OFFERING VENDORS the very best service is in the best interests of all good agents. But some go above and beyond the call of duty, providing much more than just a service to sell property.
Ron Azzopardi, who has more than 28 years’ industry experience, has worked for the YONG Real Estate group for a little over a year, and has adopted what the company calls a ‘six-star’ service initiative.
“The six-star service means we are becoming involved in the selling process from start to finish,” he tells Real Estate Business.
“What some agents do is list the property, advertise it and sell it. And that’s the end of it – they move on.
“What we’ve done is taken a different approach altogether, so we not only list and advertise the property, but we follow through with everything that happens from start to finish. This means going through solicitors, talking to the purchaser’s solicitor as well as arranging everything to make the transition from vendor to owner as smooth as possible.”
Especially for first time vendors, selling a home can be a daunting task, Mr Azzopardi says, which is why sometimes they need to be led through the experience.
“The first point of contact for someone thinking of selling their home is the agent. You need to always keep this in mind when you meet someone for an appraisal. Most times they haven’t spoken to a bank or a solicitor yet, and they just want to see how much their property is worth.
“And, as we know, there is a lot more to selling than just that. I talk to them about all the legal hurdles, and will suggest a local solicitor if they haven’t got one yet.”
Mr Azzopardi believes it is vital to choose the appropriate solicitor based on who the client is.
“Coming from such a multicultural area, we try to send vendors to solicitors who can speak the language they are most familiar with. It’s important for the client to feel as comfortable as possible, especially when dealing with legal issues.”
“A lot of the people we’re dealing with appreciate the extra work we provide because it takes the burden away from them,” he says. “All they have to worry about is packing their clothes and moving on, and we look after everything else.
“We will even organise the packing of their home if they want!”
In a tough property market, many agents are reducing their commission fees in a bid to gain extra business, but Mr Azzopardi believes this only sends the wrong message to the vendor – it’s a preview of what they can expect from you.
“A lot of agents at the moment are working on dropping their commission. You drop your commission, you drop your standards,” he says bluntly.
“You drop your standards and all of a sudden people won’t want to know you because you’re not giving them the service they will want.”
Instead of focusing on price, Mr Azzopardi thinks agents who focus on selling their service are in a better position to make a good impression.
“By giving them more information on things like financers, removals, painters, decorators, handymen – all those sorts of things – it makes the whole transaction a lot smoother and people really appreciate that.”
This is where having a good relationship with local businesses proves beneficial, as they can provide specials for clients you refer to them.
But Mr Azzopardi believes it’s not just vendors who benefit from the ‘six-star service’.
“The buyers are happier because they find a place that they can walk into, and not have to spend any money, which also means vendors get a better price too. It’s really a win-win situation.”