Agent Insights: Agency Leaders

7 November 2019

Agent Insights: Agency Leaders

We asked three agency leaders what challenges they’ve experienced over the past few years and their outlook now the market is picking up.


LEANNE PILKINGTON

Managing Director at Laing+Simmons

Challenges: Tough conversations

Helping agents to deal with the reality of changed market conditions has been a challenge. Many agents who are newer to the industry and have never experienced a market in decline have struggled to have those difficult conversations with clients. It’s hard for them not to take client reactions to honest market feedback personally. We’ve had to work closely with them to build resilience and persevere.

Actions: Reality check

We’ve worked closely with our corporate team and agents across the network to bring a more realistic outlook to discussions about the state of the market. Media scaremongering is difficult to ignore, so regular and sensible discussions to combat this have been essential to foster the right frame of mind.

Predictions: Spring windfall

There’s no doubt the ScoMo effect is real and, coupled with interest rate drops, there’s definitely a much more positive sentiment in the market. I’m looking forward to this translating into more stock coming to market and having a bumper Spring selling season.

EWAN MORTON

Joint Managing Director at Morton Real Estate

Challenges: Price decline

What have been the challenges? In a word, sales. While our transaction numbers have been OK, the average sale price has been down substantially. We’ve had to reduce costs, which is not something that can be done overnight. Organically growing our rent roll has also been a challenge.

Actions: Focus on the fundamentals

It’s been a case of getting back to basics. For both sales and property management, we’ve been carefully reviewing every property, having the hard conversations, reducing expenses and ensuring processes are followed to the letter. For our network of offices, this has yielded results.

Predictions: Positive outlook

The worst is definitely over. With every downturn, we have to remember the lessons of the past; that is, as the market comes back, profits will be maximised. More and more, I also think the industry is less fearful of disruption and disintermediation. By doing your job and doing it well, there’s a path through the challenges, and strong agents and agencies will thrive.

ROB WARD

CEO at DiJONES Real Estate

Challenges: Time to refocus

The market continued to soften, which saw seller confidence decline and the lowest stock levels we’ve seen in many years. The challenge was to refocus the expectations of agents and ensure they realised that the changed market presented a great opportunity to build market share if they were prepared to work hard.

Actions: Constant communication

It’s been essential to ensure sellers and buyers have all the information they need to make an informed decision. This has meant daily communication, written reports and more face-to-face meetings. We’ve also worked with our team to ensure they have a positive attitude and are focused on solutions, rather than getting bogged down with negative thoughts.

Predictions: Steady growth

In the short to medium term, I think the market will remain steady with minor price growth. While APRA changes have made credit more available and interest rates have dropped, I believe stock levels may still remain low. Ultimately, we need to see more activity in the market.


This article first appeared in the REINSW Journal.

Want more?

 

Related articles

 Weekly Market Wrap 15/11
(15/11/2019)
 
 Weekly Market Wrap 8/11
(8/11/2019)
 
 Agent Insights: Agency Leaders
(7/11/2019)
 
 Helping hand for first home buyers
(5/11/2019)