Real Estate sector not only touches everyone’s lives but being the second largest employer, it is one of the main engines of the Indian economy. It is an industry which provides livelihood across the societal strata with the realtors also known as brokers, property dealers and realty consultants making the bulk of the workforce. Just like everyone knows at least a lawyer, a doctor, or an engineer, everyone also knows at least one realtor.
It is a widely practiced trade as the entry barriers and initial capital investment are incredibly low, and anyone with a smart phone, laptop, basic knowledge of the trade and a place to operate from can start plying the trade. Many people enter the profession every day but most of them leave the trade within a year. It happens as most people outside the trade assume it to be a cakewalk and rush in without much analysis. Like any other industry or trade, being a successful realtor also requires certain traits, qualities and habits which can be acquired through study, training, research, reflection, and experience. Here, is an attempt to draw a list of the most basic traits a realtor needs to cultivate to become successful. This list is by no means all exhaustive and further additions from the learned readers are more than welcome.
1. Obtaining Professional and Regulatory Certification
Every industry requires it’s professional to have a professional or regulatory qualification and certification which kickstarts or aids her career. If you want to become a doctor than you need to study MBBS or if you want to become an engineer, you need to study B. Tech or B.E. On the similar lines if you are a realtor or planning to be one then it is imperative that you take RERA (Real Estate Regulatory Authority) and other statutory certification.
Secondly, there are some educational courses on real estate run by private universities and by NAREDCO (National Real Estate Development Council) which provide you basic grounding into the tradecraft along with providing you certification and opportunity to network with fellow professionals.
2. Complete and Updated Knowledge About the Micro Market
In real estate, the most important aspect of a property is location. On the same lines, the factor which contributes the most to the success of a realtor is in-depth & complete knowledge of the locations and micro-markets he operates in. Current rates, historical trends of prices, details about supporting infrastructure, regulatory framework and other such pieces of information are sine qua nons if you wish to occupy the mind space of your client, and maximize the chances of closing the deal.
3. Verifying All Legal Details of the Property, Especially the Title
Every realtor worth her salt must have complete knowledge of the documentation involved in the registeration of the sale & lease deeds. Equally (perhaps more) important are the skills and knowledge required to do the due diligence of the property’s ownership for the smooth registration of the property in the new owner’s name and handing over the possession of the same to him without any hassles. However, the laws of the land are so complex that it is almost impossible for a realtor to do the complete due diligence on her own and sometimes even trained bankers & lawyers fail to the job to the perfection but nevertheless, the more a realtor knows about the due diligence the better he is at the safeguarding the interests of her clients.
4. Prompt and Excellent Customer Service
Gone are the days when the realtors were overwhelmed with the queries and properties were selling like hot cakes due to which they were unable service their customers properly. While in some cases, the oversight was due to genuine overload, in most cases the realtors were more interested in earning commission from maximum customers instead of serving existing customers.
Now days, with very few investors and mostly end-users in the realty market it is vital for any realtor to provide top-class service to customers. The excellent customer service to the clients helps in two ways. Firstly, it increases the chances of the client closing the deal through you as he is in touch with other realters too. Secondly, a delighted client will refer to you more clients thus more business for you.
There is an old business maxim, “A happy customer gives you one reference, but an unhappy customer deprives the company of ten potential customers.”
5. Presence on the Internet
In the digitally connected world we live in, it anachronistic to not have a digital presence. Profession of a realtor is full of cut-throat competition with legacy realtors, bid corporates and new entrants making it tough for an individual realtor to survive and succeed. This is where a well-thought digital strategy can work wonders for the business. Following are some of the ways, a realtor can boost her business though the internet:
- Website: These days getting & maintaining a decent website is no sweat. The website may be about your business or about you, but a professional website is a must.
- LinkedIn Profile: A LinkedIn profile works wonders as not only it adds more credibility to you when a potential client searches about you, but it also helps you in getting connected with fellow professionals and potential customers.
- WhatsApp: WhatsApp must be used to provide relevant information to clients on a regular basis.
- Realty Websites: There are many realty websites which can be used by a realtor for lead generation, networking, listing properties, education, etc.
6. Supply and Demand Management
The most basic & the most important function of a business is to supply goods or services for demand by the consumer. For a realtor, it is important to have a handle on both the supply and demand of the properties as the real estate industry is unlike any other. While fresh units are available in the primary market with real estate developer, once a property is sold by the builder, it becomes a part of the secondary market. Therefore, a successful realtor controls both demand and supply.
For some years, the market has been sluggish and realistic unlike the heady days of last years of the last decade when demand more or less outstripped supply for some time and every Tom, Dick & Harry was either investing in a property or advising for the same. These days, there are lot of properties available for sale while the buyers are far and few which makes it tougher for a realtor to do business.
In that view, it is critical that the realtor expertly generates demand on a consistent basis with an ability to search out many properties as per the demand. This can be done through superior networking, effective digital marketing and getting new clientele through old references.
7. Relationship Management
An effective realtor needs to be deft at managing relationships with her staff, clientele, real estate developers and other stakeholders in her business as the one of the most important resources for her business is information which is available with people. Technology is important these days, but human touch is still important.
8. Value Added Services like Vaastu Advice, Legal Consultation, Mortgage, Escrow and Tax Liability
In the times of intense competition, providing supplementary value-added services to the clients becomes a winning edge for the realtor. It exhibits the professionalism of the realtor positioning her establishment as a one stop shop for property requirements and consequently increases her credibility in the eyes of the clients. By working on the aforesaid points in a diligent and indefatigable manner, a realtor can make progress in his business in leaps and bounds.