JOHN MCGRATH, McGrath Estate Agents
Integrity and transparency should be the basis of every agent’s activity and process. For years it appears that ‘white lies, half-truths or omitting to tell everything’ were almost accepted as a part of an agent’s ethos. My view is that agents who don’t commit to 100 per cent integrity and transparency will be either (a) eradicated from the industry by the governing body; or (b) eradicated by disgruntled clients. Either way they will be (and should be) dinosaurs within a short time frame. And transparency shouldn’t be limited to vendors, it should apply to everyone they deal with.
MICK MCCARTHY, Barry Plant
Transparency with vendors must be one of the pillars of all real estate business. We train our staff to provide regular and accurate feedback to vendors. In today’s market it is even more critical to be totally transparent in providing feedback – maybe even brutally honest! It does nobody any favours to be too optimistic on factors such as price or levels of purchaser interest – if you do, you run the risk of wasting your client’s time and money, as well as your own.
PAMELA BENNETT, REIA
Although the primary role of a real estate agent is to find suitable buyers for a vendor’s property, this is balanced with the consumer protection afforded to the buyer and the contractual appointment to act with the vendors by negotiating a sale at fair market price. You have to understand that each state and territory has various legislation in place to protect the vendor. Therefore it is the agent’s responsibility to adhere to these arrangements as applied by each state and territory.
ANTHONY TOOP, Toop&Toop Real Estate
Agents shouldn’t be more transparent, they should be absolutely transparent. The reality is transparency is the only antidote in a challenging market. Agents that portray anything less than complete transparency is unacceptable. They need to stand tall, be proud and tell their vendors exactly how it is. The difficulty is unless you have an experienced and fully trained team, the level of confidence will not be fully transparent. I mean it’s like standing naked in front of your client, any defect in your knowledge will be exposed.
JOHN PERCUDANI, Realmark Real Estate
Agents were once the gatekeepers of information, giving some the ability to maintain some control over the client. Additionally, agents can sometimes only want to deliver the good news in a transaction situation. Today, the consumer has open access to property data. This has developed an expectation and desire to know all the facts so they can make informed and empowered decisions. If communication between the agent and the client are complete, direct and transparent then the business relationship will be based on integrity and the right decisions will be made.