Personal touch increasingly important in digital age

A Sydney-based agent says building relationships with clients is more important than ever as the real estate industry becomes increasingly reliant on technology.

Throughout the recent sale campaign of a $3.7 million home in Kirribilli, Gayle Walker of Sydney Sotheby’s International Realty worked closely with potential buyers, particularly the winning bidder who was overseas for much of the process.

“He was on a business trip to Singapore, so I was taking phone bids and I worked with him to get him up to the reserve price,” she told REB

“I met him several times and talked him through everything that he needed to know so that he was really well informed about the property.

“I knew that he would be away on business, so I talked him through what he needed to do so I could bid on his behalf and I organised all the paperwork for him,” Ms Walker said.

The auction attracted five registered bidders and a crowd of 60 people on the day, selling for almost $200,000 above the asking price.

Ms Walker explained that taking a personal approach to client relationships is of particular significance at a time when the industry is gravitating towards new and emerging technology.

“I think it's great to have all these tools, but at the end of the day, it really comes down to how well you maintain the relationship with your client, because I think the personal side has been forgotten a lot,” she said.

“[Selling a house] is massive, it's very emotional for people, especially if it's a deceased estate. They want to sell it, but it's all those memories that's going with it. You need to be respectful of all those things.”

Ms Walker emphasised that for a vendor a house is not a product – it’s a home.

“You've got to deal with all the emotions around why people are selling and why they're buying: what's bringing them there in the first place. If you don't uncover that, you can lose the buyer because you don't understand their situation,” she said.

“I really think it comes down to treating your clients with as much respect as possible and really looking after them.

“At the end of the day, it all comes down to your relationship and your service level.”

[Related: Agent's surprise after listing property unseen]

 

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