I mentioned the other day that we’re getting Rancho Deluxe ready for sale. Part of that process is choosing a realtor. It’s a very important part of the process since the realtor is your guide. What work should we do on the house prior to listing? How much is a reasonable but aggressive asking price? Where is the local market and are the offers we get worth considering? It’s a job interview, even if the job is temporary. I thought some of what we found is applicable to any form of hiring, and that hiring might be personal (a job) or organizational (by a client).
We got the names of three realtors from friends who had worked with them. Each walked through the house and scheduled a second meeting, the purpose of which was to give us their thoughts on the questions I mentioned, above. It was also a chance for them to demonstrate their thinking and competence.
Two of the three came back with folders containing listings of comparable houses to help us price. They gave us a good overview of the marketplace and described the buyer they thought would be looking at our home. The third showed up with nothing. When asked about comps she scrolled through her phone looking for some while we sat and waited. While she could talk about the market, her conversation was very general and not specific to our situation (location, the age of our home, etc.). Had it been a business meeting, I would have tossed her out of my office after 15 minutes. The point is preparedness. While Woody Allen may have said that 80% of success is showing up, I think showing up prepared is far better. Needless to say, she was disqualified from consideration.
The choice between the other two came down to a few things. Personality (with whom dd we feel most comfortable) was a big part. How hard we felt they would work on our behalf was another. While they each told us what they thought needed to be done to get the house ready, one of them offered to help us make those things happen by offering to hook us up with some reasonably priced contractors/handymen. She didn’t just identify our issues; she offered to help us resolve them. In addition, she described what money she would invest, putting her own skin in the game. It means that if the house doesn’t sell she is not just out the commission she won’t receive but also some funds she has invested herself. That was the tie-breaker.
Each of those points – preparation, personality, problem-solving, and commitment – is something that should come up in any vetting process, whether you’re hiring or being hired. How does each candidate stack up? How do you?