Vail Daily column: How can I find a Realtor I can relate to?

Joan Harned
Ask a Realtor
Joan Harned

Dear Joan,

I am looking to purchase my first​ home, and I am having trouble finding a Realtor that I can relate to. I am 30 years old so I guess I am what you call a Millennial or a member of the Y Generation. Unfortunately, I have not found a knowledgeable Realtor in my age group yet. Any suggestions on how I can find someone I can communicate with effectively?

Dear Generation Y,

You pose a very interesting question. I don’t think you are looking for someone born after 1980 as much as you are looking for someone who understands your needs, concerns and style of doing business.

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As a Millennial, you want someone to respond to your questions and needs immediately, pretty much 24/7 and, ​I would guess ​you would rather it be a text or email than a phone call. Luckily there are many of us (of all ages) who understand​ and can deliver​ that​ immediate communication you desire, plus​ the following other ​concerns​ that I believe​ are very important to your generation:

• ​Since you are starting later in life to shop for a home to purchase than buyers in ​previous generations, you are more mature but it does not mean you know everything about the home buying process. You need someone to explain and guide you through the lending and purchasing mazes. There are many more steps to home purchasing than the one-click Amazon and iTunes purchases we have all come to enjoy.

• You may be frustrated with your online search for homes that are already under contract when you call a Realtor. Or the homes are priced very different than the estimate given on the housing website. A competent Realtor of any age can explain that the commercial websites that are so popular are usually two to nine days behind on updating data. This means a good buy in your price range may be gone before you ever find it yourself.

Plus, your knowledgeable Realtor can give you a current, accurate market analysis so you can tell if the property is priced at current market value.

• When you are selecting a home, you may want to visit it several times, often with friends, to decide if it is right for you. Patience and cheerful service are the traits of a good Realtor.

• You probably prefer a location that has easy access to your chosen lifestyle — skiing, biking, golfing, hiking, dining, where you work and more. A great Realtor can help you find the very best location you can get for your budget.


So you don’t necessarily need a Realtor that is just like you (although they could be your age). You want someone who knows what you need and will be able to provide the information in a manner that is comfortable for you.

One of the best sources is your friends and acquaintances. Ask who they would recommend. Check your social media sites for Realtors who are active online. Chances are that if they are active online, then you may feel more comfortable working with that person.

The most identifiable trait of your generation is that you believe there’s no limit to what you can achieve. So take the first step and start interviewing Realtors until you find the one who will work with you in the manner you like. After all, a good Realtor is a life-long resource for your current and future successful real estate investments.

Joan Harned is an owner and broker for Keller Williams Mountain Properties and heads up Team Black Bear, her own real estate team. Harned has been selling real estate in Eagle County for 27 years, is a past chairman of the Vail Board of Realtors, past Realtor of the Year, past director on the Great Outdoors Colorado Board and a member of the Luxury and Land Institutes. Contact Harned with your real estate questions at, 970-337-7777 or

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