The Gaping Difference Between the Best and Worst Real Estate Agency

Probably more than any service industry, there is a gaping difference between the best Real Estate Agency and the worst, or even “the rest”.

During the boom leading up to the height of 2007 it was apparent that money came very easily in the industry. Many, struggling in their current job of the time saw the industry as a very lucrative, easy career option. Standards generally were low, there was little effective self-regulation within the industry and the public, quite understandably had little confidence. Some opening their own Agency made great marketing capital in being different/better/more ethical or whatever – frequently with little substance behind their claims.

Then came the Global Financial Crisis, second and third tier lenders collapsed, some high profile mainstream banks found their profligacy of lending led to their collapse and the industry lost its golden glow. Those needing the services of a Real Estate Agency knew they had a problem and became discerning with their choice. The industry took a major reality check.

At the same time, the Government stepped in and put in place an external agency to regulate standards. The Real Estate Agency Authority was formed in New Zealand giving a platform for the public to make complaints, from which they could take confidence that independent investigation and appropriate disciplinary action would occur.

Subsequent to the GFC many Real Estate Agencies have struggled to remain in profit with many closing their doors. Others, particularly those who always maintained high ethical standards and who valued the principals of service have increased their market share in a declining volume market.

So, what should a potential vendor look for in choosing a Real Estate Agency to maximise the sale price of, what is probably, their lost valuable asset?:
- Firstly, use the experience of others, who has the lion’s share of the local market. What are past clients saying of the Real Estate Agency by way of testimonials?
- How long has the agency been operating in the area and what is the churn or turnover of salespeople? Good agencies retain good people.
- What is the office profile in the New Zealand Herald and local media and does it have a quality physical presence with an office in the heart of the locality – the office window remains important.

Each Real Estate Agency has its own office policies and procedures (or lack there of). Ask what processes are in place to benefit the individual property seller – the manager and individual salespeople should be very clear about these.

Market share and the collective strength of the sales stream coupled with the experience of the individual listing salesperson in the office is very important.

Real Estate Agencies generally are improving (they must do so to survive), but there is still a gaping difference between the best and worst Real Estate Agencies.

It pays to spend time applying a few key questions before committing to give your most valuable asset to an all-so-ran agent.

Top Three Reasons to Use a Real Estate Agency to Sell or Buy Your Home

You have a home to sell and are wondering if you should do it yourself or if you should use a real estate agency. With a highly volatile housing market, selling your property can be more difficult than ever. Many people think that they can sell their house or purchase a new one on their own. Whether you are selling your home or looking to purchase a new one, using an agency is your best bet to find success. Here are the top three reasons to use a real estate agency to sell your home.

Experience

Using a real estate agent brings with it all the wonderful perks of experience. A good real estate agency will know all the ins and outs of your local market. They are following the buying and selling trends for your target area. With their experience, they can get you the best deal on your new home, or get you the most money for the home you are selling. They are expert negotiators and have experience working with the banks, as well as other real estate agencies.

Save Time

The agency will do all the groundwork for you. After they are aware of what you are looking for to purchase, or what you are selling, they will do all of the research for you. If buying a new home, they will locate the homes in your area that meet your criteria. The agency will set up convenient times for you to go look at only the homes that are suitable.

Your local realtor knows the neighborhood, and probably knows the history of many of the homes up for sale in your area. They can help save time by not taking you to look at inappropriate homes. If you are going it alone, you will probably spend a lot of time looking at homes that aren’t right for you.

If you are the seller, the agency will list your home, and lay all the ground work for finding a suitable buyer. They will deal with showing your home to interested buyers, so you don’t have to take the time out of your busy schedule to do it.

Legal Expertise

With the market swamped with foreclosures and short sales, there are so many legal ins and outs you need to know to purchase or sell a home. Agencies know the laws and legal procedures in your local market. You will be well represented at the negotiating table, and your best interest will always be their major concern. There is so much damage being done to foreclosed homes that working with real estate professionals will help protect your legal rights.

Operational Problems to Avoid in a Commercial Real Estate Agency

When you run a commercial real estate agency with many salespeople, it is important to avoid operational problems that stifle listing opportunity and deal conversions. All too often today we see some agents cutting corners when it comes to operational support and backup for the sales team.

You cannot make good commissions when you cut corners.

The common operational problems we see today are usually:

Lack of support staff to assist the sales team with their listings, advertising, database, and contract or lease documentation processes.
The sales team spending too much time on administrative duties therefore not getting into the market and meeting enough of the decision makers.
Little or no database support to capture the qualified enquiry accurately and in a timely way.
Little or no marketing material to assist the sales team with their sales presentations and pitches.
Poorly constructed marketing campaigns that have little relevance to the property precinct or the listed property.
Lack of consistent prospecting and cold calling systems and strategies on the part of the sales team.
Sales staff that do not know how to handle technology in the presentation and marketing process.
Selection of under experienced staff with little or no market presence.

Let’s face the facts; today’s commercial real estate market is challenging and competitive with many agents chasing the same listings. This means that your agency and the sales team should have all the required tools at their fingertips to move on a potential listing and take it to market as quickly and effectively as possible.

