Technology that connects buyers and sellers quickly and effectively that allows them to conduct market research is ensuring our customers are smarter and more informed than ever before.
Selling a property is no longer a magical dark art understood only by real estate agents who have been indoctrinated into the secret code. Technology that connects buyers and sellers quickly and effectively, allows them to conduct market research and helps them streamline the search and buying processes is ensuring our customers are smarter and more informed than ever before.
But still, too many agents think they need to try to be a gatekeeper on the information they share with their clients in the mistaken belief that not telling a client critical data points will prove their value, make them easier to manage and trust them as their agent more.
The recent Consumer Perceptions of Real Estate Agents research conducted by CoreLogic identified such an approach is inherently flawed.
The survey analysed the satisfaction levels of recent vendors in dealing with their real estate agent, and the behaviours that they demonstrated that increased or decreased those levels of satisfaction.
The survey clearly showed the more data about the market an agent shared with their vendor – and took the time to explain – the more likely the vendor was to be satisfied with their agent, and rate their behaviour as Excellent.
The survey showed that most agents do show some key data to vendors – 79% of vendors surveyed said that their agent had shown them recent sales in their area as part of their presentation to win the listing, while 74% had seen an estimated value of their property from their agent.
These are interesting numbers because while they flag that the majority of agents do the right thing, there is still between 21 – 26% of the market that is not providing their vendors with any fact-based insight into the price they can expect.
When a real estate agent decides not to share market data with their vendor (or buyer), what they are instead sharing is their opinion. That’s fine, except that any opinion can be countered with another opinion – in most cases that of the vendor who really is not going to sell unless you get a price for their run down property that is $150,000 over the highest achieved on market because that’s the number they want come hell or high water so you’d better start earning your commission, stop making excuses and go get it for them. And with opinion based “discussions”, it is usually the person with the loudest voice who wins.
Doesn’t sound like fun, does it? The survey showed that approximately one-fifth of real estate agents currently choose this path.
The alternative is to build the knowledge and understanding of your clients by either providing them with market information, or directing them to where they can find their own insights. When the research that they do themselves tallies with the information you are providing, trust between an agent and his or her client is built even further and vendors feel better prepared for the sales process.
This is backed by the Perceptions survey which showed 49% of vendors who received Time on Market information from their agent reported their sales experience as Excellent while 50% of those vendors who were given Local Auction Clearance Rates by their agent reported their sales experience as Excellent
This was 14% higher than the general response where 34% of vendors rated their overall experience as Excellent.
The value of sharing important market information was underlined by additional results which demonstrated the role of data in helping agents develop trust and an understanding of the sales experience with their clients.
Agents who provided their clients with Local Auction Clearance Rates and Average Time on Market information were significantly more likely to stay in touch with their agent or use him or her again. The survey showed 61% of vendors who received Local Auction Clearance rates from their agent reported they would definitely stay in touch or use their agent again, while 56% of vendors who received Average Time on Market information said they would use again. This compared to just 37% of vendors on average who said they would stay in touch with their agent.
The third piece of evidence about the importance of sharing market information was found in the survey question “Would you recommend your agent to friends or family?”. While 68% of respondents generally said they would recommend their agent, this number jumped 15% to 83% of those vendors who received Average Time on Market information from their agent, and by 18% to 86% of those vendors who received Local Auction Clearance Rates.
Arming your clients with the facts and sharing market data and insights with clients is the simplest way to build trust, help them prepare themselves for the ordeal ahead, and create a positive relationship that is more likely to result in them becoming a raving fan and a client for life. And that beats dark magic any day.
Kylie Davis is the Head of Marketing – Property Solutions at CoreLogic. Follow her on Twitter @KDavisCoreLogic