There are those who simply work because they have to and there are those who enjoy their work and work doesn’t seem like work. The business of Real Estate is no different. I believe that if one wants to scale the heights of this profession, one has to ask oneself, “Do I have the Real Estate Spirit?” Does the though of property, buildings, new construction, land get your heart thumping? If it does then you have it in you to be a Real Estate Agent or a Real Estate Developer. I believe that Real Estate is a sort of connection between man and nature. The dwellings for humankind has always been a top priority for us since we as a species climbed down from the trees millions of years ago. The art of construction utilises the best of modern science, architecture and engineering. Right from the dawn of civilization, we human beings have been trying to create a better homes for our families to live and thrive in.
We human beings are territorial creature no different from most other mammalian species. We fight over territories and it isnt surprising that history is replete with stories about thousands of wars that have been fought over capturing prime real estate. Most people will agree with me when I say that its one of the highest prestiges in life to own property and land. And of course as an investment, property investment is right up there in the list of safest things to park one’s money in. Property symbolises value and thus also goes up in value. Real Estate ownership is recognized as a symbol of wealth in every society on earth. Banks consider real estate as the best collateral for loans. A man’s home is his castle and kingdom. If you are a Realtor, ask yourself why you are in the Real Estate Business rather than selling toothpastes or cars for a living or slogging as an IT guy in a 9 – 6 job.
Do you have a passion for the buildings in your area. Have you always been fascinated by the style and architecture of homes in your territory. Do they speak to you as if they were characters jumping out of the pages of a novel?! Can you feel the history of an area as you walk down the street. Do you recognize the majesty of special old neighbourhoods. In Mumbai I always love walking in the Colaba area in South Mumbai! I feel the living presence of the old residential buildings and wonder always about the lives of the many generations of families that have lived there. Every community and area in Mumbai has special bragging rights because of the perks that come attached to the addresses. As a consultant working on real estate deals I believe you have to be the best at your job. And to be great at your job you HAVE to love what you do. Defining your role is of great importance. Being a realtor means slightly different things to different people to both those from the industry and to those outside of it. Most top realtors are not exactly deal chasers trying to hustle up the money any which way they can. There are of course many unscrupulous deals that are conducted but I know for a fact that successful Real Estate Agents earn their commissions because of their reputations of genuinely trying to help a client meet his / stated objectives.
I can say this without any hesitation that every top money-making real estate agent in the business relies on their stellar reputation as their number 1 source of leads and new business. At Gupta & Sen, we have always believed that if you want to play at the top most levels of the game, then you must definitely give up on the short fast scores and start playing the long innings of building up your trust and brand positioning. You must have the faith in your ability to trade on your good name and track record with Buyers and Sellers. It does take a while for one’s name to get around but when it does, referrals pour in. There is no advertising in the world that is better than being recommended.
Let’s look at some goals here that we recommend all Agents who work with set for themselves:
- Your first goal is to generate enough business to be able to justify the salary of an assistant. If you reach a level whereby you have too many leads to work upon, an assistant gives you the edge that you need to be effective. Every busy agent must be busy doing most of the brain work of running, managing and growing his / her Real Estate Business and taking care of those things require a Real Estate Agent to pass on the work of paper shuffling, data entry, phone calls taking to someone else. The agent should be handling urgent calls and implementing business strategy.
- Your second goal is to ensure that your brand identity is set in stone and people know your unique brand message and what you stand for. In order to be known as the best you need to become known as the specialist or expert in one area. You just cannot hope to become known as the Jack-of-all-trades Realtor. I am not saying that you turn down all leads but you cannot dabble in any and all arenas or real estate. You need to get to the “expert” status as soon as possible. Just do whatever you can to become a master of a certain niche even if it involves inventing a genre of realty that no one has ever heard or considered important enough to specialise in before! There are all kinds of publicity opportunities that become available when you become known as an expert in something. There is absolutely nothing wrong to come up with a new field to be the expert at. You could take a stodgy category of the Real Estate Market and breathe excitement into it or bring attention to it even in a slow market.
- Your third goal is to eventually acquire and master the technology that will help in driving you past the competition and keep you ahead! When used right, technology can be similar to having a whole team of tireless assistants working for you non-stop! At Gupta & Sen we acknowledge the fact that while technology can be a great source of brand building and lead generation, the business of real estate is still a personable business meaning and one-on-one communication skills is still the most important factor of this business. Gadgetry, CRM’s etc. takes the tedious and monotonous jobs off our hands and frees us up on the important stuff like – courting clients. Technology helps to differentiate your real estate brand in a superior manner and elevates us and our brand from other realtors working on the same streets, towns and cities. Gupta & Sen may be a relatively new player compared to hundred year old legacy companies like Knight Frank, Cushman & Wakefield etc. But the use of technology helps to create an even playing field even for brash young upstarts like us 🙂
Why Research & Choose a Realtor
Let us have a look at Real Estate from the client’s point of view. One has to understand that clients are always nervous about hiring a Realtor. And of course many buyers in the market have a feeling that one agent is as good as the next. They may need an agent but quite frankly they do not believe that there is such a thing as a “good real estate agent” and a “lousy real estate agent”! This does not mean that they will sit with just about any agent that comes their way although for many people it is the first agent that gets in front that gets to win their account. Many buyers do not really have any idea to determine if you are a good or average Realtor for their needs. We all know that if a client ends up hiring one realtor over another realtor they could end up losing lakhs or paying extra for the same exact property. All Realtors don’t have the same negotiation skills and I have seen many a time in my career that many property sales were lost to other bidders because a Realtor tried to play hard ball, did not assess the situation properly and the sellers took another offer leaving their clients in the lurch. Two realtors working the same territory may not even show the same set of properties to a certain client which goes to prove that if the client chooses the wrong Realtor they may never even view the perfect property which may have situated just a few yards away! If you are a buyer please do your research before choosing the right agent for you. We know the stakes but most clients do not!
Chloe is a real estate advisor and investment advisor with Gupta & Sen Associates. With a combined experience of over 15 years in varied industries, she is a vocal and knowledgeable ally for buyers and investors who want to make informed choices when buying a property in India. With superlative communication and marketing skills, Chloe handles our PR, real estate marketing strategy and client management.