Relocation agents might appear to do the same work as traditional sales agents, but working with out of town clients can be much more work than meets the eye.
The requirements vary from brokerage to brokerage, but in general, agents need to have been a full-time agent for a required period of time, receive approval from their manager, and prove that they operate with effective communication, are able to be flexible and perform the highest level of customer service. While the latter three points are important even if an agent doesn’t work in relocation, they’re especially important when dealing with out of town clients. Seeing properties becomes even more of a challenge when you’re working with tight schedules and corporations discussing details over the phone or through email, accommodating last-minute showings and gathering details about all prospective new neighborhoods are the experiences a relocating client will remember.
Relocation agents also have to learn to work with relocation companies, which act as the eyes and ears of the client’s corporation during the buying and selling process. Relocation companies often have their own list of procedures and policies when it comes to dealing with clients they refer to brokerages, and those lists will vary from company to company. In order to keep receiving referrals, agents need to make sure everything they do is in line with the company’s policy – and not mix up policies.
“We get referrals directly from relocation management companies and find out about how the policies will work and how we can meet their service level agreement,” says Mary O’Neill, the relocation manager with Baird & Warner. “Every company rates us after every transaction, which helps us stay in preferred broker networks.”
That is why training is necessary, as well, and training procedures also differ from brokerage to brokerage – read more in our cover story.
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