Unless you are an expert in all aspects of real estate and have unlimited time, you need a broker to help you navigate the often stormy seas of the property market. The broker is your guide, your advisor, your advocate and sometimes even your friend.
The broker plays these roles for both the owner (who may be selling or renting a property) and the potential buyer/renter.
Often people believe that having more of something is a good thing, but when it comes to engaging an agent the opposite is true. Less is more; one broker who knows you and your situation, and has the confidence knowing you are relying on him to get the job done is the most efficient path to a positive result.
There’s an old saying: “Too many cooks spoil the broth”; the meaning is clear: if too many people are trying to accomplish the same task, then they will get in each other’s way and the result will be bad.
If a property has multiple listings, it tends to diminish the perceived value of that property because why else would someone feel the need to show it that way? A quality property is best represented by a quality listing that has good photos with a clear description and this is where one broker who has the expertise comes in. If brokers know that many others are trying to sell the same property than they have less incentive to put the effort into it or spend valuable time negotiating.
In much the same way, if a renter or buyer asks multiple brokers to help them find a property, those agents will not be as motivated to devote their limited resources to the search. This is common sense, yet too often people still engage in this practice. It is much better to engage the services of one broker who you can develop understanding and trust with your property. This also helps to avoid confusion over who said what about a certain property or what offer you might have made. Keep it simple and keep it straight.
For the seller, it starts with the listing. There are so many listings out there so how do you make yours stand out? The simple answer is to make sure you have a good broker who will put the time and effort into creating a good listing for you. If you have multiple brokers creating multiple listings, then you end up muddying the water and causing confusion. It has the added effect that the quality of your listings naturally goes down. When a broker has the confidence of knowing you placed your trust in him for handling your property, then he will exert the energy to do it right.
A quality listing consists of two main ingredients: photos and text. Your broker, if chosen carefully, will have the tools and experience required to create a listing that best displays your property to potential customers. Starting with the photos, they will take quality shots that display the more positive aspects of the building, land, and views if appropriate. That means NO poor-quality phone shots of crumbling walls, a bleak landscape, or your ferocious dog. Because of their experience, they also know what customers from other countries place more value in. For example, people from western cultures tend to place more importance on bathrooms than Georgians do. So, they will do their best to make sure this feature is shown in the best light possible, literally.
In a similar way, the written text is extremely important and should be done by an experienced, knowledgeable professional. When it comes to writing a property description, too often people just write the facts, but the good broker can do so much more. They can write about the area; what it’s like to live there, what the people are like, are there local features like forests or vineyards. These things can be even more important to some buyers than the features of the building itself.
Another concern is that too often listings are written online in Kartuli (the Georgian language); then the English-speaking audience, for instance, have no choice but to click on automatic translation of the text which leads to very poor-quality translations, which can lead to errors and misunderstandings. The broker cannot only write it more eloquently in the Georgian language but also a correct English version which sound just right for the client. They can also potentially do a proper translation to another language if need be.
When it comes to finding clients, in the form of buyers or renters, the broker is indispensable. They have a network that has been expanding over time and with considerable effort. They know what’s out there in the market and how it changes from day to day and they know what people want. It is not just a matter of throwing a listing up and sitting back; they are constantly talking to people and getting new referrals.
When people are looking to rent or buy, they tend to start with searches on the internet. But a listing alone does not tell them all they need to know. If it’s well prepared, the listing can help get them started. From there on, they need to have a person to talk to. The questions they ask can determine whether their interest continues or ends abruptly. And some of these questions can get quite technical. The broker is the source that they can rely on to provide the answers needed.
Your broker also knows where and how to look online for potential buyers. They have also developed many connections with the local community that can prove invaluable. There are so many potential resources where people go to get information and it can be very time-consuming to cover them all. By having a team that is trained and organized, the real estate agency has the resources to take advantage of these sources.
Your broker knows how to speak the language to communicate with all parties involved. Not just the language that people speak in Georgia, be it Kartuli, English, Russian or even Arabic, but the language of what is important to the people involved. This could include knowing what kind of tenant a property owner wants or under which terms they are willing to sell. The ability and time to get to know a client’s needs is one of the most critical skills a broker possesses. This is another important reason to have just one broker take care of you and your property.
The agent is also aware of what is important to a renter; whether it’s a gourmet chef style kitchen or a secure parking spot. Every buyers have their own priorities; with a broker, they can have more confidence that their needs are being considered. The renter of today may become the buyer of tomorrow; the agent wants to nurture these relationships. This can also benefit the seller somewhere down the line and it is this synergy that takes time and effort to create. Additionally, a skilled broker knows how to speak to an attorney in order to set up the best contract for everyone involved. This is the art of real communication.
Your broker will make sure that the seller and the buyer are protected when it comes to the legal considerations. This is so important, and here again, people from other countries often have different concerns than local ones do. By learning about each client’s individual priorities, the broker can guide them on the path to the best results. It is too much information for an owner or buyer to assimilate on their own and it will prove critical to have someone you can trust to handle these situations.
From a seller’s perspective, managing a property can be very time-consuming and stressful. Here, a broker can be of great value. With their experienced management team in place, they have all the contacts and suppliers that are tried and tested.
From a buyer or renter’s perspective, the broker can also provide the support that they may need to deal with the myriad of life’s challenges. Whether it’s the straightforward need for a repairman, to knowing which the better schools are, they can help facilitate a smoother integration into living here.
What the Future Holds
The relationship you build with your broker can benefit you far beyond the first deal. The knowledge they gain as to what your goals are and where you want to be, both physically and financially, in the future, can be life-changing. Yes, they are in the real estate business to make money, but their success is intimately tied to your success. The better they understand your goals, the better they can facilitate your reaching them. This is why it’s much wiser to find one broker you can trust and rely on. Take the time to investigate their references and track record. Meet with them and discuss your needs and make sure you feel they understand you. Don’t just send one email and leave it at that. The time you spend now will be well worth it.