New York City is one of the toughest cities to break into the real estate industry. The market is complex and competition is fierce. With over 30,000 real estate agents in Manhattan and numbers climbing every day, only ten percent of agents do approximately ninety percent of the business. Establishing yourself as a broker in early stages while continuously expanding your network of clients and listings is not an easy feat, so many agents leave the industry after only six months.
With endless options for agents and real estate companies in NYC, it can be difficult to know how to choose the right broker when buying or selling an apartment. Working with a real estate agent can be a several month relationship in a complex and struggling market, so finding someone with drive, integrity, experience, and industry knowledge are crucial to close a deal.
Below are eight important insights and factors to consider when hiring your next real estate agent.
- Energy – Find a broker who has intense drive and gives high energy and dedication to a property during the sales process. You want someone who is passionate about their listing and will utilize all outlets possible to close a deal. As apartment sales can sometimes be a long process with ups and downs, it is important to work with someone who will keep high energy until their client’s property is sold or the right apartment is found for a buyer.
- Market Knowledge – Product knowledge is one of the most important factors in any sales position. Finding someone that has strong knowledge of the property they are selling is crucial when speaking to potential buyers. Being able to understand the building, features, neighborhood and other comparable listings in the area is key to provide the best experience to clients. When looking to buy, it is beneficial to have a broker who has done deals in the same building that you are looking in. They will be able to advise on current concessions being offered, as well as units that are more desirable. sales agent with better, negotiation skills
- Problem Solver – In my experience as a broker, there have been countless times where problems or setbacks arise during a deal. Being able to think on your feet and develop creative and strategic ways to bring deals to the finish line is a crucial skill to have as a broker. Unforeseen challenges are inevitable, so you must be able to think out of the box when representing both sellers and buyers.
- Honesty – Finding an honest broker is an important trait to look for and also one of the hardest things to find. Typically, when looking for a new real estate agent it is best to use your network of friends, family, and colleagues for introductions to brokers that they have worked and had positive experiences with in the past. Many clients that are looking to buy or sell property may not have much experience with the process, understand the market and fair offers, so working with a trustworthy broker who will always provide honest guidance and advice to their clients is a highly valuable characteristic.
- Engaging Personality – Working with a broker is not usually a quick process, so this may be a person you end up spending a good amount of time with. Finding someone with an outgoing, friendly and energetic personality that you click with helps make the process more engaging, fun and exciting. A broker with these traits can turn, what can sometimes be, a daunting task of finding or selling an apartment into something much more enjoyable.
- Strong Network – Working with a broker who has contacts in various industries, such as, design, law, construction, and many others can create a much easier overall buying or selling experience. Someone who offers a full array of services can be your one-stop-shop for all things A to Z during your sale. Even after a deal is done, the broker’s job doesn’t end. They should be able to help arrange movers or provide options and advice for contractors if you want any custom work done.
- Attention to Detail – Find a broker with strong organizational skills, attention to detail, and a full support staff who can assist with board packages, coordinate walkthroughs and answer any questions post-closing. When searching for an apartment, you want someone who provides a clear and simple list with all the units you have seen as well as a detailed evaluation of all of them. Once it is time to make an offer, you want to be able to lean on the advice of your broker for what comparable properties are in the area so they can best guide you on a strong, reasonable and fair offer.
- Hustle – You want a broker who is going to hustle for you and never give up. If you are selling your home and the market is struggling, you need someone who will not give up on the property until the deal is done. Time and time again deals fall through and many inexperienced brokers lose faith and give up, so resilience and drive are crucial. Even brokers who have decades of experience and many listings can lose faith and dedication if they feel the property won’t sell. If you find someone who has the hustle to get the job done, they will not rest until it is complete. When looking to buy a property, giving a broker your “wish list” sometimes be daunting for some, but good brokers utilize their network, make calls and send emails to fellow brokers and owners to find that needle in the haystack for their clients.
Finding a broker can be like finding a babysitter for your child, a new hire at your company or some say it can even be like finding a significant other. The process of buying an apartment can take anywhere from two to six months, and sometimes longer, so finding someone you really enjoy spending time with, like any other relationship, is very important. Of course, a broker also must have the necessary experience as well as inventory and market knowledge. Your broker should have dealt with the buying and selling process so many times, it is almost second nature to them. Lastly, when you find a broker that you like, it is important to research them online. Find out what their recent deals entail and their level of experience. Reach out to them and ask for a list of clients that they have worked with and get permission to call them for feedback.
A broker who encompasses all of these traits is challenging to find, if not impossible. Think about what your top priorities are whether you are buying or selling and utilize this list as a guide when meeting with your next broker to help with your decision-making process and to know what questions to ask.
This article was written by Philip Scheinfeld, Real Estate Agent in New York City for Compass, LLC. Philip has six years of experience in the New York City real estate industry and sold listings across Manhattan and Brooklyn.