Don’t go into listing presentations assuming your fees will be challenged by the vendor, a real estate trainer from the UK has said.
Richard Rawlings, who was named the UK’s Estate Agency Trainer of the Year 2012 by the UK real estate publication Propertydrum Magazine, said the biggest mistake agents make when discussing fees is assuming a vendor will always have a negative reaction when often they are “just asking”.
“I see so many of my clients cower when vendors start questioning their fees,” he said.
“Often they are just asking to better understand what service they will be getting for their money.
“It is the job of the agent to make yourself as attractive as possible to ensure the vendor sees the value.
“It is in my experience that the more you ask for the more you get.”
In an intimate training course at the Clarion Hotel in Parramatta, NSW this week Mr Rawlings taught attendants how to use dialogue to combat issues that may arise during the fee negotiation stages.
“When you are confronted by the questions of fees in the initial stages try asking, ‘What is more important to you? The actual fee or ultimately the amount you get in your pocket?’,” he said.
“Or when meeting a client for the first time, on the doorstep before you enter the house be upfront with the vendor and say, ‘I am the most expensive agency in the area, can I still come in?’ or try ‘Ok, you want me to drop my fees. What part of our service would you like us to drop in return?’.
“All of these dialogues get the discussion started with the vendor and more often than not they will be willing to pay a higher price for a service or product they prefer.”
According to Mr Rawlings, Australian and UK agents charge the least when it comes to commission fees.
“We [UK] charge the smallest amount, between one to two per cent, and in Australia it’s one to four per cent,’ he said.
“While agents in Switzerland and France charge 15 and 10 per cent respectively.
“We really need to reconsider our worth.”