Does ‘good’ broker mean good salesperson?

A smart guy I met not long ago approvingly quoted a broker friend of his on the definition of a good broker.

The friend told him that a good broker was one who was able to counter objections successfully.

To my thinking, that broker meant only that a good broker could sell a studio apartment to a family of five, a house in Jamaica, Queens to a first-year associate at a high-powered law firm or a sixth-floor walk-up to a 90-year-old pensioner.

In other words, the definition seems to mean that a good broker is a good salesperson.  If perhaps I’ve misunderstood the meaning, the fact remains that too many brokers put themselves ahead of their buyers and sellers.  That’s just not ethical.

I objected strenuously to the definition of broker as good salesperson.

By my definition, a good broker is one who provides all the information, experience and time that a buyer or seller reasonably needs.  A good broker values the nurturing of a relationship over the completion of a quick sale.  A good broker holds the best interests of his customer or client over the broker’s self-interest.

At the same time, I acknowledge that a good broker also tries to put objections in context–for example, helping buyers appreciate that the apartment of their dreams is way beyond their means or allowing sellers to see see the benefit of negotiating an offer rather than rejecting it out of hand.

The concept of overcoming objections as a gauge of a broker’s quality is, in the end, just anathema to me.  I’d rather lose a sale by being honest than make a sale by being persuasive.

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Malcolm Carter
Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker
Senior Vice President
Charles Rutenberg Realty
127 E. 56th Street
New York, NY 10022

M: 347-886-0248
F: 347-438-3201
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