Take it from an HGTV star: You need to increase your knowledge of architecture and building materials to compete in today’s market.
“Your clients have watched enough episodes of Property Brothers, and they expect their REALTOR® to know about a property and how to get the most for it,” says Abby Vasek, a past HGTV Design Star contestant and instructor for the Texas REALTORS®.
After being invited to a brokerage to speak about design, Vasek realized there were gaps in building and architecture education for REALTORS®. It’s an issue of credibility, she says. If clients don’t trust you know about the product you’re selling, how can they relax and let you manage the process? “I find that the more REALTORS® can speak intelligently about their product, the more cooperation comes with that credibility.”
Vasek says you should be able to answer questions such as:
- How do I improve my curb appeal?
- Which improvements does research say have the highest return on investment?
- How are popular architecture styles defined?
- What are the characteristics of common building materials?
- What are the parts of important home systems, such as the roof?
Questions like these can come up during listing presentations with sellers interested in whether you’re the right agent to help them realize the highest return. Buyers may also ask you similar questions when trying to assess the quality or potential of a property.
“You don’t have to know it all,” she says. “You just have to know enough to hang in the conversation and then refer them to an expert.”
Resources to get started
Use these resources to start your research:
- Cost vs Value report
- Best in American Living magazine from the National Association of Home Builders
- Home and design content from REALTOR® Magazine
Abby Vasek is teaching these upcoming courses on building materials and architecture:
- “Current Building Materials & Architecture for Agents” is being offered August 27 and September 25
- “Home Staging & Make Ready Improvements” is being offered September 5 and October 1
- “Get Noticed by Writing Effective Listing Descriptions” is being offered August 27 and September 25.
Contact your local association or search online to learn more.