5 Housing Agent Superpowers to Use to Your Advantage (Or, Learn)
Written by Hana LaRock: www.hanalarockwriting.com
Housing agents—otherwise known as “real estate agents”, depending on where you live—have one of the hardest professions there is. To be a housing agent takes a lot more than just being able to buy and sell homes for your clients. In this day in age, when technology has made it easier for people to house-hunt and process transactions on their own, housing agents need to find ways to demonstrate their abilities and what they are able to provide to people, that the Internet cannot.
Luckily, there’s still a huge demand for housing agents in spite of this. In fact, according to the Real Estate Agent in the Digital Age 2018 Report by NAR, “While the initial process may start online, home buyers turn to the advice from a trusted real estate agent. The difference is that home buyers are entering the process more educated about the market before they speak to a home seller or an agent.” The study said that people still worked with an agent 87 percent of the time.
So, people around the world are still utilizing agents, especially in circumstances in which they don’t feel comfortable going out on their own. Real estate agents, therefore, who are able to market themselves, work hard, set themselves apart from other agents, and connect with those who need them, will be surprised at what kind of business they can bring in.
This all starts with finding your housing agent superpower, and using it to your advantage.
1) Speaking Another Language
What network are you working in? Oftentimes, real estate agents only work in a given area, which makes sense if they want to maximize their opportunities. But, are you also only working in a given demographic? This is where agents tend to limit themselves. If you’re able to work with people outside of your typical client group—perhaps by speaking another language—you’ve just opened up the door to way more clients.
Not only are there expats relocating abroad that do not speak the local language, there are also families in your own country who are still getting settled in. If you already speak another language, use it to your advantage and make sure your people know you are available. And, if you don’t speak another language, now may be the time to learn one that’s prevalent in your community.
When you create your HousingAgent.com profile, you can add the languages you speak so that clients who speak the same language can find you when it comes time for them to find an agent to work with.
2) Being Familiar with International Real Estate
If you haven’t heard of the term “housing agent”, that’s probably because another term is more widely used in your community. And, that’s okay. But, getting familiar with other terms used to talk about people in your profession is the first step in getting familiar with international real estate overall.
We’re not just talking about learning what’s going on with the housing market in other countries (though, that’s important to some extent as well). Instead, it’s important to familiarize yourself with how other people perceive the process of buying or renting a home in their own communities, and fill in the gaps in parts of that process that will be new to them.
One way to boost your housing agent superpower is to learn about how you can begin working in the international real estate market. If you work in the United States, for example, the National Realtors Association actually has a certification you can get for this, called “Certified International Property Specialist” (CIPS). Here, you’ll learn the skills necessary to earn a certification which will demonstrate your ability to and knowledge to work with global clients.
3) Knowing a Local and Foreign Culture
A certification and/or stamp on your profile that you speak another language and know the international real estate market can certainly make you a hot commodity in this network. But, it’s not just what you know on a broad scale—it’s the little things, too.
Expats, for example, want to work with a real estate agent who not only knows the local culture where they work and where they’re going to help place their clients, but their clients’ culture as well—and, how the two can connect. Although speaking a second language is a valuable skill, you also need to speak the unspoken language of cultural norms and customs that define what’s important to people when they look for their new home.
For instance, if your client is someone coming from a country where homes are typically smaller than the average American home, or where people prefer to live in an apartment instead of a physical house, that’s something worth knowing (or, at least knowing to ask). The same goes for understanding how downpayments work, commissions, closing costs, etc. If your superpower is knowing about another culture, use it to welcome more clients who will need that.
4) The Right Knowledge and the Ability to Learn
Working in this industry is not just what you know. After all, anyone who wants to be a real estate agent more or less needs to learn the same foundational skills. It’s what you do to expand on the knowledge and learn other skills that set you apart. To some, it may be learning another language, and to others, it may be learning how to amplify your marketing skills, how to utilize social media, attending professional developments, or practicing how to use a new lead generation software.
5) A Multitude of Valuable Connections
It’s not just knowing how to use your superpowers to stand out from the sea of other real estate agents—it’s knowing when you don’t have all the answers, and when to call in or recommend some help when you fall short. It’s about looking out for the best interests of your clients. This is especially for those of us who have clients who may seek our help without knowing another soul in the area (usually, the agent is the first step in a long process in relocating, buying a vacation home, or student housing). Anyone you can connect them to is going to reflect beautifully on you.
That’s why HousingAgent.com provides a database not just to connect agents and clients together, but to provide resources on where to find rental agents/letting agents, concierge services, moving services, immigration services, information on short-term rentals, etc. This goes to show how vital it is to have a multitude of valuable connections in this profession; not just for yourself, but for your clients who will appreciate any recommendations you have.
Likewise, connecting with other agents in a community of those who share the same values can help take your career to the next level. And, hopefully, you’ll meet some cool, like-minded people along the way!
As a housing agent, it’s not enough to just stand out. It’s about making sure that the right people can find you. That’s why HousingAgent.com offers real estate agents around the world the opportunity to create a profile so that you can be matched with high quality, international leads today! Visit: HousingAgent.com