust and confidence which is the foundation for all sales decisions .If you’re a newer agent, creating solid reasons to help buyers choose you will increase your self-confidence 200%.

Consumers Not Very Happy with Their Buying Experiences

We in the real estate industry talk about pride of professionalism, value-added service, and customer satisfaction. While all that talk has been going on, the customer satisfaction levels with agents has been pummelting. According to a 2009 California Association of Realtors’ survey, buyers, when asked, “How would you rate your satisfaction with the overal service you received?”, rated agents at a stunningly low 4%!

What This Means to Real Estate Professionals

To continue receiving the level of commission dollars we  want to receive, we’re going to have to raise our own performance criteria and expectations. In addition, having a bad reputation as an industry makes it much harder for the hard-working, dedicated agent to create trust and confidence with the client (the reputation unfortunately precedes us!).

Looking at It from the Consumer Perspective

Let’s stop our ‘inside out’ look at our business, and start looking at it from the consumer perspective. That way, we will build our businesses, instead of unwittingly making it more difficult to get to ‘yes’.

In my next blog, I’ll give you four questions prospective buyers should be asking.

Buyers: What questions do you think are important to ask to assure you get a well-qualified agent?