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Trust is the foundation for good relationships; it pays to find the right person to guide your real estate decisions. Credit: Flazingo Photos/www.flazingo.com

Trust is the foundation for good business

Published: |

The real estate industry hasn’t received the best rap of late.

Amid controversies over housing affordability and the practice of shadow flipping, and one prospective licensee sending an imposter to write his exam, real estate agents command about as much respect as a used car salesman.

A recent survey by Insights West found that British Columbia is the province with the lowest opinion of real estate agents, with just 42% having a positive opinion of people like me. Even lawyers get more love, with 49% of people having a positive opinion of the profession. Only pollsters, auto salespeople, and politicians rank lower than real estate agents in the esteem of B.C. residents.

Where’s the trust?

So, why should you trust me, or any of my colleagues?

Buying a home is the biggest, and one of the most stressful purchases, you’ll ever make. You deserve to know that you’re getting the best guidance possible. You want to trust that advice. The commission owing on property sales is significant enough that you deserve to know that you’re getting value for money.

Being able to trust a real estate agent, or anyone else holding a license from the Real Estate Council of B.C., is a question of relationship. Take the time to get to know your agent – because that is exactly what he or she is, your agent in the conduct of a transaction. You’re asking the agent to represent you in situations with the knowledge they have, and to guide you in making decisions that are in your best interests. It’s important that you’re compatible with one another.

Finding the right match

A standard rule of thumb is to interview a few candidates – say, three to five – to find who is a good fit. Someone who is too close to you, such as a family member, friend, or friend of the family, isn’t always the best choice. There should be enough distance that they can help you think critically about your choices, and also to give you the freedom to release them without fear of repercussions.

You also want to make sure that your candidates have kept their skills up to date. In my case, I’ve taken more than a dozen courses over the past decade to make sure I have the knowledge needed to serve clients. These courses include legal information sessions, technical briefings to help me find the right property (and make sure it’s in good order), and seminars on condos, rental properties and industry trends.

But the real test of any agent is how well they do their job. Are they respectful of others, and the law? The Real Estate Council of B.C. not only issues licenses, it investigates complaints and allegations of wrong-doing. To make sure the agent you engage is clean, check the council’s database of disciplinary decisions.

Lifelong learning

My name isn’t there, and I hope it never will be. I’m constantly upgrading my skills, and learning about the Point Grey, Kitsilano and UBC markets.

If you want to know more about my experience selling West Side real estate, just call me; I’d be happy to talk and start building a relation that can help you build a future in Vancouver.

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