Top 6 Things to Consider When Choosing a Real Estate Agent
Choosing an agent is one of the most difficult decisions a property vendor or investor will have to make before listing their property for sale or appointing a property manager. Why? Because the difference between a professional real estate agent and a bad agent can mean hundreds of thousands of dollars - a significant amount of money that needs to be dealt with seriously.
The Real Estate Revolution
Since the online world has changed the game, the way that property marketing is handled has changed dramatically. In the past, simply sticking a board up and hoping for the best was all it took to get people through a property. These days, with savvy buyers being more discerning, finding an agent with a proven understanding of digital marketing tools and a valuable database of connections is at the core of bringing your property to the market successfully.
Here are some key things to think about before handing choosing an agent.
1. Ask for real world recommendations
The number of websites that offer to take the guesswork out of your busy life and find an agent for you are growing. But nothing beats real life recommendations from people you know and trust to start your search in the right direction. Sites that offer agents to you are most likely getting a commission for their trouble and that removes the integrity from the referral. If you don’t know anyone who has a personal experience with an agent convenient to you, visit the agent’s own website and check their own testimonials, then ask if they have any former clients who would be happy to share their experience with you as a referrer.
2. Does the agent know your target market?
Different agents have different experience and, whether your property is in the residential or commercial sector, or is an investment property for lease, can impact on choosing the right agent for the job.
Ask the agent you are considering to tell you how well they know your target market and what their marketing strategy to capture the attention of that market might be. Real estate property marketing that works is not one-size-fits-all and by proving their understanding of the people you are keen to see as buyers, you will have a firm understanding about whether they can deliver on their promises.
3. Do they utilise market data?
Knowledge truly is power and agents who use the latest property data to help them make the right decisions when marketing your property are clearly doing their homework. Having a solid understanding of local market data is essential to getting your sale campaign right - informing everything from asking price to sales method.
4. Does your agent have local area knowledge?
Having experience in your local area can make a difference, depending on your property. A local database of connections is one thing but being able to talk confidently about the benefits of your area can help interested buyers get across the line so talk to prospective agents about your neck of the woods to make sure they understand its benefits.
A quality agent will also know what is happening in your area - everything from developments and infrastructure and boost to public transport can all make a huge difference to potential buyers - and that means more competition for your property.
5. How do I get my property on social media?
Real estate is one of the most popular things to search for on social media and when it comes to your property, being listed on the social media platforms that are home to your target audience is critical to sales or leasing success.
The best agents combine paid social media with organic reach and can help put your property in front of people looking for exactly what you’re offering.
“Our marketing team bring innovative ideas and concepts to the table and when these are blended with traditional best practices, a result is produced that is dynamic and can serve to set your property apart from the rest” says Lincoln McConnell-Brown, Senior Principal and Head of Asset Management for CRS Property. “Our marketing team work hand-in-glove with our sales and leasing team, as well as our client, to bring a campaign to the market that delivers the ultimate result – success!”
6. Connections are gold
Behind every great agent is a great database and a suite of quality connections. Asking how your agent plans to pitch your property to their existing list of qualified buyers or tenant is key info to have up your sleeve. By promoting actively to these types of buyers or tenants, you can save yourself time and money in a protracted marketing campaign and get genuine customers straight into the mix to start negotiating.
“Our sales and leasing experts have decades and decades of experience between them – at a local or global level, depending on the property and the client requirements” said Ross Mercorillo, Managing Director of CRS Property. “Merge that with our desire to better understand the client and the brief, and we can put together a winning formula”.
7. Professional imagery
Sometimes budgets can be trimmed but when it comes to the imagery used to market your property, showing your property in the best possible light is always an investment worth making. Today’s property marketing utilises both video and still imagery. Ask for some examples of past work from the same photography to make sure it is as professional as you’d hoped for.
Even when the market is not as strong as usual, the very best agents can still win business without cutting their commission as a bargaining tool.
Yes, it is tempting to choose the agent with the lowest fee but would you really trust the most important transaction of your life to someone simply because they are cheap?
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