Being a good agent is more than taking classes and building a shiny website. Although the internet has allowed agents with less experience, who may treat their businesses as side work, to attract clients using compelling marketing: the hallmarks of a truly exceptional, experienced agent have never changed. Today, we'll take a look at what you should be looking for in a committed, successful agent whose will use their experience and savvy to go above and beyond.

1. Communication

Availability and ready communication is one of the key ingredients in a good agent or group of agents. The market can often move very quickly and it can not only be frustrating, as well as lead to lost opportunities, when an agent is difficult to contact and remains out of reach during crucial moments.

2. Neighborhood Expertise

The internet makes it easy to browse homes and pull information about a neighborhood in no time. However, an agent who is a neighborhood expert knows that the internet tells only a fraction of the story. Chances are that if an agent isn't an encyclopedia of information about their neighborhoods, they just haven't been in the business long enough to offer immediate, useful knowledge (from current neighborhood sales to market trends, etc.) to their clients. Anyone can browse real estate sites, while a truly gifted agent offers the hidden information only gained from years of experience in the industry.

3. Integrity

Reputation is important! It takes years to build up a confident word of mouth business and only agents who have gone above and beyond, showcasing integrity and dedication, make it to the coveted stage of being recommended happily by past clients. Never be afraid to check your agent's reviews on Zillow and request client references. An agent with integrity will be proud to share testimonials from their latest clients, knowing that each will vouch for their diligence.

4. Innovation

Internet marketing and technology make selling homes a fine art in today's world. If your agent doesn't have a comprehensive, thoughtful marketing plan that uses the latest technology to your benefit, they probably aren't in it for the long haul. Building innovative methods that get results doesn't happen overnight and an agent worth putting your trust in is dedicated to constantly refining and growing their knowledge base to benefit their clients.

5. A Large Network

A network of trusted, talented folks—from handymen to lenders, contractors, appraisers and insurance providers—is another aspect of the real estate business that doesn't come overnight. It takes time for agents to find resources their clients can rely on and this network is a source of pride for a committed agent looking to give clients the best possible real estate experience.