Agents turn to competition for help

A majority of agents are using their competition to help find the right buyer for their listings, new data has revealed.

While the term may differ from state to state - from ‘cross-selling’, ‘agency association’ to ‘agent-partnering’ - the message from one South Australian-based agent was the same - more agents should allow their competitors to help sell their listings.

“If another agent comes to me with a buyer, I’m more than happy to associate my listing with them,” Rosalind Neale, managing director of Neale Property, in Adelaide, said.

“I think the real problem is that this does not occur enough. To be frank, if you are doing your job properly and have established trust with your vendor, there is nothing to fear about doing business with another agent.”

Just under half of the respondents to the latest Real Estate Business straw poll agree.

When asked, ‘do you allow other agents to sell your listings’, 46.5 per cent of agents said ‘always’, while 34.6 per cent replied ‘sometimes’.

Ms Neale believes agents need to realise their number one priority is the vendor, and selling their home in timely fashion.

“I had situation last year where I knew I had the right buyer for a property I heard was going on sale, so I contacted the seller and they informed me they had just recently listed their home with another agency,” she said.

“I contacted the agent, explained the situation and we sold the property instantly. Everybody was satisfied with the result, particularly the vendor.”

But not everybody agrees.

According to the straw poll, approximately one in five agents never allow their competition to assist with the sale of their listing.

“It’s because most agents are far too greedy,” one Sydney-based agent, who requested to remain anonymous, told Real Estate Business.

“When you take on a listing exclusively, the whole idea is that you sell that listing on your own. Why would an agent want to give a share of their commission away?”

John Caputo, managing director of Harcourts Integrity WA, said agents that continually discount their commissions need to acknowledge that they are reducing the amount of money they can use to entice another agent to sell the property.

This reduces the range of potential home buyers at the agent's disposal.

“I don’t profess to know every buyer in the market place, he said. "The agent down the road may have the buyer, so you want to encourage him to bring that buyer to your listing.”

“But if you can only offer that agent $2,000 for their buyer, guess what, he [or she] is going to take his buyer to another agent that will offer him twice the amount.”

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