According to the Chicago Tribune, realtors are more relevant than ever, despite the housing market downturn and the mortgage industry’s difficulties. Instead of just being salespeople, however, Chicago real estate agents have taken on a more advisory role—they help their customers predict, plan and execute successful housing decisions.
How have realtors weathered the change from selling, selling, selling during the housing boom, to consulting and advising during this economic climate? A constantly changing market forces realtors to stay up-to-date. An excellent realtor’s new responsibilities force them to maintain expertise on matters outside of the consumer’s (and the average realtor’s) span of knowledge.
As a Chicago real estate agent, my consultative approach is not only relevant, it is the ideal approach in these volatile times. For instance, I always sit down with clients and evaluate the financial outlook of the building and go over the negatives and positives. I also suggest clients ask for a five year plan from the building’s association, and even that they personally go over association minutes to ascertain the possibility of future special assessments.
What does this mean for you, as a buyer or a seller? You need a realtor that you can trust and can build an advisory relationship with. Marki Lemons, a realtor at Rubloff, exemplifies the behavior of a good agent of today in this anecdote. When recently working with a new potential buyer, she didn’t immediately start pulling listings. Instead, Lemons “determined what kind of monthly payment [the buyer] could afford and set his price range. Then she sent him home with a list of things to do to establish a good credit record.” With an eye to the future, good realtors are creating relationships and maintaining personal ties to create business in a stagnant economy.
Read more about the changing role of realtors from the Chicago Tribune.