Be comfortable turning down listings: top agent

Agents need to learn how to turn down listings, according to one of the country’s top agents.

Karen Vogl, principal at hockingstuart Ringwood told Real Estate Business that after reviewing her 2011 year, she decided to make a few changes.

“I realised that I was chasing some business that wasn’t right for me,” she said. “Not that I was above it or anything like that, but it just wasn’t good business.”

Ms Vogl placed 11th in the 2012 Real Estate Business Top 100 Agents ranking but claims her job has become even easier since introducing her new approach.

“In my career I’ve always been taught to be hungry and passionate, but when I saw the numbers I’d listed compared to the number I’d sold, I decided that I needed to change. I walked away from properties that were bad business," she said.

“When you start you chase hard, you try to get as many listings as you can, you don’t become successful by turning business down. But you need to learn to break that habit once you get comfortable.

“Personally, I believe there is enough business out there that I can afford to not take on this listing.”

Ms Vogl believes the sales side to real estate can learn from property managers who turn down properties because of troublesome landlords.

“It’s a delicate situation, usually it comes down to two things," she explained. "Their price expectations were way off, in which case I’d say ‘Now is not the best time to sell this property if you want a price like that. If you like, you can come back to me in 10 or 12 months and we can reassess the market then'.

“Or it would come down to fees. Now I’m not being stupid about being ‘firm on your fee’, you’ve got to be flexible. But when we get asked to work for 1.5 per cent, it’s just not enough.”

Negotiating fees with vendors is a struggle for most agents, but Ms Vogl has developed a tool to help her maximise her fee.

“I always like to have a list of my previous best sales, which I update as often as I can. It has the price that I listed the property for and the price I sold it for, so that helps prove yourself as the agent of choice,” she said.

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