The CEO of the Real Estate Institute of South Australia, Greg Troughton, is the first and only name on the listings portal the state-based industry group has developed to reign in rogue real estate agents.
The site, myreiagent.com.au, allows vendors to write and read reviews of real estate agents across the state. The site works by the REISA emailing vendors at the end of their sales agency agreement to gauge the level of service they received, whether they would recommend their agent to family and friends, and general comments.
So far the only estate agent featured on the site is Mr Troughton, with some 16 properties listed. Feedback about Mr Troughton so far ranges from “Ok but not great” to "Greg is the greatest”, but local agents believe the whole approach, and the actual website, is a waste of time. Other, more scathing reviews have been added during the testing phase by staff to test the question and answer function.
The site goes live on November 1. However, estate agents are not happy with the idea at all.
Director of Bruse Real Estate in Adelaide Bevan Bruse disagrees wholeheartedly with such an idea and said the whole idea is "crazy stuff". Mr Bruse added there is always a vendor who believes they didn’t get enough money, always someone offended by what you may or may not have done and as an industry, estate agents should look after themselves.
“Why would they bother having it,” Mr Bruse said.
“If you do a good job then people will keep coming back and that’s what it is all about – return business – and if a website rates me as an estate agent then it makes no significance to me.
“If you give someone bad service then they are never going to deal with you anyway, but I am sure there is another side to the website being built.”
Director of Harcourts agency in Mawson Lakes Peter Asimakopolous said the whole idea was just not necessary. Mr Asimakopolous said today’s real estate agent prefers to deal with people directly and considered such a website was perhaps little more than self-serving marketing. Mr Asimakopolous said people like searching for apartment and homes online but deal with estate agents in person or on the phone.
“Maybe the website is for a close-knit group of people, but naming agents is why we have awards,” Mr Asimakopolous said.
“It’s just not right for real estate as individual people have personalities, and you have to gauge people and respond accordingly.
“The entire industry is going back to old-school processes and now it is about bringing the personality back.”