From our CEO: No future for agents who are 'average'
Category Berry Everitt
There is new legislation coming into effect shortly that will replace the old Estate Agents Act of 1976 - and will at the same time recast traditional "estate agents" as "property practitioners", alongside commercial property brokers, rental management agents, bond originators, home inspectors, companies selling timeshare and fractional title, property developers and property managers.
In other words, everyone who provides any sort of business service with regard to buying, selling, managing or financing property will be subject to the extensive provisions of the Property Practitioners Act, which include various educational and conduct requirements and the establishment of a Property Practitioners Ombud service.
"But while this is mostly good news for consumers, it could make it difficult to distinguish really good estate agents from those who are merely doing what they have to do in terms of the law," says Berry Everitt, CEO of the Chas Everitt International property group.
"However, one very important way in which excellent agents will set themselves apart is their willingness to provide ongoing information and counsel to their clients, outside of an actual transaction."
He notes that most property consumers only deal with estate agents a few times in their life, and then only briefly, when they are actually selling or buying a home - and that most agents are content to be out of sight and out of mind as soon as the transaction is complete.
"There are those, though, who realise the value of building long-term business relationships by becoming a trusted confidant who is prepared to share their expertise, not to generate a transaction but to help clients make well-informed decisions about what to do with their properties and increase the value of their investments.
"Property owners often have to decide, for example, whether to move to a new home or to make alternations or additions to their existing house. And while most agents would be inclined just to suggest that they move, a really good agent will take the time to get to know their individual situation and advise accordingly, taking into account such factors as proximity to certain schools or workplaces and the real costs of relocation versus the estimated costs of the proposed alterations.
"They will also be willing to provide current market price information to assist those who do decide to stay and improve their properties not to overcapitalise."
On the other hand, says Everitt, really good agents will keep constant track of supply and demand and property sold prices in their own areas as well as the general property cycle, and will thus be able to advise clients on the best times to sell or invest in that area, as well as market-related pricing.
"In short, the above-average agents are those who are not only well-qualified and competent but are caring, helpful and involved with their clients on an ongoing basis, and they are the ones that consumers will continue to seek out even after the new Act comes into force and will ultimately be those who succeed."
Issued by Chas Everitt International
For more information
Call Berry Everitt on
Or visit www.chaseveritt.co.za
Author: Meg Wilson