Apparently Nice Guys Don't Finish Last in Real Estate

The majority of my marketing, presentations and conversations focus on my knowledge and skill set as a real estate professional. I mean, that is what potential clients want to hear about right? Apparently not, according to the National Association of REALTORS "2015 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers." The evidence overwhelmingly points to an agent's character, not competence, as the most important factor when buyers and sellers are choosing an agent.

Courtesy of N.A.R. 2015 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers

Courtesy of N.A.R. 2015 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers

68% of people put highest importance on an agent's character

Four of the top 10 most important factors when choosing an agent, which combine to 68%, have absolutely nothing to do with the real estate agent's ability to perform. Clients want their agent to have a good reputation, be honest & trustworthy, be a friend or family member or have a caring personality. This should be very comforting to you new agents out there! Essentially this graph is stating that a brand new agent who has never sold a house still has a 68% chance of getting business simply by being a nice person with a good reputation. In fact, if this new agent is quick to respond to phone calls and emails they can add another 7% to this chance of business.

Only 15% of people choose an agent based on their real estate expertise

Only 2 of the factors have anything at all to do with expertise: knowledge of the neighborhood (13%) and professional designations (a mere 1%). I'll even give this category the 1% "other" just to be nice. That is still only 15%! This blows my mind -- but numbers don't lie.

Do you need to change your marketing material?

Compare your marketing material (website, magazine ads, etc) to this information. Would you say that 15% of it showcases your professional expertise and the rest on your character and reputation? Probably not. Mine certainly doesn't have this ratio. My marketing material is probably 99% business expertise and 1% character. Going by these numbers, perhaps we all need to spend more marketing dollars on local non-profit donations and public relations rather than "Just Sold" ads.




*Graph and statistical information is from the National Association of REALTORS 2015 Profile of Home Buyers & Sellers and is deemed reliable but not guaranteed.