Hid­den agenda in web leads

Pilbara News - - Property - Hayden Groves

When the time comes to sell or lease your prop­erty, would-be ven­dors and land­lords in­creas­ingly look to the in­ter­net to help make a short list of agents who might meet their needs to help sell or man­age their prop­erty.

Tra­di­tional meth­ods of choos­ing an agent, such as not­ing the more ac­tive agents in your area by num­ber of sign­boards, pe­rus­ing news­pa­per ad­ver­tise­ments, lis­ten­ing to rec­om­men­da­tions from friends and rel­a­tives, and vis­it­ing home opens to meet agents, re­main ef­fec­tive ways of find­ing a real es­tate agent. How­ever, we live in a dig­i­tal age, and in­creas­ingly peo­ple want to do their re­search on­line.

Cau­tion on in­ter­me­di­ary web­sites

In­ter­me­di­ary web­sites claim they can find you the “best” agent.

The truth is, they merely run a por­tal and a call cen­tre where they con­tact lo­cal agents of­fer­ing them a lead for a prop­erty list­ing in ex­change for a min­i­mum 20 per cent of their sell­ing fee.

The con­sumer then con­tacts the par­tic­i­pat­ing agents, chooses one from the list and is of­ten sur­prised to learn the agent will be pay­ing a re­fer­ral fee to the in­ter­me­di­ary. Sud­denly, the ven­dor's con­fi­dence in their agent is un­der­mined when they dis­cover the agent is pre­pared to give up a por­tion of their fee to ob­tain a lead.

You have to ask, if that agent is now work­ing for less money, how hard will they work for you?

Suc­cess­ful agents don’t need re­fer­ral web­sites

The main prob­lem with agent re­fer­ral web­sites is that suc­cess­ful lead­ing agents (there­fore the best ones) don’t need to use them to get busi­ness. Why would they? The best agents get busi­ness on their merit and are un­der­stand­ably re­luc­tant to hand over 20 to 25 per cent of their com­mis­sion to an anony­mous com­mer­cially mo­ti­vated in­ter­me­di­ary for noth­ing more than a sim­ple lead gen­er­a­tion.

These com­mer­cial in­ter­me­di­ary web­sites are not the ven­dor ad­vo­cates they pur­port to be. Con­sumers need to know that by us­ing these sites, you're not get­ting ac­cess to the best real es­tate agents, you’re sim­ply be­ing shown the cheap­est and most des­per­ate. Hayden Groves is the pres­i­dent of the Real Es­tate In­sti­tute of Western Aus­tralia.

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