A South Australian principal has revealed how his agency is staying ahead of the times through a more holistic approach to client servicing and the business of real estate.
A new partnership has seen Century 21 Property People join forces with Assured Financial Wellness in a bid to “allow Australians to make financial decisions with confidence” — educating customers on strategies for dealing with loans, to insurance, to retirement and estate planning.
The scheme, which is only being offered through a carefully selected network of licensees across real estate, property broking and financial planning sectors, gives those licensees “the means to be involved at all levels, receive new business opportunities and grow their business within a business”.
The first real estate agent to be awarded an AFW licence, Century 21 Property People principal Greg Nybo has said that the new partnership not only adds value to his business, but also provides very real benefit to his customer base, both now and into the future.
He argues the licence removes a significant barrier to his work as a sales agent, as licensees are able to “offer customers life-changing financial advice” through their association with AFW.
“We know, for example, that a staggering number of Australians don’t have wills. We know, too, that with interest rates at their lowest ever, too many people are paying way too much.”
The South Australian agent said that the licence enables him to “re-engage and enhance a relationship with people we’ve previously done business with while also being able to approach new customers and offer them a valuable service that equips them to make financial decisions with confidence”.
According to Gary Williams, the founder and CEO of the Assured Group, “by signing up as our first Assured Financial Wellness licensee and carrying the Assured branding on their premises, Greg and his team have positioned themselves to offer customers the very best in selling and buying a home — and the promise of a free one-stop destination for all their financial needs, today, tomorrow and into retirement”.
Mr Williams added that Mr Nybo’s licensee status “provides him with a solid reason to call on past customers and offer them more than the standard ‘would you like an appraisal on your home?’”
“Now, he can tell them all about an exciting new concept C21 is able to offer — and share how, among others, they could own their home earlier without paying any extra, or increase their wealth without having to find extra cash flow each month,” the CEO said.
REB spoke with Mr Nybo to find out more about why he sees the value in value-adding to the services Century 21 Property People can already provide.
Q: What is the value that you get out of being able to provide a “value add” proposition for your clients?
A: The “value add” comes in what promises to be an even more powerful customer-for-life relationship. Our services have always extended beyond the narrow “list and sell” experience, and while this has always been a feature of our agency, we now have an additional string to our bow, to offer customers a service beyond compare.
During our more than 40 years in the profession, we have gained a reputation as a generational agency, assisting many families to buy their first home, then their second and often an investment property. It’s a privileged position to be the agency of choice for many families, partnering them in the selling and buying process, and we look forward to having all our customers avail themselves of knowledge when making important and life-changing financial decisions.
Q: Do you think it’s “enough” for agents to be offering clients a basic buying or selling experience in 2020? Why or why not?
A: We have always been part of the community. This is where we live, work and play, and it is the repeat/return customers who have seen to it that we’ve enjoyed longevity in the profession. As times change and greater demands are made, agile and successful agencies know they need to move with — ideally, ahead of — the times, offering a holistic approach that meet and even exceed these demands. Our alliance with the Assured Group provides a strategic additional service to enhance the real estate experience.
Q: Do you think then that the role of real estate agents is changing? Why or why not?
A: With the advent of new technologies and a glut of immediately available information, the modern real estate purchaser is an educated, informed and discerning consumer, equipped with just about everything they require to make decisions. This demands that successful agents have the necessary skill set to utilise technology for the benefit of consumers across all digital platforms. It’s fair to say that accessible, technology-driven responses provide the tools consumers require on a 24/7 basis.
Q: How do you think financial wellness complements real estate services?
A: When people decide to move forward on a real estate transaction, the integration with allied service offerings such as insurance, mortgage broking and financial services is a natural extension. And despite the limits placed upon real estate agents providing financial advice, this alliance provides a pathway to financial wellness for past, current and future customers.
Q: How do you market that value-add proposition to your clients and prospective clients?
A: Given our generational agency focus, where we are seen as the agency of choice when it comes to assisting families to buy their first, then second and perhaps later an investment property, it’s vital that we keep in contact with past customers as they very soon become future customers and referral opportunities.
Our marketing efforts are built on a disciplined CRM program that, while being non-invasive, utilises the best of technology to drive the communications strategy and nurture and grow these relationships.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Grace is a journalist across Momentum property and investment brands. Grace joined Momentum Media in 2018, bringing with her a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Communication (Journalism) from the University of Newcastle. She’s passionate about delivering easy to digest information and content relevant to her key audiences and stakeholders.