Building strong working relationships with selling agents: a buyers’ agent’s perspective

20 March 2019

Relationships are great. Someone to chat with about your day, how you’re feeling and your future plans. We build them with our family and friends and even acquaintances. But it’s equally important to build business relationships.

For agents this obviously includes your work colleagues and superiors, vendors and buyers. But what about agents operating in a different scope? As a buyers’ agent or selling agent, this is critical – especially in a cooling market.

So, what can agents offer each other? And if the market is getting tougher, why should agents share leads they have spent weeks, months and even years cultivating?

Shelley Horton, Director of Albion Avenue, says the reasons are plentiful. And she explains why.

REINSW: Why is it important to establish relationships with selling agents? 

Shelley Horton: “Buyers agents provide a source of qualified and ready buyers for selling agents, and most recognise the benefits that brings to a real estate transaction. And buyers ultimately become sellers again at some point, so it’s a future lead for them as well. Likewise, selling agents can introduce struggling and disillusioned buyers they might spot regularly at their open homes to a buyers’ agent they know and trust.”

A good buyer/seller agent relationship developed over time can lead to a long term solid business partnership, particularly if you operate in the same geographical area.

REI: How should buyers’ agents approach a selling agent to start a relationship? 

SH: “Depending on your area of geographic focus there may be many selling agents you deal with, so I'd suggest you start with the very first time you cross paths with them. Calling or texting to introduce yourself ahead of an open home is a nice touch. Following up after an inspection with feedback helps them close the loop with their client (the vendor). Regardless of your client’s interest in a property, if you operate in that area check in down the track to see how the campaign is going or what the sale outcome was. Once you transact with a selling agent you have a common link and a real opportunity to cement an ongoing relationship with them over time. This builds good will that will gain momentum over time especially if you transact with them again and again.”

REI: What can buyers’ agents offer selling agents?

SH: “A good buyer/seller agent relationship developed over time can lead to a long-term solid business partnership, particularly if you operate in the same geographical area. As well as being able to refer potential business to each other, you can also be a good sounding board to one another on what's happening in the market and how to handle unusual or tricky situations when dealing with your clients.”

REI: How should you maintain a relationship with a selling agent, once established? When and how should you contact them? 

SH: “Any relationship requires time, attention and transparency if it is to work. Whenever you start a new client brief, personally reaching out to your network of selling agents is a good start. In a day and age when hiding behind email is quick and convenient, I find chatting on the phone is always a more personal touch. As far as ongoing contact throughout a search, there are no shortage of excuses to reach out. You can wish them well when you see a new listing; close the loop with a yes, no or maybe after you inspect a property; follow up and enquire about a sale campaign or price drop or personally congratulate them on a good sale result. If you particularly connect with a selling agent, catch up face to face for an occasional coffee to chat about the market. It will not do you any harm. Once you transact with a selling agent, it is a perfect excuse to meet up in person and say thank-you.”

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