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How do we really earn our fee?

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Fri 13 May 2016

How do we really earn our fee?

If Estate Agency really was as simple as putting a set of pretty photos and a floor plan on rightmove and waiting for the phone to ring with an asking price offer then everything would sell or rent immediately and every day for us would be very straight forward. At the start our clients can often expect it to be this simple but once their property is live on the internet and the email alert has been dispatched to all subscribers to Rightmove, Zoopla and Primelocation a lack of immediate sale will quickly refocus their expectations to the job that we will do to secure a buyer or tenant for them. 

Yes the internet is a vital tool for all agents and it generates more enquiries than any other form of marketing but it does not sell or let your home.  It is the combination of all forms of marketing, including the high street foot fall which builds a database of buyers and tenants. The database grows because it is so rare that a sale is made after just one viewing to a property. We listen carefully to the feedback from our buyer or tenant and it helps us to get to know them better so that when we call them the next time we can relate to them more clearly, matching the selling points of the property we are offering to the criteria that we now know are important to the person we are offering it to. 

A good agent will know their database very well. They will have written detailed notes on each buyer or tenant so that they can immediately pinpoint a potential buyer or tenant when a new instruction is taken on. And imagine how more enthusiastic the receiver of their phone call will be if the conversation begins with a statement that relates personally to their search. For example, “I know you have been looking for an apartment with a larger than average terrace in a building that will take pets and I have found it for you!” compared with, “I’m phoning to see if you are still looking for a property….” (yawn) or an email from rightmove with today’s list of new property to the market (yawn, yawn). 

A good agent will be able to overcome objection and generate sufficient confidence in a buyer to meet the expectations of the seller. 

But the part of our service that can involve the greatest amount of work, skill and stress is between the moment when a sale is agreed and contracts exchange. At this point we relinquish control to two solicitors, a management company, local authority, mortgage lender, surveyor and media speculation on the state of the market. During this time, we encourage, we assist, we expedite, we counsel, we communicate, we reassure and we hold it together until your buyer’s solicitor is at last ready to exchange contracts. This is so often underestimated until the sale appears to be in jeopardy and it is the skill that we are most proud of. 

It is no wonder therefore that so many of our testimonials say, “The sale wouldn’t have happened without you.”