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Experienced agent, good agent?

Posted by Rona Fischman August 19, 2010 02:31 PM

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No one wants to work with the rookie. But, IMHO, the rookie with good supervision is better than the veteran who hasn’t changed a thing in 20 years.

When I hire agents, I look for curious people who are interested in picking up new things. Each of my agents has a different strength, based on his or her personal interests and skills. Therefore, each is deep in a different place beyond the “must know” training that happens in the first year in real estate.

People who think they can “know it all” in real estate are apt to get stuck in time. An agent with 15 years of experience can have 15 years of constantly growing and changing information or 6 months of information that has been recycling for the last 14.5 years. I sometimes get into a tussle with those in the latter category.

The alarm bells go off for me when I meet agents who are selling their years of experience. Stuff like this: “Selling homes near you since 1990.” “Sharing my 23 years of real estate expertise.” These are the ones who send me emails that include lines like this:

I have just never had someone ask [deleted] in 27 years…
(By the way, I asked for something pretty standard in my practice.)

I hear the “I’m experienced” tactic about once or twice a year. I think when people use their years of experience that way, they are trying to intimidate. (I must sound young and naïve on the phone. About half the time, I have been an agent longer than the caller.) I prefer agents who try to intimidate me with facts. In those cases, I might just learn something.

I earned my first commission (on a rental) 18 years ago this week. I started on Real Estate now in June 2007. Both of these seem like a long time to me. Yet, the jobs are different every week, so there is always something interesting happening. If you catch me writing anything like “In all my years, I never…” or “in my experience, this is the only way to do it…” feel free to call me on it. I strive not to be like that. If I work a month at either job without learning something new, I will wonder what I am doing wrong. That’s just how I am.

Was your agent a lifelong learner or a fact recycler? How can you tell the difference early in the relationship?

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
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About boston real estate now
Scott Van Voorhis is a freelance writer who specializes in real estate and business issues.

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