Agents as facilitators
Acting as a facilitator is an excellent way for agents to position themselves as integral to every part of the real estate transaction.
Helping a vendor to source a solicitor to draw up a contract, assisting a purchaser to secure finance, explaining the importance of landlords’ insurance to a property investor, and helping a tenant organise the connection of essential services prior to moving into a property are just some of the ways an agent can offer a higher level of service.
Entanglement is the word Mr Cunningham likes to use when explaining how agents can become integral to the transaction. “Agents are an important part of the transaction, but we need to be more involved in every stage – we need to be more entangled – and there are lots of ways for agents to do that,” he said.
“The agent of the future will deliver a high level of value and service, and will always be looking for ways to increase their offering in order to embed themselves in the transaction from start to finish.”
Even before an agent visits the property, they have an opportunity to position themselves as not only an expert, but a very helpful facilitator.
“Smart agents understand this is a long-term game. The top agents do more in order to be there for their clients every step of the way.” – John Cunningham, REINSW President
“For example, when an agent first speaks with a potential seller they should ask questions about the property in order to gain a better understanding of the information the client might need,” Mr Cunningham explained. “So when they arrive at the first meeting, they are equipped with all the information the seller is looking for – and even information they didn’t realise they needed.
“If they have a pool, go along prepared with a list of certified pool inspectors. If their garden is in need of clean up before listing, give them the names of some your preferred gardeners. And if the interiors could do with a bit of a facelift, talk to them about the benefits of bringing in a property stylist for a make-over.
“The ways in which you can help your clients are really unlimited.”
By facilitating these services for clients, agents are laying the foundations for a strong service path and it demonstrates their ability to help the client make good decisions. “This is where the service journey starts and is how good agents can stand out from the pack,” Mr Cunningham stated.
“The difference between a good agent and a great agent is that they demonstrate their value by bringing their wealth of skills and knowledge to the transaction.”
Mr Cunningham said it is important for agents to understand that offering a high level of service should extend beyond the obvious avenues that generate direct revenue.
“Agents need to be offering advice in every way they can. Helping your client, even if you aren’t receiving a direct financial benefit, is going to pay off in other ways. They will remember your expertise and how helpful you were, and that could result in them recommending you to others.
“Smart agents understand this is a long-term game. The top agents do more in order to be there for their clients every step of the way.”