Advice on Finding the Perfect Real Estate Ally
June 11, 2012 | Pursuits
Even though I’ve been at the high end of this business for more than three decades, I still have to prove my chops with new clients—something all agents must do, really. It doesn’t matter if they are celebrities or not, my goal is to treat everyone with the utmost honesty and fairness, and give them realistic advice and creative strategies to shorten the length of the buying or selling process.
A referral by a friend or business manager means there is built-in trust from the outset. Treat your first call to an agent like an audition—give them about 30 seconds to prove they are confident, knowledgeable, and well informed. A good agent will then present a clear, organized plan for marketing and listing your property.
It also helps to find common ground. I saw an article about Moby being famous for his pancakes, which caught my interest since I’m a pancake-maker myself on weekends. When he came to see a chateau in the Hollywood Hills, I sought some pancake-making tips from him. It turned into a fun exchange—he was happy to wax on about pancakes and was immediately comfortable with me. He bought the house.
Because top brokers require a name prior to showing a house, it’s difficult to keep information private in this town, so look for an agent who is discreet and respects your privacy. One way to be creative and honest is to provide a business manager’s or attorney’s name.
Additionally, hire an agent who has a sophisticated understanding of the marketplace and is a good communicator. Ultimately, however, it’s most critical to establish a long-term relationship with someone who has the personality and skills to make you confident you can weather any transaction storm with them as your guide. erniecarswell.com
Fashion shoot: December 2013 issue of Los Angeles Confidential magazine.