Marketing a property today is not an experiment for inexperienced salespeople; the clients and property owners that you deal with really require the best salespeople to help them complete the transaction as effectively as possible.

There is a place for having property cadets learning the trade behind your experienced people; this provides for some succession or growth in the sales team. There is no place for employing poorly skilled or untested salespeople in today’s market; they will cost you money and waste your time.

Key Strategies

Here are some key strategies to help you with the development of a real estate agency in today’s property market:

A new agency business with inadequate funding from the outset will be difficult to sustain momentum. It takes about six months of hard work to get an agency presence and dominance into the local precinct. Signage presence will always help you here but the skills, focus and consistent actions of the sales team will require funding for a solid period of time before leads and opportunities are easily coming to your office.

The agency should have an established business plan focusing on the periods of one year, two years, and five years. It takes about one or two years of sustained hard work with a successful sales and leasing team to break even. The second year will be the year for focusing on the generation of profit, leading into the five year business success plan.

The branding of your real estate office should be consistent across all marketing materials and signboards. All listings should receive a signboard at the time of listing. Signboard presence and dominance will strengthen your market share.

Always strive to get a sole agency or exclusive agency on the properties that you list. Some property markets will let you do this although open listings are more common at the early stages of opening a real estate office. The transition from taking open listings to exclusive listings should therefore be part of your business plan.

Staff training and development should be a regular weekly process. Even the most experienced salespeople will have issues to be developed and improved.

Technology has become a central part of the real estate business for both the agency and the individual salesperson. Up to date computers, mobile telephone technology, and database systems will be needed to support the sales team.

Build your property management portfolio wherever possible from the successful sales and leasing transactions that you undertake. It is a well-known fact that property management portfolio fees will assist the commercial agency to function over the long term during dips or troughs in the property market or economy. The property management portfolio will also become a saleable commodity if extra cash flow is required in the future within the agency.

When you plan your agency business well you can move forward with the right steps. Always test and measure your progress so you can see when something is not working; then take the right remedial action to fix it.

How to Choose a Really Good Real Estate Agency

If you plan to buy or sell any property you will have to make contact with some real estate agency. A real estate agency is an organization which has real estate agents which act as mediators to finalize the real estate deals. Most of the property deals are done either through an agent or you may have to negotiate the deal by yourself.

What is a real estate agency?

An area of a commercial law, which deals with quasi-contractual and contractual tripartite set of relationships when an agent is duly authorized to act on client’s behalf, is termed as agency. An agency acts as per law and has a group of agents who play mediators in between people who desire to sell and buy a property.

As the realty market is growing rapidly, there are large numbers of real estate agencies available to choose from. Most of them are nice but you must research and try to choose an exceptionally talented and great agency. An efficient agency would bring you some highly profitable property deals.

You must look for the below mentioned characteristics in an efficient and good property agency:

Experience of the agency: In business, a more experienced agency is better placed to provide you with some profitable deals.

Professionalism of its people: You must go in for a highly efficient and professionally managed agency. Good properties agencies are run by agents who are conversant with all laws and are proficient in their tasks.

Trustworthiness of the agency: The agency you choose must be totally trustworthy. Many reputed agencies dealing in property have a large number of satisfied clients so you can get easily get testimonials from their earlier clients. Agencies recommended by your associates or friends are great to start with. After all trust factor is most essential when you are dealing in property.

It is clear that choosing a really efficient agency is most vital in purchasing a property. A good agency could help you save lots of bucks which you can then use to upgrade or decorate your purchased property. A professional agency will help and guide you in realizing a good price for property.

Dallas Real Estate Agencies

Dallas real estate agencies help in buying and selling residential and commercial property in Dallas and its suburban areas. Like real estate agencies elsewhere, they do not own or buy any property that they list. They work on commission for their clients. Within the broad buying and selling functions, the real estate agencies in Dallas help in relocation, moving, rentals, mortgages, and other realtor services like insurance. The range of options offered by Dallas real estate agents for residential property includes houses, apartments, condominiums, lakefront homes, and sometimes ranches, too. Dealings in commercial property are largely restricted to the business areas, and some of the newly developed and developing areas.

The Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) is the state government agency that issues licenses to real estate agencies operating in the state of Texas. Hence, the real estate agencies in Dallas come within the purview of TREC. TREC requires real estate brokers and salespersons to have sufficient education that would make them eligible to hold a license to work as a real estate agent. This is to ensure that consumers of real estate agencies get to interact with qualified and competent agencies.

Merely holding a license issued by TREC does not qualify a real estate agency to be a realtor in Texas. To qualify as a realtor, a real estate agency or professional should be a member of the National Association of Realtors, the national real estate industry association. Most real estate agencies in Dallas are members of this association, apart from being members of the MetroTex Association of realtors, the association for North Texas real estate professionals, which also consists of the Greater Dallas Association of Realtors. The Texas Association of Realtors is a statewide organization with 80,000 members that serves as a platform for realtors in Texas, including those in Dallas.

Most of the real estate agencies in Dallas have individual websites that list all the properties that they advertise for selling or buying. The websites are helpful for non-Dallas based clients to find property listings in Dallas quickly.