Selling or buying property is one of the most important transactions most people will make in a lifetime – so finding the right agent to handle it is essential.
Though an agent’s reputation is an important consideration, there’s more to it than that. Being an agent is very much about forging and maintaining relationships. However well-regarded an agent is, the quality of service depends on how well they can match the client’s personal needs.
In our experience, two factors are key to this. The first factor is expertise. A good agent needs to have a finger on the pulse of the local property market. He or she must understand how property value is determined in a dynamic market, and know what it takes to market a property for optimal returns. It’s also important for agencies to offer its agents industry-leading training and technological support to sharpen their competitiveness in the market.
The second factor key to matching a client’s needs is enthusiasm. A good agent is one who enjoys relationship-building. He or she will communicate conscientiously, and explain the opportunities and limitations that a transaction faces – and will look for means to improve its prospects. Perhaps more than anything, a good agent enjoys their work and draws satisfaction from doing it, not just the rewards it offers.
This is largely a question of values. You need to build a culture that rests on four principles: people first; doing the right thing; being courageous and fun and laughter. Rather than seeing enjoyment, ethics and fulfilment as incidental or even supportive of our work, we see them as fundamental.
This is an important and unique value proposition offering a culture of long-term relationships. It stresses rewards both in personal contentment and financial prosperity – each supporting the other.
Dealing with your clients to ensure that their experience provides the same rewards, and the foundation for a mutually beneficial long-term relationship, is a priority.
Harcourts Africa Chief Executive Officer