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November 7th, 2011 3:33 PM by David W. Welch
When comparing Realtors, it is helpful to be aware of how seasoned professionals use key elements from the project management discipline to harness the often chaotic world of real estate. Experienced Realtors know that there are nearly an infinite amount of skills one has to master in order to secure professional longevity. A Realtor typically juggles all the job roles of an entire company. Some of these tasks include: sales force, marketing manager, accountant, administrative assistant, educator, and CEO. To manage all these roles effectively one almost needs project management training and a touch of magic. As you compare Realtors, it is important to look at the Realtor’s overall project management skills which can help your overall real estate transaction go smoothly.
1. Organized Teams Translate to Power Project managers think in terms of team-building. An excellent project manager has taken the time to build an awesome team. Observing how the Realtor works with a team can help your transactions go more efficiently. The title company, appraiser, inspector, and even the administrative assistants, receptionists, and hotels recommended for out of town clients all become part of the Realtor’s personal team. Examine the links in the chain. The sum of the parts should always be a more powerful entity than the individual parts are alone. An effective team increases profits and is worth the time it takes to intentionally and skillfully assemble one; seasoned Realtors utilize teams powerfully. Clients notice transactions go more smoothly with Realtors who have strong team management skills.
2. Time Management Builds Client Respect In a stressed economy when people are taking on more duties with less compensation, time is more valuable than ever. A seasoned Realtor knows this and takes the time before a meeting to be sure everyone is prepared with all documents that might be needed. An effective Realtor should be on time and set up the method of communication s/he will use to notify you if a last minute emergency should prevent him/her from arriving on time. Certified project managers plan time wisely and prepare for upcoming complex meetings with an organized methodology; experienced Realtors use similar skills to organize complex schedules. An organized professional is one who understands the value of a client’s time and works logically and skillfully toward making his or her management of time seem effortless to those on the outside looking inward.
3. Using Communication Effectively Demonstrates Experience There are times when email is just not the correct or most professional mode of communication. When delivering bad news about delays for instance, voice or face to face communication is sometimes more effective even if electronic follow up is provided for documentation. In business, when unexpected situations arise, most people will remember how you communicated with them and communicate that when it is time to recommend you to others. Successful Realtors know that powerful communication skills build business. When reviewing the communication practices of Realtors, it is important to feel that the mode of communication s/he uses fits the message being conveyed. The Realtor should respect and remember your input regarding your communication preferences. Effective project managers also know the importance of follow-though. How a Realtor closes the transaction with you will be the last interaction you will probably have before you decide to recommend him or her. Most seasoned Realtors remember to say thank you in some tangible way – a hand written note goes far in today’s electronic world. A little personal thought can go a long way; most effective Realtors understand this.
4. Anticipating and Planning for Delays Builds Client Trust Any certified project manager can tell you that adding time in the contract for delays is actually one of the secrets of delivering a project on time and under budget. Weather delays, construction delays, bank overload, illness, etc. can and will all add unexpected delays to a project. There are many unknowns that may arise in the process of a real estate transaction. Your Realtor should be able to anticipate and plan for the eventuality of common delays and communicate those possibilities to you. When delays occur, it is important that your Realtor communicates the issue to all affected parties. If the delay is going to create a chain effect, the Realtor should be able to manage that event. For a Realtor, part of planning for a delay is creative-problem solving, and having a back-up team of other professionals such as contractors and appraisers to draw from. Anticipation and preparation for delays makes the project run more smoothly and that can translate to more referrals for a real estate agent when the project is complete. Communicating effectively about the unexpected builds team trust, respect, and confidence; a seasoned real estate agent should handle delays and manage challenging events in ways that make you feel you can trust his or her and will feel confident recommending the agent in the future.
Any real estate transaction brings on a certain amount of stress. As a client, you will want to see that your chosen Realtor can juggle and manage a wide range of events over which you neither of you can have complete control. Borrowing some of the “secrets” of the trade from certified project managers can help you judge how effectively a Realtor manages teams, uses communication skills, spends meeting time, and handles delays or other complications that are inevitable in any business transaction. While there is no magic potion for choosing the best Realtor, there are creative ways to look at a Realtor’s professional skills. From your perspective as a client, the most sought-after Realtors will make the real estate transaction process nearly seamless and will move with you through the process with a finesse that seems almost magically effortless.
Project management can be useful in real estate and many other professions. Villanova University's online programs provided this post about project management tips and offers project management training 100% online.
Posted with permission from Joe Schembri--Villanova University & Bisk Education