What to look for in a good broker?

14 Replies | Austin, Texas

What to look for in a good broker?  I was just asked this question and I feel like I flubbed the answer.  In your opinion, what makes for a good broker here in Austin, Tx?

  • Good deal flow (you should ask them how many deals they sold in the past 6 months)
  • List deals that meet your specific investment criteria
  • Responsive
  • Trustworthy (for example, offering memorandum is accurate, rental comps are accurate)
  • Offers connections to other real estate professionals (e.g., mortgage brokers, property management, etc.)
  • Open book: allows you to ask questions about their current and past listings
  • Provide Reference
  • Have a multiple active listings
  • Awards (Top Broker etc..)
  • Clear communication
  • Quick in responding
  • Knowledge of area, Different area within cities has different expert agents...
  • Knowledge of local and global economy

Too much to list but quickly:

1. Drills down to identify client needs/wants

2. honest comm about if they are realistic in this market

3. responsive

4. well rounded in all aspects of RE, Mortg, ins, RE, Const, title, etc..

5. Track history of success

6. Surrounded by good team


I concur with Danny. I will add as a number 7 the size of portfolio. Meaning does a broker or agent practice what they preach? In other words to they have credibility?  I have heard a saying once that I thought was very funny and very appropriate in Texas for a person that doesn't have credibility or in this case: investment properties. "All Hat and No Cattle"...haha!

@Beau Fannon ,

I agree with what you heard from @Danny Webber and @Aaron Gordy .   I really liked Danny's #2.  Honest communication about their ability and understanding of a market.  Not everyone really understands the duplex market in Dallas or the condo market in Houston, but all agents would love to have the commission check on either of those. :)

@Shital Thakkar also mentioned that they should have active listings.  I work with some agents who claim to be experts in a market (see above) and yet have no listings.  That is a red flag for me.

  @Nina Hayden's comment about staying a few steps ahead is something you won't see until you do the first transaction with the agent. 

We bought a property earlier this year with an agent who didn't really understand the market and needed me to guide them the whole way.  That worked out OK since I knew the area really well and own other properties there, but I would have been really concerned to use that agent in a situation where I didn't know what was going on.
There are two things to look for:
1. What they look like before the deal
2. What they look like after the deal

You want to look for as many of these things that folks have listed as you can BEFORE you sign something with them.  Once you do the deal with them, take notes about what the agent did well for you and what you didn't like.  Then when you are ready for your next deal review those notes and see if this is someone you want to work with again.

We are working with a new agent on a deal.  The deal didn't go through, but we like working with this agent so much, we will keep working with them as we try to close the next deal.

Good luck!

Originally posted by @Beau Fannon :

What to look for in a good broker?  I was just asked this question and I feel like I flubbed the answer.  In your opinion, what makes for a good broker here in Austin, Tx?

 I want someone who knows the market, and is willing to give their input

Our old realtor would walk a house and say yes or no, IE should would talk us out of properties she didn't like either the neighborhood or the value/remodel cost.

she had the eye of an investor, managed her own properties.  Also she would call us on occasion with listings she liked.