Whether you’re new to real estate or you've been around since the first settlement in Port Jackson, it isn't hard to see a change in the market.
Now, this isn't an article updating you about the changing market of property like the influx of newly developed properties and how prices will be affected by the lack of current buyers verses supply.
No. This article is about the changing market of 'Real Estate Agents'. Due to a lack of trust and integrity, the role of the real estate agent is changing. The industry has moved away from professional advice and turned into the middle man/woman who is here just to get their commission and then vanish faster than Donald Trump's deleted tweets.
We've allowed this reputation to hit new lows, (and have probably had a laugh about it too!) earning ourselves a spot on the World's Most Hated Profession list.
7th Real estate agents:
Real estate agent jobs are one of the trickiest and most misunderstood jobs of the country. This job, even though it is to help people buy properties, is often ended with cheating the society... Real estate agents are often considered as people who are self centered and crooked minded. There is no specific educational background needed except for the techniques to convince people to buy and sell properties.
Here are ten reasons that I believe have led to the poor reputation of real estate agents:
Most people associate real estate agents with lying. It often stems from auction campaigns, whereby the agent quotes a price and the property sells for much more than quoted. In recent years, Fair Trading has passed reforms tackling the big issue of underquoting, however it hasn't prevented agents from being slight about it and working loop holes to either not quote a price or have an 'agreed quoting price' with the owners.
This only causes frustration and anger to the community of buyers, who have constantly been lied to in order to lure them to attend auctions. There are benefits in having more people attend an auction, with the possibility of a buyer spending more than they had originally planned. The owners will be very pleased with the result and you can even use a sales pitch to encourage the new buyer to think of you in years to come, when they are thinking of selling their property ('I made you spend more, didn't I?... Why wouldn't you sell with me?).
The problem is that you'll soon realise that your real estate career is cut short because you have no buyers that trust you enough to attend your auctions. I call this 'Gain 2 Lose 10' system the method to an earlier retirement from real estate. You are gaining two advocates (vendor and future vendor) in exchange for a mob with pitchforks and torches. If you are a person who works with numbers and you plan to have market share over your area, it is impossible when you have a tarnished reputation of dishonesty, and you are losing more people than you are gaining. Unfortunately, this is the most common trait of poor real estate agents and it is destroying the industry for the rest of us.
2. Poor time management
Breaks my heart. As simple as orgainising your day, most real estate agents have a problem with attending meetings, open homes, private inspections, returning a phone call, sending contracts, appraisals and even so attending work on time. WHY!? Wake up early, plan your day from YESTERDAY, and make sure you have allocated enough time for travel (you are not going to get from Penrith to Dee Why in 20 minutes). As a professional, it shows that you can't organise what's important and to a client it shows you don't care enough to work it out.
Rocking up reeking of cigarettes, shirt semi-tucked out, hair just like you came off a roller coaster, stains on your clothes and scuffs all over your shoes... not very attractive. Be a professional in every aspect of your game, the key to sales in any industry is dressing the part. A well groomed sales person can speak with authority, confidence and will be respected among all that interact with him/her. If you can't maintain yourself and look a million dollars, why should I ever trust you to sell my largest asset?
Do u get wat im sayin, brah? If you want to communicate like a (sorry to say) dumb ass, then you can't deliver a high calibre of communication and understanding to your own clients. We live in the age of technology, phones that correct your spelling (even if you don't want it to!). Hell, some phones can even put sentences together for you, and u r stil spellin lik dis to ur clients? Come on!
“Oh you didn't know? Sorry an offer came in 5 minutes ago and it was accepted... No, I didn't get any of your calls, text messages, letters in the mail, emails and Hedwig did not come past”. I've seen the anger in buyer’s eyes when they tell me that they've missed out on multiple properties due to agents selling the property without advising them it was getting sold.
This is also part of the 'Gain 2 Lose 10' method except this could actually be referred to as the 'Gain 2 Lose 100'. What you've created is a culture of hate for you and the industry of real estate. These buyers will never let it go and will whisper that you must have received some sort of cash incentive on the side, motivating you to sell the property. This can result in you not only losing your reputation and respect, but you could also lose your licence and get hefty fine.
6. No Loyalty
It is sales, so every day is like another episode of The Hunger Games. But does it have to be like that? I understand the competitive nature of stepping over one another just to win the commission, but you can do it with a little bit of respect. If I had a dollar for every time an agent undercut and talked badly of another agent or agency just to get the listing, I'd own the History Supreme.
The unfortunate thing is that vendors see this as scandalous behaviour and have room to question your integrity and ethics, especially when the person you are competing against works under the same franchise.
7. Lack of knowledge
As a prospective buyer, when you ask a standard question like 'What's the size of this block?' or ‘Are there any easements affecting the property?' you'd expect the listing agent to know the answer to those questions. Word of advice - have a book with common questions filled out and answered, that way you always have the answers.
8. What leadership?
Principals that sell - never work for them. If you work for a principal who is still actively selling, it shows a high level of greed and a lack of leadership. Some leads of prospective vendors come from a rent roll or just a simple office walk-in, the problem that arises from these principals is that they want 100% of the commission. Instead, they could grow their staff by building them up and show them respect while displaying leadership, and STILL get 50-70% of the commission for doing nothing. Principals that list are not leaders or mentors, they are just money hungry business owners looking for nothing but to maximise profits in the short term. In my experience, by doing so they have a high turn-around of staff that are not comfortable with the environment.
9. An Expensive Bargain
An expensive bargain is something too good to be true. Without naming names you already know of numerous agencies undercutting the market, much of which is our fault for being such a competitive industry. However, at the same time, although they are significantly cheaper than other agents, it doesn't necessarily mean vendors are going to have a top agent.
Instead, they get an agent of price. These agents undercutting have no reputation other than that they are cheap, and almost always they aren't concerned with getting you the best price, but more so getting a higher volume of sales to make up the commission. For example, if one agent sells 20-30 properties to earn the same commission as I would selling 10 properties, who do you think will have enough time to concentrate on trying to convert standard buyers to premium buyers?
10. Ghost Agents
'The Ghost Agent', an agent that haunts a prospective vendor the moment they say 'How much is my house worth?' and won't leave until they list your house and the only conversation you'll ever have it is in regards to selling... then they sell your house and you never see or hear the ghost again *poof* gone in the wind. Don't be a Ghost Agent, it’s not genuine and it also destroys all the rapport that you have built. It can also leave a sour taste with your ex-vendors who are supposed to be your advocates, telling everyone about how awesome you are except... You never answer their phone calls.
A solution is desperately needed, to bring back ‘genuine’ into the market. Can you imagine amazing agents that work hard for their money, are genuine, have never questionable integrity and are professional in every aspect. A true dream... Sirius-ly.
I have the solution, but that doesn't mean I'll disclose it due to it being my business plan. Sirius will be the revolution of Real Estate & Real Estate Agents. This is my warning shot to the dodgy real estate agents wrecking it for all of us, that I'm coming for you to make sure you will never have a job in Real Estate again.