Getting connected – leveraging client relationships to create value for the industry

Getting connected – leveraging client relationships to create value for the industry

04 September 2014 by Nigel O'Neil 0 comments
Nigel O'Neil

Real estate success hinges on building and maintaining relationships.

Research shows that reputation and word of mouth are the top criteria vendors rely on when choosing an agent[1]. But strong relationships with clients don’t just encourage repeat business; there is a goldmine of untapped value in agent relationships waiting to be unleashed.

As external parties such as online listing portals increasingly alter the role of agents in the sales process, it’s more important than ever for agents to demonstrate value to clients.

Just as the local supermarket industry has expanded into financial services and insurance, the real estate industry has an opportunity to diversify its remit into areas currently serviced by external providers.  

Case in point: YourPorter

Research suggests that real estate agents are the source of leads of utility connections businesses, yet fail to capitalise on the commissions for themselves. The industry has essentially passed on revenue to third parties instead of taking advantage of these opportunities.

In response to this, hockingstuart and Barry Plant recently launched YourPorter, a utility connection service for the industry that offers a full suite of connection services for renters and homebuyers, including electricity, gas, water, telecommunications and pay television from several top tier suppliers including AGL, Origin, Telstra and Foxtel.

The benefit to clients is obvious. Home movers no longer need to worry about contacting third-party suppliers. Their agent can arrange it when they pick up the keys to their new home, all with a same-day connection guarantee.

YourPorter also benefits the industry through market leading commission rates and 47 per cent equity in the YourPorter business, ensuring real estate businesses and agents derive maximum value from connection services.

YourPorter is just one example of the industry moving beyond the bread and butter of buying, selling and leasing.

Other real estate businesses are exploring similar strategies through partnerships with home-staging companies, curtain and blinds specialists and architects, all with the aim of generating new revenue streams by better leveraging the services they already facilitate.

Maximising the relationship

When it comes to buying, selling and moving house, no one understands this process better than real estate professionals. We hold the keys to the clients and should think twice before handing them over.

As an industry we should be looking for more innovative solutions to support clients through the entire property journey and ensure we reap the benefits of the relationships we have forged.


[1] hockingstuart market research study into potential vendor needs & perceptions

Nigel O’Neil is CEO of hockingstuart, one of Victoria’s largest and most established real estate franchises. Nigel is a qualified Chartered Accountant and has successfully built and grown large successful businesses by leveraging his strategic business acumen and leadership experience. He is now applying the same principles to his role leading hockingstuart and as a leader across the broader real estate community.

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