“In many areas over the past growth cycle it seemed that all an agent had to do to sell a home in many markets was to put a ‘for sale’ sign in the front yard and list the property online,” Mr Tarbey said.
“Those days are gone and the current market dictates that highly trained agents are needed to facilitate a successful transaction between a buyer and seller,” he said.
Mr Tarbey's comments come after Century 21 increased its focus on enhancing agents’ negotiation skills in light of changing market dynamics that he believes have resulted in a more balanced market between buyers and sellers.
The group believes that increasing stock levels, combined with a growing number of buyers prepared to spend more time making a purchase decision, mean that agents must rely more on negotiation in order to bring about a successful sale for a vendor.
“Digital channels are still important but traditional real estate skills are going to be highly valued by vendors in this emerging market,” Mr Tarbey said.
Last year, Century 21 began to focus its training program more heavily on person-to-person sales and enhancing the negotiation skills of agents.
It believes many agents who joined the industry over the last three and a half years have not experienced a true real estate market, and less negotiation has taken place in the sales process.
Information from CoreLogic RP Data shows that as of January 2016, the length of time a property spends on the market has increased, supporting the argument that buyers have become less willing to immediately meet vendors’ expectations.
“If an agent is unable to negotiate in the emerging real estate market, they simply won’t survive for very long,” Mr Tarbey said.
[Related: The art of becoming a better negotiator]