There are certain qualities that all successful Hamptons real estate agents share, persistence and focus topping the list. The competitive profession — there are more than 1,000 agents out here — requires stick-to-itiveness, and doesn’t reward slackers or those in the biz to kill time. Yet each agent who’s made the climb to the top, or is en route there, has something special that distinguishes him or her from the herd. Here are just a few types that local brokers helped identify. As for lucky, no one would hear of that; you can’t consistently be a top producer by accident, they said.
The Helper: Truly nice, this is a usually a young buck who goes overboard to help both customers and rival agents, thus turning them into allies. Helps older agents with technical issues, or helps with showings and open houses. Is rewarded by sharing in listings.
The Connector: This is a smooth operator who can penetrate the insular worlds of the rich and famous. Some infiltrate high society, others the financial or celebrity worlds. Those who can walk the walk and talk the talk of the rich and powerful are able to break into all three. These sorts of customers like agents who understand their lifestyle.
The Philanthropist: Agents who volunteer on local ambulance squads, the Ladies Village Improvement Society, or other charitable organizations get an automatic advantage. People care that they care.
The Pro: Shows up as if going to a corporate job. Smartly turned out in designer duds as if he takes his job seriously, which he does. Known for attention to detail and follow-up.
The Shark: A nasty piece of work. A screamer who screws other brokers on their deals. You know who you are. He bites off his own fins because no other brokers want to show his listings. He will tell his client to lower the price because no one’s biting. But it’s his bite that’s scaring buyers away. Not to be confused with . . .
The Bottom Feeder: This unscrupulous type poaches customers from other brokers. Maybe he meets a customer being shepherded by his agent to an open house. Next thing you know he’s Googled their names and found their number. He calls and says, “I couldn’t get ahold of your agent but I wanted to tell you about. . . .” A lie. Or he blatantly hands out his card. Or, he runs into your customer at a party or the gym and badmouths you.
The Extrovert: Warm and fuzzy, they do a lot of business because they’re likable and friendly.
The Schmoozer: Some call it brown-nosing, but on the bright side let’s call it genuine concern. Some agents just know how to ask the right questions — “How’s your dog?” — and remember the name of the pooch in question.
Queen Bee: Now that the market has changed and customers rarely walk in the door of an office anymore, the heavy hitters who have done the most deals and have the biggest customer bases get referrals by the barrel. On the negative side, as they are often too grand to view a listing under umpteen million, they don’t know the inventory as well as lower profile agents. The going wisdom is that the superior is not necessarily the one who sells the most properties, but is the agent who sells your house at top dollar.
Worker Bee: With teams so prolific, there is usually one agent in the spotlight and another who is the silent partner working hard behind the scenes, doing the grunt work so the superstars look good.
Dealmaker: Knows the business inside out from building to financing. Some actually build their own properties or have partnered with builders. They know how to put a package together for the kind of customer who wants a $6 million house south of the highway. While most agents will turn up their noses at such an ignoramus who clearly doesn’t know that such an animal doesn’t exist, the dealmaker will find them land and a builder who can come in at the right price, a creative solution to a problem less innovative agents might think impossible.
The Townie: This one relies on local connections getting customers and referrals from lifelong friends, family, and acquaintances who knew his dead grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, and cousins twice or thrice removed.