Agents ignore prospective buyers at their peril

Real estate agents may be paid by the vendor but it’s those that have strong relationships with prospective buyers that generate more sales in less time, an executive from a prominent South Australian agency has said.

“It’s not what you know, but whom you know,” said James Packham, property consultant at Adelaide-based Harris Real Estate.

“I see a strong trustworthy relationship [with buyers] as beneficial for both parties,” he said.

“The buyer has access to the finest properties before the general public and the vendor has the chance of selling the home before money is invested and time is wasted on open inspections and further advertising.”

“Thanks to these relationships 60 per cent of my listings are from referrals and I rarely have a house on the market for more than 14 days.”

Ivan Bresic, director and auctioneer at inner Sydney-based Bresic Whitney, said he was surprised with how poor some agents were when it came to maintaining relationships with prospective buyers.

He said his agency would sell several properties each month without the need for any form of advertising such was the strength of the company’s prospects databases, each of which was maintained by the individual sales agent.

“We see [our approach] as an advantage,” he told Real Estate Business.

While some buyers would always look to buyers’ agents for assistance - for instance, in helping them with the auction process – he said they might not be so popular if more agents took the time to look after their prospective buyers.

Peter Kelaher, managing director and founder at PK Property Search & Negotiators, a buyers’ agent firm with two offices in Sydney, said more agents were working their client databases in what was a softer market.

But when times were good, “they wouldn’t worry about it,” he said, adding that around 50 per cent of his business came from people who weren’t being regularly contacted by sales agents.

Mr Packham said his clients appreciate the information he can supply about local property prices, demographics and trends.

“In turn these buyers always come to me first when they are looking to buy or sell and constantly refer me on to other vendors.

“I value the relationships I have with my buyers in the highest regard – as I do my vendors. For this reason when it comes to the negotiation process both parties involved feel they received the best deal.”

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