Pulse Results

Pulse: Buyers and Sellers Choose a Brokerage Firm Based on Reputation

Pulse: Buyers and Sellers Choose a Brokerage Firm Based on Reputation

Last month, the LANDTHINK Pulse posed the following question to our audience: What are the 3 MOST IMPORTANT factors when selecting a real estate firm to assist you with buying or selling land?

November Pulse Sponsored by

American Forest Management

Our informal online survey revealed that 59.2% of respondents think that the reputation of the real estate brokerage firm is the most important factor when choosing someone to represent them in buying or selling land. With reputation ranking highest in the firm selection process, it’s imperative that owners and brokers make the right decisions to ensure their reputation within the land industry is first-class. People want to make the best choice to help them buy or sell assets that can be worth millions of dollars. If a firm is well regarded, it can certainly give them an edge over the competition.

What is reputation? It is only THE most important asset you have in your business. In fact, there’s no industry where owning a good reputation is more essential than in real estate. A brokerage firm’s reputation is the sum total of many different aspects of the business, but in short, it is how the firm is perceived by current and potential customers. Routine things that every firm does – every property showing, every transaction, every social media post, every land article published, every agent hired- has some level of influence on its reputation. The land business is much smaller than people realize. Word of mouth can travel quickly, especially in rural areas, as to whether or not a firm has a favorable reputation.

Based on the results of last month’s survey, buyers and sellers are scrutinizing a firm’s reputation, even before honing in on an agent. Buyers and sellers should know that every real estate brokerage firm has a Broker in Charge, who is licensed by each state in which he or she conducts business. Brokers can open their own office and sell real estate either acting as the agent or having other agents work for them.

Choosing a reputable firm and an agent can present a challenge for land buyers and sellers. Buyers and sellers should rest assured knowing that the vast majority of real estate land agents have worked hard to gain knowledge and proficiency in the discipline of land. Most are members of the National Association of REALTORS®, and a local board of REALTORS®. All REALTORS® pledge to abide by a strict Code of Ethics, that protects the buying and selling public. However, all licensed real estate agents are not equally good at helping you sell your rural property. In his LANDTHINK article, How to Choose a Listing Agent for your Rural Land, Jonathan Goode, of Southeastern Land Group, offers some guidance for sellers on how to select the right agent to sell their land at the right price, in a timely manner, and as smoothly as possible.

The emergence of social platforms and customer review sites, have radically changed the way brokerage firms are seen and judged. Now days, people form their views from a variety of sources. Social media provides the opportunity, encouragement, and convenience for people to voice their opinion about any business. It’s worth the time to cultivate and maintain a good business reputation, because it’s not just brokers and owners that are spreading the word about their business, it’s everyone.

Pulse Results: November 2018

According to 48.2% of the LANDTHINK audience, the second most important factor when selecting a real estate firm is the Personality of the Salesperson. People buy people, as the saying goes. At the end of the day we’re all human and we value genuine human connection. After all, buying and selling real estate is an emotional affair, and it’s often the personal touch that sways prospective clients. People respond to friendly, honest, and knowledgeable agents, but it’s often their confidence that eases a buyer or seller into making a decision on whether or not that agent should be the one to represent them in a land transaction. The truth is, people do business with people they like, trust and value. Today, social platforms such as Twitter, Instagram and Facebook offer a great way for agents to show their engaging personality, professionalism, credibility, and the special skill set to get the job done.

The third most important factor when selecting a real estate firm, according to 45.9% of respondents, is the Sales Fee or Commission. Real estate agents generally are paid a percentage of the commission received by the brokerage firm from the sale of property. An agent is typically paid part of the gross commission, as agreed to in the sellers’ contract with the brokerage firm. Depending upon the agent’s personal agreement with the Broker, he or she will get a commission on the sale, less any expenses from the Broker. There are two kinds of agents: buyers’ agents and sellers’ agents, and the standard practice is that the seller pays the real estate commission of both the listing agent and the buyer’s agent. Sellers can always negotiate the terms of the listing agreement—which contains the real estate agent fees—with the brokerage or agent.

The land industry is highly competitive, and the fee a seller pays a broker is generally going to be in the same ballpark. Fees vary depending on the services offered by the firm and whether or not the firm is a franchise real estate brand. Franchise brands typically charge a slightly higher fee than smaller independent brokerage firms; sellers pay for the added benefit of marketing their property using an easily identifiable brand.

The results of last month’s survey question were all over the board, but the largest percentage (59.2%) indicated that Firm Reputation was the single most important factor when selecting a real estate firm. The second most important factor, coming in at 48.2%, was the Personality of Salesperson. The third most important factor (45.9%), was Sales Fee or Commission. This was followed closely by 36.8% who said Referral or References, 33.8% who said Marketing Plan & Materials, and 30.3% who said Multiple Services Offered. Only 23.6% of our audience said Proximity of Firm to the Property, and only 22.1% said Firm Brand Recognition was the most important factor when selecting a real estate firm to assist with buying or selling land.

We were pleased with the large number of Pulse responses, and we thank everyone who answered the Pulse and shared it on social media with friends and connections in the land industry. LANDTHINK would like to extend a big thank you to American Forest Management for sponsoring the November Pulse and for coming up with a very interesting question to pose to our audience. American Forest Management has been helping landowners manage, sell, buy, improve, and enjoy millions of acres of land for over 50 years.

Become a Pulse sponsor! It’s a great way to ensure your brokerage is the first one buyers and sellers call when they have a need to buy or sell property. You’ll get insane exposure on Social + Email + Web. That’s 500,000+ monthly eyes on you! Once you have it, you won’t want to give it up! Pulse sponsorships are offered on a first come first serve basis and are subject to certain limitations. We’ve already secured a sponsor for January, but if your business would be interested in sponsoring the February Pulse, please contact us soon.

Do you have a Pulse question suggestion? Submit your question and we might choose yours!

We want to know what you think about our December Pulse question, chosen and sponsored by Matre Forestry Consulting. Considering recent natural disasters, do you believe the U.S. government should subsidize timber owners in times of disaster like they do traditional farmers? Answer now.

This content may not be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever, in part or in whole, without written permission of LANDTHINK. Use of this content without permission is a violation of federal copyright law. The articles, posts, comments, opinions and information provided by LANDTHINK are for informational and research purposes only and DOES NOT substitute or coincide with the advice of an attorney, accountant, real estate broker or any other licensed real estate professional. LANDTHINK strongly advises visitors and readers to seek their own professional guidance and advice related to buying, investing in or selling real estate.

About the author


LANDTHINK is part of the LANDFLIP network of sites and brings together the various components of the land industry and provides knowledge and information to land investors, owners and professionals to create a stronger land marketplace. Get land smart!

1 Comment

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  • Education, experience, contacts, networking, marketing, and social media skills are all required for a land brokerage firm to be successful. But, the good reputation of the firm, all its brokers and agents is the one thing that takes a lifetime to build and can be brought down with one bad egg! Most want to be the biggest, highest volume firm in the market. But the firm that is careful about the quality of its agents is the one I would always choose to do business with.

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