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June 2016

Would Your Real Estate Agent Get An "A" For Communication?

Most vendors evaluate Real Estate Agents according to one fundamental criterion - did the property sell or didn't it?

"It's everybody's dream to get a quick sale at the "right" price," Todd Pearce of Page & Pearce Real Estate said. "But for various reasons it doesn't always happen. Vendors who come to the end of an agency agreement with their property unsold say that the real focus for their disappointment is not the failure to sell, but that they weren't kept up-to-date with progress. Their basic complaint is that the agent failed to provide them with feedback."

Todd says that lack of feedback is inevitably translated into a low level of perceived agent activity. "Vendors report that their number one need during this stressful time is up-to-date information that puts them right where the action is. Yet many vendors say they scarcely hear from their agent from one week to the next and have little idea why the property has not sold. They make the not unreasonable assumption that the agent has done very little on their behalf."

According to Todd, one of the reasons that agents fail to provide adequate feedback is that while it's easy to get top marks for communicating good news, bad news takes courage and skill to convey. "Agents don't realise that vendors want to know what's going on and they insult them by thinking they can only cope with good news. Too many agents believe that no news is good news and they shrink from communicating information like negative inspection feedback or slow enquiry." Todd says that paradoxically, negative feedback can be an important part of the selling process.

"A superior agent sees feedback as a springboard for action either by the vendor who might need to improve the presentation or vary the price, or by the agent who may want to adopt new marketing strategies or diversify the marketing campaign. The agent you would give top marks for communication is also the one who is most likely to achieve the highest price for your property," Todd concluded. "After all, communication skills or the lack of them can make or break the negotiation process."