When searching through property listings you are often met with a smiling face at the bottom of the ad listing. But who are these mysterious faces and what are they offering you and can you trust the face behind that smile? Real estate agents are all salespeople and come in all shapes and sizes, with a myriad of experience from entry-level juniors to principals and owners of agencies. How do you know which one is the best for you to work with, one you can trust with potentially the biggest purchase of your life?

Firstly ask yourself this, what type of property am I looking for?
Do I want a commercial or residential property?
Is it an investment or to occupy?
Do you want to buy, sell or lease?
Where are you seeking your new property?

When you know the answers to these important questions you can start narrowing down just who might be right for you. For example: If you are leasing, you need to find a leasing agent or specialist. If you are buying a commercial property, then it’s simple, speak with a sales person at the agency.

Types of agents you may encounter & consider working with

Property Manager: Individual who manages a portfolio of homes. Arranges tenants, repairs and inspections annually

Senior Property Manager: A manager with either a high net worth portfolio or a senior staff member with employee reporting responsibilities

Commercial Property Manager: A real estate professional who is focused solely on commercial property and can help with arranging tenants, repairs, fit-outs, reports and inspections

Principal: Usually the person who owns the agency or is a senior partner in the business

Leasing Specialist / Agent: A professional negotiator sourcing you tenants for the commercial properties you own

How do I know if the person I have found is right for me?

Research is key to any new venture and when teaming up with an agent you may find you just want to be sure you have chosen the right person to help you secure your new property. Why not start by searching LinkedIn for the persons name. They should be well connected with 500+ contacts, have plenty of information about themselves and the company they work for and also have received some positive reviews or recommendations from colleagues and clients.

You could also ask around the neighborhood or your business contacts to see who they would recommend in the area you are looking to purchase or lease. There are also tools available such as the Commecial Property Guide Find An Agent search. You could also attend open inspections and auctions that the agent is hosting and see how they deal with each person who walks in the door.

Finally ask the agent for a meeting before you sign any documents with the company, meet the team from their particular office and have a conversation about just what you are seeking and their approach to property sales and leasing. The agent you have met should be professional, friendly and above all knowledgeable about the area, the properties previously sold in the area and those freshly available.