Estate Agent Bad Behaviour
Select an estate agent without forced bad behaviours
If we believe that financial remuneration drives a certain behaviour in business then it is no wonder that estate agency in some quarters has a questionable reputation.
Estate agents are not bad people. The vast majority of property industry employees want to do a good job, to help people to move home successfully and with the least fuss – and to earn a reasonable living for themselves.
But the problem with the traditional estate agency model is that the way that its people are paid is not necessarily conducive with a great experience.
What exactly do we mean by that?
Believe it or not, where a fee of say 1.5% of the property sale price is earned, an individual agent will earn just 5% of that. For example take a £300,000 property where the seller pays a fee of £4,500, the agent earns just £225 and each transaction might take six months to complete. Motivating? Not really.
What such an inadequate remuneration approach often encourages is an apathy toward customers. It also tends to dictate that agents run from transaction to transaction trying to spin many plates in order to try to earn a proper crust. Inevitably, those plates drop when there are too many to keep spinning at once. It’s incompatible with a positive outcome for the customer where such a valuable asset and protracted, stressful process is concerned.
But what if, as with the Keller Williams model, the agent that does the work and faithfully attends to the customer 24/7 were to be paid a bigger proportion of the commission instead of that money being channelled toward multiple branch office rents, rates, staff, car leases and so on? Well, that’s the way that the Americans have been selling real estate for decades and which is why, unsurprisingly, the USA has a much better reputation for real estate service and efficiency.
Keller Williams isn’t just an American business operating in the UK. It’s a global company, the largest estate agency in the world, that is now successful in 42 countries. And whilst cultures and legal systems are of course different from market to market, one thing is for sure no matter which continent you live on…. paying people properly so that they enjoy their work, covet success, are aligned and respect their paying customers? That’s human nature regardless and drives good commercial behaviour in any language.