LJ Hooker launches buyer’s agency business

LJ Hooker says a new business venture will help its agents win listings – and also help rival agents make sales.

The franchise group today launched LJ Hooker Sydney Buyers Agency, which offers an end-to-end buying service or one-off options such as auction bidding and property hunting.

Director Kiril Ruvinsky told Real Estate Business that the buyer’s agency will give LJ Hooker agents another selling point at listings presentations.

“Our agents will now be able to say, ‘Mr Client, if you sign with me, we’ve got an in-house buyer’s agency business that I’ll be able to get in contact with, give your property to, and within a short period of time bring through potentially 50 buyers that are pre-qualified and looking for your property type’,” Mr  Ruvinsky said.

The new business will gain access to LJ Hooker properties before they hit the market. However, Mr Ruvinsky said most purchases would be done through rival groups, because the buyer’s agency wants to provide clients with the most appropriate properties.

LJ Hooker Sydney Buyers Agency is currently focusing on the north of Sydney and has three staff in addition to Mr Ruvinsky: one buyer’s agent, one researcher and one administrator. Another two buyer’s agents will soon come on board, according to Mr Ruvinsky.

“Our plans for the rest of Sydney are unfolding as we speak,” he said. “We wanted to get the infrastructure in place first, which we’ve pretty much done.

“We’re now in a position where we can roll it out to the rest of Sydney, then in following months we’ll look at other states because there’s certainly a demand for it there as well.”

LJ Hooker Sydney Buyers Agency is expected to generate most of its revenue from local buyers, although the idea for the new business was actually sparked by foreign investors.

The group’s international offices in New Zealand, Asia, Dubai and the US send through a “high volume” of referrals each day, but until now LJ Hooker hasn’t had a way to provide exclusive assistance to those investors.

Mr Ruvinsky said another problem has been that foreign investors can struggle to be taken seriously by local buyer’s agencies and often fail to have their calls returned.

[Related: LJ Hooker lands 11 entries in Top 50 Sales Offices ranking]

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