One principal has found that being upfront about fees and charges has separated tyre kickers from genuine clients.
Kathryn Hall, principal of Kathryn Hall Real Estate, said being completely transparent about fees helps her find the right clients and build customer loyalty.
Founded in 2008, the Sydney company’s website displays all fees for property management clearly, including management and administration fees, as well as marketing and letting costs.
“It has always worked for me. Most of my business is referral work or clients who know me, and they don’t argue about the price since they’re happy with what I do,” she told RPM.
“If people are just basing their decision on the cheapest price they can get, that’s not a healthy attitude to have in real estate, or in any business.”
According to Ms Hall, being transparent about the fees also helps minimise the amount of potential clients trying to negotiate.
“If I’ve got one client who’s got four or five properties, then there might be room to negotiate, but it just depends on the client.”
Ms Hall said property managers should be willing to stand by their fees since many agencies that are willing to drop fees won’t offer the right level of service to clients.
“If a property manager is not making enough money to survive then they get desperate, they start to make mistakes and start cutting corners,” she said.
“The reality is there’s a lot of work in real estate, and I don’t think I charge enough.”
Ms Hall said most of the agency’s property management clients started out as sales clients. Kathryn Hall Real Estate also offers buyer’s agency services, relocation services, project management and retirement village solutions.
[Related: Fee undercutting leads to burnout – trainer]