Buying and selling real estate can be fun. Whether it is the thrill of hunting for a new opportunity, or finally disposing of a project with the expectations of finally getting the big payoff. This is a short post about the benefits of finding a good broker partner to help maximize your play.

A good broker not only shows you your blind spots and keeps you from stepping into a major disaster, but they can (or at least they should) be able to negotiate in your best interest! But how do you find someone who you can really trust?

I always recommend beginning by asking around. Good brokers and real estate agents will have worked hard to assure that their personal brand and reputation are good. You can also use websites like Zillow and Trulia (amongst a host of others) to see feedback from customers, the total number of transactions they have closed, and the types of real estate they have been working with.

Once I have explored and narrowed it down to five or six possible brokers, I will make phone calls to try and narrow my list down to the top two or three. I have found that signs of a winning broker include 1) the effort to get back to you quickly; 2) consistency in communication, 3) the honesty to tell you when he or she doesn’t have an answer…but will try and get it for you, and 4) a thoughtful effort to understand your real estate need and provide feedback on how you can meet that need. The National Association of Realtors and CCIM Institute are great places to find talent. But don’t forget licensing! There are strict guidelines in some countries and none in others, both requires recognition and navigation.