More agents need to find a balance between vendor and buyer relationships to benefit in the long term, according to Laing+Simmons general manager, Leanne Pilkington.
“We do sign a contract with our vendors, they are the ones that pay us and we have to act in their best interest, however I think a lot of agents don’t look after the buyers to the degree they perhaps could,” she told Real Estate Business.
“You may not be able to find them a home, but we can do a better job of putting them on databases and keeping that communication ongoing with them.
“If you have eight to 10 listings and you are getting 10 people through the doors of the open home each week, then you’ve got 80-100 possible buyers that will be expected to be communicated with.”
Ms Pilkington’s comments are consistent with the recent Real Estate Business straw poll, which found the majority of respondents said they maintained their relationships with perspective buyers.
In an online survey conducted between January 19 and February 1, 72.6 per cent – or 154 - of the 212 respondents said they did maintain relationships with prospective buyers that last longer than six months.
“The buyers want to hear from the agents, they want to know when properties are coming on the market,” Ms Pilkington said.
“It makes sense for agents to have a priority database to send out to buyers because they’ve been looking and they will act quickly. It is in everyone’s interest.”
Ms Pilkington's comments come not long after James Packham, property consultant at Adelaide-based Harris Real Estate, said agents ultimately benefit from retaining relationships with both vendors and buyers.
“It’s not what you know, but whom you know,” he said.
This was countered, however, by Damian Collins, in a comment he posted online.
"You can't serve two masters," he said.
"Selling agents are there to represent the seller. If I'm selling I want my agent looking after me - not the buyer! Yes they can be polite and friendly of course but they must work for the person paying them. Hence why buyers agents are becoming more popular."