Today’s Realtor does more than show and list homes.
Industry experts say Realtors must be knowledgeable about national and local legislative issues affecting the industry, support laws and candidates that promote the real estate industry and their clients’ best interests, keep abreast of local community issues, network with their other Realtors, market themselves in a competitive industry and be savvy about ever-changing technology advances.
Pat Pullara, Chief Operating Officer of the Greater Northwest Indiana Association of Realtors, said Realtors should be involved in civic life, be knowledgeable about the issues facing the industry and support initiatives which promote a healthy and sustainable real estate market.
She said signing up for the Realtor Party and keeping informed on legislative and regulatory issues on all levels, taking action through the Realtor Action Center and contributing financially to the Realtors Political Action Committee are all important components of being a Realtor.
“The Realtor legislative and regulatory agenda has been focused on efforts to stimulate, stabilize and strengthen real estate markets across the nation while protecting the business interests of members,” Pullara said. “A fundamentally sound and dynamic U.S. real estate market is an essential component of the American economy and fosters vibrant communities in which to live and work.”
Since 1969, through RPAC, Realtors have raised and spent money to elect and support candidates who support the issues that are important to their profession and livelihood, Pullara said.
In today’s ever-changing market, Realtors are facing more challenges than ever, said Realtor Daisy Lou Alvarez of Century 21 Alliance Group.
“Competition is huge. Marketing yourself is so important,” Alvarez, who also co-chairs the Greater Northwest Indiana Association of Realtors Young Professionals Network, said. “Networking is crucial. Making connections with co-workers is a great way to socialize, improve small talk skills and learn from the experiences of others.”
Agents must be on the very edge of cutting technology, Alvarez said.
“Real estate is a competitive industry, and agents need to be able to communicate with clients at all times and be able to market properties in the most creative way possible,” Alvarez said. “Contrary to the saying ‘It’s not what you know, it’s who you know,’ staying educated on community and legislative issues is extremely important. Clients can’t always make it to community and government events, they depend on their agents for knowledge regarding real estate issues.”
There have been many changes in the real estate industry over the past six years, Alvarez said.
“Sales agents are now being transitioned into associate brokers, technology has advanced so much, and agents have become innovative in order to compete amongst their peers throughout the ups and downs of the market,” Alvarez said. “In order to be a great Realtor, a person must be able to be a good sales person and be able to understand and relate to the emotions that people go through when purchasing their first home, investment property or commercial property for their business.”
Alvarez said an outstanding agent is one who puts the clients’ best interest before their own.
GNIAR Director of Communications and Professional Development Nichole DeMario said no two Realtors are alike.
“Each one of our members brings a different skill set and qualities to the table,” DeMario said. “That’s what is so wonderful about this industry; many people can find success.”
DeMario said Realtors have expanded their horizons and territories.
“Very few Realtors nowadays stick to one particular community, territory or niche,” DeMario said. “In order to make a living in real estate in recent years, Realtors had to begin navigating new communities, territories and niches.”