Size does matter! And the only consideration you need to make when looking at the different agencies is how they are set up to handle their workload.
There aren’t any major differences between boutique agencies and larger franchise/independent companies. We all have access to the same marketing mediums to advertise your property, which means we have the ability to reach the same people who are currently looking to buy or rent a home, so that evens out the playing field. The only difference really, is when an agent from a larger company is pitching for the business, they will use the strength of their network offices, in their spiel and how they have access to buyers from all over the place. Though, once again, it doesn’t makes any difference when we all have access to the major digital portals like realestate.com.au and domain.com.au as well as all the local and national publications.
It really comes down to the local offices themselves. Big or small, either one can be too big too busy and that’s the problem. The biggest mistake people make these days is going with the agent that is perceived to be the biggest in the area, because they’re blinded with results. You should interview a range of different agents from big and small agencies and take into consideration many factors before appointing your agent.
The first thing to put out of your mind is the extended database of buyers the larger network agencies claim to have. Even if they have reach into other areas, now having worked for three large franchise agencies, I can quite happily say from experience that the contact, let alone any referrals between offices is pretty much non existent. The only thing that the agency worries about is their office, their local area and ultimately themselves. This just gives an agent the ability to say that they have this great resource behind them and allows them to puff their chest and beat the sound to their own drum a little more about how big and powerful they are as a tactic to try to win your listing and ultimately rely on using the merits of the company rather then themselves. The agent sells or rents your place, not the company.
Here’s some thoughts on what to consider when looking for your agent. Firstly, how many listings is that agent personally working. If an agent is working on say 15-20 listings or more without any support staff, then there is a very likely chance they will not have the time to service you and your best interests. This is 15-20 owners wanting updates on their properties all the time. It’s also impossible for one person to open that many homes on a weekend, so who chooses the pecking order? That’s also 15-20 properties worth of buyer enquiry, who replies to them all? It may be feasible for the agent to keep on top of their sellers, but that only half the job. The service will lack somewhere and it’s usually the buyers who suffer, hence why they’re always so upset with agents. By the agent not being able to service both seller and buyers, you’ll find that your property will not get the level of attention it deserves and that your hard earn’t money is paying for in advertising and agent fees.
Now, If the agent runs a team structure, as we do, there is still a limit to how many properties they can work on and still provide optimal service, though a well structured team can handle a lot more work as they have people specialised in different areas of the sale process. What you need to know is how is that team set up and how that works for you. Here’s some insight on how we structure our teams. We have identified that their are three sections in the sale process and appointed agents to specialise in these area. Listing and managing, buyer specialising and administrative experts. With this structure in place, we have been able to alleviate the majority of everyday paperwork and administration duties from our field agents allowing them to solely focus on providing the best service they can to each client all day every day. A listing/managing agent is the main point of contact to the seller, maintaining a complete knowledge of everything that’s going on with the property and reporting back to the owner regularly. They will also be the final negotiator at the point of sale ensuring every dollar has been extracted from the buyer. The buyer specialist creates an all round service and experience for buyers, providing them with everything they need to be prepared and comfortable to purchase their next property. Though, we are appointed by sellers, which means we work for them and not the buyers. We just ensure that every buyer that has any association with the property has been properly serviced. In saying that, having the ability to build rapport with our buyers has led us to having much better relationships going into negotiations and in turn, provided us with some amazing results for our sellers.
Another thing to consider is how hungry your agent is. Up and coming agents are hungry to make a name for themselves and have goals in place to become the best. They work harder and longer than more experienced agents, they also have more energy which helps in a business that never sleeps. They service their clients at the highest level as they build a reputation and they haven’t been tainted by the industry’s bad habits and old ways. So how does that work for you as an owner when it’s all about them? Because the all about them on their war path to the top means they can’t drop the ball, so you will find the service will be at the optimal level and so should your result. In saying that, an experienced operator surrounded by a team young up and comers is something to look at. They keep themselves relevant and up to date while they continuously teach their agents the basic every day job, they refresh themselves constantly about what’s important. They also remain innovative in these changing times as they are surrounded by a group of people who are always thinking outside the box. What to avoid is the old over the hill agent who has been around forever in a day and has no drive. It’s just another number, another transaction, it’s really here nor there if you go with them. they just roll in and out of homes all day after just hanging around for decades and pick up a listing here and there. You’ll be sure to have a horrible experience and feel unsure about the outcome and whether that was the best price.
This leads to the final part of decision making. The only thing you need to worry about is who is the agent who has instilled enough confidence into you, that they will go out and get absolute best price. After all the hoo hah of appraisals, commissions, advertising and a little bit of chest beating, the only thing that is relevant is the agent who has displayed enough knowledge to make you feel comfortable, has given you a strong sense of trust and has made you feel confident enough that they will push every potential buyer to their limits ensuring they get the best outcome for you. Commissions are negotiable from the beginning to the end of a campaign, advertising can be decided all the way up to the day before you go live with the sale and your result will be determined by the market. It’s all irrelevant in the beginning.
The only thing that matters is that you choose the agent who will get you the best price.