Today, the Real Estate Buyer’s Agent Council (REBAC) boasts nearly 30,000 members and over 25,000 Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR®) designees.
As the industry continues to grow and flourish, REBAC singles out certain members performing exemplary acts who deserve special recognition. These outstanding ABR® designees are selected by an independent panel for inclusion in the REBAC Hall of Fame.
This year’s Hall of Fame inductees include Todd Beckstrom of ERA Wilder Realty, Inc., in Chapin S.C.; William Bodouva of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Port Washington, N.Y.; and Peggy Worcester of Weichert REALTORS® in Clarksville, Tenn.
How exactly did the latest batch of REBAC Hall of Famers elevate themselves to be the best buyer’s reps in their respective markets? Here, learn what the trio does differently to consistently keep their name and brand top of mind.
“Flexibility is crucial,” says Worcester, who works in a military market where buyers don’t have a great deal of time to view homes. “We have to be sensitive to their needs and schedule,” she adds.
Quite often Worcester will receive a phone call bright and early on any given Monday saying that her newest buyers are coming to town for the weekend…and plan to return to duty the following Monday having purchased a home.
On the other hand, Beckstrom says he starts every relationship with a mandatory buyer consultation where he’s asking a lot of questions—his favorite coming from a colleague he worked with many years ago.
“She would answer the phone and establish rapport with the caller, and then I’d hear: ‘Tell me about your situation.’ I think you get so much more honesty and information with this one inquiry,” says Beckstrom, who focuses on determining the client’s ‘why’ during buyer consultations. “Getting to ‘why’ is important because it allows me to truly understand their motivation and keep them focused.”
But Beckstrom doesn’t just educate his buyers. In fact, he wrote a patented algorithm to help his clients analyze any market segment anywhere in the world for supply and demand.
“The program takes 15 minutes to run, and my buyer becomes an instant expert on market conditions. They understand what it will take to buy the type of house they want after using my program at howisthemarket.net,” says Beckstrom.
Bodouva earned his International President’s Elite Award (given to the top 2 percent of all sales associates/representatives worldwide in the Coldwell Banker System) with a well-practiced system that consistently elevates him to best-in-class status among his market’s buyer’s representatives.
“I try to remain current with all the things that can and do affect real estate markets so I can offer accurate and relevant information, always being careful not to overstep my role as a broker,” says Bodouva. “Then, I read, learn, read more and share. By sharing my professional knowledge without a self-serving agenda, my professional reputation continues to grow year after year.”
The REBAC Hall of Famer also networks in many professional associations, carefully monitoring the ever-changing needs of buyers and sellers alike.
To that end, he’s working on a program where international buyers relocating to the U.S. can reach a qualified Accredited Buyer’s Representative to assist them with both their purchase and move.
While it could take years to implement such a program in his home state of New York, Bodouva confidently pledges that he’s on it.
When it comes to differentiating themselves among peers and colleagues, this year’s REBAC Hall of Famers each recounted specific practices they developed to shine brighter in their markets.
“I stay on top of every step in the transaction,” says Worcester. “You need to have great organizational skills and systems to serve buyers, because nothing should be left to chance.”
Since a large amount of first-time homebuyers are constantly hitting her market, Worcester accounts for the time it takes to help each prospect become better educated about the home-buying process.
“Listening is the most important thing when working with buyers,” she says. “Many agents are good at talking, but not listening. When working with buyers, you have to learn to remain quiet and listen to what they’re really telling you. This leads to a better experience for buyers, less wasted time and a better transaction.”
Beckstrom helps buyers understand that his time is ultimately of greatest value to them from the get-go.
“If buyers want my time, they have to play by my rules. All appointments begin in my office. And to see homes, they must hire me as their agent and be pre-qualified for financing. I not only focus on helping clients reach their goals, but also removing their stress by taking as much off their plates as possible so they can concentrate on the joy of buying.”
After the sale has been completed, Beckstrom touches base by phone every quarter, in addition to sending emails, mailers of value, and more.
Because of his practiced follow-up, more than nine out of 10 new clients come through referrals every year.
Bodouva believes most agencies discourage agents from venturing into the realm of buyer representation due to “vicarious liability.” This just spells more opportunity for credentialed buyer’s agents.
“Buyer representation is the most natural, misunderstood concept in New York real estate,” he observes.
When it comes to leveraging his ABR® designation, Beckstrom’s initial motivation was to show potential clients that he was capable.
“But I soon found that what I learned in the course is what made me the professional—not the designation,” he says. “I still use the lessons I learned over 15 years ago on a daily basis, and love teaching them to other agents as an ABR® instructor.”
Worcester proudly displays her ABR® designation on her business cards, name badge and email signature.
“I also take the time to talk about it during my buyer consultation,” she adds. “I explain how the additional education gives me the knowledge to better aid them in finding their dream home.”
By building an added layer of trust in knowing about Worcester’s ABR® designation, her clients recognize and appreciate that she goes above and beyond to be a better buyer’s agent.
“I really am proud to have my ABR® designation,” says Worcester. “Not every agent has taken the time to earn it, so it sets me apart.”
Bodouva educates his clients about the stringent criteria he had to complete to proudly earn and promote himself as an ABR® designee, and the many ongoing administrative costs and responsibilities he has to maintain to promote himself as such.
“I make it very clear through positive informational comparisons that ABR® is the benchmark of buyer representation,” he says.
For more information, please visit www.REBAC.net/HOF.
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