Real estate agents content with knocking off at 5pm, refusing to answer after-hours calls and not attempting to tackle cold-calling tasks with a smile will soon have to make way for a new breed of estate agents: the super agent.
While a multitude of courses are available to train and license real estate agents in the basics expected by the industry, real estate agents, corporate trainers and industry experts say two core skills often need polishing – prospecting and listing.
Real estate trainer Josh Phegan said the 'super agent' rarely finds these tasks problematic and has developed a regimented approach to keeping on top of the tasks necessary to elevate an ordinary real estate agent into something more.
“For a super agent it is always about the process, making good quality phone calls, following up after an inspection and aligning these skills with their current skill set,” Mr Phegan said.
“There are two core skills a super agent has but they both come down to the basics – getting appointments and face-to-face contact with a minimum of two to three appointments per day… the super agent spends 45 minutes every day prospecting and then is off to presentations where they pitch to win against competitors and the selfish desires of the customer.
“When I say 'selfish desire', the customer might say 'I don’t want to pay market market price, not keen on paying a high fee for an agent', but you need to pitch to them a proper marketing campaign and represent the value you bring.”
Mr Phegan said a sure-fire way to change is learning to smile more and be in the client's world. As technology evolves, more people need a person to make a decision.
Chief executive officer of Think Real Estate Brian Cannan runs a registered training organisation and said buyers are more professional and well-trained than they have been in the past. Mr Cannan believes agents are seen as not always helping a buyer because there is the belief they are only working for a vendor.
“The difficulty for an agent is the knowledge part because people can buy real estate without understanding the law, and a great way for an agent to elevate their status is by finding out how long since the vendor or buyer last transacted a property and then walk them through it,” Mr Cannan said.
“The idea of ‘buyer beware’ is dead in the real estate industry because if an agent knows something, they have to disclose it to the purchasers and this is a real positive for the industry and a great way to help consumers.”
LJ Hooker licensee Bill Malouf, winner of the Real Estate Business Top 100 Agents' highest average sale, said the difference between a good estate agent and a super agent is the basics.
According to Mr Malouf, the difference comes down to honesty, accessibility, product knowledge and credibility.
“You need to be accessible, know the difference between a top, bottom and middle sale and be able to quote what previous sales are and answer the phone if clients telephone at 11pm – it doesn’t take a lot of effort or responsibility to do and agents forget that,” Mr Malouf said.
“My family never said your business day is over – when I bought my first place I sent a letter to seven agents and only one got back to me, showed me two properties and I purchased one of them – the other six wasted my time and did not listen to me.
“If people get good service and justified pricing they will come back to you. I have the philosophy that if you sell a house to someone, sell to their children, grandparents, aunts and uncles – it’s not a quick-fix one house turnaround and I believe the most successful agent doesn’t know what is coming up in their week but can easily pick up referrals.”