Realtor and clients, representing "best real estate agent" advertising.

Who is Truly the #1 Real Estate Agent in Your Area?

You see the yard signs, bus benches and billboards all over town. You run a Google search for the “best real estate agent” in your area and several names pop up first on the list. Somehow, almost every one of them is claiming to be the “#1 Agent.” They all boast about having the most sales, “Best Realtor®” awards, and a variety of other impressive claims. Yet, how can they all have such similar accolades? The answer is simple, and it is called “marketing.”

They say you shouldn’t always believe everything you see in advertising or read online. This is very true in the world of real estate marketing. It always has been and it always will be. Yes, there are real estate agents who sell more properties than others or have higher total dollar amounts sold each year. There are awards that can be earned, but they may not always represent exactly what they claim. Let’s take a look at a few examples and provide a behind-the-scenes perspective as longtime real estate agents ourselves.

Most Home Sales

This is probably the most common claim in real estate advertising. Multiple agents will claim to be #1 in this or that. They may even be able to back up that claim with sales data. However, we all know that data is easily manipulated. There may be one thing they are best at, or the numbers can be skewed to show they are #1 at one certain thing—ignoring the rest of the data where they maybe aren’t near the top of the list. Just because someone says they’re #1 doesn’t necessarily mean they are the best agent in town. As a discerning home buyer or seller, you should always take any advertising claims like this with a grain of salt.

Real Estate Awards

Real estate awards are where advertising gets really fun. Many of these “awards” are purchased from third-party companies that simply sell awards and designations like “5-Star Agent.” Then, most real estate brokerages will have their own awards programs. These can be earned through sales and positive work, but an award like “Top Selling Agent” or “Best Realtor®” may only represent sales for that one brokerage. In addition, the awards can be broken down into various categories, regions and other distinctions that allow many agents to win awards from the company each year. Remember the real estate brokerage wants to help position their agents for success, so giving out more awards benefits everyone.

Google Rankings

Google and other search engines can be a great method for finding a real estate agent (or anything, for that matter). However, just because someone is at the top of the rankings doesn’t mean they are the best. The first few spots are all paid advertisements. They literally say “Sponsored” above the link. Even the naturally high-ranked listings are not earned by performance. They are earned through paid and organic SEO strategies that help the website rise up the ranks based on the search engine’s algorithm.

Truth in Advertising

Most advertising (not just in real estate) is based on some level of truth, but it’s all about “spin.” How can you take the positive features of a product and highlight those while pushing any negative aspects to the background? Have you ever eaten a McDonald’s hamburger that looks exactly like the one in the menu picture? You may still love the burger, but the ads give it a more favorable presentation than in real life.

Selecting the “Best” Real Estate Agent

When it comes to choosing your real estate agent to help guide you through a home purchase or sale, don’t just rely on advertising. You can use ads and search engines to help you identify potential candidates. Then, we highly recommend looking through their materials. Learn more about them and their experience. Do your own research to read reviews from real customers. Try to get a sense of who they are, both in business and outside of business. The best Realtor®/client relationships are often built on some level of personal connection. There is a mutual sense of trust and respect that guides the process.

Once you have a few agents or teams identified as your favorites, take time to speak with each of them individually. Ask a lot of questions. Make sure they are truly good at what they do and will provide you with the professional, yet personalized, service that you deserve. Advertising may give you a place to start, but it should not be the only thing driving your very important decisions.

If you are buying or selling a home in the Southeastern Pennsylvania or Northern Delaware area, contact The Cyr Team today. We won’t claim to be the best, but we will certainly give our best to help you make the most of your real estate experience!

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