Beautiful southern style house lit up at twilight.

Beautiful southern style house lit up at twilight.

Realtor Lewis Glenn has seen how the real estate market has evolved during the 50 years he’s been in the business.In that time, Glenn, vice president, real estate brokerage for Sea Island Properties, has seen how trends and technology have affected the way real estate brokers market themselves and interact with customers.

“Some use social media, print marketing, newsletters, etc.,”Glenn said. “Realtors will also become the expert for certain neighborhoods and market directly to them with pertinent information about recent sales and listing activity. Successful Realtors stay in touch with their past clients for referrals, and constantly and consistently use their sphere of influence to ask for business. Real estate is a relationship business.”

When it comes time to select a real rate agent, Glenn said the most important thing it to select a Realtor.

“A Realtor differs from a real estate agent,” he said. “A Realtor is a membership mark, which identifies a real estate professional who is a member of the National Association of Realtors and adheres to its strict code of ethics. Be sure to look for the Realtor logo when interviewing your Realtors.”

When selecting a Realtor, Glenn suggested getting reviews and recommendations from past clients, checking their reputation and success in the real estate community, and their online presence, current listings and social media activity.

Market knowledge of the location and community are important. And it’s recommended to ask for a resume if the Realtor is unknown to you. Also, ensure the Realtor is a full-time rather than a part-time agent.

“Thoroughly interview the Realtor so that they understand your specific requirements or needs,” Glenn said. “Finally, make sure the Realtor has the passion, energy, knowledge and skills that you are comfortable with to represent you in the home-buying process.”

Glenn said interviewing one to three Realtors if the buyer is not familiar with Realtors in the marketplace is a good idea.

“Once you have interviewed prospective Realtors then you should have a good feel who you are comfortable working with and who has the credentials and expertise to represent your interest,” he said.

Looking back, Glenn said the business has gotten less formal over the years.

“In today’s business world everyone seems to have gone casual on the island,” he said. “Dress is dictated by your relationship with the client. If the client is new, then it is suggested you wear something comfortable and casual on the first meeting. Jacket or tie would not be appropriate for men. Further showings can then determine the proper attire. Again, there is no specific dress code or difference in dress when showing properties on Sea Island, St. Simons, Brunswick, or Jekyll.”

Realtor Joe Wills, with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Hodnett Cooper Real Estate, said recommendations from friends and family, as well as online research can be helpful in making the right choice.

“Choosing a Realtor is an important decision,” he said. “Speak to as many as needed to feel comfortable with your choice. More than one.”

The best choice is a full-time, dedicated agent with experience and a proven track record in a customer’s area of interest, Wills said. It’s obvious you’ve found the right Realtor when you feel confident with your interaction and proposed course of action, he said.